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Building an Oracle / Paladin tank for PFS


Advice


After playing a string of ranged based characters I am looking to build a sturdy tank character that is more versatile than a pure fighter or paladin.

The current build I am looking at is going to be Oracle ( Nature mystery )1/ Paladin 2/ Oracle 3/ ? with stats as follows.
STR: 18 DEX: 7 CON: 12 INT: 12 WIS: 10 CHA: 18
Angel-Blooded Aasimar
Traits: Extremely Fashionable
Dangerously Curious
1 Oracle 1 (Nature), Legalistic Curse: Nature’s Whispers Revelation, Power attack
2 Paladin 1
3 Paladin 1 :?
4 Oracle 2
5 Oracle 3:Natural Divination Revelation (for faction missions) ?
6 Oracle 4

The plan is to use full plate with a heavy shield for an early AC of 25 and switching to a two handed weapon if necessary. My oracle spells will mainly be self or party buffs so I am not worried about my caster level.

The problem is that I can't decide what feats I should take and what I should focus on.

Should I try to buff my AC even further with Combat Expertise, and then pick up a combat maneuver? Take feats such as iron will or lightning reflexes to boost my saves?

Any ideas/suggestions are welcome. I really enjoy the idea of this character but am having a hard time nailing down what I want to do with him.


"I really enjoy the idea of this character but am having a hard time nailing down what I want to do with him." What is the idea of this character?

You're proposing an extremely defensive character. I presume the dip into Paladin for for heavy armor proficiency and the charisma bonus to saves, right? If you pile more defenses onto that by spending your feats on Iron Will, Lighting Reflexes, and Combat Expertise, you will have made a big invulnerable rock who contributes very little to accomplishing the mission.

Tank
If you want to be a tank, Paladin is outstanding on its own. You have access to the best weapons and armor, excellent saves, a small number of very good spells, three kinds of healing (swift action to heal yourself, standard action to heal the whole party, CLW from spells and wands.), immunities, detection abilities, high mobility if you choose a bonded mount, and Smite Evil on top of all that, which adds to both offense and defense.

Caster
If you want to play a spellcaster who is still somewhat tanky, an Oracle can do that very well. Good armor decent saves, offensive and defensive revelations, each mystery approaches the world a bit differently, of course, but they all get a set of powerful spells.

Mixing
For an Oracle, dropping your highest level of spells by multiclassing really hurts; your spells will always be three levels behind a simple cleric. For a Paladin, many powerful abilities will never come online without class levels.

My Opinion
I can tell you know your way around the rules. But, is letting others do the work and get the glory while you tag along really going to be fun? I suggest making two characters, an Oracle and a Paladin, stat them both out at levels, 1, 4, and 8, and see if one of them really appeals to you.

Andoran

Power Attack requires BAB of +1...ad is thus unavailable for a 1st level Oracle. Combat Casting's a valid feat choice if focusing on buffs and healing, and Extra Revelation can be quite good indeed.

And bear in mind that (unless there's been a recent ruling change) a Heavy Shield keeps you from casting with that hand...but a light shield doesn't.


Oracle1, paladin 4, holy vindicator 6. Progress your oracle spells when you get to HV. Good channeling, better spells than paladin, and unparalleled tanking. BaB is only -1 as well.


Byrdology wrote:
Oracle1, paladin 4, holy vindicator 6. Progress your oracle spells when you get to HV. Good channeling, better spells than paladin, and unparalleled tanking. BaB is only -1 as well.

Holy Vindicator seems like a good justification for multiclassing.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Byrdology wrote:
Oracle1, paladin 4, holy vindicator 6. Progress your oracle spells when you get to HV. Good channeling, better spells than paladin, and unparalleled tanking. BaB is only -1 as well.

HV requires BAB of +5. So it'd have to be Oracle 1 / Paladin 5 / HV X.


No, Oracle2/pala4 would be the better choice.

But maybe 2 levels of pala are enough for you - having more revelations can be pretty usefull - Pala2/oracle rest actually rocks!


You need to channel so pal 4 is a must. Your oracle mystery is nature or lore so you can dump dex. Oracle 2/ pal 4 is probly best to get a jump start on your spells.


Hey, I played one similarly. I went Oracle of BattleX/Paladin Sacred Shield 4/Polearm Fighter 3.
Mixed with Combat Patrol, the revelation of sudden charge, the 1/2 damage to allies from paladin and being able to wield a 2h with a shield in 1 hand..quite interesting.

Anyway, I suggest Sacred Shield archetype as a Paladin :)


You can be a really good tank just by being an oracle with the right mystery and equipment.


Personally, I would go Lore Mystery and take the Sidestep Secret revelation, as Byrdology notes. Between Divine Grace and Sidestep Secret, you're adding your Charisma to all saving throws and replacing your Dexterity with your Charisma modifier when determining your AC and Reflex saves. If you go Nature Mystery and take Whispers of Nature (or whatever its called) you add your Charisma to your AC and CMD instead of your Reflex, but let's face it; your Reflex save is going to be terrible, having multiclasses into not one, but three classes that all list Reflex as a poor saving throw. Being able to add your Charisma to your Reflex saves TWICE (once instead of Dexterity, once as a bonus from Divine Grace) is huge.

Going Holy Vindicator and advancing your Oracle Level is also nice. Your Smite Evil is going to suffer (isn't it already?) but in exchange you get a good crop of abilities that don't care about your Paladin level OR your Oracle level, you advanced both your Channel Energy class feature and your Oracle's spellcasting while maintaining a good BAB. There really isn't another character class like this; the closest is Dawnflower Dissident from Paths of Prestige, but that class is A) Dex-focused so it ruins the point of taking your level in Oracle and B) doesn't advance Channel Energy.

If it were me, honestly, I would probably do Oracle 1 / Paladin 5 if only because the Divine Bond class feature is worlds better than the bonus Mystery Spell from either the Lore or Nature mystery. Now, if you were to take an archetype that were to trade it for something better (say, grabbing Dual-Cursed and getting the spell Ill Omen out of it) then I could see it working.


Also, check out the paladin spells per day; by virtue of being a 4th level Paladin, you'll get an extremely small number of them. If you don't see the extra spells as helping you, you might want to consider grabbing the Warrior of the Holy Light archetype, which grants you an additional use of Lay on Hands as well as gives you a nifty trick you can pull by spending Lay on Hands uses.

If you decide that you do like Paladin spells, you might want to think about going Sacred Servant instead. At 4th level, you get a Domain Spell Slot and a Cleric Domain of your choice, although the Cleric Domain is at your paladin level –3; since you're going to be investing in a Prestige Class, you'll want to look at Cleric Domains that have powers that are useful to you at 1st level and don't need additional levels to stay useful (example: If you like scrolls, Rune domain giving you Scribe Scroll for free is nice).


I don't mean to steal the thread, but I've been trying to find a good oracle/antipaladin/holy vindicator build. I do think holy vindicator would be better than just oracle/pally because of the spell progression. My main problem with the build is choosing a mystery. Is dark tapestry a good mystery?


Master of the Dark Triad wrote:
I don't mean to steal the thread, but I've been trying to find a good oracle/antipaladin/holy vindicator build. I do think holy vindicator would be better than just oracle/pally because of the spell progression. My main problem with the build is choosing a mystery. Is dark tapestry a good mystery?

Dark Tapestry is a good Mystery, but when you're multiclassing you want Revelations that do not rely on your oracle level, as your prestige class will not improve those revelations' saving throw DC, uses per day, etc.

Nature and Lore are recommended because they offer two of the best passive, level-independent revelations of all; the ability to add your Charisma to AC and CMD (Nature) or AC and Reflex save (Lore). Since Unhold Resilience functions identically to Divine Grace (Charisma added on all saving throws), you can basically add your Charisma to almost all of your defensive statistics if you pick one of these Mysteries.


So I followed Blueluck's initial advice and built sample builds of pure oracle and paladin at various levels and found that I preferred the the oracle's spell casting capabilities and skill points over that of the paladin. Because of this I am think of a build that has only two levels of paladin in it with the rest in oracle.

As far as paladin archetypes goes I prefer keeping Smite Evil mainly for its ability to bypass DR and of course the slight (but not insignificant ) damage increase.

I hadn't considered the dual cursed archetype previously ( thanks Alexander for the idea) but I think that it will give me more benifits for staying with oracle.

I am sticking with Nature mystery because having a high CMB is helpful and the CHA bonus to AC is not capped by the Max dex limits, allowing for a high AC with minimal effort. I have accepted that my reflex save will be pretty bad but I think CMD will come up more than reflex.

With all that in mind here is the current build idea.

STR: 18 DEX: 7 CON: 12 INT: 12 WIS: 10 CHA: 18
Angel-Blooded Aasimar
Traits: Magical Knack
Blades of Mercy

1 Paladin 1 :Enforcer
2 Dual Cursed Oracle 1 (Nature), Legalistic(advancing) and Tongues Curses :Revelation(Nature’s Whispers ),
3 Paladin 2 : Power Attack
4 Oracle 2
5 Oracle 3:Revelation (Misfortune), Extra Revelation Feat OR Additional Traits/Intimidating Prowess *
6 Oracle 4
7 Oracle 5: Natural Divination Improved Initiative/Whatever I didn't take at 5

*The additional traits would be used to get intimidate as a class skill if I am consistently not making the intimidate checks on my attacks in addition to gaining another class skill or a bonus to a save.

So what I hope to do here is being able to be the party face ( reasonably high diplomacy),have a high AC, good saves ( barring reflex), be able to debuff everything except undead/constructs/elemental while doing enough damage to keep me a target for the monsters ( thanks to high strength, power attacks, smite, divine favor etc).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Duriel_Jones wrote:
I am sticking with Nature mystery because having a high CMB is helpful and the CHA bonus to AC is not capped by the Max dex limits, allowing for a high AC with minimal effort.

Surely that's not how it works. I see the discrepancy between Sidestep Secret and Nature's Whispers that you're looking at, but I imagine that max Dex would be caught up by the "instead of" and become max Cha.


Drop Intimidating Prowess. It does not scale nearly as well as Skill Focus (Intimidate).

I would argue that Sidestep Secret is more useful than Nature's Whispers because your Reflex save is going to suck, considering you're dumping Dex and you're multiclassing Oracle / Paladin. CMD scales better than Reflex saves, and Reflex saves tend to hurt more if you fail them.


Joe M. wrote:
Duriel_Jones wrote:
I am sticking with Nature mystery because having a high CMB is helpful and the CHA bonus to AC is not capped by the Max dex limits, allowing for a high AC with minimal effort.
Surely that's not how it works. I see the discrepancy between Sidestep Secret and Nature's Whispers that you're looking at, but I imagine that max Dex would be caught up by the "instead of" and become max Cha.

I looked around and I have not been able to find a ruling either way by anyone.

The fact that the two revelations are distinct and only one has the clause about the max Dex applying I am inclined to believe that it would not by default apply to CHA to AC.

Obviously I am biased in this, but even taking that into account, I think RAW supports my interpretation.

What Alexander is saying does bring up a valid point. With Nature's Whispers my AC will be 25, my CMD will be 21 and my reflex save will be +2. With Sidestep secret my AC would be 22, CMD 16, and REF +8. Alexander is right in that reflex saves are generally more damaging to fail than getting tripped or grappled.

My question is that will they come up often enough to result in more damage than 3 less AC at all times?


If you read the mrstery fully it says your max dex modifier applies to xha instead. So I'd you have breastlpate you can apply +3 cha to armor.


Duriel_Jones wrote:
My question is that will they come up often enough to result in more damage than 3 less AC at all times?

Personally, I'd go Reflex save because more things boost your CMD than your Reflex save, opponents (especially monsters) that focus on combat maneuvers are generally going to have such a huge CMB that an extra +6 isn't going to matter much (BAB scales MUCH faster than CMD and you don't have armor or similar abilities to boost it), and generally speaking most combat maneuvers aren't as dangerous most abilities that require a Reflex save.

That's just me, though. Both mysteries have pretty "meh" bonus spells, so don't let that affect you.

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