Balance This Team


Advice


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So far, this is what my party currently consists of

1) TWF Rogue.
2) Battle Oracle
3) Bard
4) Wizard (occasionally, shows up sporadically)
5) Merciful Healer Cleric

Up until now, I've been the Cleric. However, I've grown weary of playing the merciful healer. Given that the Wizard shows up sporadically, and will actually be away for a month, I'm going to be taking up a new class. Retiring my Merciful Healer, picking up something different. My GM has allowed us to take a merciful healer (admittedly 2 levels lower) as a "healbot" to follow us around.

So since we'll essentially be reduced to a Rogue, Oracle, Bard, and underleveled Cleric, I'm wondering-what would be a good class to play to either fill a gap in this party or simply compliment the team?

(I've been torn on this for a while, and considered a few different things: Monk/Ecclesitheurge, Slayer, Archer Warpriest, and most recently half of the Occult Adventures book. Clearly I'm bad at making decisions. Thus why I'm asking. Help?)

The Exchange

Witch? Since wizards occasionally missing.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

admittedly not a fan of the class. We already, as a whole, have enough trouble keeping track of our buffs, let alone debuffs.


are the other three all melee types? And what levels are you?


You don't have a full bab class, so I'd go with one of those. Most of the casting options would step on someone else's toes. Druid seems to be the only full caster spell list you are missing.

The Exchange

Equations are adding up for an int based control class. Sage sorcerer? Or maybe you might want some wildiness survival skills. Then go druid.


Summoner or a paladin to soak the damage you will have with a lower level npc cleric.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Rogue is incredibly melee, as is the battle Oracle, him being the tank. The Bard does a lot of buffs, and the wizard goes for crowd control.

As for level, Rogue=10, Wizard=8, New Merciful Healer=8, Oracle is about to turn 10. Bard I think is 9. I'd be coming in at 10.

And I shall not be playing a druid-our GM plays one in the other campaign, and its kind of one of those things where I dont think I could play one as well as he does.

I was planning the monk/cleric so that I could still get access to the spells we're missing without being tied down to channeling like our Merciful Healer is.


if thinking monk/cleric, look at warpriest, maybe sacred fist warpriest, though I feel the original is better.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Well it's primarily a cleric-9 levels of Ecclesitheurge so I get the best I can from spellcasting, then the level of monk lets me flurry with my templesword. This is the only build I've found where I feel I am effective in both combat and spellcasting.


Most missing spells you might need could be covered by some scrolls.


Sounds like a ranged DPR might fit in? You have a couple skill-heavy characters, but no nature-boy.

Ranger?

For INT-based, perhaps an Occultist (Battle Host archetype)?


what kind of casting are you thinking? If you're doing anything with a saving throw you want those High, which means not as much stats to go to doing weapon combat. If they don't then perhaps you'd have the stats to be a weapon combatant that has some spells.

The Exchange

I think you'll be dissapointed if you really multiclass monk/cleric. You will have issues to hit and your spell progression will suffer for it. I don't know enough about advance class(aka cheese) guide stuff(warpriest) to give much comments on it.

If you want to fill a gap in the party, and you already stated your wizard will be away for a month, was never attending very regularly to begin with, then it's his boots you should seek to fill.

Make up your mind of what you want to ask - if you want to play something in particular(and what kind of things you expect to do in that role), state it, instead of saying I want to fill a gap in the party and turn your nose up at suggestions people give.

We are trying to help, but if you're unsure of what exactly you're asking, how are we to know what you really want?

Personal opinion - 2 people in melee is enough. More than 2, you could end up in people being unable to engage due to tight quarters(unless some of the melee combatants have special movement abilities like fly/earth glide). Reach weapons help, but a monk/cleric is not suited for reach fighting.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Fair enough. Originally I wanted to play an archery based Warpriest, but we used to have an off-tank character who left the game a while back, and we've felt we've been missing a third melee combatant, as that's what we grew accustomed to.

I asked about balance hoping that it would reveal to me something I hadnt considered, and listed a batch of classes I'd looked into to show where my mindset was, but admittedly was having trouble pinning something down that made sense.

I suppose im trying to find something that will be able to be helpful in combat and in terms of spellcasting. And when I say spell casting, im referring to blasting/utility moreso than saves.

Is that more specific/helpful?


A magus will hit the spot.
You will have a melee character and can cover all spellcasting when your friend's wizard don't show up.


2ndGenerationCleric wrote:


As for level, Rogue=10, Wizard=8, New Merciful Healer=8, Oracle is about to turn 10. Bard I think is 9. I'd be coming in at 10.

Why? Everyone should be equal.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Attendance and deaths, primarily


Why not be a wizard. sorcerer, or druid. Arcane firepower in the form of bf control is sorely lacking when the wizard isn't there. Druid would give you good melee, bf control, and be a potential back up healer; though between the cleric and bard you're probably just fine. Also good for melee and bf control is alchemist.


2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
Attendance and deaths, primarily

All it's doing is creating disparity between the party. Even if you have negative levels from dying, Restoration removes those, so there's no reason to be below anyone else.

The Exchange

I suspect that the GM penalizes people who die by making them start 1 level lower, but discussing that is not the point of this post.

To OP:
If you try to do 2 things at once, you end up being not very good at either. You're trying to have a melee combatant that has some battlefield control abilities.

Suggestions:
Sylvan Sorcerer - the Animal companion is your third melee. You provide the battlefield control.
Good news: You don't become multiple ability dependent. You can focus your feats to improve your casting abilities. Full 9th level spellcasting, with human FCB you can pick up quite a variety of spells.
Bad news: The level of the game is past the peak of Animal Companions power. Might end up missing a lot, even buffed. Still, flying companions can be taught "Flank" trick to flank with the rogue.

Magus
Good news: Better level scalability for melee business.
Bad news: The magus spell list has some battlefield control spells, but not all, and because you're multiple ability dependent, the DC of your spells will not be very high, you will also lack feats for spell focus on better DCs. If you want to be a magus, go for hexcrafter archtype for battlefield control.
Unfortunately you only get limited spell casting (Only 6th level spells). Hexes can make up for that some, though. Hexes are unlimited in use, just mostly limited to once per creature. Less action economy, you have to choose to battlefield control or attack on the same turn.

Summoner - Eidolon is the third melee. You provide battlefield control.
Good news: You don't become multiple ability dependent. You can focus your feats to improve your casting abilities.
Bad news: Unfortunately you only get limited spell casting (Only 6th level spells).

Also, the game is around 10th level, where spells start becoming more and more important.


Well, there's also the Hunter. The right pet can do melee duty or act as a mount, allowing full-round actions for casting or ranged attacks. You'll get a variety of buffs and utility spells.

Magus, as 20 STR mentioned above. There's now an Eldritch Archer archetype.

If you're starting at 10, you could potentially create a lean, optimized Prestige Class build. Bloodrager/Dragon Disciple, Paladin/Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple make very distinct PC's

Rangers have a lot of options available now. The Divine Tracker archetype opens up a lot of options (as you get the Favored Weapon of your deity, which can include many exotics, and swap out Warpriest Blessings for your Bond. In combination with the new Ranger Combat Style feats from Inner Sea Combat, they're very customizable).


2ndGenerationCleric wrote:

Fair enough. Originally I wanted to play an archery based Warpriest, but we used to have an off-tank character who left the game a while back, and we've felt we've been missing a third melee combatant, as that's what we grew accustomed to.

I asked about balance hoping that it would reveal to me something I hadnt considered, and listed a batch of classes I'd looked into to show where my mindset was, but admittedly was having trouble pinning something down that made sense.

I suppose im trying to find something that will be able to be helpful in combat and in terms of spellcasting. And when I say spell casting, im referring to blasting/utility moreso than saves.

Is that more specific/helpful?

Blasting you need a lot of focus on to do well, and you want high saves, else your damage is cut in half.

You're lv10, fireball does 10d6 ~ 35 damage to everyone it hits, 17 damage if they save. Your save DC is 10+3+wis mod, lets say 3 since you're not focusing it. that's a DC 16 reflex save against probably lv9+ enemies. If you were an archer and had rapid and manyshot you're doing at least 4 arrows. 4 arrows against 1 target could drop the guy, so instead of doing 17 or 35 to all 5 enemies, you dropped one. This is to illustrate what going for the option to blast is like compared to going ranged damage.

And what do you mean when you say utility. What are some of these utility spells you're thinking of doing because you implied that these aren't buff spells?


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Actually, they really are more buff spells. Sometimes wind wall, sometimes spiritual ally, plus freedom of movement and dimensional anchor, but mostly buffing, like prayer, blessing of fervor.


I recommend the Ley Line Guardian Witch from OA. If you take Slumber and Hair hexes you have go to abilities all day that are significant. If you take the Shadow patron you get illusions and the shadow Conjuration/Evocation lines which on a spontaneous caster are pure gold. Healing patron gives you many of the cleric only status removal spells but those can be scrolled. There are many greater hexes that are great as well.

Dark Archive

You need a tank. Someone that keeps enemies busy and can take hits. I like monk for that. If you look up treantmonk monk guide you can get helpful tips. Really though, you should just have someone tough.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

See, that's what I was thinking too, but I've grown so used to playing a spellcaster, the thought of losing spellcasting makes me flinch. The only one I've considered is Brawler, but a low Will save turns me off as well. Thought Paladin, but I'm already one of those in a different campaign, don't wanna end up playing 2 at onces.


What level are you?


KoboldKhemist wrote:
You need a tank. Someone that keeps enemies busy and can take hits. I like monk for that. If you look up treantmonk monk guide you can get helpful tips. Really though, you should just have someone tough.

Depends on how the Battle Oracle is build, they might already have one.

What should fit is an Archer-Type. This combatrole seems unoccupied atm.

Grand Lodge

How about an alchemist or a druid? Both are casters (though the alchemist has a twist), and both can be rather tanky if built right.

For an alchemist, you'll want to focus on your mutagens. I personally really like the master chymist, which gives more mutagens per day, some juicy extra mutagen powers and a damage bonus, and the vivisectionist and/or beastmorph archetypes complement a melee build very well. The first gives sneak attack instead of bombs, and the second gives extra qualities such as pounce or grab when you use a mutagen.

For a druid, you'll want to focus on wildshape. Especially the big creatures can get really tanky, and you even get a mini-tank in the form of a companion. An archetype that is very good for melee builds here is the saurian shaman, as can be seen in my profile. They gain acces to dino shapes more quickly than others (though wildshape on a whole two levels later), so you can turn into huge creatures at level 6. In order to bridge the wildshape delay, you also get a sort of mini-wildshape at level 2.

I hope this helps!


Well, it depends. How tough are the Rogue, Battle Oracle, and Bard? And how much is the Bard able to cover your arcane spellcasting needs?

You might want to try Magus (several archetypes are potentially good) or even Bloodrager.

Or try my Reach Eldritch Knight build, although Rules As Written, the Maneuver Mastery Magus Arcana won't work in that build due to your not having actual effective Magus levels. Caution: This build is MAD.

Another possibility that I have heard recommended on these boards (but haven't studied myself, so I don't know how to tell you how to do it) is Shaman with Lore Spirit to snag arcane spells. Depending upon how much point buy you have to play with, you could still be fairly tough.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'll be at Level 10.

The Battle Oracle is fairly tank-y, though he didnt intend to be, and thus I don't think is optimized. The Bard actually is our Bow wielder, shooting at enemies when not spell casting.

Alchemist and Druid are both being played by two other players in another campaign we're playing, and (silly as this may sound) I don't want to step on toes-nor do I want the whole "which is better, mine or yours?" stuff.

Battle Oracle is a pretty tough Scythe wielder, and the Rogue is currently sort of being our off-tank due to her HP being either the highest or second highest, I forget. The Bard does well enough, in terms of spellcasting, though is primarily our buffer. The wizard comes in handy more for that when he's there.


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First thing I'd do is take a look at this.

From there determine where the rest of the group sits and what the group needs.

By the looks of it without knowing anything else you have one fair damage dealer maybe three two of which can do support as well.

So I say play for control. You can do that easily with a number of classes so it's really just a question of what class you want to play and then figure out how best to control the enemy in support of your group. The answer will be dependent largely not on what class your group plays but the way in which the players handle those classes.


Since you have said that you don't want to lose out on spellcasting, and an archer type has already been considered as an option, this might be an opportunity for a gunslinger5 / wizard5/ into Eldritch Knight.

Your actual wizard is absent a lot, so you cover basic arcane spells as well as dealing damage.

Spellslinger wizard might be fun for this, but is significantly weaker.


I'm thinking maybe an Occultist, as it can fill multiple slots at once. It's a competent melee character, but is also good at a certain subgroup of arcane spells. That means that if your Wizard is absent, you can step up and do the casting if desired.

I'm a big fan of Occultists, mainly because of how versatile they can be built. They will never be top tier, as everything they do, a different class can be better at, but he comes very close across multiple areas. Decent caster, decent melee (both offensive and defensive), decent healer... His power lies in his versatility, he's not the best at any one job, but being a solid 8/10 across all areas makes him much more useful than an overly specialised single-job character.


Alchemist are a blast! Grenadier archetype all the way and you can fall into various roles. Hitting to touch for plenty of damage. Plus you can get wings so death from above and far behind. The alchemist I played with was a big damage dealer and party buffer. And they really are not feat intensive they mostly want for discovers so that is the big feat needed for them. Goblins make hilarious alchemist but Goblins are hilarious. For the favorite class bonus, which can be worth it in this class, the extra bombs from a gnome is as is the extra damage from a half orc.

The Magus us also a lot of fun if you want to be on the front lines.

don't think I saw it but a Witch is also brilliant. You could be a debuffing monster.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I definitely love the Occultist-was the class that got me into both the Occult Adventures book and the Dresden Files books lol. That said, I find the Hammer/Anvil/Arm analogy very enlightening, and while we have Hammers in the forms of the Oracle and the Rogue, Arms in the Oracle, Healer, and Bard, there really isnt much going on in the Anvil department.

So, since we're underground for most dungeons, I can't help but wonder about the Geokineticist. Throwing walls around, making difficult terrain... Earthquake... Might be something that would be incredibly helpful. And while I would lose out on the spell casting, I wonder if it's worth it. Same for the Telekinetic. Plenty of versatility.

Though using the Occultist to fill gaps sounds cool too... ugh. This is why I need help lol.


Before the recent change to Scarred Witch Doctor, you could even be a pretty good Reach Witch (making you a really good Anvil), using that massive +4 Strength that Orcs get to compensate for 1/2 BAB and your pumped Constitution to compensate for d6 HD. Unfortunately, the recent change hosed that interesting build, but made otherwise conventional Half-Orc Scarred Witch Doctors really overpowered (whoever made that change seems to have forgotten that Half-Orcs can put their +2 anywhere).

But as far as I know, the Reach Eldritch Knight build I linked above should still work to make you a really good Anvil(*), and since you will be coming in at 10th level, you will be in the zone where the build really starts to shine (1 level after getting Greater Trip and 1 level before getting Spellstrike, and both you and the Magus just got 4th level spells, but you have a broader variety of battlefield control spells). You will also make a decent backup Hammer, mostly for mopping up.

(*)Recent content changes all seem to help you in this build when they do anything; in fact, this build counts on some of them.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I will definitely take a look at it, but I've had some bad luck with reach builds (lost a pair of reach clerics within 3 sessions to deaths they couldnt come back from)

EDIT:: Ooo, I also, when a cleric, was the party face. The Oracle can do that too, but I don't think he was optimized for it.


My instinct says pick a full BaB close and focus on melee, because you don't have a single full BaB class or a single class HD above a d8.


^In that case, to get combination full BAB/d20 but not give up spellcasting while not being a Paladin, you could go Bloodrager or Ranger. In either case, at 10th level you will just be getting 3rd level spells, although in practice you will need to wait for the next level for Ranger unless you really pumped Wisdom. The problem with this is that both of these have only a hadful of battlefield control spells (although some of these are pretty good, at least situationally).

Besides, d8 HD and 3/4 BAB do not necessarily prove to be showstoppers -- I have seen a few PbPs in which the main battle tank was a d8, 3/4 BAB character (Beastmorph Alchemist, Magus several archetypes, Synthesist Summoner with a 1 level dip in Barbarian(*), Warpriest).

(*)Edit: That particular example had more Rage rounds than you should have from 1 level of Barbarian, but still pretty good even when not in Rage.

If you went Reach Eldritch Knight as I linked above, you would be slightly below 3/4 BAB (but Elven Branched Spear would compesate) and slightly below d8 at 10th level, but then catch back up at 12th level.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm perfectly fine with 3/4 BAB, though full is nothing to sneeze at. I'm just not sure which the group needs more-a battlefield controller or a beatstick.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

heh, and what do you mean by that?

Shadow Lodge

How to Round Out Your Party Tool Says you are weak on Ranged Damage and tanking, but otherwise pretty good already. You've got a ton of magic, lots of Charisma classes, and lots of skills, so don't need more than that.

A Ranged Barbarian, Ranged Cavalier, Ranged Fighter, Zen Archer, would all fit the bill.

If you take the wizard out of the equation then you have similar results, but even more of a need for Ranged Damage and slightly less of a need for a tank. Without the wizard, there's also a need for blasting. A tanky alchemist bomber would be pretty good too.


Magus or Blood rager will do just fine like i said on your other post.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Sounds like you need a front liner and a bit of arcane magic for when the wizard's out. Sounds like a perfect time for a magus, IMHO.


I just posted a build for a melee character that is also a spell caster, and this might be a good seque for you from cleric to melee. You should be able to find it right here .

The 20 STR Aristocrat wrote:
Magus or Blood rager will do just fine like i said on your other post.

That, especially since the party seems to need a melee character, and your Wizard is being played by an absentee player.

2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
I've considered is Brawler, but a low Will save turns me off as well.

The way to get high saves is to multiclass extensively. Most of my character builds call for that.

I was recently enamored by the idea of developing Grappling with White Haired Witch, and I think I have come up with a terrifying result, if you'd like to see it.


How about a Summoner?


^Worth asking about Summoner, but see what your GM wants to do with that class. The classic Summoner was criticized for being brokenly overpowered, but the Unchained Summoner gets (I think more deserved) criticism for limiting your options (the whole feel of the Eidolons with the enforced themes just seems cramped even if still powerful) -- they really should have made the themed Eidolons part of an archetype instead of forcing it on everybody (and then strangely they came out with 2 outer plane-themed archetypes separately from this).

You could make a decent controller Magus if you went with a Whip build. Normally this would be hard to get started due to the high feat requirement to be effective with a Whip, but since you are starting at 10th level you will be bypassing this problem.

You also could do this with a Bloodrager, but would probably be better off using a polearm with the Trip property instead of a Whip, to require less feats (even if you spend one on Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Fauchard) so that you can really slice and dice). Bloodrager doesn't have Spellstrike (unless you go VMC Magus) or Spell Combat, but on the plus side, this means that you don't have to worry about your choice of weapons interfering with your Spell Combat/Spellstrike effectiveness (even if you do go VMC Magus, you won't have the combination with Spell Combat to worry about, which is strong, but doesn't work well with two-handed weapons).

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