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Build challenge: rascally cleric


Advice


Waaay back in the early days of 3.0 -- like, 2001 or so -- I had a cleric character named Brother Qualls. He was a fat, cheerful, jolly guy who liked wine and women and song. He had a surprisingly high CHA and a way with the ladies. In play he was a bit of a coward and tried to dodge combat if possible, and he also had the annoying habit of disappearing into taverns whenever the party reached town. Still, he was quite wily and clever and useful in urban situations and negotiations (if you could keep him sober), and deep down he had a heart of gold and would come through in a pinch. Sort of a Falstaff, Friar Tuck kind of character, yes? His backstory was that he'd offended his superiors by riotous living and conduct unbecoming, so he was told to go off and help a group of adventurers as part of his penance.

I had trouble making him work within the rules, because clerics have such miserable skill points. A level or two of rogue would have helped, but it didn't really seem to fit the character. He wasn't really a rogue/cleric; he was a cleric who sometimes acted like a rogue. Multiclass bard, same problem only more so.

I ended up sort of kludging the character... gave him a high Int to get more skill points and threw in some feat that gave him more class skills. But it wasn't really satisfactory.

Now here we are, 10 years later, and we have PF. Better ruleset, no question! But I'm still at a loss as to how one might proceed with Brother Qualls.

So how would you build to, say, 10th level this sort of rascally cleric? NG or CG, human, elite stats. Not a combat monster (you know that scene in the old black-and-white Robin Hood movie where Friar Tuck hides inside a barrel, popping out now and then to bash someone on the head? more like that), but he should be able to hold his own. He's a loyal (if occasionally backsliding) servant of his god, so I don't see multiclassing -- straight cleric, or at most a PrC.

Anyone?

Doug M.


Maybe use the oracle as the chassis instead of the cleric. You can still cast divine spell and your casting stat will be charisma. So having a high charisma wouldn't hurt you at all. Most of all you start with 4 skill points instead of 2, so you can just have a mediocre intelligence of 12 or 14 and still have tons of rogue skills.

Take the Oracle of Life and you can heal like a champ. Serving a god is really just flavor and oracles can serve gods as faithfully as any cleric.

Andoran

CG Human Cleric of Calistria. Or Separatist Cleric of someone else (to get the Trickery Domain).

Either way, the key is as follows: Human, Int 12, the Trickery Domain and all Favored Class bonuses in skills. That's 5 skill points a level and everything relevant as a Class Skill.

Stat-wise: Str 14 Dex 10 Con 8 Int 12 Wis 17 Cha 13

Use level ups on Wis and Cha. The low Con makes him understandably shy of melee, but the Strength makes him capable of it in a pinch. He wears Medium Armor, probably Mithral to minimize Armor check penalties, and fights with a morningstar and shield.

Maxed skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Sense Motive. Plus solid ranks in Disguise and Stealth, and a few in the various Cleric skills.

Feat-wise, if you think he needs any other Skills, grab Cosmopolitan. Definitely grab Toughness to offset the low Con, and use the others on things like Selective Channeling and maybe Quick Channel. Plus Power Attack for melee damage. Maybe grab the new Feat in the Advanced Races Guide preview that lets you get both Favored Class bonuses every level. That plus Toughness actually make his HP not bad.

Mostly, he'll be a caster/healer, but melee isn't the end of him or anything, and his roleplay potential is a lot of fun.

For a more optimized version, drop Str to 13, raise Con to 10, and use a level up on Str instead of Cha, but it'll be a bit less fun.


Deadman can you give a link to that feat? I have not heard of that.

Lantern Lodge

Just some suggestions,

1) Worship Cayden Cailean - Cos he is the god of drinking, adventure and he sure don't mind the women. CG

2)As for stats:
Str 11 Dex 10 Con 12 Int 12 Wis 18 Cha 16
or
Str 14/12 Dex 9 Con 12/14 Int 12 Wis 17 Cha 16

If there is a need, drop some Wis and place that into Str or another stat as needed.

3) Make use of that high, Cha 16. Grab Selective channel, quick channel and maybe extra channel.
Now he can show his love, by blasting away with positive energy to heal his party mates.

4) As a human with 12 int you get 4 skill points. Not a lot, but that should be enough for you to grab most skills you need.

5) Domains - Grab the Good and Love domains/sub-domains. Good as it allows you to role-play him "blessing" others and Love, as that gives you the ability to give others a "cute" look and make them not attack you... lol

6) Evangelist Archetype can give you a little "bard-like" feel since you get some performances. Makes him a charismatic "cheer-you-on" kinda of character.

Hope these ideals help.


Some bard mixed with your cleric (or oracle as suggested)?

Andoran

Vuvu wrote:
Deadman can you give a link to that feat? I have not heard of that.

It's called Fast Learner. It's poorly worded and found here.

And I'll note that Oracle's also workable for this, but it can certainly be done as a Cleric.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe even go Inquisitor. Less spells, but more skills and special abilities.

But oracle sounds like the way to go. Oracle of Life of the Party. ;-)


Secane wrote:


1) Worship Cayden Cailean - Cos he is the god of drinking, adventure and he sure don't mind the women. CG

Agreed. It's a good fit.

Secane wrote:

5) Domains - Grab the Good and Love domains/sub-domains. Good as it allows you to role-play him "blessing" others and Love, as that gives you the ability to give others a "cute" look and make them not attack you... lol

I like it, but I'm thinking the Charm domain works better. He's a rascal, not Smoove B. Love. Charm, and... what are the other options with Cayden? Strength, no. Chaos, no. Liberty, maybe. But most likely either Good or Travel -- and probably Travel, because while Brother Q. is a good guy (really, he is), he may feel the need to get out of town fast sometimes.

6) Evangelist Archetype can give you a little "bard-like" feel since you get some performances. Makes him a charismatic "cheer-you-on" kinda of character.

It's an interesting notion, but he's not that kind of character. He's faithful and loyal, but he's not an evangelist. He wants to be good to people, wander around, drink, make friends, and not get hurt.

(I do see him throwing a few ranks at Perform, if only to be able to sing songs in taverns. Is there a trait that gives Perform as a class skill?)

Doug M.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oracle: unfortunately there isn't a Mystery of Fun (why not?), otherwise I'd jump on this.

Doug M.


Let's try this: Str 13 Dex 8 Con 10 Int 12 Wis 17 Cha 14

The Dex hurts, but hey -- he's plump and a bit clumsy. Level-ups will go to Wis, then Str.

CG Human, Cayden Cailean, Charm and Travel. Starting feats are Toughness and... not sure about the second one. Was considering Cosmopolitan, but he doesn't really have enough skill ranks to take advantage of it. Maybe Improved Initiative (otherwise he'll always be acting last) or one of the +2/+2 skill feats? Starting traits are Fortified Drinker (+2 bonus on saves vs. mind-affecting) and something else. Is there one that gives Perform as a skill?

Skill ranks, 4 per level. Max Diplomacy. Half ranks into Appraise, Heal, Knowledge (Religion), Perception, Sense Motive, and Perform. It's tempting to throw his human point here but with -1 AC I think he has to put it in hp.

He uses Charm Person pretty freely but as an entry rather than to push people around -- he might use it to get past a bouncer or a doorman, but not to cheat the barkeeper or seduce the barmaid. (And hey -- he's starting with a nice high Diplomacy.) If there's the slightest risk of trouble, he swaps to his Travel domain spell (Longstrider). He's fun-loving, generous, kind, and a bit of a physical coward.

If this is the starting point, how would we build?

Doug M.

Andoran

Go with Selective Channeling as your second Feat, IMO.

And Clerics are simple to build. You need what, 4 Feats, and two Ability ups you've already decided on? Aside from that you don't have any choices to make except for gear.

Personally, Feat-wise, I'd grab Power Attack, Quick Channel, and maybe Combat Casting. Also possibly Improved Initiative or Shield Focus. A metamagic Feat or two couldn't hurt either.

Gear-wise, he needs a Headband of Wis and maybe Cha and a Belt of strength, plus the standard armor, shield, weapon, and Cloak, Ring, and Amulet. But I'm not thinkng of anything else really vital, though Metamagic Rods are always cool.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe some levels in drunken master monk or drunken barbarian? Depends on how spellcasty you want him to be. He can take the urban barbarian version which isn't necessarily so combatty.

Or levels in alchemist. He can make all sorts of new brews and cocktails. Maybe the mutagen variation that affects mental stats?


thanks! spent 20 min trying to find it. love it, my home campaign char will be snagging that at next level.


Quote:

Fast Learner

Your progress gains extra versatility.
Prerequisites: Int 13, human.
Benefit: When you gain a level in a favored class, you gain both +1 hit point and +1 skill rank instead of choosing either one or the other benefit or you can choose an alternate class reward.

Why not just take Toughness? Same outcome, and you don't need Int 13, and it doesn't matter whether you're taking a favored class or not.

Doug M.


I see it as using it with the alternate class. IE get skill point and as a human bard an extra spell, or as a rogue an extra 1/6 of a talent.


This should be real fun. I think the Oracle advice you have recieved will definately help. However just for the RP I would suggest you veer away from Cayden as the diety. The irony of a falstaff or a friar tuck is part of the fun here. Lets face as an oracle your diety just plain loves you even when you challenge the traditions, this is of course part of what your superiors can't stand.

Andoran

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Why not just take Toughness? Same outcome, and you don't need Int 13, and it doesn't matter whether you're taking a favored class or not.

You can also take both, adding 2 HP and a skill point per level.


Well, anyway, Selective Channeling would seem to make sense as the second feat. Power Attack, nah, not for a character with 3/4 BAB and 13 Str. He'll mix it up in melee if he must, but he's more of a "second rank, burst heal" kind of guy.

Second trait, there doesn't seem to be one that gives Perform as a class skill. So, either Iron Liver or Charming. (coin flip) Charming it is. Maybe he's not as heavy a drinker as he pretends.

So what feats?

1 Toughness, Selective Channeling
2
3 Quick Channel
4 Wis to 18
5 Improved Initiative (tired of going last)
6
7 Turn Undead
8 Str to 14
9 Alertness if nobody else is the party Sensitive Guy, otherwise Alignment Channel

This is far from optimized, but should be playable. Thoughts?

Doug M.


Gnomezrule wrote:
This should be real fun. I think the Oracle advice you have recieved will definately help. However just for the RP I would suggest you veer away from Cayden as the diety. The irony of a falstaff or a friar tuck is part of the fun here.

You know, you have a point. Cayden is maybe too obvious. Perhaps he should be a NG cleric of a LG deity instead. Hm. Means reworking his traits and domains, but that seems doable.

Doug M.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Okay, let's switch it around.

Brother Qualls is NG, not CG. And he's a cleric of Pharasma. A /sincere/ cleric of Pharasma! He believes in healing the living, helping the dying to a gentle repose, and fighting the horror that is undeath. (Okay, actually he's terrified of undead. But he hates them.)

The problem is, Brother Qualls thinks that service to death means living life to the fullest. I mean, what's the point of being born and dying if you're just going to mope around? Wine, song, good food, pleasant company -- these things shape a life well-lived, which in turn gives meaning to birth and death. Carpe diem, gather ye rosebuds, grab it while it's here and all that.

Understandably, Brother Qualls' superiors in the Church don't see things this way. It's bad enough that he sometimes cures the injured or heals the sick without charging any fee. It's worse that he's often seen in taverns, cavorting with low company. But using his Restorative Touch domain power as a hangover cure...? Brother Qualls spends most of his time in an official state of disfavor, trying to work off some weighty penance or other.

In this version, his domains are now Healing (Restoration) and Repose. His traits are Iron Liver (hurrah!) and Charming. I think he takes Turn Undead at 1st level and Selective Channeling at 3rd; otherwise, feats and such are much the same.

Brother Qualls spends a lot of time trying to avoid the notice of his superiors in the Church. He may take up with adventurers simply to get out of town for a while. But while he isn't always in good standing, he is a faithful follower of Pharasma: he may love a party, but he'll put down his mug, step away from a good meal and a pretty girl, and walk out the door into freezing rain if told there's someone dying across town who needs last rites and a proper send-off.

Thoughts?

Doug M.


This is the only trait i could find that gives perform. Of course it is for worshipers of Shelyn

Intense Artist (Shelyn)
Your devotion to Shelyn has caused you to delve more deeply into your art.

Benefit: You gain a +1 trait bonus on two Perform skills of your choice, and Perform is always a class skill for you.


Vuvu wrote:


Benefit: You gain a +1 trait bonus on two Perform skills of your choice, and Perform is always a class skill for you.

Strangely enough, there is a Desna version of this. It's identical except that it gives you +1 on just one Perform skill.

(The traits could use a bit of cleaning up. Looking through Pharasma's, I found two different traits that do exactly the same thing -- give +1 damage to attacks against undead).

Doug M.


Life Oracle with the Enlightened Philosopher archetype sounds exactly like what your looking for


If you want to go more skilled than spelled, I'd actually suggest Inquisitor -- with the Heretic archetype.

These are the heretic's abilities:

PRD wrote:

Judgment (Su): A heretic gains the following judgment in addition to the normal list of inquisitor judgments.

Escape (Su): Each time the inquisitor using this judgment hits an opponent with a melee or ranged attack, she can use a move action attempt to create a diversion to hide (see the Stealth skill).

Lore of Escape (Ex): At 1st level, the heretic uses every trick she knows to escape those now pursuing her. She adds her Wisdom modifier on Bluff and Stealth skill checks in addition to the normal ability score modifiers. This ability replaces monster lore.

Hide Tracks (Ex): At 1st level, a heretical inquisitor is adept at hiding her tracks. Creatures attempting to track her take a –5 penalty on rolls to find or follow her tracks.

For the cowardly priest this actually sounds about right. And you get the right class skills (Bluff, Stealth, etc.) but can take one of Pharasma's domains (like Repose) for the undead hatred theme.

I think the other suggestions are really good and understand if you stick with Oracle or Cleric, but this could fit the concept well.


You can't take Quick channel till level 5. 5 ranks in Knowledge Religion required.

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