Help building my Paladin for PFS play


Advice

Grand Lodge

I am looking to build and play my first Paladin since AD&D back like 30 years ago.

I am wanting to go for more of a leader/diplomat/healer role (I have plenty of high damage output characters already).

I am leaning towards going sword and board, with heavy armor.

I am thinking Half-Elf, with the Ancestral Arms alternate racial to give me Bastard Sword proficiency.

The Warrior of the Holy Light and Hospitaler archetypes both look like they would fill the shoes I am wanting to fill.

I was thinking about taking the Greater Mercy and Ultimate Mercy feats, possibly Selective Channeling. Probably going Sarenrae for his deity and taking the Blade of Mercy trait so he can avoid killing those he might be able to redeem.

This is what I have so far...let me know what you think.

Half-Elf Paladin of Sarenrae (Hospitaler + Warrior of the Holy Light archetypes)

Str: 14
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 7
Cha: 18

Alternate Racial Traits: Ancestral Arms (Bastard Sword
Traits: Blade of Mercy, Defender of the Society
Favored Class Bonus: +1/2 to lay on hands?
Divine Bond: Weapon (Mounts are rarely useful in PFS from my experience)
Level up Stats: 4-Cha, 8-Str, 12-Str
Skill points in Diplomacy, Knowledge: Religion and Sense Motive?

Feats:
1 Fey Foundling
3 Greater Mercy
5 Selective Channel
7 Ultimate Mercy
9 Extra Lay on Hands
11 Extra Channel

I'll lose the very limited spell casting I would normally get in exchange for more LoH which I can use as a party buff, mass lesser restoration, and at will Daylight. I'll also get half as many smites in exchange for a dedicated channel pool that doesn't use up my LoH slots and can be used as an area cure at higher levels.

Thoughts?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Why do you take 1 Cha at lvl 4 and afterward Str at level 8 and 12? Can you use that 19 charisma for something?

As for skill points. Sense motive is useful, but Wis as dumb stat it's probably not the best investment. Knowledge: Religion is fairly useful in many scenarios and you don't have negative modifier for it, I would go for it instead.

Mercy paladin is always welcome. Especially later levels when you can raise people with it. But I'm not sure if channeling is worth it as paladin. But it's good backup healing to have. But doing it at cleric level -3 generally takes away one 1d6.

Have you thought about Antagonize (feat) build? It goes very well with paladin if you wish to do something else besides just dealing damage. Maybe try tank/healer hybrid?


In no particular order:

- Most if not all paladin archetypes (especially the 7yo old ones in APG) are trappy/suboptimal to a lesser or greater extent. One of those is forfeiting spellcasting (which means your paladin can't fire off a wand), and the other has weaker smite progression and loses Aura of Justice, the most superpowered party buff out there). If you haven't played a paladin in thirty years, you'll be VERY happy with the core class. It is very strong.

- Fey Foundling and Greater Mercy are exceptionally good.

- I recommending picking up Power Attack at 5th to really exploit your canceling-out charisma bonus to attack when smiting. (Other two-handed weapon options such as fauchards and falcions also become appealling at that point.)

- If you're not going to use Sarenrae's favored weapon (scimitar) in preference for an exotic, go with a falcata instead of the bastard sword.

- I like the Quick Draw feat in paladins because, once you can apply +(pile) smite damage into any weapon, over-emphasizing one type of weapon becomes much less important than then getting the right one out of your gold-bag quickly. Such as bows (which in turn make Deadly Aim worth considering).

- Advance charisma exclusively. Paladin is partially front-loaded, but is also end-loaded as number of smites pile up and money for class-bolstering equipment accumulates. (You'll have fun with the search-engine over at Archive of Nethy's.)

Quote:

Str: 14

Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 7
Cha: 18

This looks like 20pt buy (PFS?). Consider:

Str 14
Dex 14 (+2)
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 07
Cha 17 (-1)

You'll reach 4th quick enough (raising cha to an even number), and all the while be enjoying +1 AC in plain chainmail (while saving for more expensive mithral breastplate), +1 reflex save, and +1 ranged attack. Polearms and Combat Reflexes become an effective and deadly option (see fauchard, or lance if you go mounted at 5th).

Grand Lodge

The 19 Cha is required for the Ultimate Mercy feat which lets me raise people.

I'll have 3 skill points per level the way I have the stats currently, so Diplomacy and Knowledge: Religion were my first 2 choices. Wasn't sure what to do with the 3rd, so I figured Sense Motive might help with him trying to redeem people. Maybe I'll just put a couple ranks in it and spread the other ranks between Know: Nobility, Heal, and Spellcraft.

The channeling would primarily be used for backup healing and its curative properties at later levels. I could also buy a few Meditation Crystals to convert channel uses into LoH uses between encounters.

Antagonize is interesting, but the fact that I can heal my party through all but the most lethal of encounters would probably paint a bigger target on me in most encounters.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Be sure to pick up items like Phylactery of Positive Channeling to increase your healing output with channel. Sadly it takes headband slot, so doesn't stack with Charisma headband.

If you want wand usage with Warrior of Holy Light you can always take 1 level dip in some class that gives you spellcasting. Tho it makes paladin progress slower. There's plenty of decent 1 level dip option for paladins available. Otherwise build looks solid and PFS can always use more healers, especially at higher tier scenarios.

Grand Lodge

Slim Jim wrote:

In no particular order:

- Most if not all paladin archetypes (especially the 7yo old ones in APG) are trappy/suboptimal to a lesser or greater extent. One of those is forfeiting spellcasting (which means your paladin can't fire off a wand), and the other has weaker smite progression and loses Aura of Justice, the most superpowered party buff out there). If you haven't played a paladin in thirty years, you'll be VERY happy with the core class. It is very strong.

- Fey Foundling and Greater Mercy are exceptionally good.

- I recommending picking up Power Attack at 5th to really exploit your canceling-out charisma bonus to attack when smiting. (Other two-handed weapon options such as fauchards and falcions also become appealling at that point.)

- If you're not going to use Sarenrae's favored weapon (scimitar) in preference for an exotic, go with a falcata instead of the bastard sword.

- I like the Quick Draw feat in paladins because, once you can apply +(pile) smite damage into any weapon, over-emphasizing one type of weapon becomes much less important than then getting the right one out of your gold-bag quickly. Such as bows (which in turn make Deadly Aim worth considering).

- Advance charisma exclusively. Paladin is partially front-loaded, but is also end-loaded as number of smites pile up and money for class-bolstering equipment accumulates. (You'll have fun with the search-engine over at Archive of Nethy's.)

This looks like 20pt buy (PFS?). Consider:

Str 14
Dex 14 (+2)
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 07
Cha 17 (-1)

You'll reach 4th quick enough (raising cha to an even number), and all the while be enjoying +1 AC in plain chainmail (while saving for more expensive mithral breastplate), +1 reflex save, and +1 ranged attack. Polearms and Combat Reflexes become an effective and deadly option (see fauchard, or lance if you go mounted at 5th).

Yes, this is going to be a PFS character. I was aiming for more of a tanky combat medic role than the standard Paladin, I was aiming to go for Full Plate and a heavy shield, which is why I left Dex at 12. Pumping straight Cha at the level ups might work better since I will be less focused on weapon damage. If I drop Cha to 17 starting out that will delay Ultimate Mercy until at least 9th level, I'd prefer to get it as early as possible to maximize the potential use of it.

The Falcata is an interesting choice, I might switch to that. Slightly lower front end damage, but the x3 multiplier could be fun. I was gonna stay away from the polearms and such, I already have a couple solid striker characters. Maybe I'll just drop ancestral arms and go with a scimitar and use the half-elven racial skill bonus to buff my diplomacy.

Quick draw and a bag full of weapons is a fun idea, but doesn't really fit with the concept I had in mind.

If I switch to just bumping Cha as I level, I'll get more LoH and Channel uses...making the Extra Channel/LoH feats less useful...so I could probably drop those 2 feats for something else at level 9 and 11.

Grand Lodge

Any other magic items I should look for? (Besides the usual stuff like Cloak of Resistance, basic + armor and weapons, etc)?

Ornament of Healing Light and Bracers of the Merciful Knight both look really nice for this guy...anything else out there?


So here's my take.

I'd probably skip either Selective Channel or Fey Foundling. You can either use channelling for out-of-combat healing (and skip selective channel) or if you want to use it in combat, remember that you can Channel + Lay-On-Hands and your self-healing will be incredible anyway, so Fey Foundling won't really be necessary. This will free up 1 feat, and I'd either go Power Attack (let's you stay more relevant when attacking things) or Combat Reflexes (grab a reach-weapon and go defensive. With Combat Reflexes you won't be a damage dealer aside from your 1-2 smites per day, but you'll defend your allies crazy well). The Combat-Reflexes thing is probably not what you're going for, but I put it here for the sake of thoroughness.

Next, I'd probably skip Ancestral Arms. A Bastard Sword is basically +1 damage compared to a Longsword, but since you said you weren't focusing on damage (and you weren't even taking Power Attack) this seems like it's a waste. Take a Longsword (Or Scimitar, I like those Crits), and I would probably put the Skill-Focus trait onto Sense Motive to keep it vaguely-relevant with that -2 WIS modifier.

For Stats I'd be tempted to drop DEX to 10 and up your STR to 15 if you're going full Plate. This lets you get 16 STR at level 8, which you'll probably appreciate. If you're willing to wait till level 9 for Ultimate Mercy you could drop your CHA all the way to 16, go STR at level 4, CHA at level 8 and get a +1 CHA headband. This would give you a lot more points to play with, up to you if it's worth it.

3 Items I think you should look out for:

1. BRACERS OF THE MERCIFUL KNIGHT. Seriously amazing get it ASAP (+2 LoH/day and each LoH gets +2 dice).

2. PHYLACTERY OF POSITIVE CHANNELING. Keeps your Channels relevant, but it takes your headband slot which isn't your favourite thing.

3. MEDITATION CRYSTALS (a type of CHANNEL FOCUS). The way this works is that you channel energy into the focus (standard action), and then at some point in the next 24 hours you can meditate on the crystal (10 full rounds) and you regain 1 use of your Lay on Hands for the day. This means that as a Hospitaler, you're basically getting 7-8 extra uses of LoH instead of channeling (or 4 extra uses + 3 channels or however you want to do it). This means you could potentially use Ultimate Mercy (10 uses) and recharge almost all your LoH uses for the day. Obviously if you're going this route the Phylactery of Positive Channelling becomes a bit less appealing. Also I'm not quite sure if the meditation crystals are a 1/day thing or you can just re-use the one crystal over and over again, but at 100gp each you can afford to grab a few if you need to. Also with these I probably wouldn't bother with the Extra LoH feat. Extra Channel can act as Extra LoH, although I probably wouldn't even take that. Between Hospitaler and WotHL you should have 13 LoH and 7 channels at level 10 (assuming 19 CHA and Bracers of the Merciful Knight). That's enough to resurrect 2 people per day if you need to.

Lastly let's talk about Favoured Class Bonuses. As a Half-Elf you have Access to Elf, Half-Elf and Human FCB (correct me if this isn't the case for PFS).

HUMAN: The Human FCB gives you +1 to your Energy resistance for one element. Take 1 point each in Fire, Cold, Electricity and Acid, and take the UNSCATHED trait and you have Rresistance 3 vs the 4 most common energy types (for the cost of 4hp or 4 skill points). There's a hidden advantage here as well (if I'm remembering correctly), if you have resistance vs fire/cold you don't take environmental damage from being in hot/cold climates. Double check this last part, but if it's correct it's pretty great just for that.

HALF-ELF: The Half-Elf FCB improves the range of your auras by 1 foot. If you were to take ULTIMATE RESOLVE at level 9 (and you took 4 levels of Human FCB) then at level 9 your Aura of Resolve would jump to a 25 foot aura (basically everyone on the battlefield). Obviously you don't have to go this way, but I think it can get pretty great. A lenient GM might even let this improve your Nimbus of Light from Warrior of the Holy Light, but I'm pretty sure that's not RAW, so won't work in PFS. (DRAGONBANE AURA and FEARLESS AURA are really great too for this, but since a Warrior of the Holy Light isn't a spell-casting class you don't have access to these. Just including this for the sake of thoroughness again.)

ELF: +1/2 HP with LoH. Really solid, better than toughness or just taking HP (and you could still take toughness if you wanted). If you don't love either of the other ideas then this is definitely the right choice.

(I just realised nearly everything here was posted up-thread, but I didn't read thoroughly enough =P Well I'm posting anyway coz I've written this much, so here you go).


Hmm. As far as archetypes go, I think Warrior of Light is a trap, but Hospitaler is pretty good if you want to focus on healing and support. I'd do Core paladin or Hospitaler to start.

Core paladin itself is very strong in general, and is in my opinion probably the best designed core class. It hits hard (against evil), gets some surprisingly good spellcasting, has the right stat allocation to be a leader with Diplomacy and the like, is SUPER durable, and still manages to get the attention of the bad guys. It's hard to screw up building a paladin.

I agree with Mr. Charisma, by and large, though as far as statistics go I won't argue for one thing or the other - just have enough Strength and Charisma to do your fighting job well enough, and enough Constitution to be able to survive.

I'll note that archer paladins are a thing, but that's not what you're wanting to play. You want to play the man that leads from the front.

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For a leader paladin, here's an interesting alternative...

Martyrs are pretty good at the whole "buff the party" thing. Normally I'd point out Oath of the People's Council, but that's banned in PFS IIRC. You're a full BAB character with Inspire Courage, your auras have a 20 foot radius, and you provide an aura vs. disease as well. You can even take conditions from allies onto yourself, which is actually REALLY cool.

The downside? You lose a bunch of immunities, Divine Grace, and Smite Evil. Ouch. It can be a fun trade off if you want to really embrace the leader role, however.

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As far as magic items and such go: most of the REALLY good ones have been covered. I'll let others voice their thoughts here. In general, your saves and your attacks are going to be solid already, so look for the cheap must-haves and the the core defensive items (a +1 cloak of resistance never hurt anyone).


I like Hospitaler, and if I make another PFS character. This is what I will make :)

Currently playing one in a Rise of the Runelords game, but the game is 1 session a month, so not really a level where the archtype has had any affect on the abilities yet.

Silver Crusade

To get your charisma to 19 before level 9, you can use a headband of alluring charisma. In PFS, you'll have the fame by level 7, or sooner if you succeed a lot. You can use an 8000 gp ioun stone if you really want that phylactery of positive channeling, or at higher levels a Rod of Splendor for the +4 to charisma.

If you really want healing, consider the Oradin which is a mix of paladin and oracle. Oracle dips of Lore or Nature can allow you charisma instead of dexterity for armor class and other things.


I'm going to offer a perhaps controversial opinion, but imho both greater mercy and ultimate mercy are traps. Greater mercy requires you to not use any mercies on LoH to do anything and given that the ' Targeted' mercy exists you will always want to use your mercies. Targeted from the healer's handbook (PFS legal) is a mercy at level 6 that applies an improved version of sanctuary on the target of your LoH. It's improved in that the save DC for this sanctuary scales up with half your paladin level + cha instead of being a flat spelllevel (1) + wis (for clerics). Remember that a failed save also means the attacker flat out loses the action, and as it's a willsave this means it works very well vs most physical attacker-type enemies.This scaling defensive buff is worth MUCH more dan +1d6 worth of healing.

This mercy has saved my life as a 2H cha-focused paladin so many times that I cannot overstate how good this is, and it works on your allies as well. It's gotten me through some of the most deadly of deadly season 4 modules. For a healer it's even better since you can just use it on yourself and as long as you just keep healing instead of attacking you will have a very powerful defensive buff.

And what's even better, using this means you save yourself two feats from not having to take either of the mercy feats. Ultimate mercy is also very limited in scope and only useful if the team has somehow already failed, and it's a far better use of resources to prevent this from happening.

Regarding the archetypes, hospitaler is good, but never trade away your spellcasting. Even if you are not interested in self buffing your damage, you have word of glory (making an ally reroll a failed save vs a fear effect can be the difference between that ally being effectively removed from the fight by running away or being charmed forever by charm fail) and lesser restoration at level 1 and energy resistance/communal protection from evil and communal energy resistance at level 2 and 3 respectively. Those are extremely powerfull defensive buffs in the right situations.

For added versatility, I would take perhaps quicken channel or improved initiative. Increase those odds of buffing everyone's energy resistance before the dragon toasts everyone or emergency heal better as needed. Take the dangerously curious trait and get UMD as a class skill and carry around a number of utility and buff scrolls to suit the situation. Carry a breath of life scroll in a spring loaded wrist sheet for instance to somewhat replicate the effect of ultimate mercy (requires higher levels of PFS play to do reliably with dc 29 but still worth it imo).


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Shorticus wrote:
I think Warrior of Light is a trap

I don't think I'd call it a trap. I think it's less powerful (or really less versatile) than a standard Paladin, but still a perfectly functional class. It also has the advantage that it's easier to get Ultimate Mercy online at level 7 (or even 5 if you really push it), simply due to that extra use of LoH. Since this is something the OP was aiming for I think it fits what they're trying to do & isn't going to be something they regret.

DesolateHarmony wrote:
consider the Oradin

I knew I forgot something, this actually does sound like it's something you might like. With Oracle 3, Paladin 4 (using the archetypes you mentioned), a CHA headband (to get you to 20-21 CHA) & Bracers of the Merciful Knight (let's call them BotMK, I'm sure we'll mention them again later in this thread) you should have enough uses of LoH to use Ultimate Mercy at level 7. This would also give you back the spell-casting that you lose from going WotHL. It would also give you a second pool of channel energy (+1CHA) that you could use to power your meditation crystals to give you even more LoH.

EDIT: Added "ooc" text to hopefully make that sentence easier to read. Three sets of brackets is too many for one sentence =P

Trevor86 wrote:
greater mercy and ultimate mercy are traps

Again I don't think I'd use the word trap.

Greater Mercy is probably the 2nd best option now that the Targeted Mercy exists. I know a Paladin with Fey Foundling and Greater Mercy can exceed anyone else in the game for self-healing, so depending what you're going for it can be absolutely amazing.

Ultimate Mercy ... ok it probably is a trap. BUT it's REALLY flavourful, it can help a party of less experienced players AFTER they've made a mistake (and for PFS that could be useful). It's also something that's more of a plot-ability than a combat-ability. Targeted Mercy can save someone if you're there, but Ultimate Mercy can save them even if you weren't there to protect them.
I also think casting Sanctuary on yourself in combat is probably going to be counter-productive if you're trying to tank damage for your party, so there are probably different schools of thought on how to use these abilities.

To the OP, take a look at the Oradin ORADIN, it might be just what you're looking for (Shout-out again to DesolateHarmony).


Fae Foundling is a very significant boost to personal healing. If you care about self healing take it :)

Grand Lodge

Thanks for all the input guys. Gonna spend some time today reading over that Oradin guide, I had originally written it off, as multi-classing is usually a trap.

I do not currently own the Healer's Handbook, so I was unaware of the Targeted mercy. I'll have to acquire a copy before I can consider using it.

Someone out there needs to make an updated guide to Paladins, all the ones I have found have not been updated in 3-4 years. A lot of new material has come out since then.


A few things:

1) Dangerously Curious is one of the strongest traits you can get on a paladin. UMD is amazing on a CHA character. Defender of the Society is for Fighter class...replace with Dangerously Curious.

2) Reach tactics are great on a Paladin Healer. You can pick up AoOs while wading through the frontlines to heal people. I would Pick up Power Attack just for that as you probably won't need to heal every round so you still have some damage output.

3) Channeling is nice and will help keep people alive but still look to do most your healing out of combat when you can. No need to worry about healing if a PC is taking small damage. Better to just end the fight faster.

4) New Divine Bonds are great I prefer either Weapon or Angelic as it scales faster than people can acquire items and your limited spells a day getting this free group buff is great.

5) Flagbearer is still a decent feat for a Paladin because it is a Buff that can be paired with a wand of moment of greatness.

6) Ultimate Mercy is nice for PFS but since you can get Raise Dead with PP I would rather spend my feat on myself. I tend to take it in Home games tho.


Slyme wrote:

Any other magic items I should look for? (Besides the usual stuff like Cloak of Resistance, basic + armor and weapons, etc)?

Ornament of Healing Light and Bracers of the Merciful Knight both look really nice for this guy...anything else out there?

Take Dangerously Curious for one of your two traits.

You can stack Bloodrager and Paladin, btw, meaning that Furious is a weapon enhancement option.

Fortuitous is an almost mandatory enhancement on any polearm (especially if you find yourself frequently enlarged, which is easy to do if your other trait is Accelerated Drinker), or anything you use if you have a Greater XYZ combat maneuver that grants AoOs.


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Trevor86 wrote:
I'm going to offer a perhaps controversial opinion, but imho both greater mercy and ultimate mercy are traps. Greater mercy requires you to not use any mercies on LoH to do anything...

That's not how Greater Mercy works, or even how mercies work.

What a mercy does is automatic. If the paladin picked "fatigue", then his Lay on Hands will always alleviate fatigue in addition to healing. He can't just turn it off. Greater Mercy simply adds +1d6 healing to any LoH recipient who didn't need fatigue alleviation.

The combination of Fey Foundling, Greater Mercy, and a halfling using racial LoH advancement (rather than +1hp) is really, really strong. Their LoH is already 3d6+8 at 4th level, or better than Cure Serious Wounds. At 6th, he'll buy Vestments of War and be spamming 4d6+11 LoH a dozen times a day as a swift action, because you never know when you'll need another 289 points of healing. ;p


I'm gonna second Slim Jim here. Lay on Hands can be AMAZING with enough investment. And yeah, halfling paladins are pretty great. I enjoy halfling mounted paladins and halfling archer paladins for this reason - though, again, that's not what you're after.

I will also agree on the Bloodrager/Paladin combo. Dipping Bloodrager is wonderful if you need more OOMPH, and since you want to take Warrior of Light (meaning you get special powers instead of spells), that... may not be a bad dip. Normally I squint at that dip because it means you can't cast paladin spells while you bloodrage; but if you DO take Warrior of Light then a single level Bloodrager dip may not be a bad choice. It's worth considering at least.


While healing others is your mop-up job (assuming no other divine caster), the real purpose of LoH is on yourself.

-- It let's you be "that guy" who charges the dragon single-handed and somehow gets away with it.

Grand Lodge

After looking over the Oracle/Oradin, I think I am going to stick with just a single classed Paladin. I am not a fan of the flavor or mechanics of the Oracle curses.

Apparently Hero Lab is bugged, it had Defender of the Society as a valid trait option, even though I am not a fighter. Dangerously Curious is now at the top of the list to replace it, and will give me something more valuable to put a few of my 3rd skill point per level into.

Unfortunately Angelic Bond is not PFS legal, so I'll just stick with the weapon bond.

Reach tactics and AoOs are much better suited to a high Dex build which can get more than a single AoO per round. I have a Warpriest of Calistria who will be using a whip to take full advantage of that in a few levels :)

I am having a hard time deciding which one would be better for this guy...Phylactery of Positive Channeling or a Headband of Alluring Charisma +4. I am going to have a tremendous amount of healing already available to me, so I am leaning more towards the Cha, which would boost all my saves, give me more channel and LoH uses per day, raise my skills, etc. The Phylactery would be a major boost to my channels though.

Bloodrager/Paladin would be an interesting combo, but one of my other PFS characters right now is a Bloodrager whose backstory is that he is a failed Paladin. A little too much overlap :)

Flagbearer is a nice feat, but feels like it would be a bit wasted on a character that doesn't use a polearm or spear and a Banner of the Ancient Kings.

Better to be 'That guy' than 'This Guy' hehe

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If my math is right, at level 12 my LoH should end up doing 8d6+6 to others, or 8d6+22 to myself (+6 from FCB and +16 to myself from Fey Foundling, 6d6 from levels and another 2d6 from Bracers of the Merciful Knight)...plus an extra d6 if none of the mercies trigger...and I should have 18/day. Oh, and all the WotHL stuff that works off LoH. That is an average self heal of either 50 or 53.5 HP if Greater Mercy triggers, or 900+ HP per day...wow.

My channels should come out to 5d6 (DC 21) 10/day, which I could use Meditation Crystals to convert into more LoH uses, or take advantage of the Hospitaler ability to turn them into an Aura of Healing.


The headband is better it affects saves, social skills, spells and smite. Channeling on a paladin is mostly a trap unless you go Hospitalar or Sacred Servant.


Slyme wrote:
Reach tactics and AoOs are much better suited to a high Dex build which can get more than a single AoO per round.

All you need is a 12 to get two per round:

1. Are you newborn holding a threatening baby-rattle? Yes?
...you have the capacity for one attack of opportunity.
2. Do you have a +N dexterity modifier and Combat Reflexes? Yes?
...you have the capacity for 1+N attacks of opportunity.
3. Do you have the fortuitous weapon property? Yes?
...You make take one more attack of opportunity if one AoO already hit that round

AoOs are the most nutrient-dense damage in the game. Grab 'em.

- There is nothing more satisfying as a martial than blocking a choke-point and annihilating the whole enemy squad purely with AoOs. You look back over your shoulder at the rest of the party (who blew a bunch of buff spells powering up), and go "What?" like it was nothing.

Trick many players don't seem to be aware of: having dex "beyond" your armor capacity (e.g., 14 in plate) gives you more AoOs capacity.

Grand Lodge

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Slim Jim wrote:


- There is nothing more satisfying as a martial than blocking a choke-point and annihilating the whole enemy squad purely with AoOs. You look back over your shoulder at the rest of the party (who blew a bunch of buff spells powering up), and go "What?" like it was nothing.

I am really looking forward to doing that on my Warpriest in a few levels. Threaten with reach on his whip, with sacred weapon damage, and the potential for 6+ AoO's per round.

Grand Lodge

Silas Hawkwinter wrote:
The headband is better it affects saves, social skills, spells and smite. Channeling on a paladin is mostly a trap unless you go Hospitalar or Sacred Servant.

I am going Hospitaler, but I still think I will probably go with the Cha headband instead of the Channel one.


Dovetailing off my last post concerning AoOs, a persuasive argument for not giving up Mount.

Grand Lodge

Slim Jim wrote:
Dovetailing off my last post concerning AoOs, a persuasive argument for not giving up Mount.

There are ways to make just about any character concept work...not sure a Cavalier/Hunter build that depends on teamwork feats is really relevant to a healing focused paladin build though.


You don't need to multiclass. Look up the Commander’s Helm. Imagine what you could do with it if your mount had Greater Bull Rush, you had Greater something-else, the Helm bestrowed Paired Opportunists, and you both had Fortuitous on your weapons and mount's Tusk Blades or AoMF.

"Whoa, Nelly! Take it easy there, Cap'n Overkill; I think it's already dead!"

Grand Lodge

My main/highest level PFS character is a Hunter/Rogue multi-class that rides into combat on a tiger and turns into a whirling combat blender of death, dual wielding keen kukri and abusing all of the flanking related teamwork feats to dish out crazy levels of damage.

For this character though...I am wanting to wade through combat as an un-killable healing machine, keeping myself alive through anything the GM throws at me, and healing/curing/rezzing (maybe buffing) my party members.

Grand Lodge

Ok...bit of a necro here...but I've got 3 chronicle sheets on this character now and need to lock in a plan for how to proceed with a finalized build.

After having witnessed a few Oracle characters in play since first talking about this character, I am now thinking of making him into a healing focused Oradin. I am thinking about 8 levels of Paladin (still leaning towards mixing Hospitaler+Warrior of Holy Light), and 4 levels of Oracle using the life mystery and life link revelation.

I am still wanting to take Greater/Ultimate mercy feats, preferably unlocking ultimate mercy for use at level 7.

What I am not quite sure on is what order to take the levels in.

Any thoughts on when to squeeze in a few oracle levels without having to push ultimate mercy too far down the road?


If you're doing the Oradin thing you want to have enough self-healing (Lay on Hands) to cover your ally-healing (Life Link).
So 2 levels of Paladin, 1 level of Oracle - With Fey Foundling you'll be healing ~5.5 damage per die rolled, which covers the damage you're taking from life-link. Greater Mercy gets you an extra die, which means you can go Oracle a level earlier. My preference would be PPOPPOOPPOPP. The 4th level of Paladin is going to be a big level for a Hospitaler, and then the 3rd level of Oracle gets you another channel-pool, so that gets you the important healing at all the right times.

Also if you're not dead-set on Hospitaler/WotHL, I've recently decide that OATH OF THE PEOPLE'S COUNCIL is the best base for an Oradin, but that's changing the focus a bit so no pressure.

Grand Lodge

So, here is what I have for my current build plan. Let me know what you guys think.

Healer Build:

Paladin of Sarenrae (Hospitaler / Warrior of the Holy Light) 8 / Oracle 4
Race: Half-Elf Male
Alignment: LG
Faction: Silver Crusade

Str: 14
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 7
Cha: 18

(Adaptability Skill Focus: Diplomacy)
All stat level ups to Cha
FCB: Paladin levels +1/2 to LoH, Oracle levels +1 HP

Traits: Merciful Scimitar, Beneficent Touch

Items:

Bracers of the Merciful Knight 15600
Ornament of Healing Light 10000
Headband of Alluring Charisma +4 16000
Belt of Giant Strength +4 16000
Amulet of Natural Armor +2 8000
Ring of Protection +2 8000
Cloak of Resistance +3 9000
Handy Haversack 2000
Scimitar +2 8315
Full Plate +2 5650
Light Steel Shield +2 4159

Total GP = 102735

1-P. Aura of Good, Detect Evil, Smite Evil 1/day
Feat: Fey Foundling

2-P. Divine Grace, Lay on Hands 1d6

3-O. Oracle Mystery: Life, Curse: Clouded Vision, Revelation: Life Link
Feat: Extra Lay on Hands

4-P. Aura of Courage, Divine Health
Mercy: Fatigued

5-P. Channel Positive Energy 1d6, Lay on Hands 2d6, Nimbus of Light
Feat: Greater Mercy

6-O. Bonus Spell: Detect Undead

7-O. Revelation: Energy Body
Feat: Ultimate Mercy

8-P. Divine Bond: Weapon

9-P. Channel Positive Energy 2d6, Lay on Hands 3d6
Mercy: Targeted
Feat: Toughness

10-O. Bonus Spell: Lesser Restoration

11-P. Smite Evil 2/day
Feat: Channel Surge??

12-P. Aura of Resolve, Channel Positive Energy 3d6, Lay on Hands 4d6, Nimbus of Light 2


Slyme wrote:

So, here is what I have for my current build plan. Let me know what you guys think.

...7-O. Revelation: Energy Body
Feat: Ultimate Mercy...

You need 10/day LoH to be able to use Ultimate Mercy.

So at character level 7 you have 4 levels of Paladin. Even with your 18 CHA and Extra LoH you need a +4 headband OR the Bracers of the Merciful Knight to have 10/day LoH. That's ~15,800 gp at level 7 (average wealth for level 7 is 23,500 gp). That's a lot of your wealth on a single item

If you wait till level 9 you only need 4,000 gp (you only need a +2 headband) and your wealth will be higher (average 46,000 gp). It gets much more managable.

(Average wealth found HERE. If PFS wealth differs significantly from this then feel free to ignore this advice.)

For your Final 2 feats, Toughness and Channel Surge:
- You're probably better off with Extra LoH than Toughness.
- You're probably better off with Selective Channelling than Channel Surge (Or you can take both and have a useful channel-surge with your channels as well as your LoH).
- You could get more out of your LoH with REWARD OF LIFE or REWARD OF GRACE.
- Another option is to help others survive with PROTECTORS STRIKE.

Finally you should look at TARGETED MERCY and GREATER MERCY. I haven't tried them together, but I'm not sure how they interact (worst case will be that you basically lose Greater Mercy). Greater Mercy is still a prerequisite for Ultimate Mercy so you can still take it if you want to, but you might end up losing the benefits from Greater Mercy (If someone else has more experience with how these 2 interact I'm all ears).

(PS you should get at least 1 MEDITATION CRYSTAL, turn those channels into LoH's.)

Grand Lodge

I will have an extra use of LoH from my archetype choices, so should only need a +2 headband to have 10 LoH charges by level 7.

2 from 4 paladin levels, + 1 from WotHL archetype, + 4 from 18 Cha, +1 from +2 Cha Headband, +2 from Extra LoH feat = 10

Good call on the Toughness feat...+2 charges of LoH would be better than a flat +1HP/level.

I'll think about Targeted mercy...getting the extra healing from greater mercy makes it much less of a feat tax towards getting Ultimate Mercy.

Grand Lodge

Ok...revised slightly.

Version 2:
Paladin of Sarenrae (Hospitaler / Warrior of the Holy Light) 8 / Oracle 4
Race: Half-Elf Male
Alignment: LG
Faction: Silver Crusade
Str: 14
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 7
Cha: 18

(Adaptability Skill Focus: Diplomacy)
All stat level ups to Cha
FCB: Paladin levels +1/2 to LoH, Oracle levels +1 HP

Traits: Merciful Scimitar, Beneficent Touch

Items:

Bracers of the Merciful Knight 15600
Ornament of Healing Light 10000
Headband of Alluring Charisma +4 16000
Belt of Giant Strength +4 16000
Amulet of Natural Armor +2 8000
Ring of Protection +2 8000
Cloak of Resistance +3 9000
Handy Haversack 2000
Scimitar +2 8315
Full Plate +2 5650
Light Steel Shield +2 4159

Total GP = 102735
(Probably pick up a couple Meditation Crystals as well, turn those weak channels into extra LoH charges.)

1-P. Aura of Good, Detect Evil, Smite Evil 1/day
Feat: Fey Foundling

2-P. Divine Grace, Lay on Hands 1d6

3-O. Oracle Mystery: Life, Curse: Clouded Vision, Revelation: Life Link
Feat: Extra Lay on Hands

4-P. Aura of Courage, Divine Health
Mercy: Fatigued

5-P. Channel Positive Energy 1d6, Lay on Hands 2d6, Nimbus of Light
Feat: Greater Mercy

6-O. Bonus Spell: Detect Undead

7-O. Revelation: Channel
Feat: Ultimate Mercy

8-P. Divine Bond: Weapon

9-P. Channel Positive Energy 2d6, Lay on Hands 3d6
Mercy: Diseased
Feat: Extra Lay on Hands

10-O. Bonus Spell: Lesser Restoration

11-P. Smite Evil 2/day
Feat: Extra Revelation: Energy Body

12-P. Aura of Resolve, Channel Positive Energy 3d6, Lay on Hands 4d6, Nimbus of Light 2


Slyme wrote:
I will have an extra use of LoH from my archetype choices, ... + 1 from WotHL archetype ...

Totally forgot WotHL gives you extra LoH, that's what I was missing. Yep Ultimate Mercy at 7 looks fine.

For Targeted Mercy it's probably worth asking in the PFS forum how it interacts with Greater mercy, because if you can get the benefit of both it's amazing.

Other than that everything looks good to me. I like Energy Body at level 11, gives an extra pool of healing. Let us know how it goes!


Slyme wrote:

So, here is what I have for my current build plan. Let me know what you guys think.

Paladin of Sarenrae (Hospitaler / Warrior of the Holy Light) 8 / Oracle 4
Race: Half-Elf Male
Alignment: LG
Faction: Silver Crusade
Str: 14
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 7
Cha: 18

You get a little more bang for the buck with a 15,14,14,14,12,7 20pt starting array. The 15 goes into Cha of course, meaning you're 20 with racial/bump/headband at 4th. And your Dex and AC are permanently +1 with a 14.

Quote:
(Adaptability Skill Focus: Diplomacy)

It's a solid choice, but by mid-levels you'll rarely fail Diplo checks. --Consider Perception instead, which in conjunction with half-elf keen-senses will off-set the wisdom penalty considerably. See (*) asterisks below.

Quote:

FCB: Paladin levels +1/2 to LoH, Oracle levels +1 HP

Traits: Merciful Scimitar, Beneficent Touch

Beneficent is worthless because it's only once per day. Swap it for Dangerously Curious. (At high level, when you're rolling enough dice that that rare result of something like 3,2,1,1,1,1,1 is acutely painful, then getting Beneficent via Additional Traits, with the second trait being one that grants Perception as a class skill -- and you'll need all the help you can get with your hearing and other senses working overtime to surmount your short-range vision.)

Quote:

1-P. Aura of Good, Detect Evil, Smite Evil 1/day

Feat: Fey Foundling
2-P. Divine Grace, Lay on Hands 1d6
3-O. Oracle Mystery: Life, Curse: Clouded Vision, Revelation: Life Link
Feat: Extra Lay on Hands
4-P. Aura of Courage, Divine Health
Mercy: Fatigued
5-P. Channel Positive Energy 1d6, Lay on Hands 2d6, Nimbus of Light
Feat: Greater Mercy

Delay multiclassing until 4th so you can pick up Greater Mercy at 3rd.

Grand Lodge

I had originally put Dex at 12 as I will be wearing plate armor and a shield, so won't get much benefit from going above 12...but starting at a 17 Cha instead of 18 will land me in about the same place and give me +1 on my reflex saves...so I'll probably shift that around.

With only 3 skill points per level (5 on the oracle levels), trying to keep Diplomacy, Perception, and UMD maximized leaves zero room for things like knowledge skills or spellcraft. Oracle gives me back the ability to use wands and such, so I figured I would be better off leaving other UMD stuff to the rogues and wizards. I'll look through and see if any traits other than Beneficent Touch look promising...maybe I'll just grab one that gives me perception or something.

I figured getting at least one Oracle level in early so I can get life link, wand usage, and a couple spells would be better than the extra d6 of healing.

I'll check on the rules for how targeted interacts with Greater Mercy, if it doesn't automatically override it I'll definitely take it.

Grand Lodge

Ok...after a quick check on how they interact, looks like it is back to Targeted. The wording for Greater mercy only interacts with mercies that remove conditions...not ones that grant buffs like targeted. So Targeted does not cancel out Greater Mercy.

Greater Mercy wrote:
When you use your lay on hands ability and the target of that ability does not have any conditions your mercies can remove, it instead heals an additional +1d6 points of damage.
Targeted Mercy wrote:
The paladin’s lay on hands also acts as sanctuary, using the paladin’s level as the caster level. The saving throw DC to negate this effect is equal to 10 + 1/2 the paladin’s level + the paladin’s Charisma modifier.


Slyme wrote:
I had originally put Dex at 12 as I will be wearing plate armor and a shield, so won't get much benefit from going above 12
Aside from +1 Ref save and +1 ranged attack (granted, you'd be doing that rarely), you'll get an extra AoO per round -- and that's a pretty big deal for a martial-melee once you've a bit of cash for the Fortuitous enhancement.
Quote:
With only 3 skill points per level (5 on the oracle levels), trying to keep Diplomacy, Perception, and UMD maximized leaves zero room for things like knowledge skills or spellcraft. Oracle gives me back the ability to use wands and such, so I figured I would be better off leaving other UMD stuff to the rogues and wizards.

Wizards will be casting higher-level spells, and they're freed up to do so when other people in the party can do low-level utility stuff off 1st-level wands and so forth.

And if you're in PFS, you will very frequently find yourself at tables with neither a wizard nor a rogue in the party.

(IMO a paladin doesn't need high ranks in Spellcraft, or any for that matter, beyond maybe 1 rank. Ditto most knowledge skills. You're a getting a +1 off the primary attribute, Int, and aren't going to be that good at it anyway. Like fighter, paladin is quintessential tank -- you're not expected to be that bright. Your job is to layeth the smackdown and win battles of attrition in toe-to-toe slugfests.)

Grand Lodge

I won't have combat reflexes, so I'll never get more than one AoO per round. This character is designed to hang out in the middle of the group and keep everyone alive, not rush up front and smack things in the face. I'll practically never be doing more than 1d6+3 damage on an attack, unless I can declare smite on an evil undead or outsider.

The meta around here doesn't really seem all that conducive to UMD...other than the gratuitous CLW wands, the only people who seem to carry other stuff are the people who can use it themselves. Almost no one carries pearls of power, wands of mage armor, etc.


Slyme wrote:
I won't have combat reflexes, so I'll never get more than one AoO per round.

Achieving multiple AoOs is the most concentrated power-up for a melee martial in the game (it's like having an extra *five* levels of BAB for an extra attack). Work toward making it happen, and you will rock.


BTW, why are interested in four levels of Life Oracle in a paladin? To lifelink four members of the party? --That'll get you killed quick in PFS (even as a paladin), because odds are that at least one of the people in your party at any given mustered table is a dummy with a suicide complex, and you're going to be eating his eagerly-sought damage. Your lifelink will be something you're constantly turning off at the expense of an Immediate action (nerfing the upcoming round's swift action to LoH, likely desperately needed in that event).

It may sound cruel, but sometimes you have to let Gilligan die.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Variant take:

Str: 14
Dex: 14
Con: 12 (half-elf)
Int: 14
Wis: 07
Cha+ 17 (all bumps)

Racial traits: (core)
Character Traits: Child of Two Peoples, Dangerously Curious
01 paladin1 (core archetype), Fey Foundling, Skill Focus (Perception)
02 paladin2
03 paladin3 Greater Mercy
04 fighter1 (Free-Style Fighter archetype)
05 bloodrager1 (urban), Extra Rage
06 paladin4 Smite (2:day), Channel, ....etc.

* results in +2 levels of paladin versus the /oracle4 build
* gain Elven + human regional language, and a +2 vs charm/compulsion (Child of Two Peoples)
* ability to eventually max out of the dex bonus of mithral breastplate (urban bloodrage)
* 33% more skills per level
* add Acrobatics and Perception to class skills (Bloodrager)
* gain Brawler's Martial Versatility feature (from Free-Style Fighter) for Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Vital Strike, or other situational feat
* more durable despite lower CON (from higher AC, and avoiding Oracle lifelink)
* able to use healing trigger items from 1st level (core archetype paladin not forfeiting spellcasting ability), and can UMD arcane items out of combat (Dangerously Curious).

Grand Lodge

You are missing the whole point of this character...to be a self healing damage sponge...I have plenty of melee bruisers already.

Even with 4 links active, I would be taking a max of 20 hit points a turn from the links (5hp per injured person with an active link).

At higher levels I even plan on using the Shield Other spell on someone on the front lines to soak up even more of their damage so I can then use my stupidly overpowered self-heals to mitigate.

With 19 uses a day of LoH + 2 separate pools for channeling (which I can convert to LoH charges via Meditation Crystals), plus Fey Foundling, I ought to be able to keep myself alive pretty well...short of some massive 1 shot crit to the face at high levels


Slyme wrote:
With 19 uses a day of LoH + 2 separate pools for channeling (which I can convert to LoH charges via Meditation Crystals), plus Fey Foundling, I ought to be able to keep myself alive pretty well...short of some massive 1 shot crit to the face at high levels

Well, that's the tricky part.

Grand Lodge

That is the tricky part for every build though :)

I'll have 100+ HP, a 30+ AC, and pretty terrific saves from being a Cha based Paladin...so I should do ok.


You'll be healing: 4d6(paladin) + 2d6(Bracers) + 1d6(greater mercy) + Fey foundling (2 per die = 14hp) + Paladin favoured class bonus(4hp) = 7d6+18hp ~=42.5hp. If the Targeted Mercy thing works then enemies will also have to pass a DC 20(?) will save to attack you. On top of that you're wearing heavy armour so you're not easy to hit.

You should be fine.

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