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'White Mage' character possible? (and 'iconic' rant!)


Advice

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One of my players wants to play something like a 'White Mage' role (from Final Fantasy)- that is, a divine caster with no armour but strong spellcasting abilities, weilding wands and staves more than melee weapons.

I was interested in the Oracle after seeing the iconic character, but it turns out that class is really just a melee beatstick just like all other divine classes in 3rd and 4th edition.

Which is especially galling because she looks as if she's a pure caster with those exotic robes - shouldn't the 'Iconics' have the armour and weapons the class actually uses?

I looked through the archetypes for something that would fit, and so far nothing did. I'm thinking of letting the player play a sorcerer and just swap out the arcane spells for cleric ones.

Or if I used a cleric or oracle, but cut the armour feats, maybe offering two more appropriate feat choices in exchange for losing Light & Medium armour?


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Or they could just play a cleric and not use armor or weapons...


Oracle could work without armor (although it might not be optimal), since many of the mysteries grant defensive armor-like abilities.

I wouldn't grant two feats in exchange of medium and light proficiency. Maybe a single one, but switching class abilities around can generally get out of control.
I he/she is interested in the divine casting feel without armor, an easy solution might be to add mage armor to the spell list.


something tells me the point isn't to take a class and gimp yourself on it's abilities.

I mean sure you could play a barbarian who doesn't use his rage, but your weakening him without gaining any benefit.

@ op, sorry I can't think of a way to pull this off, but I'm not super familiar with all of the books.


what about cleric with a level in monk for the wis AC bonus? alternately, you could just house rule mage armor as a divine spell and let the player run around with a wand of mage armor. or if you went the oracle route, give them UMD as a class skill and they could UMD a mage armor wand.

later, of course, there's always the bracers of armor.


You can play a cleric without wearing armor. The difficulty is high because unlike the arcane casters, divine casters do not get Mage Armor and Shield. Although you do have Sanctuary, which is a nice ability. I'd suggest getting the feat Combat Casting at first level (which is a feat you are going to be getting anyways so...). Other than that, you should be fine.


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Just 'playing a cleric without using armour' doesn't help. If someone wants to play a fighter who's an acrobatic fencer or something, there are archetypes that allow it without substantially weakening the concept mathematically. He gets something for giving up the platemail.

It's particularly weird, because only D&D uses the healer/buffer concept as a melee beatstick. A lot of other games use a pure caster archetype.

Adding Mage Armour to the spell list seems like a good idea, thanks HK.

Taldor

A character class is something that you use to build the mechanical backbone of your character. It isn't like in 2nd or 1st edition AD&D where you were only allowed to use certain kinds of weapons based upon what kind of class you picked. You as the player decide what kind of armour or weapons you wield, you deciding if your going to be proficient in certain ones outside of what a class gives you or not.

Pretty much everyone can use a quarterstaff, so that's certainly not hard to grab. Robes too are easy, though going around unarmoured is a bit dangerous. If you really are that distraught about it, the Cloistered Cleric archetype in Ultimate Magic might be of help.

Shadow Lodge

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Anlerran wrote:
It's particularly weird, because only D&D uses the healer/buffer concept as a melee beatstick. A lot of other games use a pure caster archetype.

Its because standing in the back and just healing in a tabletop gets kind of boring for most people, so the game is set up so that priests can do other things in the battle too.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Anlerran wrote:
It's particularly weird, because only D&D uses the healer/buffer concept as a melee beatstick. A lot of other games use a pure caster archetype.

Its because standing in the back and just healing in a tabletop gets kind of boring for most people, so the game is set up so that priests can do other things in the battle too.

The game supports lightly-armoured archer paladins or swashbuckler fighters, but _every_ divine class wears metal armour? Feels bizarre to me. I have a few players who like cheerleader-type classes so I've never seen that as 'kind of boring'.

Just feels odd that there's nothing like a shinto priestess, something like the geisha bard with strong social and spellcasting prowess but _not_ expected to be a melee fighter...

I'll take a look at cloistered cleric thanks Morgen (ye gods, I remember them as an NPC class from 1st edition!). It feels very strange that every single divine caster is also expected to be a soldier, when this doesn't hold true for arcane or even martial characters.


Anlerran wrote:

Just 'playing a cleric without using armour' doesn't help. If someone wants to play a fighter who's an acrobatic fencer or something, there are archetypes that allow it without substantially weakening the concept mathematically. He gets something for giving up the platemail.

It's particularly weird, because only D&D uses the healer/buffer concept as a melee beatstick. A lot of other games use a pure caster archetype.

Adding Mage Armour to the spell list seems like a good idea, thanks HK.

First off, Clerics can't use platemail anymore because they lost their heavy armor proficiency.

Second off, nothing is keeping you from focusing on just being a beatstick. The good thing about being a cleric is you have a lot of wriggle room for what you want to play as. I've seen archer clerics, melee clerics, and 'pure caster' clerics that wore no armor. With spells like Sanctuary at your disposal, you aren't gimping yourself in the slightest. In fact, if you look at the iconic cleric, she is wearing robes.

Finally, I don't see the point in switching out wearing armor for Mage armor and shield. Arcane casters need those spells because normal armor give them an arcane spell failure. Divine casters don't have to worry about that. So essentially, you're really trading one for the other for aesthetics purposes. Which I suppose is fine but I still feel it is unnecessary.

EDIT: The Cloistered Cleric is also mediocre. You lose out on spell slots and only get one domain. You get some bonuses to skills and knowledge, but really, the cleric can already be good at that.


Morgen wrote:

A character class is something that you use to build the mechanical backbone of your character. It isn't like in 2nd or 1st edition AD&D where you were only allowed to use certain kinds of weapons based upon what kind of class you picked. You as the player decide what kind of armour or weapons you wield, you deciding if your going to be proficient in certain ones outside of what a class gives you or not.

Pretty much everyone can use a quarterstaff, so that's certainly not hard to grab. Robes too are easy, though going around unarmoured is a bit dangerous. If you really are that distraught about it, the Cloistered Cleric archetype in Ultimate Magic might be of help.

I checked out the Clositered Cleric and it actually has reduced spellcasting abilities! That's _really_ bizarre.

I appreciate it's a D&D issue not a PF one, but it seems strange that the game can't cater for what seems like a fairly common archetype. Surely not all priests are templars?

Are there any Prestige Classes that might help, aside from taking levels in monk or an arcane class which actually diminish the character's spellcasting?


As an aside, if you are worried about casting Cure Light Wounds and provoking Attacks of Opportunity, remember that it is a touch attack and thus can be casted away from people and charged in your hand, allowing you to touch your ally as a free action that doesn't provoke. It's really helpful when in combat.


Closest thing i could think of was a cleric/wizard to mystic theurge...but i guess that isn't really popular now.


Odraude wrote:

In fact, if you look at the iconic cleric, she is wearing robes.

Yes, but she's also wearing chainmail and a helm, and that scimitar clearly suggests she's some kind of war-priest. I have no problem with that, it's what the cleric class does. My annoyance was that the iconic oracle wasn't wearing the armour and weapons that comes with the class.

I mean, one of the archetypes is a 'naked barbarian'... presumably for someone who doesn't want his tribal or zulu warrior to wear studded leather or mithril plate or whatever most barbarians wear these days. It gives him benefits that partially mitigate his loss of armour so the player can feel happier with his Conan or Tarzan or Shaka Zulu character or the like. It makes a fairly common archetype - the 'savage tribal warrior' - playable in the game without being hugely suboptimal.


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maybe the hedge witch is what your player want?


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Wait what?
Since when is the Oracle a "melee beatstick"?
Oracles work better as casting focused characters,and most of the mysteries are also casting focused.

Heavens
Life
Bones
Time
The elemental mysteries
Lore
Dark Tapestry
Spellscar
Outer Rifts
Juju......all caster Mysteries

Only Battle,Metal and Ancestor strike me as particularly benefiting melee Characters.

Osirion

Just play a caster focused cleric/oracle. Oracles in particular have armor-like abilities that work like mage armor and scale as you level. Just because the class CAN be played like a beatstick doesn't mean you need to.

Heck, build a halfling oracle and focus on Dex. and Charisma. You can rock great AC, throw some robes over your leather armor, and get some great bonuses to skill checks that normally suffer from Armor Check penalty.

Clerics/Oracles are already VERY heavy on the benefits they get, and are some of the best character classes I can think of, making great combatants, casters, and even skill characters if built that way. Just optimize your concept, and you'll see there are ways around wearing a ton of armor.


I think it's 3rd party class or might even be fan made but I remember a class called priest from 3/3.5 edition. If I remember correctly they had no armor profiency, 1/2 BAB and only simple weapon profiency with no deity's favored weapon thing. In return I belive they got more spells per day than cleric and might have gotten 2 domain spells for each spell level.

Google should reveal enough to make a conversion. It was 3 or 4 years back when I saw the class so my memory most likely will not be totally correct.


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You could play a witch. Healing spells, no armor, simple weapons...


There's a priest in the pathfinder compatible Tome of Secrets, iirc.


rashiakas wrote:
maybe the hedge witch is what your player want?

Actually, this seems to fit the mechanics as a 'white mage' far better than anything else. Though I think the player would prefer a divine caster.

Still seems weird.

Player 1 - 'I want to play a Three Musketeers type character, and I'm happy to give up my metal armour to become better at using my rapier'.
GM: 'No problem, we have archetypes to fit that.'

Player 2: 'I want to play a Mwangi tribal who is a fierce warrior, but doesn't wear much more than feathers and loincloth. Wearing a breastplate just feels silly for this guy.'
GM: 'No worries, we have an archetype for that. It mitigates some of your armour loss and offers some offensive abilities to compensate'.

Player 3: 'I want to play a priestess with good social and lore skills, good casting but the fighting skills of a mage type.'
GM: 'No, sorry, can't do that. Every single divine caster in the history of the world is trained as a frontline fighter in metal armour and in bashing people's heads in with a heavy mace. You can _choose_ not to use them, but you're trained in doing that anyway, and your buddies will wonder why you aren't doing it'.

Just playing devil's advocate, I guess. Maybe I'll come across other basic concepts that don't fit. I remember a player in 4E who was annoyed he couldn't make a Conan-style warrior/rogue with a broadsword.

Seems to be one of those weird holdovers from D&D that 'divine caster' is inextricably linked with 'armoured mace guy'.


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Seems easy enough to mod. Oracle, lose medium armor and shields and gain a Domain, appropriate to the mystery. Silken ceremonial armor, quarter staff. Done.


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Scott Carter wrote:

Seems easy enough to mod. Oracle, lose medium armor and shields and gain a Domain, appropriate to the mystery. Silken ceremonial armor, quarter staff. Done.

Thank you! That's pretty much exactly what I wanted - what kind of tradeoff would be fair for losing the armour.

Much appreciated.


Anlerran wrote:

One of my players wants to play something like a 'White Mage' role (from Final Fantasy)- that is, a divine caster with no armour but strong spellcasting abilities, weilding wands and staves more than melee weapons.

I was interested in the Oracle after seeing the iconic character, but it turns out that class is really just a melee beatstick just like all other divine classes in 3rd and 4th edition.

Which is especially galling because she looks as if she's a pure caster with those exotic robes - shouldn't the 'Iconics' have the armour and weapons the class actually uses?

I looked through the archetypes for something that would fit, and so far nothing did. I'm thinking of letting the player play a sorcerer and just swap out the arcane spells for cleric ones.

Or if I used a cleric or oracle, but cut the armour feats, maybe offering two more appropriate feat choices in exchange for losing Light & Medium armour?

There is a 3rd party class that might work. Priest


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Anlerran wrote:
It's particularly weird, because only D&D uses the healer/buffer concept as a melee beatstick. A lot of other games use a pure caster archetype.
Its because standing in the back and just healing in a tabletop gets kind of boring for most people, so the game is set up so that priests can do other things in the battle too.

What has being divine caster have to just standing there and healing? The only reason for cleric class is just that Garry (or maybe Dave) decided, that instead of making priests and mages single casting class like in any decent Sword And Sorcery, they'll introduce artificial division between arcane and divine magic and decreed that only users of divine magic can heal and can wear armor while users of arcane magic can't heal, can't wear armor but can blast others with spells.


The White Necromancer, out of KQ#19 may also fit the idea, similar to the witch they are an arcane caster who uses semi clerical spells.


Do you want to be a casting - focused cleric or an arcane healer?

Grand Lodge

Well, neither of these are divine casters, but both of them can easily use divine spells (such as healing and buffs), yet retain the whole staff-and-wand combat routine.

1.) You could go bard. Bards are buffer classes (and the white mage was a healer and buffer unless my memory is slipping) that aren't really that heavily armored and tend not to focus on weapon combat.

2.) A hedge witch. An archetype of witch that focuses on healing. Witches are arcane spellcasters, technically, but they have access to certain spells normally classified as "divine" (like cure spells, and in some cases restoration or even, in one case, miracle). They don't wear armor (but have mage armor and whatnot), and they don't use weapons other than wands or staves. And a hedge witch specializes in healing. A normal witch with the healing patron and who takes the healing hex also qualifies to a lesser extent. Witches make surprisingly good white mages, since the sacrifice the versatility of the wizard to be a bit more buff/de-buff oriented, at least as far as i understand it.


Anlerran wrote:
Scott Carter wrote:

Seems easy enough to mod. Oracle, lose medium armor and shields and gain a Domain, appropriate to the mystery. Silken ceremonial armor, quarter staff. Done.

Thank you! That's pretty much exactly what I wanted - what kind of tradeoff would be fair for losing the armour.

Much appreciated.

I would add mage armor to her spell list instead of a domain.

Silver Crusade

As far as Hedge Witch goes... is this a PFS game? If not, it could be possible to 'house-fluff' it, or at least the player's Hedge Witch, to have ties to divine origins. Telling them thus: "Your character is, unusual for the class, considered a holy caster in most regards." Just let them know this doesn't mean they count as a Divine Spellcaster in rules mechanics (that has some far-reaching implications in how the game operates), but the world/NPCs generally regard them as such in most other fashions and it should do, I would believe?

So long as it has no game mechanic impact and is purely fluff, in a non-PFS game, I can't see the harm?

Osirion

course wrote:
what about cleric with a level in monk for the wis AC bonus?

An alternate class feature that swapped out a Cleric's armor and shield profiencies for a Monk's AC bonus seems do-able. The Cleric would get an advantage in that Wis is their prime attribute, but also the downside of not being able to benefit from armor and shield enhancement bonuses or magical properties.


The witch gets his or her power from an unspecified patron. Who's to say that patron can't be connected to a god?

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Anlerran wrote:

Player 3: 'I want to play a priestess with good social and lore skills, good casting but the fighting skills of a mage type.'

GM: 'No, sorry, can't do that. Every single divine caster in the history of the world is trained as a frontline fighter in metal armour and in bashing people's heads in with a heavy mace. You can _choose_ not to use them, but you're trained in doing that anyway, and your buddies will wonder why you aren't doing it'.

...

Seems to be one of those weird holdovers from D&D that 'divine caster' is inextricably linked with 'armoured mace guy'.

If this isn't for organized play, the Cloistered Cleric is just as valid in PF as it was in 3.5.

There's also the Non-Generic Cleric.

Grand Lodge

there's also the actual cloistered cleric archetype from ultimate magic...also fits

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It's been mentioned, and the OP was puzzled that it has weaker spellcasting than the regular cleric.

Anlerran wrote:


I checked out the Clositered Cleric and it actually has reduced spellcasting abilities! That's _really_ bizarre.

I appreciate it's a D&D issue not a PF one, but it seems strange that the game can't cater for what seems like a fairly common archetype. Surely not all priests are templars?

Are there any Prestige Classes that might help, aside from taking levels in monk or an arcane class which actually diminish the character's spellcasting?

Grand Lodge

ah, sorry...must have missed that.


Are they really tied to divine? I'm not sure that any divine spell list is suited to what they want to do, other spell lists are much more suited to blasters.


Anlerran wrote:
rashiakas wrote:
maybe the hedge witch is what your player want?
Actually, this seems to fit the mechanics as a 'white mage' far better than anything else. Though I think the player would prefer a divine caster.

In fairness, I personally think its weird that you're using the term "Mage" while trying to describe a divine caster. The word mage has very arcane connotations to it.

Also, if my memory serves me correctly there's no evidence of any White Mage from the classic Final Fantasies being religious or whatnot. Being able to cast holy is not the same thing as being a divine spellcaster, after all. Yuna was the only religious character I can think from that series (stopped playing after X-2 made me weep) and she was a weird hybrid of a White Mage and a Summoner.

In contrast, the Bishop class in Final Fantasy Tactics had fairly poor healing. (banga had it as a class; what do you expect?) Even so, religion is one of those things that many conservative gaming companies work very hard to keep out of their games.

With all this in mind, it is not a hard sell to have your character gain its powers from worshiping the witch's patron, especially if you pick a goodly patron like healing. I think the Hedge Witch is going to be what your player is looking for.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This will always be a 'problem' of RPG's with classes. You have to shoe-horn any character ideas into existing classes. Just something you have to accept as part and parcel of a 'classed' game. Still having classes allows the sale of many more splat books - perhaps Advanced Players Guide 2 or Player Handbook 4 (or whatever 4e got up to) will have such a class? I wouldn't call it a problem of D&D/PF but rather a feature. From your requirements I don't think that PF has something that suits your concept and supports it mechanically, I guess as suggested Wizard/Cleric(or Oracle) springs to mind ending is a Mystic Theurge?

Perhaps your GM will allow you to drop armour proficiency in favour of more casting ability? Or the Hedge Witch as mentioned above.


Might want to check out the 3.5 cloistered cleric from Unearthed Arcana. I thought as a full class it worked great, you get more skill points, knowledge domain, an ability similar to bardic lore and some divination spells added to your spell list and in exchange you can only wear light armor and have low BAB. It fit the concept much better than the Pathfinder version IMO and would be easy to update.


wraithstrike wrote:


There is a 3rd party class that might work. Priest

+1.

You gain more spells, one extra domain, and d8 in the channel ability. The only thing i do not like about the class is that the extra domain is fixed(knowledge), but maybe you DM let you choose another domain.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Evangelist or Theologian cleric seems to be workable for this.


Anlerran wrote:

One of my players wants to play something like a 'White Mage' role (from Final Fantasy)- that is, a divine caster with no armour but strong spellcasting abilities, weilding wands and staves more than melee weapons.

I was interested in the Oracle after seeing the iconic character, but it turns out that class is really just a melee beatstick just like all other divine classes in 3rd and 4th edition.

Which is especially galling because she looks as if she's a pure caster with those exotic robes - shouldn't the 'Iconics' have the armour and weapons the class actually uses?

I looked through the archetypes for something that would fit, and so far nothing did. I'm thinking of letting the player play a sorcerer and just swap out the arcane spells for cleric ones.

Or if I used a cleric or oracle, but cut the armour feats, maybe offering two more appropriate feat choices in exchange for losing Light & Medium armour?

Try looking at the Mosaic Mage from Super-Genius Games. I think it could fit the bill.


How about a Sorcerer with the Empyreal bloodline (making Wis her casting stat) and Theologian Cleric with the Healing domain going into Mystic Theurge? Both archetypes are from Ultimate Magic. Empyreal (because it is based of Celestial bloodline) gives you a very clerical divine type feel the only overlap is that bless is already on the cleric list. Getting a small ranged heal 3+Wis/day is nice. You technically would still have armor proficiencies but those could be sumarily ignored as actually using armor would be detrimental to your arcane casting.

Delayed entry into Mystic Theurge for a Sorcerer is only really a problem if you need to keep your spell DCs high but if you are playing the buffing, healing and battlefield control role then spell DCs are not a problem. The character would actually end up being pretty strong in that role and would never be without an appropriate spell. They also would have access to a very wide variety of wants, staves and scrolls.

I think the issue here is more that the game wasn't specifically designed with a concept from outside of the game in mind. A good player is able to fit the mechanics to the concept that they have in mind. I think this is one way to do that. There are others.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Didn't notice this mentioned, but the Evangelist may fit what you're looking for nicely. Only get's light armor, loses a domain, but get's bardic performance in return. No spontaneous cures, though, but the spontaneous spells are decently useful, so it may work nicely.

Basically, great way to make a buff/debuff cleric that operates from the rear. Reach Spell to make your cures close range, maybe Craft Wand to help make up for the loss of spontaneous casting.

I will admit, however, that as I was reading the posts above, I was thinking to myself "Just play a witch." The fluff mentions that witches receive their powers from a Higher Power of some kind, so having a religious witch is not out of the question, it's just the spells come from a slightly different place.


I dunno if anyone mentioned it as i was skimming everything but, while not ideal, if your cool with 3rd party the Priest from Adamant Entertainment's (i think) Tome of secrets might be okay. you only get light armor and few weapons but you get knowledge as a free domain, 2 domain spells instead of 1, and knowledge as a free domain in addition to the two you normally pick. might be worth a look.

Edit- Sorry Wraithstrike didnt see your post. a +1 to you good sir


1) you can still research spells if I'm not mistaken: research shield and mage armor, or simply allow them, who cares since they sucks anyway?
2) oracle
3) mystic teurge
4) edit cleric/oracle giving them low bab, d6s and one more spell per level.


Greetings, fellow travellers.

Why would you need mage armor or shield?
AFAIK, divine spells include magical vestment and shield of faith.

To boost survivability cast sanctuary (or get a shield other from your friendly neighborhood paladin) and off you go.

Heck, have scrolls of invisibility ready and do not damage your opponents directly = stay invisible for the encounter.

I remember from the old times AD&D had a white and black mage in its Fafhrd&Grey Mouser setting - but here standard cleric = white mage; standard wizard = black mage.

Ruyan.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Anlerran wrote:
rashiakas wrote:
maybe the hedge witch is what your player want?
Actually, this seems to fit the mechanics as a 'white mage' far better than anything else. Though I think the player would prefer a divine caster.

Double check with the player. After all, a white mage is a MAGE, not a priest, usually (some characters may be exceptions, I haven't played FF extensively). Witch really does reflect the fluff you are looking for better than any of the divine classes. They are an unarmored, non combatant buffer/debuffer/healer. Which is exactly what you said you are looking for.

It sounds to me like you're getting frustrated because you're seeing divine casters and thinking these HAVE to be the equivalent of white mages because healing magic, and then are getting angry when you're trying to smash a square peg into a round hole. Divine casters AREN'T the only classes with healing magic, so don't limit your view of how you can build your concept just because the first or second class you looked at with healing magic didn't work.

(Bards and I think even some sorcerer bloodlines have healing magic as well. I wouldn't recommend them for white mage, but they are also classes with healing.)

I wouldn't use a divine caster like a cleric to play a white mage not because they have armor proficiency (which I can easily ignore if I want to) or because they have 3/4 BAB instead of 1/2 BAB (I can still participate in combat in different ways), but I wouldn't use it because otherwise a cleric STILL looks nothing like a white mage. The only thing they have in common are healing and buff spells. But the domains and the channel energy and the fact that their energy is granted by a divine power rather than something more arcane--the things that give the caster flavor to the cleric--also looks like NOTHING a white mage does, IMO. So I would just consider them just not right at all, and discard it and move on.

I think that maybe you're also stymiing yourself because you're narrowly categorizing what a class may look like. Just because a class has armor proficiency and d8 HD doesn't mean you have to make them a melee monster. I've seen ranged clerics and non combatant clerics -- and now that oracles are out, I see most of them played as a stand back and cast class, not a "melee monster" or an "armored mace guy" that you seem to have far too strongly lodged in your craw.

Relax, try not to let the Western fantasy tropes or your own conceptions of what might work best. Think about what you want from the character, and then read EVERY class, looking for class features to compare and contrast.

So when you think: non-combat, unarmored, healer/buffer, can use a staff, is considered a "magic-user" ... oh look, the witch is exactly that. (I think some FF white mages even came with a cute pet too so the familiar is already accounted for.)

So this character concept that you keep saying doesn't exist is in fact right under your nose all along. (And then you nix the nice shiny round cylinder because it doesn't match the square peg you've been hammering away at for the last few days. And without even double checking with the player you're trying to help to see if they'd be okay with it.)

I apologize if I sound unnecessarily testy--I'm not angry and I don't think you're "doing it wrong" but I think you are limiting your options unnecessarily, and in my early morning, rambling, pre-caffeine state I'm having trouble expressing that you have options without sounding a bit frustrated about the situation myself.

I get that you're frustrated because it hasn't been easy to find the character concept that fits, and I hear ya. I have come up with concepts (non healers) that have been tricky to build in Pathfinder or its predecessor. And I even agree with you that the cleric and oracle archetypes are sucky and much too limited compared to the scope of what they could be. But in the end, no one's saying the healer has to be an "armored mace guy" -- not even the rulebooks are saying that -- except you. So I suggest examining your own preconceptions first and start over.

And heck, for that matter, since it's someone else who plays the character--why aren't they researching their own possible character classes anyway? The PRD is free and available for anyone to use.

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