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Channeling the Cosmos: A guide to the Oracle


Advice

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Bigtuna wrote:

Cleave. It's a nice feat, but it's also one of the few feats you can gain as a weapon enchantment, and as a +1 bonus!

And the Warrior Oracle has a desperat need of feats!

Also The Feat Spell Perfection - the real reason even a Warrior Oracle could use 3 metamagic feats (one of them quicken) - Spellperfection with either Divine power or Rightous Might makes sure the warrior enters battle ready to fight.

1. The Weapon Enhancement Mighty Cleaving doesn't give you Cleave. It gets you an extra attack on any target but the first whenever you use Cleave. You must still have the feat.

2. Spell Perfection is good, but requires 15 Spellcraft ranks. Your already few skills are probably better spent elsewhere. It'd still be good though, but a lot more expensive than just 3 feats that you were likely to get anyway.


1) - wait what? If the Mighty Cleave doesn't give you the cleave feat, then what does it do?

Mighty Cleave:
"This ability can only be placed on a melee weapon.

A mighty cleaving weapon allows a wielder using the Cleave feat to make one additional attack if the first attack hits, as long as the next foe is adjacent to the first and also within reach. This additional attack cannot be against the first foe."

Cleave:
You can strike two adjacent foes with a single swing.

Prerequisites: Str 13, Power Attack, base attack bonus +1.

Benefit: As a standard action, you can make a single attack at your full base attack bonus against a foe within reach. If you hit, you deal damage normally and can make an additional attack (using your full base attack bonus) against a foe that is adjacent to the first and also within reach. You can only make one additional attack per round with this feat. When you use this feat, you take a –2 penalty to your Armor Class until your next turn.

So if you have cleave you can as a standard action make an extra attack against a second target. If you have a Mighty Cleave weapon you can make two attacks against the second target?

2) Skill points - spellcraft is a usefull skill, identifying spells/items so it's not a wasted skill. But the combo of Spellperfection + quicken spell is action ecomony - one of the most important things in the game...


Bigtuna wrote:

1) - wait what? If the Mighty Cleave doesn't give you the cleave feat, then what does it do?

Mighty Cleave:
"This ability can only be placed on a melee weapon.

A mighty cleaving weapon allows a wielder using the Cleave feat to make one additional attack if the first attack hits, as long as the next foe is adjacent to the first and also within reach. This additional attack cannot be against the first foe."

Cleave:
You can strike two adjacent foes with a single swing.

Prerequisites: Str 13, Power Attack, base attack bonus +1.

Benefit: As a standard action, you can make a single attack at your full base attack bonus against a foe within reach. If you hit, you deal damage normally and can make an additional attack (using your full base attack bonus) against a foe that is adjacent to the first and also within reach. You can only make one additional attack per round with this feat. When you use this feat, you take a –2 penalty to your Armor Class until your next turn.

So if you have cleave you can as a standard action make an extra attack against a second target. If you have a Mighty Cleave weapon you can make two attacks against the second target?

2) Skill points - spellcraft is a usefull skill, identifying spells/items so it's not a wasted skill. But the combo of Spellperfection + quicken spell is action ecomony - one of the most important things in the game...

1. Boldness and emphasis mine. You must already have the feat to use the enchantment. It gives you three attacks total, rather than just the two that you'd get from Cleave by itself. It also says you can't use the extra attack against the first bad guy. If all this enchantment did was give you Cleave, saying that wouldn't be necessary, as we already know how to use the Cleave feat.

2. Yes, Spell Perfection is really really good. It's just that Oracles usually don't have a very high Int and there are a lot of skills to compete with.


Bigtuna wrote:

Cleave. It's a nice feat, but it's also one of the few feats you can gain as a weapon enchantment, and as a +1 bonus!

And the Warrior Oracle has a desperat need of feats!

Also The Feat Spell Perfection - the real reason even a Warrior Oracle could use 3 metamagic feats (one of them quicken) - Spellperfection with either Divine power or Rightous Might makes sure the warrior enters battle ready to fight.

Nategar hit my point on the Mighty Cleave enchantment, so I'll just address your second point:

Divine Power is probably a lame choice when you consider that the earliest you can take the feat is 15th level, but Righteous Might is an excellent contender for free quickens. This is clearly a powerful option.

However, to take it you're going to need to invest very heavily in the Spellcraft skill. Spellcraft isn't useless, but for an oracle the only thing it's doing is letting you identify magic items- and there's no real need for more than one person in a group to be doing that. Wizards are the class that this skill was made for, so it's all a bit wasted if you're running around with a pointy hat in your group. Otherwise, it's a mediocre investment that you can probably get some mileage out of.

My real struggle with the feat is that it requires three metamagic feats. For a caster focus this isn't too bad, but Spell Perfection sorta sucks for caster focused oracles. I'm looking over the metamagic feats and I just can't justify more than 2 of them for a warrior. Extend is awesome, and quicken is the star when you take Spell Perfection. But what else? I mean, you should probably take Selective Spell on principle alone, but it's still a feat tax- and feat taxes are lame.

So it all really boils down to this: 4 feats for a really cool trick at level 15+, or 2-3 feats free to pursue something else like Step Up and Strike, or the eldritch heritage feats for your favorite bloodline.


I just wanted to say again thank you for writing this guide. It's been very helpful. I look forward to seeing it finished.

Andoran

A human can work in all 4 eldritch heritage feats, all 4 feats for spell perfection, have the extra skill point for it, and still have 3 floating feats. Is it worth it? It depends.

I probably wouldn't plan for spell perfection if I was building from level 1, but I'm not certain I'd plan for eldritch heritage either. Starting at 20th level? Probably. Even on a combat focused oracle.


FallingIcicle wrote:
I just wanted to say again thank you for writing this guide. It's been very helpful. I look forward to seeing it finished.

I appreciate you taking the time to stop in the thread! I'm about a third of the way through all the spells, but Skyrim has put a real damper on my progress.

Soon, though.


damn you Skyrim! :-)

Well okay - you don't like Divine power - and since you no longer get bab = CL, it's not as cool as 3.5.

But you like Blessing of Fervor - depending on your party - people will love you if you start combat with a quickend one of these...

"So it all really boils down to this: 4 feats for a really cool trick at level 15+, or 2-3 feats free to pursue something else like Step Up and Strike, or the eldritch heritage feats for your favorite bloodline."

The thing is i don't see it as 4 feats - since I would take a few metamagic feats anyway. In your guide you advice people to take 1-2 (warrior) or 2-3 (caster focused). So I see it as 1-2 feats for a great trick. AND the skill point cost - which I agree can be high. Depending on what point buy system you go with or what level your start playing..

Looking forward to your review for the rest of the spells :-)


Great guide! I just love this. Some thoughts and questions from my part.
I'm aware my thoughts are only opinions, but here they are.

Just like you I think healing in battle is usually a bad idea. Exceptions are heal, mass heal and breath of life and if the healing doesn't cost you a standard action. That's why Quick Channel is such a nice feat if you play an Life oracle. Quick Channel and Combat Healer is a fantastic combination. Quick Channel is costly, true but most life oracle will focus on casting and boost their char high. I'm creating a Life oracle for our next game (2 PB and two traits) and I will probably start with char 18. I will pick Combat Healer at level 11. By level 11 my char will be 20 and add headband of char +2 or +4 I will have 7 or 8 channels per day.
At level 11 I can in one round I can cast CLW mass, Channel and cast a spell. This can be done twice per day. If we are up against undeads I can target undeads as well with the CLW mass.

Since Life oracles get Channeling, perhaps you should add some advice on channeling feats in your guide. Selective Channeling is great. Even at level 1. And perhaps you should change Consecrate from red to "red or green". If you are a Life Oracle Consecrate is very nice when you fight undead.

I'm not sure why a Caster Oracle should have 14 str. If you are a caster Oracle , especially a Life Oracle, Str need not be higher than 10. Better boost dex or con. Even if you playing a caster I don't think char needs to be higher than 18 (after racial mod).

Protection From Alignment. I'm not sure all players understands these are 4 spells. Perhaps list them as separate spells and give each of them a color.

Remove Paralysis vs Lesser Restoration.
I would change the colors.
Lesser Restoration, casting time 3 rounds. Range touch. Target one.
Remove Paralysis: Casting time: a standard action, Range: close. Target 1 - 4 creatures.

I have seen Remove Paralysis saving characters from death many times and even preventing TPK. It's a in battle spells where as Lesser Restoration is after the battle. Also if you don't have a cleric in the party you probably want restoration later on.

Curses: Haunted is good but very nasty if you play a Caster Oracle. Especially if you are going to use scrolls, wands and rods. Blue if you go melee and Yellow (or green) if you play a caster.

If you are going to use meta magic feats you probably want to use a rod of quicken spell. A silenced dispel magic is still only a 3rd level spells. I would probably not pick Extend Spell as a feat. Better get a rod of Extend Spell. It costs nothing.

I would probably list augmented summoning as green (or even blue). High level cleric spells aren't that good but high level summons are great. Unlike clerics you can summon devils, angels or anything you want. Spell focus conjurations hurts, but it might be useful if you fight a lot of undead and plan on using Combat Healing to cast mass cure spells.

A question. The way I see it Life orcale only have 4 good revelations: Life Link, Energy Body, Channel, Combat Healer. I plan to take them all.

You say: "The lame self healing effect becomes very relevant when paired with Life Link, boosting this to a blue ability."

Can you explain this?

Again, great guide, very helpful!


Bigtuna wrote:

damn you Skyrim! :-)

[...]

Looking forward to your review for the rest of the spells :-)

+1 :-)


Remove paralyses - is VERY situational. Take sothing word (if allowed).
Lesser restoration - there's ALOT of things that will do ability damage comparied to things that paralyses.
Since the Oracle has a limited # of spells known adding remove paralyses to the list just isn't worth it.

Edit - just read the paizo edition of remove paralyses - hmm they do like the staggered condition (feats and spells make people staggered left and right) - but: if more than one target they only get a retry on the save. And yes paralysed is bad, and staggered is anoying - but staggered isn't Nauseated. One is a debuff the other is a SOS. Sothing word helps with everything.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hehe...I ran a Life Oracle once who came across a ring of regeneration. With the Life Bond Revelation, Out-of-Combat healing was no longer an issue in regards to my spells. ;)


Kazejin wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
If its an optimization guide, this statement is not necessarily true.
Optimization does not equal maximized DPR. Optimization is the act of building to meet a goal, and using the correct tools to accomplish this. The statement should generally hold true if you aren't trying to pidgeonhole players into thinking in only one form.

Kazejin, this has to be one of the best post ever on these Messageboards.

I quote it from time to time and to this day I still get all happy when I read it.

Qadira

If I am reading your guide correctly, I shouldn't become an Elvish Clouded Vision Oracle of Waves for Melee Combat.

Challenge excepted.

If you take the Clouded Vision curse and the Deep Sight feat, does it extend your vision?

With the Water Sight revelation, am I able to see through Obscuring Mist, even though it's magical?

Am I reading it right that if you wear armor with the Lame Curse, your speed is reduced to 15 feet for a medium creature, and 10 for a small?


Tirq wrote:

If I am reading your guide correctly, I shouldn't become an Elvish Clouded Vision Oracle of Waves for Melee Combat.

Challenge excepted.

I look forward to hearing about it. :D

Tirq wrote:
If you take the Clouded Vision curse and the Deep Sight feat, does it extend your vision?

Your vision is explicitly stated to be only 30 or 60 feet, so I'd personally say no. However it's something up to interpretation and a lenient DM might disagree.

Tirq wrote:
With the Water Sight revelation, am I able to see through Obscuring Mist, even though it's magical?

There's never been any distinction between magical and nonmagical fog (unlike darkness) so it seems that the answer is "yes." It also seems like that's the entire intent of the ability.

Tirq wrote:
Am I reading it right that if you wear armor with the Lame Curse, your speed is reduced to 15 feet for a medium creature, and 10 for a small?

Yes, for a while anyways. This chart here shows the effects of armor encumbrance on unusual base speeds.

-----

So I'm back and working on this guide again. I'm halfway done with multiclassing, I've added an easy-to-navigate bookmark system at the top of the page because it got too big, and I'm done with fourth level spells. I've also combed through the document and cleaned up some wording issues and typos.


Love your guide, Sean - it's helped me tremendously with my Life Oracle in our RotR campaign. Thanks for the effort!

Quick question as I'm considering an oracle-ninja gestalt for another campaign: under the Waves Mystery, you rank the Water Sight revelation as green, in part because "this ability lets you use the fog series of spells without remorse." So my question is - what fog spells? Other than obscuring mist, I'm not seeing any fog spells on the oracle (cleric) spell list. Don't get me wrong - seeing though obscuring mist can be huge since an oracle can spam it all day. I just didn't understand your comment about the fog series of spells.

For that reason I'm favoring the Flame Mystery for Gaze of Flames instead, because that also works with smokesticks and ninja smoke bombs (and still obscuring mist, right?).


Dingleberry wrote:
Love your guide, Sean - it's helped me tremendously with my Life Oracle in our RotR campaign. Thanks for the effort!

*blush*

Dingleberry wrote:

Quick question as I'm considering an oracle-ninja gestalt for another campaign: under the Waves Mystery, you rank the Water Sight revelation as green, in part because "this ability lets you use the fog series of spells without remorse." So my question is - what fog spells? Other than obscuring mist, I'm not seeing any fog spells on the oracle (cleric) spell list. Don't get me wrong - seeing though obscuring mist can be huge since an oracle can spam it all day. I just didn't understand your comment about the fog series of spells.

For that reason I'm favoring the Flame Mystery for Gaze of Flames instead, because that also works with smokesticks and ninja smoke bombs (and still obscuring mist, right?).

Wow, you're absolutely right. For some reason I was under the impression that clerics also got Fog Cloud and Solid Fog. I'll modify the wording on that one. I still think it's a solid ability because you can pretty much maintain concealment without hindering yourself at all.

Gaze of Flames would work on all of those things, yes. I couldn't say if a Flames or Waves oracle would pair best with a Ninja, but I will say that Punitive Transformation is my absolute favorite revelation from any of the lists.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Gaze of Flames would work on all of those things, yes. I couldn't say if a Flames or Waves oracle would pair best with a Ninja, but I will say that Punitive Transformation is my absolute favorite revelation from any of the lists.

It's hard to pass up Cinder Dance for the speed boost even though the free feats do overlap with the ninja's Light Steps ability a bit. And, of course, and ninja with Wings of Fire = FLAMING DEATH!

The fact that the ninja's ki is Cha-based really makes it a nice pairing with oracle.


Good to hear your back Sean - Skyrim was it?

Got a few weeks before next session - where my battle oracle could reach lvl 10 so looking forward to your evaluation of lvl 5 spells :-)

Assuming spirit ally/weapon is cha based (which most GM would rule IMHO) would that change your rating?
Spirit ally seems worth while if you have a rogue in the party that might need a flanking partner.


Dingleberry wrote:

It's hard to pass up Cinder Dance for the speed boost even though the free feats do overlap with the ninja's Light Steps ability a bit. And, of course, and ninja with Wings of Fire = FLAMING DEATH!

The fact that the ninja's ki is Cha-based really makes it a nice pairing with oracle.

It's a good point. :D

Bigtuna wrote:
Good to hear your back Sean - Skyrim was it?

Well, it was Skyrim. And then it was Starcraft II. And then Kingdoms of Amalur. And then Mass Effect 3. And also college.

Bigtuna wrote:

Got a few weeks before next session - where my battle oracle could reach lvl 10 so looking forward to your evaluation of lvl 5 spells :-)

Assuming spirit ally/weapon is cha based (which most GM would rule IMHO) would that change your rating?
Spirit ally seems worth while if you have a rogue in the party that might need a flanking partner.

Fifth level spells are on their way. I think I'm going to actually have to break my guide into three parts instead of two- it's gotten so long that I can't actually type in it anymore. Very frustrating.

I absolutely agree that Spiritual Ally/Weapon should be charisma, but as it stands there's been no errata on the subject. One of my main goals when writing this guide has been to stick to core assumptions of the Pathfinder system and only really deviate/speculate when rules get vague.

I think I mentioned in one of them (I'd have to look it up) that it would have been a great spell otherwise, and that it was worth taking if your DM made it charisma based. I consider both spells to be blue (****) for all the same reasons Summon Monster X is. They're at an advantage because they're easier to cast and harder to damage, but they're also inherently less versatile in their application. I'll go in and modify both to reflect this opinion.


about the part-time oracle - just read the whole druid entry. If you consider the druid to be a bad dip - then I would make it short. Doesn't really offer much. One domain - from a long list if you include ACF's - but a cleric dip offers 2 domains, the same saves, so no compelling reasons not to just pick cleric.


Bigtuna wrote:

about the part-time oracle - just read the whole druid entry. If you consider the druid to be a bad dip - then I would make it short. Doesn't really offer much. One domain - from a long list if you include ACF's - but a cleric dip offers 2 domains, the same saves, so no compelling reasons not to just pick cleric.

Lol, go ahead and ignore the whole of the multiclassing section. I wrote all of it while actually tearing apart the class I was looking over so it's pretty stream of consciousness. I was mostly just noting decent options as I found them.

What I want to do eventually with the multiclassing section is touch on each of the classes, offer a rating, and then briefly discuss any advantages/drawbacks of the class. If a class gets orange or better I'll list the strongest options under my assessment of the class. It'll probably look something like this:

Sample Text wrote:

Alchemist (**):The coolest part of the alchemist are its discoveries, but you don’t get your first discovery until 2nd level which pretty much makes dipping alchemist a wash. Your spells are based on intelligence, which isn't great. Brew Potion and Throw Anything aren't very good for most oracles, but the mutagen can be fantastic for Warrior types.

Spells to Consider: Endure Elements, Polypurpose Panacea, Shield, True Strike
Archetypes to Consider: Internal Alchemist gets Breath Mastery in place of Throw Anything, Mindchemist trades Mutagen for a clearly dangerous Cognatogen, and Vivisectionist gains sneak attack as a rogue in place of the bombs.


Righteous Might - I agree it isn't really awesome for it's level. But for the warrior the size increase is important. Reach! for lockdown build, trippers, grapplers or just oracles that find it annoying to either provoke AoO when trying to reach a large enemy or spending you swift action on casting grace once again.
And for a greatsword it's up to 6.5 extra dam :-)

And also note that terrible remorse have been changed once again - this time the target's only staggered if he makes the save. Divine casters just can't have anything nice...
I can't decide if that's enough to keep the spell from my list of known spells...

Cleance - a trap? Really? Sure I would change it to something else once i got heal - but the cure for alot of those effects didn't make it to my list of spells known, so for a few levels this could come in handy.

Curse, Major - note that the DC is +2 compared to bestow curse (because of spelllevel), but to remove the curse (not resist it) is +7. But really if you curse something isn't it about to die?


Bigtuna wrote:

Righteous Might - I agree it isn't really awesome for it's level. But for the warrior the size increase is important. Reach! for lockdown build, trippers, grapplers or just oracles that find it annoying to either provoke AoO when trying to reach a large enemy or spending you swift action on casting grace once again.

And for a greatsword it's up to 6.5 extra dam :-)

And yet I still feel like it's worth about an orange rating. I've added a note to the spell stating its benefit for trippers. I don't really consider it worth a round of buffing by the time it comes into play, you know? Especially with Blessing of Fervor already available.

Bigtuna wrote:

And also note that terrible remorse have been changed once again - this time the target's only staggered if he makes the save. Divine casters just can't have anything nice...

I can't decide if that's enough to keep the spell from my list of known spells...

Damn, I really liked that spell, too. I think that pretty significantly puts it into yellow territory for all casters.

Bigtuna wrote:
Cleance - a trap? Really? Sure I would change it to something else once i got heal - but the cure for alot of those effects didn't make it to my list of spells known, so for a few levels this could come in handy.

Hmm, now that I've had some time to think about it you're right. It won't be frequently, but the spell removes a lot of stuff and would be very useful for a warrior type.

Bigtuna wrote:
Curse, Major - note that the DC is +2 compared to bestow curse (because of spelllevel), but to remove the curse (not resist it) is +7. But really if you curse something isn't it about to die?

Herp derp, I'm a big dolt. Fixed.


As long as remove paralysis is under discussion, it's worth mentioning that you need either that or haste if you want to create fast zombies. As worded, the zombies' creator actually needs to cast the extra spell, meaning that a scroll won't cut it. This probably isn't make-or-break unless you're playing a juju oracle (in which case you will want fast zombies, no question) but it's an easy-to-overlook mark in favor of remove paralysis.


Benly wrote:
As long as remove paralysis is under discussion, it's worth mentioning that you need either that or haste if you want to create fast zombies. As worded, the zombies' creator actually needs to cast the extra spell, meaning that a scroll won't cut it. This probably isn't make-or-break unless you're playing a juju oracle (in which case you will want fast zombies, no question) but it's an easy-to-overlook mark in favor of remove paralysis.

That's a very good catch. I'd actually forgotten about the variant skeletons/zombies since I haven't dabbled much with necromancy since 3.5e. I've updated both spells to include this information.


Heroes feast - one the one hand it's a bless persisted (3.5 style) with a discount. On the other hand it's usefullness really depends on your party and what spells you have known.

Party - if you have an other source or morale bonus bard or paladin - then you don't want the heros feast.

Spells known - if you didn't have room for neutralize poison - and picked delay poison (,communial) instead, and I know you didn't pick remove disease - then here's a spell that will allow you to deal with the parties needs in the morning - without having to cast heal on each affected party member.
So before delay poison runs out you use detect poison - if any party member is poisoned - you cast delay poison on him again - and in the morning he'll be cured.

But again I would only pick the spell if you don't have another source of morale bonus - +1 morale on attack doesn't hurt, +4 against poison shouldn't be a problem since you already have delay posion going - but +4 against fear! - for 12 hours! This is important! Fear is a b~!#~, and this buffs the whole party most of the day (but don't bother if you have a paladin in the party).

An finally: Action economy. The cleric spell list is filled with buff spells - but how many of the rounds/lvl or even min/lvl do you get to cast before/in combat 1? maybe 2 if you knew you where about to get into some s@%$. This is a spell you cast in the morning, enjoy the benefits all day...


Oh and Righteous Might - you are right about Blessing of Fervor is a better spell.
Im thinking to much about my specifik party - where a summoner cast haste as a 2 lvl spell (because summoners are broken) - and with my spell perfection I get to pick 2 buff spells - so I can have it both ways - RM AND Blessing of Fervor/haste.


Bigtuna wrote:

Heroes feast - one the one hand it's a bless persisted (3.5 style) with a discount. On the other hand it's usefullness really depends on your party and what spells you have known.

Party - if you have an other source or morale bonus bard or paladin - then you don't want the heros feast.

Spells known - if you didn't have room for neutralize poison - and picked delay poison (,communial) instead, and I know you didn't pick remove disease - then here's a spell that will allow you to deal with the parties needs in the morning - without having to cast heal on each affected party member.
So before delay poison runs out you use detect poison - if any party member is poisoned - you cast delay poison on him again - and in the morning he'll be cured.

But again I would only pick the spell if you don't have another source of morale bonus - +1 morale on attack doesn't hurt, +4 against poison shouldn't be a problem since you already have delay posion going - but +4 against fear! - for 12 hours! This is important! Fear is a b$~@$, and this buffs the whole party most of the day (but don't bother if you have a paladin in the party).

An finally: Action economy. The cleric spell list is filled with buff spells - but how many of the rounds/lvl or even min/lvl do you get to cast before/in combat 1? maybe 2 if you knew you where about to get into some s!@%. This is a spell you cast in the morning, enjoy the benefits all day...

Those are solid points. I've adjusted the rating of spell up to green and updated the text a bit.

I totally agree about the action economy, too. The last point I make in the section Understanding Magic is about buffs and the action economy. I also have a habit of rating spells 1 higher if they can be cast as a swift action- even blasts.


can my 7th level [deafened] oracle cast [silent] spells when he is in Beast Shape 1 (from dark tapestry revelation?)


thenovalord wrote:

can my 7th level [deafened] oracle cast [silent] spells when he is in Beast Shape 1 (from dark tapestry revelation?)

Casting while in polymorph shapes has classically been reserved for the druid, but it's technically possible.

Being able to cast while in Beast Shape requires you to eliminate all the casting components of the spell. Silent Spell is a great start, but you may need to add Still Spell and Eschew Materials for most castings.

The Still Spell bit is where it really gets tricky, too. After reading Natural Spell and the polymorph rules it seems very clear that you can't cast somatic spells in nonhumanoid shapes simply because that's not how you cast. Natural spell specifically states substituting animal movements for your regular somatic components. However, nowhere in the rules does it specifically state that animals are incapable of moving in such a way as to cast spells. It's just sort of implied and inferred all over the place.

tl;dr? Yes, by using Silent Spell, Still Spell, and Eschew Materials to eliminate components of your spell you can cast while in Beast Shape forms.


Update: Added a "Special Thanks" section to the start of the guide, as well as cleaned up the formatting in part 1. When Parts 2 and 3 are done I'll touch on them.

I am once again considering a "Special Considerations" paragraph for each mystery but I worry about it cluttering up an already long guide. Thoughts?


special thanks :-)

Special considerations: - well what did you consider writing?
If you made it short and just told people which feats, archetypes, spell, dips, items would work with this mystery without going into great details i don't think it would be a problem - but then I enjoy long guideds as long as the guide focus on what could be a godd/great option - not on what isn't.
For instance you have gone through most (all?) of the metamagic feats. But when i read the guide i focus on the green and blue rations - is there something good i missed? - the red is well, not so important.


Bigtuna wrote:

special thanks :-)

Special considerations: - well what did you consider writing?
If you made it short and just told people which feats, archetypes, spell, dips, items would work with this mystery without going into great details i don't think it would be a problem - but then I enjoy long guideds as long as the guide focus on what could be a godd/great option - not on what isn't.

Yeah, I'm pretty much just considering a short paragraph (2-5 lines) for each mystery that quickly touches on ways this mystery might deviate from a "standard" oracle build. For instance, life oracles will likely want to invest in a stronger Constitution and heavens oracles are very good to take spell focus (illusion). Basically, stuff that isn't applicable to all oracles.

Bigtuna wrote:
For instance you have gone through most (all?) of the metamagic feats. But when i read the guide i focus on the green and blue rations - is there something good i missed? - the red is well, not so important.

I have tried to only touch on things as they relate to the oracle. In feats I only hit the good feats (yellow+) and feats that I felt were a trap. I also hit anything that specifically called out an oracle class feature.

I felt metamagic was a special case though, since it's so important to spontaneous casters. I know that most people (like you) are going to skim the section for blue and green options but I wanted a written opinion on everything. There are a lot of crappy metamagics (burning, maximize, etc) that may not initially seem lame, you know?

The biggest problem I'm facing with this guide as I try to wrap it up is that the oracle is just so freakin' expansive. I'm glad I broke the multiclassing section off because I'm really not sure what I want to do with it right now. Half of me wants to review all the base classes, while the other half wants to write off half of them as poor choices and focus on the classes worth dipping (green+) like I did with Eldritch Heritage.

Also, the spell list is exhausting. I'm finding my writing repetitive, and I keep reading back through it and making small corrections/changes to the style. I can't imagine what people reading it must think of me.


Nice to see the spell review comming along :-)

A few comments -
Bestow Grace of the Champion - you missed the best part cha to saves. Saves are important and this is a huge bonus for the LG oracle.

Frightful Aspect (FA) vs Divine Vessel (DV)
Well you'er only gonna pick one.
DV is the most powerfull one - if you haven't gained a fly speed from a revalation then this is the one you want. The SR is better (usefull), DR 10/not magic and +8 str is awesome for anyone wielding a 2hw or using trip.
Note that you get to pick the aligment so if you made the knowledge check you can choose the right aligment to overcome and Evil outsiders aligment based DR - but then he'll mostlike also overcome your's.

BUT FA has 2 tings going for it. Better AC 3 more nat armor AND +2 from the shakened. And 1 minut/lvl duration. I'm just gonna say that again +4 AC! That's 15% less likely that someone will hit you in melee. Sometimes it's better to survive than be a glasscanon.

Now add Aura of doom... when the are within 30 feet enemies har auto shakened (if they can be affected by mindaffecting) once they get within 20 feet Aura of doom kicks in. If they fail their save (with -2) they are now frightend... That is a nice combo - depending on the setting - undead heavy campaign - not worth it - but i more humanoid settings this could be worth the trouble. But if you don't plan to be a master of fear then Divine vessel gives more utility - and extra points for doing something the cleric can't!

Also note that both spell gives you nat armor unlike righteous might that gives you enchanment bonus to nat attack - so these babies stack with amulet of natural armor.


Bigtuna wrote:

Nice to see the spell review comming along :-)

A few comments -
Bestow Grace of the Champion - you missed the best part cha to saves. Saves are important and this is a huge bonus for the LG oracle.

Good catch. I'd considered it for the people you cast it on, but charisma is so often a dump stat that it didn't feel worth mentioning. Haha, I still think of myself when writing this and I never play lawful good.

Bigtuna wrote:
Frightful Aspect vs. Divine Vessel

Yeah, now that I've taken a step back and looked them over again I can see that the spells are pretty much equal for the standard oracle. One is a much stronger alignment specific buff that lasts 1 round/level, while the other is a stronger generalize buff that lasts 1 min/level and debuffs enemies. I've rated them both Caster green and Warrior Blue and added a line stating that you'll need to make the decision for yourself.

Fightful Aspect is a great choice for oracles with a familiar, since it sets the size to large. Divine Vessel boosts your size by 1 category, which makes it a good choice for Nature oracles with a large size companion.

Also, in other news:

I'm finally freaking done with this guide.

I've removed the link to the multiclassing section because I haven't decided what I want to do with it yet and I don't like the idea of linking a half-dead page to a perfectly good guide. I'll add the link back in once I finish that section.

Yay!


Update: *sigh* I'll never be done with this guide. I added a section on battlefield tactics for each role.


:-) Great work!

I would add the Juju Mysteries to the section of mysteries you don't cover - but add a reference to:
Pathfinder Adventure Path #39: City of Seven Spears.

just so people that read the guide know there are more options - but they have to find out them selves.


Wait - "Never use a two-handed weapon"? But? Why not take the small bonus dam? If you attack you don't get the bucklers AC bonus anyway - because the diffence between two hand fighting and one handed fighting is doing a dent or doing damage (1½x str and since your a warrior you did take PA and that's 1½ on 2 handed as well)- so you almost always go for 2 handed attack. If you cast a spell you don't get the bucklers AC - since thats the hand you'll be using.

At low level that greatsword/falcion/fauchard/something is what's going to overcome DR. It's what going to benefit most from enlarge person/rightous might/Divine Vessel...

if you are worried about getting hit start combat with a SoF, and then put your thw to good use... Or take 3 ranks in acrobatics and fight defensively...

I would recommend the twohanded weapon.


Bigtuna wrote:

Wait - "Never use a two-handed weapon"? But? Why not take the small bonus dam? If you attack you don't get the bucklers AC bonus anyway - because the diffence between two hand fighting and one handed fighting is doing a dent or doing damage (1½x str and since your a warrior you did take PA and that's 1½ on 2 handed as well)- so you almost always go for 2 handed attack. If you cast a spell you don't get the bucklers AC - since thats the hand you'll be using.

At low level that greatsword/falcion/fauchard/something is what's going to overcome DR. It's what going to benefit most from enlarge person/rightous might/Divine Vessel...

if you are worried about getting hit start combat with a SoF, and then put your thw to good use... Or take 3 ranks in acrobatics and fight defensively...

I would recommend the twohanded weapon.

Yeah, but wielding a one handed weapon with two hands is mechanically identical to wielding a two-handed weapon. You still get 1.5x your strength bonus and double power attack. The only true difference between a one-handed weapon and a two-handed weapon is that the two-handed weapon deals roughly 2-3 points more per hit on average. Most of a character's damage comes from static bonus like strength, power attack, and enhancement bonuses. Even when you increase weapon sizes (1d8 -> 2d6, 2d6 -> 3d6) the disparity in damage only rises by about 1 point.

In most instances I see the Warrior as fighting with a longsword/whatever in two hands like a two-handed warrior, but when the stakes get high she can drop down to one hand and gain anywhere from +1-6 AC at no penalty to attack.

You're right about the shield bonus while casting, though. She loses that whenever she casts unless she chooses to drop her weapon instead- which, honestly, isn't a bad thing for certain mysteries.

My point is that for a character who's primary goal isn't to deal damage but rather play the role of hybrid melee/caster- and who has fewer HP than her counterparts, sacrificing a 2-3 damage per round for the ability to significantly boost your AC isn't a bad thing at all.

Shadow Lodge

Sean FitzSimon wrote:

Update: Added a "Special Thanks" section to the start of the guide, as well as cleaned up the formatting in part 1. When Parts 2 and 3 are done I'll touch on them.

I am once again considering a "Special Considerations" paragraph for each mystery but I worry about it cluttering up an already long guide. Thoughts?

I think it would be a great idea, i kind of missed a deeper critique on the mysterys when i first read this a while ago. But I like long guides...

Thanks for all the good work Sean, your guide is amazing.

Shadow Lodge

Bigtuna wrote:


I would add the Juju Mysteries to the section of mysteries you don't cover - but add a reference to:
Pathfinder Adventure Path #39: City of Seven Spears.

The thing about the Juju Mystery is that its actually pretty good, while all the other less known mysterys are terrible... :(

Osirion

(Copy pasted/edited from a cleric-turned-oracle thread)
I have a real love for the Outer Rift Mystery from the Inner Sea guide if you want to include that book and go for a demonic terror feel. Couple the +4 Intimidate from Wings of Terror with feats like Dazzling display and, later, Shatter Defenses for a wonderful-terrifying concept that I plan to play soon. It's right up your alley as a Charisma caster.
Shatter defenses is just awesome if you have a rogue or vivisectionist who can exploit it to its fullest, and still useful if you don't. There are a couple classes that your DM could rule as immune (other rogues, barbarians)but for pretty much everything else it's an infinite use AC debuff.


Merck wrote:

I think it would be a great idea, i kind of missed a deeper critique on the mysterys when i first read this a while ago. But I like long guides...

Thanks for all the good work Sean, your guide is amazing.

I'm really glad you enjoyed it. It's been a lot of effort.

I decided that yes, I'm gonna do it. You can see the framework for my new "special considerations" already in the guide. If anyone has anything to contribute on that front I'd be very grateful!

Bigtuna wrote:

I would add the Juju Mysteries to the section of mysteries you don't cover - but add a reference to:

Pathfinder Adventure Path #39: City of Seven Spears.
Merck wrote:
The thing about the Juju Mystery is that its actually pretty good, while all the other less known mysterys are terrible... :(
Choon wrote:

(Copy pasted/edited from a cleric-turned-oracle thread)

I have a real love for the Outer Rift Mystery from the Inner Sea guide if you want to include that book and go for a demonic terror feel. Couple the +4 Intimidate from Wings of Terror with feats like Dazzling display and, later, Shatter Defenses for a wonderful-terrifying concept that I plan to play soon. It's right up your alley as a Charisma caster.
Shatter defenses is just awesome if you have a rogue or vivisectionist who can exploit it to its fullest, and still useful if you don't. There are a couple classes that your DM could rule as immune (other rogues, barbarians)but for pretty much everything else it's an infinite use AC debuff.

I finally had a chance to actually look over the Juju oracle and yeah, it's really solid- at least on par with the "core" mysteries. I've added a reference to it in the Mystery section but I'm stick with my choice to not review anything outside of the main line of books. I feel like a lot of people don't have access to that material in their games, so reviewing it alongside the other options would paint an unbalanced view of the class as a whole.

Andoran

On Gaze of Flames, only the clairvoyance has a round limit: Link.

I don't know if that ups it to blue, but it seemed worth noting.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

On Gaze of Flames, only the clairvoyance has a round limit: Link.

I don't know if that ups it to blue, but it seemed worth noting.

Lol, if that was Jason's intent then the ability is really poorly worded. Depending on how it's worded in the errata it could bump it up to blue, especially for flame oracles who choose the Lingering Spell metamagic.


Warrior type:
I know wielding a long sword 2-handed gives the same bonus as using a
2-handed weapon. As i see it you can have a constant +2 dam bonus or the ability to get a shield bonus if you really need to.
I perfer constant bonuses - since I rarely would use the shield. (In the surprise round before i have acted, IF I was walking in the frontline - yes).

Also i parthfinder (unlike 3.5) you take -1 to hit if you are using a buckler and 2-handed fighting. (it says:
"You can also use your shield arm to wield a weapon (whether you are using an off-hand weapon or using your off hand to help wield a two-handed weapon), but you take a –1 penalty on attack rolls while doing so"
but i assume using a longsword i 2 hands you give the same penalty).

SO you gain the possiblity of a shield bonus, but the cost is -1 to hit and -2 dam, when your not using it.

Now what is +2 dam - let say you try to get +dam from spells...
Bull str: +2-3 dam
Divine favor +1-3 dam
Weapon of awe +2 dam
Intrument of agony +2
Prayer +1
Ancetral gift~ +9 (if you know what your doing)
Divine Power +1-6
Greater Magic weapon +1-5
Righteous Migth +4-7,5

It's just hard to gain ekstra melee dam. And with only 1 round of buffing... +2 is something, at low level it's a lot...

But then when i look at your Warrior tactics it looks more like an enabler to me. Spending a few rounds buffing yourself and your party, perhaps summoning...
I think of a warrior as a melee char. First round - if need be - cast a buff - next smack things with your sword. If the situation demand it - cast spells to handle thinks a big swords can't (inv. purge, wall of stone, resist energy).
But again that would depend on your party - the bigger the party the better party buffs get. Fewer means get into melee ASAP (after Blessing of Fervor) so you can absorb some of the dam.
If you have 3 other melee chars then why are you trying to be a warrior?
If there is only 1 - why are you letting him take the hits alone for 2 rounds?


Bigtuna wrote:

Warrior type:

I know wielding a long sword 2-handed gives the same bonus as using a
2-handed weapon. As i see it you can have a constant +2 dam bonus or the ability to get a shield bonus if you really need to.
I perfer constant bonuses - since I rarely would use the shield. (In the surprise round before i have acted, IF I was walking in the frontline - yes).

Also i parthfinder (unlike 3.5) you take -1 to hit if you are using a buckler and 2-handed fighting. (it says:
"You can also use your shield arm to wield a weapon (whether you are using an off-hand weapon or using your off hand to help wield a two-handed weapon), but you take a –1 penalty on attack rolls while doing so"
but i assume using a longsword i 2 hands you give the same penalty).

SO you gain the possiblity of a shield bonus, but the cost is -1 to hit and -2 dam, when your not using it.

Now what is +2 dam - let say you try to get +dam from spells...
Bull str: +2-3 dam
Divine favor +1-3 dam
Weapon of awe +2 dam
Intrument of agony +2
Prayer +1
Ancetral gift~ +9 (if you know what your doing)
Divine Power +1-6
Greater Magic weapon +1-5
Righteous Migth +4-7,5

It's just hard to gain ekstra melee dam. And with only 1 round of buffing... +2 is something, at low level it's a lot...

I see your argument, and I hadn't realized the rules were against me on this one. I'll change the text to reflect both.

Bigtuna wrote:

But then when i look at your Warrior tactics it looks more like an enabler to me. Spending a few rounds buffing yourself and your party, perhaps summoning...

I think of a warrior as a melee char. First round - if need be - cast a buff - next smack things with your sword. If the situation demand it - cast spells to handle thinks a big swords can't (inv. purge, wall of stone, resist energy).
But again that would depend on your party - the bigger the party the better party buffs get. Fewer means get into melee ASAP (after Blessing of Fervor) so you can absorb some of the dam.
If you have 3 other melee chars then why are you trying to be a warrior?
If there is only 1 - why are you letting him take the hits alone for 2 rounds?

I'm really glad you brought this up, actually. The whole reason I added on a tactics section was because I was reading a few other threads and I kept seeing this exact idea.

If your whole character concept is to buff up and run into melee then why did you decide to play a character with nine levels of spellcasting? The point of most of the buffs are to boost you from second rate weapon user to something equivalent to a fighter, right? This idea makes absolutely no sense to me. Instead I wanted to explore the class as a full spellcaster who also played a very significant role in melee.

You're absolutely right though. The warrior does play a lot like an enabler in early combat. Honestly, beyond feats/stats the two are likely to look very similar simply because neither pursues offensive spellcasting and thus their magical contribution is more limited. But my suggestion in the guide isn't that you waste all your time casting buffs, but rather toss out a buff or two and then do something that nets your side a distinct advantage- walls, fogs, immunities, whatever. Once you've done that then you can really go to town, only pulling back if you see something else can be done. I don't think it's unreasonable to spend the first 2-3 rounds casting spells as a Warrior type.

Spellcasting is a huge asset to any class, and that's doubly true for a class that gets a full nine levels of casting. If your playstyle doesn't include using those spells to your own and your team's advantage then you're doing a huge disservice to both your class and your allies. If you can't mix it up, change melee for casting, on a regular basis then perhaps a full casting class isn't for you.

Shadow Lodge

On two handed weapons and the battle mystery:

While you can two hand a one handed melee weapon for a similar effect most of the time if you are an oracle with the battle mystery grestsword, greataxe, earthbreaker and lucerne hammer (has reach) are by far your best options (dwarven waraxe to a less degree if you are a dwarf...). The reason for that is the damage dice multiplayer of the enlarge person spell, 3d6 + 1.5 x STR mod damage at first lvl is pretty good.

Barbarians are great melee damage dealers out of the box and so can be the battle oracle. Spellcasting IS a huge asset specialy at higher lvls. At lower lvls it only shines as battlefield control, which the cleric list is not that great at in the beginning. At the cost of one spell per enconter (and this gets even more important if you have multiple combats everyday) the battle oracle with the right two hand weapon can be one of the top damage dealers of the party from lvl 1 to 5.

It also gives you an option for good melee dmg if your character was created with a low point buy, like 15 or lower, without needing to be a rage prophet. Str 14 and Dex 12 should be enough to be decent.


Why World i take a class with nine lvl's of spellcasting?
1) i like options! Every known Spell is a new option. And with the Right Spell list i Can contribute to Every encounter.

2) at LOw levels Spells are a rare resurse and if i Can walk into melee without spending Spell slots it a succes. And As a Warrior oracle not All encounters have to include casting Spells. Which makes it more enjoyable Playing a Warrior oracle than an Arcane Caster that (at low levels) have to consider is it worth casting this Spell or should he save it for later

3) some encounters are short and easy - spending a single buff Spell is enough - ill use my Spell castings power to speak with the dead after While the Mighty barbarian is recovering from his rage.

4) other encounters have many foes and /or a BBEG these Can take a While. Thats When the Extra options / Spells should be used in combat. A Wall here, a few buffs a debuff and When All Else fáils hit it untill it dies.

So in some encounters i agree - cast Spells (even 2-3 or more). In others cast one. And if the encounter seems easy - just hit it!
But if i Wanted to change the World with Spell casting i World Play Arcane caster.

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