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Feat for a support / melee cleric


Advice

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Thomas, the Tiefling Hero! wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

Power Attack.

Now is the time that you qualify for it. Might as well ditch the shield altogether. Focus on being a secondary meleer if you're not going the full beatdown package.

No thanks; I don't like PA with 3/4 BAB. I'd like to hit once in a while.

This is what you have spells for. At level three you are only one bab behind the fighter and have just as many attacks. You can solve this with a simple bless spell. You buff the fighters and bring yourself on par. Later you can activate heroism as a swift action and drop a spell like divine favor or divine power to get you even past that. Clerics can do combat quite well with only one or two spells.

I'd rather not get into a debate about the sun domain considering that would not really help you seeing as its a decision you cannot reverse.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thorkull wrote:
Crosswind wrote:
I'd go with improved initiative. It's not amazing at level 3, but it gets better as you level up.
How does it get better? It's a flat +4 no matter when you take it.

It gets better because the value of acting first (and the value of an action) at higher level is bigger, particularly for a caster.

Think about it - at first level, combats slog a bit. Cleric spells don't really do that much. At 9th level, you have access to some serious party-wide buffs, plane-shift, etc. Using those before an enemy acts can dramatically change the encounter.

-Cross

Silver Crusade

...Which probably means I could just take it later, eh? So what would you recommend for now?

Silver Crusade

At this point I'm leaning toward Toughness now (at 3rd), then Combat Casting and Extra Channel at 5th and 7th (respectively, or vice-versa).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't understand what you want your character to do.

I really think that clerics need to pick 2 things they want to do and stick with it.

Do you want to cast? Be mobile? Support? Melee? Channel focus?

You just seem to be spreading yourself thin. If you want to melee (the reason you would most likely get toughness). Then don't plan on channels and combat casting, stick with a melee focus- you just don't have enough feats.

It sounds like you want to be a mobile support station. So toughness is not that valuable. At that point combat casting makes more sense. Actually dodge would not be bad either so you could get mobility later- then you can leave combat with less fear of AoO's.

I mean toughness, weapon finesse, combat castjng, More channel, sounds like a character who will eventually not be very good at anything- too low powered to melee, not built to cast.


Thomas, the Tiefling Hero! wrote:
...Which probably means I could just take it later, eh? So what would you recommend for now?

Well, you could take it later. But I'd recommend taking it now. Because, later, you will have more a higher BAB and a few more options.

Here's an option that hasn't really been posed yet:
Take Spell Focus: Conjuration
and Augment Summoning at 5.

The cleric spell list is pretty much trash, but you get Summon Monster progression as good as anybody. Summons are awesome, help a party, and are very versatile. Augment Summoning is cleanly worth a pair of feats for how good it makes your summons.

-Cross

Silver Crusade

Crosswind wrote:
Thomas, the Tiefling Hero! wrote:
...Which probably means I could just take it later, eh? So what would you recommend for now?

Well, you could take it later. But I'd recommend taking it now. Because, later, you will have more a higher BAB and a few more options.

Here's an option that hasn't really been posed yet:
Take Spell Focus: Conjuration
and Augment Summoning at 5.

You have a very valid point here. However, in PFS there's often a time limit (such as the store closing) and other such considerations that make summoning a bit of a pain (in an OOC way). So although that's solid advice, I'll be declining for social/logistical reasons.

Quote:
The cleric spell list is pretty much trash

I had to chuckle at this. It's CoDzilla, not WoDzilla. ;)


Thomas, the Tiefling Hero! wrote:
Crosswind wrote:
Thomas, the Tiefling Hero! wrote:
...Which probably means I could just take it later, eh? So what would you recommend for now?

Well, you could take it later. But I'd recommend taking it now. Because, later, you will have more a higher BAB and a few more options.

Here's an option that hasn't really been posed yet:
Take Spell Focus: Conjuration
and Augment Summoning at 5.

You have a very valid point here. However, in PFS there's often a time limit (such as the store closing) and other such considerations that make summoning a bit of a pain (in an OOC way). So although that's solid advice, I'll be declining for social/logistical reasons.

Quote:
The cleric spell list is pretty much trash
I had to chuckle at this. It's CoDzilla, not WoDzilla. ;)

Totally understand. I don't play summoners for pretty much the same reason. CoDzilla was definitely a 3.5 thing - Paizo did away with the persistent buffs which made it so brutal. The cleric spell list, by itself, feels like it's pretty much the worst in the game.

I'd go with Improved Initiative. I considered suggesting Combat Expertise -> Swift Aid, so you can aid another as a swift action, but you don't have the INT for it.

Here's another possibility. Take Extra Channel at 3, Quick Channel at 5. You don't get a second attack for a long time (level 8), so you'll have move actions to spare. Being able to do reasonable AOE heals as a move action is pretty good. Only problem is that, if you're in melee and don't have selective channeling, there's a reasonable shot that you're gonna heal the enemies too. =(

-Cross (Personally, I'd go with improved initiative. Getting an extra action in a combat is @#$%ing great.)

Silver Crusade

Well, agree to disagree on the strength of the cleric's spell list - particularly for "problem solving". Silence, spiritual weapon, remove [whatever], magic weapon, and so forth are all amazing spells. A cleric blaster would be hard to pull off, yes; but the spell list is far from weak, IMO.

My goal with channeling is to nuke undead (go-go Glory+Sun!) or, when the scenario doesn't involve any, do some after-combat group hugs. In-combat channel-heals will be only when multiple people desperately need to stabilize. Anything less than that and I find something better to do with my action (even if it's casting stabilize or a cure spell).


Quick Channel, whether to heal or nuke undead (and later, with Alignment Channel, Evil Outsiders) is worth it's weight in gold. Provided you have Extra Channel and a good Charisma, but with your Glory + Sun domains, take it and nuke the hell out of them!


Ubercroz wrote:

I don't understand what you want your character to do.

I really think that clerics need to pick 2 things they want to do and stick with it.

Do you want to cast? Be mobile? Support? Melee? Channel focus?

You just seem to be spreading yourself thin....

I agree with Ubercroz's statement, that you appear to be spreading yourself a bit thin.

So as a recap, you want to nuke undead then grouphug after battles. Extra Channel may be an option for that.

You want to be melee / support. That usually tends to limit you to a non-mobile, non-caster role. I would go Heavy Armor Prof for a melee cleric.

You want to stay mobile. Your melee options will be limited due to lower AC. In that event, I would go with the Summoning route that someone had suggested as your melee'r, and focus on support.

Another option. Go Ranged Cleric. Keep your mobility / support / caster role, and supplement with ranged damage. (your stats might not be the best for that though)

Channeling and nuking undead can happen with all builds.

Silver Crusade

I get that a lot, interestingly enough.

In PFS, versatility is stronger than specialty. What you call "spreading too thin", I call "avoiding the one-trick-pony trap".

So when I say one of my roles is "melee", I mean my AC needs to be decent (but not necessarily enormous, especially if that would cost me my other roles) and my damage needs to be moderate (able to remove about one HD per hit and hitting reasonably consistently, not one-shotting bosses or whatever).

When I say one of my roles is "support", it means I need to be able to apply meaningful buffs in about half of my encounters, have a decent library of situational scrolls, and have some trump cards (like remove blindness/deafness, silence, etc). It does not mean I need to have save-or-dies with DCs in the upper stratosphere.

In PFS, there are more specialist casualties than generalist casualties. Hence, a generalist who appears on the outside to be "spread too thin" can actually be a very strong character.


Thomas, the Tiefling Hero! wrote:

I get that a lot, interestingly enough.

In PFS, versatility is stronger than specialty. What you call "spreading too thin", I call "avoiding the one-trick-pony trap".

So when I say one of my roles is "melee", I mean my AC needs to be decent (but not necessarily enormous, especially if that would cost me my other roles) and my damage needs to be moderate (able to remove about one HD per hit and hitting reasonably consistently, not one-shotting bosses or whatever).

When I say one of my roles is "support", it means I need to be able to apply meaningful buffs in about half of my encounters, have a decent library of situational scrolls, and have some trump cards (like remove blindness/deafness, silence, etc). It does not mean I need to have save-or-dies with DCs in the upper stratosphere.

In PFS, there are more specialist casualties than generalist casualties. Hence, a generalist who appears on the outside to be "spread too thin" can actually be a very strong character.

Ok, it's making a bit more sense why you're going the way you are. Probably why anything I consider Optimized isn't going to work for you.

Have you considered going for a Melee Striker kind of role? the Dodge > Mobility > Spring Attack, would keep you out of harms way. That way you can spring in to attack and move back out of range. You wouldn't need combat casting as you shouldn't be in range of any threats. Just two hand your longsword for some decent damage.. Get Power Attack / Furious Focus for even better damage without the penalty if you find you need to boost up your damage output. You're still close to the action for nuking undead, and at the start of your turn, you can decide to cast or go attack something. Mobility can give you good AC if you have to risk an AOO for running up to heal someone.

Could be worth looking into.

Silver Crusade

Another part of the "generalist" philosophy for PFS characters is that too many feats (especially without bonus feats) invested in a single trick means that any time your trick doesn't work, you're under-feated. And since you never know what your party will look like... :/

All I get is my HD feats. Each one needs to count: either I can't live without it, or I get to enjoy its benefits at least once or twice per scenario (about 40% of encounters). For a feat chain, I need to be using it constantly, and it needs to be done early enough to be worthwhile - remember that a PFS character finishes at 12th level. Spring Attacking for the last 25% of my career seems like a poor investment, you know?

To sum up: each feat needs to be valuable on its own, and the sooner the better. It needs to be relevant as often as possible and with as little work/set-up/party-reliance as possible.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013

J, I suggested the Warrior Priest Feat (which is a combo weaker Imp Init and Combat Casting in one) and going either Spring Attack Chain or focusing on Long Sword Feats through PFS Legal Inheritor's Crusader and the Iomedaean Sword Oath Feat from The Sixfold Trial (Council of Thieves #2).

The Longsword Feats will not be a waste even if you think that Spring Attack, Dodge, and Mobility will be uncommonly used, WF, GWF, WS, GWS, and Imp Crit Longsword all will. You could look possibly at Acrobatic Steps for mobility, especially alongside Spring Attack, but if you want to avoid that route, other options you can look at are Extend Spell, Imp Crit and Quicken Spell (later), skill focus Diplomacy never hurts in PFS (or Perception or Sense Motive).


Thomas, the Tiefling Hero! wrote:

Another part of the "generalist" philosophy for PFS characters is that too many feats (especially without bonus feats) invested in a single trick means that any time your trick doesn't work, you're under-feated. And since you never know what your party will look like... :/

All I get is my HD feats. Each one needs to count: either I can't live without it, or I get to enjoy its benefits at least once or twice per scenario (about 40% of encounters). For a feat chain, I need to be using it constantly, and it needs to be done early enough to be worthwhile - remember that a PFS character finishes at 12th level. Spring Attacking for the last 25% of my career seems like a poor investment, you know?

To sum up: each feat needs to be valuable on its own, and the sooner the better. It needs to be relevant as often as possible and with as little work/set-up/party-reliance as possible.

I was unaware that PFS chars finish at 12th level. That would certainly make that chain less attractive. So, That leaves very few routes you can take. The Warrior Priest feat Beckett mentions seems like a good option. Otherwise I don't know what to tell you. Extra Channel just made it to the top of the list for me. Hug 'em like you'll loose 'em!

Silver Crusade

Heh, yeah, PFS changes everything, doesn't it? :D


Thomas, the Tiefling Hero! wrote:
Heh, yeah, PFS changes everything, doesn't it? :D

Warrior priest is sort of lousy. It gives you less than half of improved initiative and half of combat casting. Take either improved init or combat casting over it. =P

-Cross


It sounds as if you are going for a hardened support cleric. Which is okay however I would think it may be best for you to alter your tactics a bit. I know from PFS veterans that certain melee encounters are most unkind to a character not dedicated to combat.

Thus I stand by my suggestion for power attack. You want to be dealing meaningful damage and that is the most reliable damage you can get without expending a single spell. You're worried about hitting. I'm telling you between spells you are already casting and flanking you should be more than fine.

After that you can work on improving things like your spellcasting. Powerattack is the only combat feat you really need.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013

Crosswind wrote:
Thomas, the Tiefling Hero! wrote:
Heh, yeah, PFS changes everything, doesn't it? :D

Warrior priest is sort of lousy. It gives you less than half of improved initiative and half of combat casting. Take either improved init or combat casting over it. =P

-Cross

It's not great, but it does both together, stacks with each (unnamed bonus), and also offers the +2 to Grapple, not just Concentration to cast defensively, which doesn't keep up anyway. He already has a +3 Dex, so Imp Init is kind of overkill, even in PFS.

And for a Cleric, especially in PFS, sometimes going later is better.

Silver Crusade

Hmm... So currently, I'm thinking ImpInit is out of the running.

I'm still leery about Power Attack, especially since I won't be grabbing the 3:1 ratio. It only gives me +2 damage now, +4 at 6th, and +6 damage at 10th, and then I'm done. (Man, too bad Arcane Strike doesn't work with divine casters!) Maybe I could consider taking it at 7th, once the damage bonus is a little more relevant?

Toughness and Combat Casting are still tugging on me, as well as Extra Channel (doing a couple of group hugs and then only having one channel left when the undead show up is kind of irritating).

Grr! Decisions!


I know you want a "versatile" character, but you really do need to figure out your endgame with this character. Clerics have built in versailtility with spells, you just need to pick a way to go.

I run and play PFS, and while having a balanced party is important, having a character that tries to do everything still lends itself to not being good.

Being focused on how you want to play does not make you a 1 trick pony, it makes you a strong character. When built well you have a character that can use those focused strengths in a number of ways.

I honestly think you would be better off being light armored support, take the buff spells , don't worry about damage, and let the fighters do their job.

The extra channels are very good for that. If you can eliminate melee as a normal action for you the choice is simple. You don't need combat casting, toughness, or power attack. So you can hammer down on spells and channels. You can still provide some combat aide, but maybe summoned monsters would be better than combat.


I personally like heavy armor prof. for a melee cleric.

That build is my dwarven cleric (stone plate)
travel domain.....+10
dwarf no - to move for heavy armor
domain spell longstrider....

+ selective channel

Silver Crusade

Ubercroz wrote:

I know you want a "versatile" character, but you really do need to figure out your endgame with this character. Clerics have built in versailtility with spells, you just need to pick a way to go.

I run and play PFS, and while having a balanced party is important, having a character that tries to do everything still lends itself to not being good.

Being focused on how you want to play does not make you a 1 trick pony, it makes you a strong character. When built well you have a character that can use those focused strengths in a number of ways.

To be clear, I do agree that you can still spread yourself too thin in PFS - I was just communicating to others that the sweet spot between "crippling overspecialization" and "spread too thin" is in a different place in PFS than it is in the collective minds of posters in non-PFS areas of the boards.

For instance, it was merely a lapse in focus that made me state in my last post that Power Attack might be worth taking; among my core competencies, melee damage ranks fairly low. Just needs to be more realistic of an option than a wizard stabbing for 1d4-1. Hence the moderate STR and decent favored weapon. But I'm not going to invest much in keeping up with it - it will shift to a backup option for when I don't feel the need to blow a spell.

Also, I am choosing to neglect spells that grant saves unless they're just that good (like hold person) so that I don't have to devote too much wealth (and didn't have to devote too many stat points) to WIS. I'll be buffing (bless, heroism, etc) and trumping (silence, remove X, etc), not blasting.

In a sense, I do have a focused role I want to fill, it just happens to be a role that requires an assortment of mechanics to implement.

Quote:
I honestly think you would be better off being light armored support, take the buff spells , don't worry about damage, and let the fighters do their job.

This feels close to what I'm aiming for, actually. I do intend to invest in AC for as long as it's feasible to do so, in order to be able to step in and hold the line if need be.

Quote:
The extra channels are very good for that. If you can eliminate melee as a normal action for you the choice is simple. You don't need combat casting, toughness, or power attack. So you can hammer down on spells and channels. You can still provide some combat aide, but maybe summoned monsters would be better than combat.

I do have a firm stance against summoning - I don't want to do the work necessary to make the process smooth enough to not bog down the table. Anyway, I agree about not needing Power Attack (despite me temporarily considering it - I can be too persuadable sometimes on a topic I'm already unsure about) and possibly Combat Casting. I do like the idea of being durable (staying out of melee won't always cut it, and if I go down I can't support very well), but I also might be able to swing a CON belt. So maybe I should start with Extra Channel, then at 5th see whether I'd rather spend cash or a feat for that extra HP.

Silver Crusade

Alright, so currently I'm thinking maybe Combat Casting. Then by 5th I can hopefully have a better feel of whether I'd prefer Extra Channel or Toughness.

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