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Would you rather have a Cleric, Alchemist, Bard or Witch in the party?


Advice

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As the title asks, What one of the four classes would you rather have in your party?


If there is a healer, I take the bard. If there is none, I pick the cleric. If there is a semi-healer, witch might be the best option. It depends on what else there is in the group.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

If I'm the player in question, I'd rather play a cleric than bard, alchemist, or witch.

But as a GM, my players have gotten by with a witch as the primary healer before. Turned out OK.

Shadow Lodge

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Depends on the rest of the party.

If we've got a wizard, fighter, and rogue, a cleric is great.

If we've got an oracle, cavalier, and inquisitor, I'd prefer an alchemist or maybe a witch.

Paladin, slayer, hunter? Witch or bard.

Druid, summoner, and ranger, all with pets? Bard please.


Wierdo has the right idea. What does the party look like?


The party is a lizardfolk melee natural attack ranger with a animal companion, A Magus, A Bloodrager, A investigator who uses a crossbow, A melee rogue, And a crossbow rogue who might not be with the party much longer (We dont know if he will manage to stick with us, Real life has had him miss the last 3 sessions..) And me, A Cavalier who is looking for a new character and struggles to decide but is leaning towards the four I posted here.


With that group, I would say Bard. You and the investigator have Cure spells on your list so you both can use a wand. Inspire Courage would be delicious candy for that group.

However, a Cleric would be handy for the "Remove" line of spells. I know, play the Cleric archetype that gives Inspire Courage...is that Evangelist?

The Exchange

Yes!

Another imho good option is a Cleric VMC Bard.


Ok, let's break it down. You have a lot of damage characters and an animal companion. Some arcane casting, some healing/buffing if the investigator take infusions.

What you lack is control and support.

Witches can provide some control, support and healing. No archtype necessary.

Bards offer haste, and inspire which are amazing for this group. With the addition of some offensive casting, but much weaker then the witch in this category. No archtype necessary.

Clerics are the master of removal and support casting, protection from _______, life bubble restoration, breath of life, death ward etc. The spell list is not the most offensive but there are ways around that domains and archtypes. Evangelist would be best for this group.

Alchemists are amazing they are always fun to play but there is overlap in there role with investigators. Bombs make for excellent control and debuffing which could really help the group. Bomber mind chemist or grenadier would be my choice.


You have a ton of melee, consider skald.

That said I'm almost always ready to play an alchemist...they're fabulous.

Scarab Sages

Me? I'd play some flavor of Alchemist.

If there is no "Face" PC in the party, I might think of playing Bard... maybe.


I have played Cleric and Alchemist once before, And I absolutely love the alchemist! But he was my previous character (Untill he died horribly) and Cleric was my first character, While I dident absolutely love the Cleric, I am intrested in giving them another try.

Witch and Bard I have never played but they seem fun and intresting and are diferent kinds of support for the party.

The party's investigator has the heal extracts and the infusion discovery so she provides some healing, The Ranger also has a wand of cure light wounds for some extra healing.


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Make the character YOU want to play. All of these are great options. I am a cleric player myself, but with this gang I would consider bard. Your buffs will improve everyone for a rather big total boost.


My GM and party keeps telling me to make what ever i want to play too.. But I just cant decide.. xD And one class I realy want to try I worry about trying.. (Even though my GM and party tells me to play it if I want to..) partly due to all the hate it gets online and how much people say it ruins the game for everyone else..


If I'm playing a healing role I prefer a hex channeler witch. Its like cleric but with more blasting power. At the same time I really enjoy alchemist but they are a bit of a selfish class since you can't pass off extracts to others until you take that discovery. So in the end just play what you want to have fun with, most classes have a support version if that is what you want to do.


If I was going to ignore whats useful to the party and play fully for what I want to play, i'd either make a Alchemist cus I love that class, Or a Summoner as I'v wanted to try it ever since I first read it.. But the Summoner I worry about so much due to all the hate it gets online.. People talking about how it destroys the fun for everyone else in the game and is so horribly OP.. And because our party is somewhat big.. But I want to try it some time.. But I worry so..


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

You group could really use someone with nine level casting and access to condition removal, but also all those strikers could definitely take advantage of some inspire courage. The other PCs should pretty much have all of the skill covered.

Perfect party for an Evangelist Cleric.


Play the character you want to play.

All four classes are capable of shining in their own unique ways.


A Cleric is everyone's friend. If everyone already has a friend, be a pain in the ass, be a Bard.


Give the summoner a try and just make sure to share the spotlight. I've never played one so keep us updated on how it goes if you decide to give it a try.


Starting from no set characters, the Cleric as the nucleus to the forming party.

If there's already 2+ characters inclined to make attack rolls, then Bard.

If joining a group that covers the main roles, Bard or Witch.


Investigator has pretty much all status removal on his list, but it's unlikely he will have any prepared.

I wouldn't play a summoner in a party - not because of power, but because your party is so large.

I would probably play a bard archer.


Dave Justus wrote:
Perfect party for an Evangelist Cleric.

I agree. This is a good option. Although, I have to say that six other players is a tad ... much for my tastes as a GM.


I'd go with a witch or a cleric to get the higher level spells. If you do go witch, check which conditions you have in your familiar and the alchemist has in their book. Then buy things to stop the stuff you can't take care of.

This advice comes from a 3.5 party where we all agreed that we could use a druid for healing. It worked well until somebody failed a save against blindness. Permanently blind and we're out in the jungle. We all have to trek back leading the blind character. When we do get back to town, the one cleric in the place is neutral and doesn't like us. So we head off to the next city...

Shadow Lodge

Merellin wrote:
If I was going to ignore whats useful to the party and play fully for what I want to play, i'd either make a Alchemist cus I love that class, Or a Summoner as I'v wanted to try it ever since I first read it.. But the Summoner I worry about so much due to all the hate it gets online.. People talking about how it destroys the fun for everyone else in the game and is so horribly OP.. And because our party is somewhat big.. But I want to try it some time.. But I worry so..

The Summoner doesn't have to be a problem. You can avoid OP builds with a little effort and if you use the eidolon (or a single summoned monster that you know how to handle in combat) it doesn't slow your turn down any more than any class with a pet.

That said, the big party (and excess of melee strikers) would definitely give me pause here. It looks like you've already got 7 other bodies in this party including the ranger's pet, and 5 of them are melee. Which means not just longer combat rounds, but also potential for the melee types to start crowding each other out.

So if you're looking for the best party fit, I'd add a vote for evangelist cleric, with caster bard and witch as runners-up. Alchemist overlaps with investigator and lacks group buffs.

Grand Lodge

+1 for Evangelist Cleric


Hear it, I say brothers and sisters, hear it for the Evangelist Cleric! Praise him to the highest! Amen.

Of course you have to play the character like a TV evangelist...


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the answer is what ever you want to play or have the most fun playing cuz if your not having fun it can drag down the fun for the rest of the party too


I would go for a full caster since all the other players are partial casters. Between witch and cleric my preference is for the witch. I can't say exactly why, I just seemed to fall in love with the class when I read the description, and that was before I even read the class mechanics.

As to what role you want to fill in the party I think it's safe to say that between the many archetypes, cleric domains and witch patrons you could probably find a way to make any role or concept you want. Considering that the other players in you party will frequently want to move around and hit things, Haste would be rather useful; I don't know if there are any cleric domains that grant this spell but there are a couple of witch patron spell lists that include Haste on them.

In narrowing it down to two options what I would do next is come up with a couple of characters; one a witch and the other a cleric. Pick the character that just runs away with your imagination, seems to take a like of its own or just speaks to you in some way.

Personally I'd put the character I didn't use into the backstory of the one that I did. Maybe they are siblings who were once close but a deep rift formed from their divergent choices of career/profession/magic/class. Alternatively they could be rivals living in the same village, both vying for the villagers' loyalty/custom (you could have a faith based 'religious adherence/attendance required' magic of the cleric vs the secular 'payment required but no further strings/commitments' magic of the witch); the loser left willingly/was forced from the village and became an adventurer.


Friends don't let friends play Alchemists. Just kidding, to each their own, but that is my preference in things.
Any of the rest are good but I would say the full casters Cleric or Witch will be your best bet.
Sure, Bard will buff your many allies, but you have so many it's not the party weakness.
Either full caster will be able to augment your allies AND deal with situations they are poorly equipped for.
Witch having blend of typically arcane and divine spells to begin with, so no worries there.

To get the most out of Cleric I would say always *consider* Sub-Domains your Deity offers. Both for Domain Powers and Domain Spells. Although other side of the coin is, Sub-Domains are not always the best choice, choosing the vanilla Domains can often be best choice. That isn't even strictly about maximizing 'power level' as much as enabling game play options which are fun and which best match character concept. Within this large party, you don't need to try to build the Cleric to function as fighter, you can focus on doing magical stuff that mundane melee/ranged combatants aren't capable of.

Like other people say, with already having large party including one animal companion, don't choose any option that gives familiar, animal companion, and don't plan on using Summons alot or invest in Feats to that end. Those are fine on their own, but will drag the game down. Save them for a game with normal smaller party.


Your party seems to have the role of healer covered well enough. The investigator also seems to have invested valuable class features to cover this role so may not take it well if you character comes in able to cover it better than he does. For this reason I would avoid the cleric.

The magus probably has a good handle on direct damage and offensive spells. This is what the alchemist would bring to the party. Add to this the fact the alchemist and investigator would both end up using the extracts makes the alchemist kind of redundant.

That would leave the bard and the witch. Either of these classes would work well with the party. Inspire courage would be a definite advantage with so many melee based characters. He also brings a useful spell list and can use wands of cure light to boost the healing if needed. He could also function as the face of the party. If your party does not have a character who wants to fill the role of face this could be a good choice.

Personally I would go for a witch in this party. The witch has much more powerful magic than the bard, but worse combat abilities. Your party has plenty of decent combatants able to handle the fighting. What it lacks is someone weak in combat with powerful magic. It just seems to me the witch would stand out more in this party than the bard.


Only thing against Witch is the Familiar, and not because that is bad on it's own but just the large party size already including one animal companion. If you go for Witch, I would suggest restraining yourself to keeping your Familiar inside your clothing pocket or something and not trying to constantly use it to deliver Touch Attacks and the like. I mean, that doesn't need to be strict prohibition and using it for utility scouting etc outside of combat won't be problem for game-play, but think twice about the impact on game play of tracking extra creature's init and actions.


With the size of your group, if playing a witch I'd recommend either having a sufficiently small familiar that can stay on your person, not used in combat and quietly be forgotten about (by the GM) or take and archetype that removes the familiar such as the Cartomancer or Gravewalker (both of these let you use touch spells at range). Now if you want a familiar that doesn't so much stay ON your person as IN your person then consider the Putrifactor archetype from Blood of the Coven. Their familiar safely lives inside them in addition to a swarm of some sort.


About the only thing a witches normal familiar would be doing in combat would be delivering a touch spell. Even then that is probably only going to be done if the familiar is able to fly. Even then it will probably be used sparingly. Keep in mind that the loss of a witch’s familiar is devastating to the class. Without it they cannot memorize their spells. The death of the familiar also means the loss of any spells the familiar learned beyond the base spells. Most witches would be wise to keep the familiar close by and away from combat

If the witch takes the feat improved familiar that may change things a bit, but even then the loss of the familiar is something the witch will be looking to avoid.

A wizard who loses his familiar loses a lot less than the witch, so may be tempted to use them in combat more.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:

About the only thing a witches normal familiar would be doing in combat would be delivering a touch spell. Even then that is probably only going to be done if the familiar is able to fly. Even then it will probably be used sparingly. Keep in mind that the loss of a witch’s familiar is devastating to the class. Without it they cannot memorize their spells. The death of the familiar also means the loss of any spells the familiar learned beyond the base spells. Most witches would be wise to keep the familiar close by and away from combat

If the witch takes the feat improved familiar that may change things a bit, but even then the loss of the familiar is something the witch will be looking to avoid.

A wizard who loses his familiar loses a lot less than the witch, so may be tempted to use them in combat more.

you can get around that some what depending on the archetype of witch, if you pick one that trades out the familiar and then pick one up from else were its less of an issue losing it

Dark Archive

It's a big party and it's got a few partial-healers already (the ranger and investigator should be able to cure wounds, at least), so I'd go Bard, to spread those inspire bonuses out among the most people (and take on a face roll that's lacking, and provide some useful buffs like good hope).

If the Investigator and Ranger aren't great at back-seat healing, then a Cleric (or Healing patron Witch with cure light wounds and the healing hex) might be useful to handle lesser restoration and other specialty healing needs.


Lady-J wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

About the only thing a witches normal familiar would be doing in combat would be delivering a touch spell. Even then that is probably only going to be done if the familiar is able to fly. Even then it will probably be used sparingly. Keep in mind that the loss of a witch’s familiar is devastating to the class. Without it they cannot memorize their spells. The death of the familiar also means the loss of any spells the familiar learned beyond the base spells. Most witches would be wise to keep the familiar close by and away from combat

If the witch takes the feat improved familiar that may change things a bit, but even then the loss of the familiar is something the witch will be looking to avoid.

A wizard who loses his familiar loses a lot less than the witch, so may be tempted to use them in combat more.

you can get around that some what depending on the archetype of witch, if you pick one that trades out the familiar and then pick one up from else were its less of an issue losing it

While this is true my point was that a witch’s familiar will not be a big problem in a large party. Several people where warning about playing a witch, because having an extra creature would slow down combat. Even though the familiar is another body to keep track of its impact on the speed of the game is very minimal. Other than delivering a touch spell it will not be that active in combat so will not slow the game down.


A lot also depends on your playstyle. While a support character would work well with this group, if it doesn't suit your playstyle, you would not be enjoying yourself which would defeat the object. Looking at the choices you have presented, they all have access to some healing so presumably that is a factor (even though healing is already covered in the group); beyond that, each brings different things to the table. Bards bring powerful support and some nice utility; witches have a bit more control; alchemists have bombs for AoE control and various utility and clerics bring better healing and good support. You have to figure out which you would have the most fun playing and go with that.

Also, what level is your character going to be? My understanding of Clerics is that they don't really come into their own until level 8 (though that doesn't necessarily mean they would be a bad choice to play - it comes down to what you want to play), while other classes are better at lower levels.

Finally, what sort of character is this going to be? Do you like to skulk at the back of the group flinging out support or control as need be, or do you want to channel your inner legolas and concentrate on ranged combat? Are you going to be the life and soul of the party or the know-it-all fount of all knowledge? Do you want to project an air of mystery or command of unusual elements? are you going to be the go-to guy when the party needs something done? what is going to make this character memorable, and not just another member of the group?


We are level 7 currently, And might reach level 8 before this new character joins in. I do enjoy healing and supporting the party, Though I also like doing some damage, Being able to do diferent things in diferent situations.

As to what kind of character it will be and how I'l RP him.. Umm.. I'l think of that once I got the class chosen and start writing the backstory for him. He wont be a know it all, Our investigator is the brains of our party who has all the knowledge!^^

Shadow Lodge

Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Your party seems to have the role of healer covered well enough. The investigator also seems to have invested valuable class features to cover this role so may not take it well if you character comes in able to cover it better than he does. For this reason I would avoid the cleric.

I wouldn't assume that. I once played an inquisitor as the party healer, taking the Healing (Restoration) sub-domain and learning several condition removal spells (including Remove Disease, which came up surprisingly often in that campaign).

I would have been quite happy to have a cleric join the party because it would mean that I could stop spending half my spells per day plus valuable spells known on healing - maybe even retrain a few.

Infusion is a useful discovery for buffing even if you never plan on passing out a healing extract, and having spent a few extra gold on formulae you won't use much anymore isn't a big deal.


I kind of want to try a Cleric again, It was my first character and while I wasent compleately pleased with him, I think it was partly due to me finding so much else I wanted to try and partly due to me not knowing what I was doing when I built him so I want to give it another try.

I kind of want to try another Alchemist because I love the class, Was my second character and it was awesome..

I kind of want to try a Witch because it is a full caster who dosent need to fear running out of spells due to the usefulness of Hexes..

I kind of want to try a Summoner cus I'v been realy intrested in the class since I first read it.. But I feel the party is a bit big and I dont want to anger the party after reading so much hate about it online, Even though party and GM tells me I can play it..

Bard I'm constantly going back and forth on, Half wanting to try it and half not.. xD


If you mean someone else's character, then a Cleric.

If you mean something I, myself would be interested in playing, Alchemist.


There are a lot of guides out there that help you make the character you want without picking up worthless options; some of them even suggest combos that make for useful character ideas. Looking at your responses, Cleric or bard would fit your playstyle really well. Others have suggested Evangelist cleric - this might be a good way to try out the bardic abilities on a platform you are more familiar with. At 7th level, a cleric gets 18 spells; that's probably enough to cast a spell every round in combat during a typical adventuring day and still have a few left over for utility. Add in domains and channel energy and you have something you can do every round without even entering the fray if you so wish; if you want to dish out the dirt consider using the Righteous might spell to make you into a large creature with massive strength and con, increased AC and damage and reach of 10'. Add in a reach weapon and now its 20'; with a few feats you can lock down a large area; anyone trying to move through that area or cast spells and you get a free hit on them (if you have Combat reflexes and reasonable Dex). It helps compensate for the lack of iterative attacks a 3/4 Bab class gets and gives you a unique offensive support role in combat.

Alternatively consider concentrating on channeling; with the right Alignment and the versatile channeling feat you can channel to heal or harm. Imagine a cleric with the travel domain; able to zip into position behind the enemy party, channel damage to them and then zip out again to heal his allies with the same channeling. While this wouldn't work so well with the evangelist archetype, it might have appeal.

These are just some of the options open to you. None of the options you listed suck, but it sounds to me as though cleric would suit you well.


Hmm... Maybe a Halfling Cleric of Desna.. And while people recomend the Evangelist and says it is the most powerful, I dont want to do it myself. The Evangelist gives up spontaneous cures and gets weaker channel energy, And while people say those things are bad anyway, I like having them and dont want to give them up.

Not sure if I'd do another archetype or if I'l just go plain non archetype cleric, But I'm leaning towards no archetype..


Very very random (And probably very very bad) idea popped into my head randomly.. Halfling Cleric/Swasbuckler of Desna.. Mostly cleric with a few levels of Swashbuckler..

Sczarni

Merellin wrote:
Very very random (And probably very very bad) idea popped into my head randomly.. Halfling Cleric/Swasbuckler of Desna.. Mostly cleric with a few levels of Swashbuckler..

Not to sidetrack you with new ideas, but as it just came up in another thread...

Virtuous Bravo archetype for Paladin is pretty cool if the flavor you want is a holy swashbuckler with some healing ability--they keep their lay on hands and channels I believe.

As said above, your party has a lot of melee already, but you need to like your character concept to have fun, so that comes first IMO.

If it were me I'd have the most fun with the evangelist though--watching the melee guys demolish everything while I perform an oration on the error of the enemy's ways.

Sczarni

Swashbuckler 1/ Cleric 6 wouldn't be that terrible. You'd get all the relevant abilities you need with just a one level dip.


Merellin wrote:

Hmm... Maybe a Halfling Cleric of Desna.. And while people recomend the Evangelist and says it is the most powerful, I dont want to do it myself. The Evangelist gives up spontaneous cures and gets weaker channel energy, And while people say those things are bad anyway, I like having them and dont want to give them up.

Not sure if I'd do another archetype or if I'l just go plain non archetype cleric, But I'm leaning towards no archetype..

If I could make a suggestion before you decide not to do Evangelist, there is a way to make up for that lowered channel, if you are a) not playing PFS and b) willing to use the variant multiclass rules.

VMC Cavalier with Order of the Star. At 7th level, you'd pick up the calling ability, which adds half you level to your cleric level to determine channel energy. You'd catch right back up, almost immediately. You'd also get the challenge ability and can qualify for Chain Challenge. It might even make your Cleric/Swashbuckler Idea even better for melee option.

As for spontaneously casting Cure Spells, just get a wand of cure light wounds. It is not really that necessary. Potions, scrolls, wands really reduce the need for the ability.

Dark Archive

Merellin wrote:
Not sure if I'd do another archetype or if I'l just go plain non archetype cleric, But I'm leaning towards no archetype..

As someone who primarily plays Clerics, it's a solid enough class, with few enough fiddly bits or sub-systems that I haven't found an Archetype yet that I even want. There's not a lot of stuff I want to give up on that base class chassis.

That said, I'd rather play an unmodified class than one with an Archetype 99 times out of 100, so my bias is clear. :)


I have player a Cleric, As my first character ever, And I had no idea what I was doing with it or how to build it and I ended up changing character later. But I do want to give them another try. Most archetypes arent catching my attention though.. I like healing and buffing, Without bieng useless in a fight..

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