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Negative Channeling Cleric: Viable in Combat?


Advice

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Shadow Lodge

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Positive Channeling is pretty awesome against groups of undead - is negative channeling just as good against groups of the living?

The cleric dips fighter at first level for heavy armor proficiency and an extra feat, then focuses on negative channeling and tanking. Shatter Resolve is a nice one, and Quick channel plus a bunch of extra channels essentially allows double damage in one round for three channel uses.

At level 12: Can channel 15 times per day, dealing 8d6 (28 average) damage, demoralizes, and has a DC of 20. Has quick channel, which means he can essentially take a full round action expend 3 channels, and deal 12d6 damage (56 average). Now he can heal himself when healing or controlling undead. Can cast 1+1 sixth level spells with a DC of 20. AC 23, and about 100 hit points.

Viable? Or not useful?

1:Shield Focus (FIghter), Selective Channeling, Extra Channel (Command Undead from Undead Lord)
3: Improved Channel
5: Shatter Resolve
7: Quick Channel
9: Extra Channel
11: Extra Channel
13: Extra Channel
15: Extra Channel
17: Extra Channel
19: Extra Channel

Dark Channeler

P.S. Although he is an undead lord, I wouldn't want anything that takes away from his channeling ability. His undead minions are just incidental.


I use a Negative Channeling Cleric in PFS. She's 6th now.

STR: 14
DEX: 10
CON: 12
INT: 10
WIS: 14
CHA: 17+1+2

Traits: Reactive, Sacred Conduit (+1 Channel DC)
Feats: Command Undead (Will DC 21, Max 6 HD), Selective Channel (Exclude 5 other characters from Channel effect), Power Attack (-1/+3), Improved Channel (+2 DC to Channel).
Domains: Strength and Destruction

She dishes 3d6 per channel, gets 8 of them per day, and can always back it up with True Strike + Power Attacking with her +1 Vicious Greatsword.

I had not seen Shatter Resolve - I may pick that up for 7th level.

Shadow Lodge

Do you have Urgathoa as a god? Unfortunately, you need him as a god to get Shatter Resolve! Sorry!

How often do you use your channeling in combat (as opposed to just attacking)?


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It can be quite nasty if you approach is as a supplementla ability to what you already do, like sneak attack.

Like this guy for example is pretty much a straight battle cleric. Save he uses negative channeling to supplement his damage.

He is of Urgathoa. Deity name is wrong on the sheet.


I've never seen anyone focus that exclusively on negative channel. I think I would get bored taking nothing but extra channel from 9th level on.
I have seen negative channelers up to about level 9 or so. Seemed reasonably effective. Worked kinda like a short range blaster wizard for taking down mooks and starting the hurt on lots of medium level opponents. Wasn't always much help against the BBEG. But there are spells for that.

I have 'heard' they aren't that great at higher levels. The damage, DC, and range are just not high enough. But haven't seen it myself. We almost never play that high.

Seems like I saw some feats someplace to change the shape of the channel area gaining more range. But I don't remember what or where.

If you are willing to in an evil group, consider the tiefling fiendish vessel from the ARG. Damage drops a little, but can blast and heal at the same time. Seems lovely. Can't use it for PFS. =(

Grand Lodge

I have a negative channel cleric in PFS. Cleric of Asmodeus. His primary attack is to channel negative and I will generally use every channel I can. As a rule I don't do enough damage to take out a bad guy in one shot. But I hit LOTS of bad guys in one shot then the tanks or blasters finish them off.

It is really useful for team oriented combat. You soften everyone up real fast so everyone else can finish their combat quicker.

If you want to the "star" of the show, then probably not the best way to do it. If you want to be a party player then this is a great way to do it.

The Exchange

Negative channeling makes for mean Holy Vindicators. Imagine: Cleric of Rovagug(CN, so as to match with PFS standards) 3, Barbarian(Titan Mauler) 3, Holy Vindicator 6. You can wield your deity's favorite weapon in 1 hand, so you can have your shield and HV bonuses to it. Channel Smite does 12d6 additional damage (average of 42) to hitting the one target.

Pretty Sweet deal, right?


Broken Zenith wrote:

Do you have Urgathoa as a god? Unfortunately, you need him as a god to get Shatter Resolve! Sorry!

How often do you use your channeling in combat (as opposed to just attacking)?

I use channel fairly regularly - I'm usually a second liner, and can use Neg Channel to weaken a lot of foes for the front liners to beat down.

I also use it whenever seeing undead.

Because my BAB is only 3 at level 5, and my STR is +2, and the sword is +1, hitting at +6, or +5 if Power Attacking, isn't exactly my strong suit; the usual fight has me move into position to channel, channel on round 1, maybe channel on round 2, and then use the sword to finish things off. Wands of True Strike FTW.

And that would explain why I missed Shatter Resolve - she's a Godspeaker of Gorum.

The Exchange

On the plus side, never underestimate a touch attack from an armed foe.

On the negative side, the damage output will slow down once you get up there in level. There are far, far better spells to use. Symbols, etc.


Neutral Cleric of Urgathoa with Guided Hand and Versatile channel could be pretty awesome. Maybe dip into Holy Vindicator PrC.


The negative channeling cleric is a perfectly viable build. I would perhaps swap out one of the extra channeling feats for another feat (perhaps a metamagic feat) but otherwise you are a cleric who has the ability to inflict damage in a burst.

You can still cast, you can still be reasonably effective in combat, you can still heal, and you are able to do all of this in heavy armor with a shield while screaming obscenities at your blasphemous enemy.

I think the Negative channeling/heal while doing it is just a quirk that other clerics simply don't have it doesn't really take anything away from the cleric.

The Exchange

Huh i did not know you could take extra channel more than once....


I would suggest taking the undead subdomain, and using the Death’s Kiss domain ability on yourself before you start channeling. you then include yourself as the target of your channel and get healed for as much damage as you do.

The Exchange

Actually looking into it a bit you CANNOT take extra channel more than once

Silver Crusade

Yeah, I was going to bring that up. Every feat you can take multiple times specifically says so. Extra Channel has no such verbiage. Thus, it can only be taken once.

But as long as we're on the subject, I've considered doing a negative energy cleric at some point, but focused on inflict spells rather than channeling. I'm not sure how viable it would be, though. It might even work better as an oracle, rather than cleric.

Sczarni

Is it worth it to choose negative energy if you don't plan to make it a major part of your combat strategy? Suppose you just want a caster cleric and would rather spont-cast Inflict than Cure?


I don't think you can take Selective Channeling or Extra Channel feats at first level if that is when you are dipping Fighter. Both feats require the Channel Energy ability which a 1st level Fighter does not have.

Silver Crusade

Silent Saturn wrote:
Is it worth it to choose negative energy if you don't plan to make it a major part of your combat strategy? Suppose you just want a caster cleric and would rather spont-cast Inflict than Cure?

I'd say no. If you're not going to focus heavily on channeling or your spontaneous spells, then you're probably better off sticking to healing with the things that you're considering incidental.

Shadow Lodge

Thats exactly what I was going to say, you can only take Extra Channeling once, and because PF wanted to make sure that Sorcerers could get both Cha and Saves boosting items, now the Cleric's Wis/Cha and Channeling boost items use the same slot. In PFS that means either one or the other. Outside PFS you can get a combo Headband of Wis and/or Cha with a phylactery of Channeling, but its extremely costy.

The Exchange

Pallid crystal, and/or phylactery of negative (positive) channeling.


"Huh i did not know you could take extra channel more than once...."
- I don't believe you can by RAW - feats you can take more than once have the "Special: You can gain this feat multiple times." part.

The 3.5 feat Extra turning had this special part - pathfinder have not included it. By mistake or design?

But let's say it allowed (and really if i want to use several feats to make 3+Cha ability work I would want to have more attempts)

Does it work? - Well there is some nice damage pretty often - which works IF you are facing big crowds... So i think the Dark Channeler build takes it a big to far.
Okay you get plenty of channeling/day - but surely a feat to do someting diffent could be helpfull.

Ability focus for a Su ability for instance...

And lvl 12 - 8d6 - the wizard have been casting a 10d6 fireball for several levels by now..
yes you can do this often... But still...

I like the action economy i quickend - but how about variant channeling
Disease (part of Urgathoa's Portfolio) if they fail a save they are sickened and shakened... Do this with as a move action - and cast a spell with a save... thats +4 DC if you didn't dump Wis interely.
Or even better let the witch or wizard bring the SoS spell then you can buff the party or summon thing (what happened to argumentged summorning any ways?)

Ale/wine would be even better - Gluttony also her Portfolio...

I'm not saying it's a bad build - it's just a build that have focued on one trick - perhaps to much...

But then again - you can create undeads to do the fighting, have divine spells for utility, and the damage isn't irrelevant when facing several foes...

Dark Archive

You need to relook at your build, you do not possess channelling at level 1 (as you are a fighter) meaning extra channel and selective channel cannot be selected as 1st level feats, they require the channelling class feature that you lack.

Also you can only take extra channel exactly once, limiting the amount of channels you can obtain significantly


My neg channeling PFS cleric, as Krome points out, is a team-friendly mook-mangler. She doesn't (usually) get the kill - she just makes fights end about two rounds sooner than normal.

The Exchange

Too many devil worshipers, im thinking about doing a kuthonite battle cleric


You may also like the idea of having lots of undead minions around you at all times. When enemies are close, they have to face your minions, AND your negative channeling doing damage, AND your negative channeling healing your undead minions. Good times.


No one has mentioned Dhampir...? They heal off of neg energy, and they get +2 CHA.


Well Dampirs have the weird cleric favored class bonus: "Cleric Add +1 to the caster level of any channeling feat used to affect undead."

So command undead - you'll have a great DC!
(or turn undead - but your channeling neg energy unless you want to invest feats into it...)

The loss of 2 con... hurts for a caster that really want to stand with30 feet of all enemies...

The Exchange

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Personally I quite like the variant channeling 'harm' effects. For pure showmanship I like destruction (explode everything around you, from furniture to the floor, like a Dragonball Z character going 'blond'...), and fire (set everyone you hit on fire... good times!), although for specific builds the harm effects which de-buff enemy saves are probably better, assuming you follow them with appropriate spells.

Shadow Lodge

@ Those who point out that I can't take channel feats at first level: Good point! However, I'll take cleric first level, fighter second level, then back to cleric. Problem solved.

@Those who think that I can't take extra channeling: That would be terrible! Can somebody point me at that rule?

@ Dhampir Enthusiasts: Heals off of Negative Energy? That does sound tasty. I wanted to build to be accessible to people who just play with the basic races though, though I will change it if it's awesome enough.

@ Holy Vindicator Enthusiasts: I took a look, but I'm not seeing that much that Cleric doesn't already offer me. I will be in combat, but I won't be smiting, bashing, or anything like that.

@ Variant Channel Enthusiasts: Considering it. I shall consider more.

@ People talking about one trick ponies: It's true the build is built around one thing. But the Dark Channler is still a tank and full caster (-1 level for fighter) with a respectable wisdom score. He's still able to summon monsters, cure his allies and the like. He's awesome against groups and against the undead, but still very passable in other circumstances due to his right as a full caster. Also, I've hopefully got some undead minions, but that's not my main shtick.

@ Asthyril: Yup, I have the undead domain (being an Undead Lord Cleric).

But the main question: Can somebody point me at the rule that says I can't take the same feat more than once?


Broken Zenith wrote:


But the main question: Can somebody point me at the rule that says I can't take the same feat more than once?

Strictly speaking you can take the feat more than once but the effects won't srack so the maximum amount of extra channels you can have is two. Relevant line is at: Feats under 'Feat Descriptions' the line entitled 'Benefit'

"If a character has the same feat more than once, its benefits do not stack unless indicated otherwise in the description."

As pointed out by other posters other Extra XXX style feats state that they can be taken multiple times and that their effects stack, extra channel does not state this.

Shadow Lodge

Thank you Skulking! Looks like I will have to seriously revise the Dark Channeler.


At 20th level I beive it should be 36d6 with quickened channel as (12)(3)=36 otherwise sweet.


Now that I was thinking about it, I started making a Dhampir Oracle/AntiPally/Vindicator. But alas! There aren't any Oracle revelations that let me channel negative energy? (Life will let me channel positive, but that's not what I want) That kinda sucketh. Crank up that CHA score, throw in some STR and CON, some fullplate armor, I'm all sorts of set. Oh well.

EDIT: I guess I could always just throw in one level of cleric. Holy Vindicator would boost my oracle casting, and my cleric channeling. But dang it, again...I want my version of Cure Wounds maxamized. Shouldn't be too hard to houserule that Inflict Wounds would count for that, though.


channeling is based off Cha anyway, so why do you need the oracle?


Because Oracle's casting attribute is charisma, compared to a Cleric's wisdom. So you can dump stat wisdom if you wanted, with that build. And I like oracle's more than I like clerics :s

Sczarni

Mechanical Pear wrote:
Because Oracle's casting attribute is charisma, compared to a Cleric's wisdom. So you can dump stat wisdom if you wanted, with that build. And I like oracle's more than I like clerics :s

Antipallies get to channel negative at Level 4. You could skip oracle altogether? That way you also skip having to pick a curse, and with all that multiclassing the spellcasting levels weren't doing you much good anyway.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Aasimar and the Channel Force feats?

I like the idea of an Aasimar worshiping an Evil Deity.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Aasimar and the Channel Force feats?

I like the idea of an Aasimar worshiping an Evil Deity.

How bout jsut a LN one?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Actually, what about an Aasimar, who worships a neutral Deity, and has the Versatile Channel and Channel Force feats?

Shadow Lodge

]I went with the Aasimar who worships Urgathoa (Evil) to retain shatter resolve.

Only getting 10 channels this time around. Grabbed the channel force tree, but that looks to be more fun than function.

Not looking as viable, given that I won't be able to spam quickened negative channels. Thoughts?


Definitely viable, so long as you take Selective Channeling to take your allies out of the mix and don't fight undead creatures.


Somewhere I saw a spell that lets you treat the targets as undead with respect to how channel energy works on them, (similar to the Dhampir racial) cast that on your party and heal them harm enemies.

The Dhampir racial was already ruled to heal off negative and harm off positive. Not talking about channeling to bolster undead, just negative energy.

Shadow Lodge

Yup, Selective channeling is the first feat taken.

Has anybody actually taken the channel force feats? Are they actually useful?


...I'd be tempted to use those for an Archery-Cleric of Gozreh.

Ain't nothing quite so fun as being able to keep ranged enemies away while shooting at 'em.


1)Juju and bones Oracle gets channel neg energy - but can only be used for command undead. But if you want to be commanding undeads a dip into Juju oracle (with a extra revalation feat)
Gives you:
Spirit Vessels (Su)which is just awesome)
Command undead - but i guess the DC for command undead would be really bad..

2) Archery and channeling don't have must synergy. Channeling means you wanna be in the center of things, archery don't mix well with melee.


Bigtuna wrote:

1)Juju and bones Oracle gets channel neg energy - but can only be used for command undead. But if you want to be commanding undeads a dip into Juju oracle (with a extra revalation feat)

Gives you:
Spirit Vessels (Su)which is just awesome)
Command undead - but i guess the DC for command undead would be really bad..

2) Archery and channeling don't have must synergy. Channeling means you wanna be in the center of things, archery don't mix well with melee.

while feat heavy, archery works well, but you need to use a crossbow and Xbow mastery, along with combat reflexes and darkness variant channeling, snapshot, improved snapshot.

On top of that you'd want to multiclass rogue or ninja, the reason being is that you can create a field of darkness and then use your double xbow to spray arrows at everything that moves.


why would't you just use a shortbow if youre going to multiclass as rogue? then you wouldnt need crossbow mastery


psychicmachinery wrote:
Neutral Cleric of Urgathoa with Guided Hand and Versatile channel could be pretty awesome. Maybe dip into Holy Vindicator PrC.

I don't think this is doable. As I read it the god would have to be neutral not just the cleric to allow versatile channeler.

I would love to be wrong though. So please let me know if I am misreading this.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
psychicmachinery wrote:
Neutral Cleric of Urgathoa with Guided Hand and Versatile channel could be pretty awesome. Maybe dip into Holy Vindicator PrC.

I don't think this is doable. As I read it the god would have to be neutral not just the cleric to allow versatile channeler.

I would love to be wrong though. So please let me know if I am misreading this.

No you are correct. It must be a true neutral god.

Liberty's Edge

I have seen no mention of the Reach Spell metamagic feat. It allows you to increase a spell's range (Touch --> Close --> Medium --> Long). The spell level increases by one for each increase in range.

@TarkXT, the god does not have to be True Neutral - Lawful Neutral or Chaotic Neutral would also be OK, if I remember correctly. But, yes, both the cleric and the deity must be neutral for the cleric to take the Versatile Channeling feat.

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