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Samsaran Cleric


So, my party seems to need a cleric, and while I don't mind filling in gaps...I tend to hate playing clerics. I don't like roleplaying being religiously devoted to anything, I don't like classes that encourage you to tank it up in big heavy restricting armor, and I don't really like playing casters in general. Oh, and I like battlefield control spells when I do cast, which cleric is lacking in.

That said, I'm trying to see if I can salvage a cleric that is sufficiently different from the typical kind. Samsaran is the keystone to this, as it will let me choose 6 good and interesting spells to add to my list. If people could make suggestions, I would appreciate it, but this is my current list of spells that caught my eye.

Battlemind Link (Inq. 4)
Litany of Righteousness (Pal 2, Inq. 3)
Greater Invisibility (Inq. 4)
Invisibility (Inq. 2)
Telepathic Bond (Inq. 5)
Overwhelming Presence (Inq. 6)
Bloodhound (Inq. 2, Rng 2)
Entangle (Drd 1, Rng 1)
Stone Call (Drd 2, Rng 2)
Shifting Sand (Drd 3)
Ball Lightning (Drd 4)
Echolocation (Drd 4)
Obsidian Flow (Drd 4)
Sirocco (Drd 6)

Spells that I especially like are bolded; ball lightning is bold solely for the potential to combine w/ Dazing Spell.

I would also like domain suggestions. I do not really want to worship a god and the DM is cool with making one up to match my domain needs, so any 2 that don't conflict would work. Please just throw out suggestions w/o regard for what deity grants what. Thus far, the most appealing ones seem to be:

Fire w/ Ash AND Smoke subdomains - Please no arguments on if this is RAW legal
Travel w/ Exploration subdomain
Madness Domain - I love vision of madness, not so hot on the 8th level or spells
Liberation Domain
Animal w/ Feather subdomain - But not sure I want to have a pet
War w/ Tactics subdomain - Great abilities, but the spells stink and my last druid just had this
Healing w/ Restoration subdomain - May as well embrace the main reason we need a cleric

Part of the problem with picking domains is I really don't have much of a theme or concept yet. All I know for sure is I want a Samsaran with a guided weapon and maxed out wisdom. Probably go sword and board (guided property doesn't incentivize 2H much) and probably use a morningstar, due to no deity proficiency, unless I spend Exotic Prof. feat on something really nice. Also, planning to use mithral breastplate, though dex will not be nearly high enough to get optimal AC out of it.

Would start at 8th level, and I'm not sure how high it'd go, but for things like spell picks (as Samsaran) I don't think I have the patience to wait for anything above 6th level.

Thank you for your help.


No one?

Grand Lodge

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

Play a Druid or Oracle, you don't have to be tied to any diety, you can take a domain instead of an animal companion, and you've got spell options either way.

I just finished playing a druid in my other PF game, I'd rather not play another one right after.

And I just don't like oracles.

In any case, I was trying to see what interesting things I could do with the cleric. I figured w/ Samsaran and subdomains, I could do a decent job editing the spell list.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hedge Witch with the Healing Patron meets all your needs.

The party already has a (traditional, spam Slumber + Misfortune till something sticks) Witch.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Chirurgeon Alchemist works too.

Why is no one willing to help with what I actually asked for?


If your having trouble picking two domains you could always take the crusader archetype, pick one domain (healing if that's what you need) and then follow your sword and board plan, using the extra feats to augment your AC with shield specialization since you don't plan on having a high dex.

Personally I'd go with the healing domain even if you don't need a dedicated healer only because as a samsaran you will be taking that con hit, but that's just my opinion. If you can get a custom built god, may as well try for an exotic weapon, like the bastard sword or maybe katana, depending on setting to have a little edge in melee since again, you will be slightly behind on hit points.

I've toyed with a concept like this but never really fleshed out the build. For a melee cleric, I really like Madness (as you mentioned), and Repose. Staggered is nasty.

As for spells, focus on utility in the early levels and switch to Save or Sucks later for after you've nailed them with Madness.

Heh, the domains are so good I'm having trouble picking only 2, if anything. Definitely want to keep both. I would be open to picking up a variant channeling, but cha will likely be mediocre, so it probably wouldn't matter much.

Since our group knows well the value of CLW wands and thus many of our healing needs are to combat stat damage and status effects, the disease channeling variant seemed promising.

The thing with domains that will matter a lot is the synergy between the 2, I think. By that I mean...only a rare few domains have a good/great spell at *every* level. So ideally whatever 2 domains I pick would cover each others' weak levels. I suppose metamagic or just plain paying a higher slot for a lower level spell can ameliorate that, though.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I personally like Spontaneous spellcasters better than Prepared ones (I like the flexibility and don't like the planning needed for Cleric / Wizard). One of the big complaints that the build gets, however, is a limited number of spells. Au contrare, my friend! Let me show you the craziness you can accomplish with a Dual-Cursed Oracle of Time with the Blackened and Haunted curses!

Let's dissect this monstrous build!

Time Mystery
First, the Time Mystery has some great revelations (one of them mimics either Haste or Slow, which is a nice utility revelation), but Time's strongest point in my opinion its its spells, which are as follows:

memory lapse (2nd), gentle repose (4th), sands of time (6th), threefold aspect (8th), permanency (10th), contingency (12th), disintegrate (14th), temporal stasis (16th), time stop (18th)

So yup. You get disintegrate AND time stop, along with some other pretty cool spells (threefold aspect is especially flavorful and sands of time is a Str / Dex / Con penalty on a humanoid enemy with no saving throw or spell resistance).

Dual-Cursed Oracle
However, Dual-Cursed makes the deal even sweeter. For one, your 2nd, 4th, and 6th level spells with the following:

ill omen (2nd), oracle's burden (4th), and bestow curse (6th).

From the three you're giving up, only memory lapse isn't on the cleric spell list, so its not a huge loss to give up those three spells, especially for ill omen, which is an absolute nasty penalty to bestow on someone. Oracle's burden is also disgusting when combined with the curses I am going to suggest for you, and bestow curse is always nice. Where the archetype really shines, however, is the fact that it gives you two extra revelations, along with access to two of the most powerful revelations in the game if you choose to take them:


Misfortune (Ex): At 1st level, as an immediate action, you can force a creature within 30 feet to reroll any one d20 roll that it has just made before the results of the roll are revealed. The creature must take the result of the reroll, even if it’s worse than the original roll. Once a creature has suffered from your misfortune, it cannot be the target of this revelation again for 1 day.

Fortune (Ex): At 5th level, as an immediate action, you can reroll any one d20 roll that you have just made before the results of the roll are revealed. You must take the result of the reroll, even if it’s worse than the original roll. You can use this ability once per day at 5th level, and one additional time per day for every six oracle levels beyond 5th.


Now, the curses are what really make this build. The first thing you need to know, however, is that one of the oracle curses will not improve with the oracle's level. This means that you have to pick which one of these two you want; personally, I will pick blackened every time.

Penalty: -4 Penalty on weapon attack rolls (reduced to -2 at 10th level)
Bonus: Add burning hands (1st), scorching ray and flaming sphere (5th), wall of fire (10th), delayed fireball (15th) to your list of spells known.

Penalty: Retrieving stored gear takes a standard action and dropped objects land 10 feet away in a random direction.
Bonus: Add mage hand (1st), levitate and mirror image (5th), telekinesis (10th), and reverse gravity (15th) to your list of spells known.

Some pointers; Haunted's penalty is not huge if you go strictly spellcaster; there are times when it might come into play, the biggest being when you try to retrieve stored wands and scrolls. Its additional spell isn't huge either, but it is an additional spell oracles normally do not get, which can make it nice. Blackened is the real champion here; its spell list is phenomenal (especially for doing something that an oracle is normally not good at; blasting) and while its penalty is bad, if you stick to being a straight spellcaster it is barely noticeable. But what's more importantly, with Oracle's Burden (the spell you got for being Dual-Cursed), you can take that -4 penalty and slap it on your enemies! If you have a friend who can disarm or are fighting someone who is using many scrolls, using Oracle's Burden (Haunted) can be very nasty as well.

The Total
Before we even move on to Mystic Past Life, this is what you're getting so far:

All of the cure/inflict wounds spells (you probably want to go good for this build; as you'll see, this build gives you SO many better damage spells than inflict wounds).

burning hands (1st)
mage hand (1st)
ill omen (2nd)
oracle's burden (4th)
scorching ray or levitate (5th)
flaming sphere or mirror image (5th)
sands of time (6th)
threefold aspect (8th)
permanency (10th)
wall of fire or telekinesis (10th)
contingency (12th)
disintegrate (14th)
delayed fireball or reverse gravity (15th)
temporal stasis (16th)
time stop (18th)

You suffer a -4 penalty on weapon attack rolls, need to take a standard action to retrieve a stored item, and items you drop land randomly within 10 feet of you. At 10th level the weapon penalty becomes -2.

You get two additional revelations, one at 7th level and one at 13th level. You add two additional revelations to the list of which revelations you can select from the Time Mystery (fortune and misfortune).

As you know, Mystic Past Life lets you select a number of bonus spells equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. Samsaran do not have a Charisma bonus, so 16 is probably more feasible than an 18 for you, so you're looking at 4 to 5 additional spells. There are some incredibly powerful choices for blasting from the Druid spell list, Invisibility and Greater Invisibility from Inquisitors and Antipaladins if you want to go that route, and King's Castle form the paladin list allows you to swap places with an ally, making it an incredible get-out-of-jail-free card that you gain access to nearly half the game sooner than its intended class (its a 4th level spell).

Basically, with these options you can build a divine blaster with extremely strong debuffing utility who can also heal as well as any non-Healing domain Cleric (save you don't have Channel Energy). Taking Craft Wand and making wands of cure light wounds will solve all your problems.

If I haven't convinced you yet, maybe the Samsaran's favored class bonus for the Oracle will:

Oracle Add one spell known from the oracle spell list. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the oracle can cast.

Sure, its not ALL the spells on the Cleric spell list. But that's a LOT of spells ....

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Why is no one willing to help with what I actually asked for?


Well, the "I don't like roleplaying being religiously devoted to anything, I don't like classes that encourage you to tank it up in big heavy restricting armor, and I don't really like playing casters in general" thing made it sound like you were looking for an alternative.

Alternatives were then provided.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Why is no one willing to help with what I actually asked for?


Well, the "I don't like roleplaying being religiously devoted to anything, I don't like classes that encourage you to tank it up in big heavy restricting armor, and I don't really like playing casters in general" thing made it sound like you were looking for an alternative.

Alternatives were then provided.

That's what I thought too when I read the quote. Honestly sounded like you needed a healer and you were thinking of cleric, but you hated everything about the cleric class.

Glory, with the heroism subdomain, seems like a decent choice. As does Protection with possibly the Defense subdomain. Maybe Law with the loyalty subdomain, though i know alignment domains are a little more useful when your dealing with a regularly aligned enemy. I know those aren't on your list but they had powers that seemed to be generally useful, I dunno what kind of enemies you usually run into.

We most often fight incorporeal ones yet. The major antagonists currently seem to be some sort of vampire cabal, although they have a fair amount of warforged (type of sentient construct) helpers.

Heroism domain: Not bad, I'll add it to the consideration list. Nothing really amazing, but nothing really bad, either.

Protection domain: None of the benefits are very stack-friendly with basic magic items we all have... The energy resists are decent, but paltry compared to what a communal resist energy could grant. Don't really like the spells, either.

Defense domain: The spell changes are nice, but the power is completely worthless.... +2 deflection bonus...

Loyalty Domain: It replaces the best part of the law domain with an extremely situational benefit. The spell replacements are upgrades, but still mediocre.

I had to go to d20pfsrd to find loyalty, which caused me to look at other law options. Tyranny seems pretty cool. Wish it got rid of more of the anti-chaos spells, and the 7th level replacement is horrid, but very nice overall domain. Kind of worried that getting healed would ruin the 8th level power's ability to actually do something, but prohibiting being healed is probably something that could be included in the demand. We do have the witch, perhaps if the enemy is put to sleep and then I hold off on a coup de grace (my reading says that the CDG would still force the save vs. death, but no damage would be dealt and thus save DC would be easy to make)....

Couple of things:
-Litany of Righteousness specifically says you need a "good" class aura, or your type has to be "good". How would you fulfill this?
-Are samsarans allowed to pick and choose from two different class lists? (eg Inquisitor + Druid).

1. Cleric gets an aura of good as a class feature. Unfortunately, strict RAW.... you seem to need to worship a good deity for it; it's not actually based on your own alignment. That is massively annoying and might require making up a god or asking for DM houserule.

I pity the paladin who detects evil on the true neutral cleric of a NE deity, picks up his aura of evil, and wastes a smite...

2. I don't know. Consensus on this board seems to be no, you can't choose from multiple class lists. My DM probably wouldn't care, and if he did, thus far it looks like I can nab the best stuff just sticking with Inquisitor anyway. Some of it just might be 1 spell level higher than it would otherwise.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

What are the Domains you really want?

I'll throw in the suggestion that if you're going to get healing domain, use the automatic empowered healing to your advantage and worship a neutral god and choose negative for the channels. that way your healing domain spells and automatic empowerment isn't wasted. Plus you get a little offensive versatility. Also, though it goes further down the road to heavy armor which you don't like, Holy Vindicator adds some nice defense with vindicator's shield and versatile channel.

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