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Advice / Suggestions on cleric of Desna


Advice


I built this character for a one-shot (module "Carrion Hill"). However, he is designed with further development in mind.

NG Human Bbn1/Clr4 (Desna: travel and good)

Stats (PB 20):

STR 14 / +2
DEX 14 / +2
CON 10 / +0
INT 13 / +1
WIS 15 +2 race +1 level 4 = 18 (+2 magic) = 20 / +5
CHA 10 / +0

HP = 12 + 4d8 +5 (toughness) = 35 (thats the average, I will roll the dice)

Fort + 5 (+1 magic)
Ref + 3 (+1 ")
Will +8 (+1 ")

BAB +4

Base Speed: 50 ft.

Feats:
Craft Wondrous Item
Toughness
Point Blank Shot
Rapid Shot

Trait:
Probably will take the Desna trait from "Faiths of Purity" that grants +2 on Will saves vs. fear.

Equipment:
+1 Buckler (1,155 gp)
+1 Chain shirt (1,250 gp)
+1 longsword (+7 1d8+3 19-20) (2,315 gp)
mwk. mighty (+2) composite longbow (+7 1d8+2 x3) (600 gp)
+1 cloak of resistance (1,000 gp)
+2 headband of wisdom (4,000 gp)
Total: 10,320 gp

I will try to convince the GM to get my headband for half price (craft wondrous item), and buy some bane arrows vs. selected baddies (lycantrophes, undead etc.), a wand of cure light wounds and some scrolls with the remaining money.

AC 19 / touch 12 / FF 17

Skills:
I will focus on
Diplomacy, Survival, Spellcraft and Knowledge Skills (Religion, Local and others). Will also take a rank or two in heal and most "atheletic skills (climb, swim, etc.).

Concept: Traveling priest. He visits ustalavian towns and remote villages to heal and preach.

I originally intended to take a level of Ftr, but a level of Bbn is really much better for my purposes. It does not 100% fit the character concept though...

Suggestions? Critic?


Ok, I can't take craft wondrous item yet....

My bad.

Maybe I replace the Bbn with a Ranger level though.


Not sure why, but a gut feeling tells me you should invest more in Con and less on the Int. Then again, that just might be me.

Off-topic/In-character: Why not instead join the church of the Dawnflower? You could still travel and bring good to others...


Emilia Lormaine wrote:
Not sure why, but a gut feeling tells me you should invest more in Con and less on the Int. Then again, that just might be me.

I try to somewhat offset the low Con with Toughness. The reason for my high Int is Skill points. Even the five per level I get are almost too few....

Emilia Lormaine wrote:


Off-topic/In-character: Why not instead join the church of the Dawnflower? You could still travel and bring good to others...

Two reasons:

1) I wanted something that fits into Ustalav, and Desna IS the iconic Varisian god.

2) I REALLY want to be able to choose the travel domain.

Andoran

Ahem. If you're a cleric of Desna, where's your starknife? While I can see an argument being made that clerics need not be limited to only the favored weapon of their deity, it would seem strange to me for a cleric to totally ignore the favored weapon of their deity.

Pathfinder RAW doesn't go into the details I'd like to see in that regard, but their iconic cleric of Sarenrae is always portrayed as being armed solely with a scimitar, Sarenrae's favored weapon. Clerics of Desna get the starknife. Possibly other weapons as well if the DM is feeling generous, but a cleric of Desna without a starknife would be effectively dissing their deity.


Cutlass wrote:

Ahem. If you're a cleric of Desna, where's your starknife? While I can see an argument being made that clerics need not be limited to only the favored weapon of their deity, it would seem strange to me for a cleric to totally ignore the favored weapon of their deity.

I do not think that a cleric absolutely has to use the favoured weapon of its god.

Do you for example think that almost every cleric of Shelyn carries a glaive around? I would guess it is only a minority.

Additionally, I frankly find the starknife a little silly. Ok, we're playing high fantasy here, but this thing is so obviously not suitable as an effective weapon that it destroys my suspension of disbelief so to speak. I have ignored the starknife in my game since I first laid eyes upon it.


Cutlass wrote:


Pathfinder RAW doesn't go into the details I'd like to see in that regard, but their iconic cleric of Sarenrae is always portrayed as being armed solely with a scimitar, Sarenrae's favored weapon. Clerics of Desna get the starknife. Possibly other weapons as well if the DM is feeling generous,

I certainly STRONGLY disagree with the notion that a DM has to allow a cleric to use other weapons than the favourite weapon of its god. Its not in the rules as written and thats for good reason.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Hyla wrote:
I certainly STRONGLY disagree with the notion that a DM has to allow a cleric to use other weapons than the favourite weapon of its god. Its not in the rules as written and thats for good reason.

Huh? You might want to re-phrase that sentence.

As you typed it, you state you'd be perfectly fine to get barred from any weapon except the starknife. Which kind of contradicts your post directly above.


Midnight_Angel wrote:

As you typed it, you state you'd be perfectly fine to get barred from any weapon except the starknife.

I don't think so. Maybe I have phrased it a little unwieldily, but thats the opposite of what my sentence says.

To clarify:

As a player of a cleric, you do NOT need DM permission to have your character use any weapon, even if its not the favoured weapon of your god.


Question: Has this game already started yet?


TarkXT wrote:
Question: Has this game already started yet?

No, it will tomorrow.

EDIT: The Carrion Hill module is a little detour, because a player of our regular RotR campaign is missing for a few weeks and I welcome the change to be a player instead of a DM.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you can't see the difference between a small weapon that's easily carried and a huge reach weapon, then I worry for you :-\

Otherwise, evangelist cleric of desna that summons is fun.

And uhhh, get some aberration bane arrows.


Cheapy wrote:

If you can't see the difference between a small weapon that's easily carried and a huge reach weapon, then I worry for you :-\

So do you think a cleric should only carry the weapon of its god if its not too inconvenient, is that the point? If so, where do you draw the line?

Anyway, asI said, the concept of the starknife is IMO stupid and the weapon will completely stay out of our game.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would expect a priest to carry the favored book around. If the deity has a favored weapon, I'd expect that too. They are devoted to a god. Carrying around the favored weapon is an exceedingly small burden to carry to bring glory to the deity who empowers you.

Think of it from the perspective of a cleric, not as a player.

Most combats in this module are pretty easy, but there are a few very tough ones. It's a fun module!


Greetings, fellow travellers.

Interesting concept, fits nicely with Desnan canon, IMO.

With CON 10 and STR 14 you might be considered a push over. I don't see you being in the front dealing serious damage - so you might as well take the knife which could double for your holy symbol.
Using the bow is a completly other issue; +5/+5 as full-round action from a distance looks ok, for a dedicated archer you lack precise shot for shooting into melee, though.

Since you pushed WIS to 20 I assume you will rely heavily on spells - you are a full caster.

Why not take bard at first level? You would need to invest into CHA of course. For me, a cleric's most important stats are WIS (obvious) and CHA, so this would synergize somewhat with the bard - and having a good standing with the population comes naturally to a cleric, IMO.
Bardic knowledge would complement your travelling priest theme nicely - having picked up bits of knowledge here and there.

Alternatively, I lean heavily towards ranger (althoug, barbarian is nice for the increased movement rate but I don't see you raging much on the other hand).

For a travelling priest with the travel domain a light weapon fits better thematically, than a longsword - where you draw the line is of course up to you.

Ruyan.


This is how the final version looks like:

Katallin Varbucca,
Male Human (Varisian) Cleric 4 / Ranger 1
Domains: travel & liberation

STR 12
DEX 14
CON 12
INT 12
WIS 18/20
CHA 12

FORT +8
REF +6
WILL +10 (+12 vs. fear)

AC 19 / T 12 / FF 17 (+1 buckler, +1 chain shirt)
CMB +5
CMD 17

HP 37

BAB +4
+1 mighty +1 comp. longbow +7 1d8+2 x3
mwk longsword +6 1d8+1 19-20

Speed 40 ft.

other gear:
cloak of res +1
headband of insp. wisdom +2
wand of clw (50)
wand of lesser rest (6)

FEATS
Craft wondrous item (turns out you can choose it from CL 3...)
Point blank shot
Rapid shot
Deadly aim

Skills:
Diplomacy 4 R
Heal 1R
Knowledge Arcana, History, Local (1R each)
Knowledge relogion 5 R
Perception 4R
Sense Motive 4R
Spellcraft 4R
Stealth 1R
Survival 1R
Swim 1R


Desna has the best domains for a good cleric. I spent a ridiculously excessive amount of time making that decision when I made a cleric of Desna. I made a chart with all the possible combinations and noted good synergies, overlapping powers and domain spells, etc. Too bad I lost it otherwise I'd post it. Nevertheless, here's what I got for you after refreshing myself by skimming over domains in the PRD:

If it's not too late to change, might I suggest the Luck domain? Luck domain is one of the best. Luck has great domain spells and granted powers. I would suggest dropping Good domain, because Touch of Luck would make Touch of Good redundant. Touch of Good might be better at lvl. 20 since its bonus scales up (sorry, don't have time to do the math), but Carrion Hill is for 5th level characters. Even at level 20, I'd take Touch of Luck for the ability to avoid critical failures and score more critical hits (it affects all d20 rolls, including critical confirmations).

There is no overlap on Luck/Travel domain spells either, which is why I would stick with Travel over Liberation. Liberation has similar, arguably better, granted powers, but Luck and Liberation have overlaps on Domain spells. Plus, you said you really wanted Travel domain, which makes sense as it fits your character concept and gives a very nice speed bonus.


Eh, touch of good is quite decent either, and holy lance certainly doesn't hurt. I think he'll be good, travel and liberation are cool as it is. Though with these stats, you might want to consider using the starknife with piranha strike for a bonus to damage - as it is your strength is too low to get power attack - if you want to be more balanced between ranged and melee attacks. If not, well, carry on.

Rapid shot and deadly aim are both fine feats, but both cut quite significantly in your not-so-stellar BAB. Consider having just one for now (ideally rapid shot), and getting precise shot instead of the other. Your arrows do exactly 0 damage if they don't hit, no matter how many enhancements and the like you have.

By the way, I always thought Katallyn sounds like a woman's name. Is there some story to that :) ?

Silver Crusade

I've just been reading "Gods and Magic" in preparation to make a cleric character myself, so I'll pipe in on the chosen weapon thing. Some dieties emphasize their chosen weapons more than others. Sarenrae's worshipers consider scimitar use to be a holy art, so it's expected that they'll have one and use it. Desna doesn't seem to care as much about that.

That said, I always carry a dagger hidden in my boot or other clothing with any character, and a starknife is small enough to fill that role.


I would wait until 6th level to pick up either Deadly Aim or Rapid Shot and instead opt for Precise Shot now. That -4 to attack rolls is really terrible. I went with Exploration and Luck for my PFS Cleric of Desna and I have never looked back, however, I think you will have fun with Liberation too.

I have played several games and not one person has poopooed my decision to not carry around a starknife. It seems natural for a diety that values freedom so highly to not impose arbitrary rules about using a specific kind of weapon. Go Team Desna!

Grand Lodge

Fromper wrote:
That said, I always carry a dagger hidden in my boot or other clothing with any character, and a starknife is small enough to fill that role.

Have you seen the pictures of the star knife it is way too big to hide easily. Plus with its shape would increase the difficulty.

My cleric of Desna does not carry a starknife but I regularly use spiritual weapon and that looks like a starknife.

Silver Crusade

Provos wrote:
Fromper wrote:
That said, I always carry a dagger hidden in my boot or other clothing with any character, and a starknife is small enough to fill that role.

Have you seen the pictures of the star knife it is way too big to hide easily. Plus with its shape would increase the difficulty.

My cleric of Desna does not carry a starknife but I regularly use spiritual weapon and that looks like a starknife.

Hmm... I was under the impression it was small like a shuriken. But looking again in the book, you're right. That thing's way too big to be doing such wimpy damage.


Everybody is probably right about precise shot, so I will switch deadly aim for that.

Andoran

My work schedule and then my holiday schedule were such that I did not have the time I needed to reply to this thread when I wanted to. Regardless, I hope that everybody was able to have a Happy Thanksgiving with friends and family. Now that the holiday is behind us we can get back to throwing rocks at one another. :-)

To recap, I had questioned the build of the original poster's cleric of Desna because the character was not carrying a starknife, Desna's favored weapon. Neither has the character ever been listed as carrying Desna's Holy Symbol. So I guess the character is only planning on casting those spells which do not have a Divine Focus requirement.

The response to my raising the lack of a starknife as a potentially important issue could be boiled down to "the cry of the munchkin". In other words, "How dare that role playing fluff get in the way of all my crunchy cheese!?"

People will have to forgive my ignorance. I had thought that Pathfinder was a *role* playing game. At least that's what the core rulebook says on its cover. I've only been doing this sort of thing off and on since the mid-1970's, so it's possible that there might have been some nuances that I have missed.

Another point that was raised was that the starknife is a "silly" weapon. From the point of view of a middle aged combat veteran sitting behind a computer in the 21st century whose personal weapons collection contains several fine modern firearms I would have to agree. The starknife appears to be the sort of thing that was created by a person who was immersed in fantasy and had minimal connection to reality.

But the point of view of a character living on Golarion who has chosen to be a cleric/champion of Desna should be different than that. Also, as I see it, part of the challenge of playing a role playing game is occasionally taking situations where the rules have given you lemons and then opening up a lemonade stand. So, as opposed to continuing to throw rocks at one another, let's see what we can do to get some cleric and or 1 level dip Fighter/Cleric builds that would be viable and fun to play using a starknife.

Build 1 Human Cleric

STR 12
DEX 14
CON 12
INT 14
WIS 14 + 2
CHA 11

The 4th level ability increase would raise CHA to 12. The remaining ability increases would all go to WIS, topping out with WIS 20 at 20th level. The character would have 6 skill points per level. For purposes of this discussion how they get spent is irrelevant.

The character's feats at first level would be Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. Remaining feats at higher levels go to clerical spell casting abilities, though at 11th level one may want to choose Improved Critical (Starknife).

The character normally starts out with his starknife as his ready weapon. Once combat begins and the bad guys close in he throws the starknife at one of them. Thus he has done his duty to Desna by using her favored weapon in combat. That duty having been fulfilled, he then transitions to his "secondary" melee weapon, likely either a morningstar or a mace. Hopefully things will go well and he can recover the starknife he threw after the combat is over.

Build number two keeps the same ability scores, but starts off with one level of fighter before going on for 19 levels of cleric. The first two feats that the character gets at first level are the same as the previous character, Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. Only now with a level of fighter we can get an additional feat and will go with Deadly Aim. The character uses the same general tactics as discussed previously, though now he has a much larger selection of "secondary" weapons to choose from.

Build number three gets funky and runs into problems with multiple attribute dependency, but it does enable one to wring more use out of the starknife. Again we are dealing with a human character starting off with 1 level of fighter.

STR 13
DEX 15
CON 10
INT 13
WIS 14 + 2
CHA 12

The 4th level ability increase should probably either go to DEX or INT, as a cleric can always buff STR. Remaining ability increases go to WIS, again topping out at WIS 20 at level 20.

The three feats that the character will pick up as a first level human fighter will be Two Weapon Fighting, Two Weapon Defense and Point Blank Shot. It would probably be a good idea to add Precise Shot sometime later.

The character will start out with at least two starknives, one of which is always his ready weapon. That will be the one that he throws at the bad guys as they close at the start of the combat. In melee combat he will use his remaining starknife as his "off hand" weapon while he uses a heavier weapon in his primary hand. Again, he is fulfilling his duty to Desna by using her favored weapon in combat, while remaining viable in melee by also using other weapons.

Personally if I were to run one of these characters I'd probably take the first build and go as a pure cleric. I don't think that a 1 level dip in another class is worth it, but I also realize that other people's mileage varies. If I were to multiclass a cleric I'd probably go with something that would end up as a fighter 10/cleric 10, but that's another discussion.


I agree with Doombunny.

You don't need to carry the weapon of your chosen deity, nowhere in any book does it state as such.

I don't get why this is becoming such a big issue.

Hyla, your build seems good so far, but you might really want to consider bard if you are worried about skills and such. But hey, to each his own.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

I usually do carry round the chosen weapon of my deity but I have no problem with clerics choosing to use a mace or morningstar.

As long as you have a legitimate concept and can justify your choices to me then go right ahead have what you want.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

@Cutlass

OMG you are so awesome a TRUE roleplayer (TM) playing since the seventies o wow o wow I am so lucky that you chose to answer to my thread you are so wise the munchkin bane super martial artist combat veteran thank you thank you thank you

@Rest
Thank for you opinions and advice. The first session went well, the GM really brought Carrion Hill (or Aashügel, as we called it) to life.

The other players created a Paladin of Iomedae (associated with the city watch of Aashügel and cousin of my character) and a Half-Orc Barbarian (Caravan Guard) and they did a good job keping me out of melee.

We did not make it very far into the adventure though, because or play time was unfortunately limited. The first combats were quite easy and yielded a surprising amount of loot.

Now we are back to RotR for a while (and I am back to GMs duties), but we definitely plan to finish the module some time.

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