doc roc wrote:
Yes I should quantify this by stating that it means being better at a primary feature of the base class and without a corresponding balancing loss of power in another primary feature.
If Class X has 2 primary features, A and B, and archetype XY is better at A but proportionally worse at B then overall still:
Power = 0
Its obviously too late to change but I do feel that the definition of 'Power' is off when I look at the ratings...
All of these archetype ratings are (or should be!) based on the concept that the base vanilla class is standardised at:
Power = 0
A 'Power = +1' rating is stating unequivocally that the archetype is better at doing the majority of the same roles as the base class.
Cleric: Blossoming light
Power = -1
This cleric is a channel specialist, but due to this it necessitates feat (selective channel + quick channel as a minimum) and CHA ability score investment, straight off the bat. This is not good as these are precious resources, made especially so since the cleric receives no bonus feats as standard. Also, specialising in channeling means that you are specialising in something that is generally weak and does not scale well in terms of output. To cap it off, the archetype gives up domain spells, prohibits armour and shield and imposes alignment and deity restrictions.
Great for uber-healbot, terrible for anything else.
Channeling is and always will be a weak ability..... yes Paizo has released some channel feats but these are largely irrelevant, due party to the fact that clerics dont have feats to spare!
In terms of using it, in reality it requires both feat and ability score investment..... both incredibly precious resources
Selective channel, quick channel and CHA 16 are the minimum basics. For this archetype especialy, quick channel quickly becomes mandatory.
So already a cleric, which unlike virtually all other casters does not receive bonus feats or similar compensatory abilities as they level up, has invested 2 feats and ability score points. A very poor return.
For healing, it is pretty pointless since a wand of CLW is a better investment as they are relatively cheap and ideal for out of combat use.
As has been stated many times by many people, in combat healing is a waste of an action and is evidence of poor planning... healing is something that should be done inbetween not during encounters.
Also, it scales poorly, this I know is deliberate so as to avoid it overpowering the damage done by the enemy. So you have a BL cleric specialising is something that is deliberately designed to scale poorly. Not good.
The ability of the BL to use it offensively is limited, above that of undead (which a vanilla cleric can do anyway), and again faces the problem that has been known to neg. channelers since Day 1.... its damage scales poorly:
A 7th level BL could do a 4D6 channel attack to some CE outsiders - this will cause on average 14 points and 7 points on a save.... this is trivial at this level and a save becomes more likely as you level.
Yes I hear you cry...." But you can quick channel!!"
.... You're right, but this burns through your channels twice as fast and removes your move action. All so that you can do a small amount of damage to a very select group of possible creatures. Terrible.
And hears the thing you overlook, in order to achieve all of the above mediocrity, not only are you giving up feats and ability points!
- Big alignment and behaviour restrictions
The last one is a massive downer as to be a channel specialist, you will have to get in the mix of the combat. You cant just sit at the back with the wizard..... you'll be out of range! You run the significant risk of getting chopped into pieces.
The final damning piece of evidence against the BL is that if it is this obvious upgrade over the vanilla cleric then why do you never see them getting played? I've played a lot of PF (both PFS and regular) and I haven't seen a single one. And why aren't the worlds PF players all discussing on the web what a great and obviously powerful archetype it is?
The answer is simple.... its a bad archetype because its focussed on the least powerful aspect of the class. An aspect that is frequently minimised or dumped by minmaxers or optimisers.
I've seen played vanilla clerics, herald callers, ecclesitheurge, the occasional separatist and a few evangelist, divine paragon and devout pilgrim. Now obviously my experiences are not definitive evidence but they are indicative.
If you want to play uber-healbot then wonderful... but other than that its an obvious downgrade.
But this is the problem, the whole basis of all these rating operates on the concept that the base vanilla class is standardised at:
Power = 0
To give BL a Power = +1 directly and unambiguously states that it is a power upgrade over the vanilla cleric, which it patently isn't.
I dont see how being able to do something that is a weak ability, lots of times at the expense of other more useful abilities, can be a power upgrade?!
You don't need medium armour - you're a caster so light armour is fine, and the difference of 2 AC will quickly become irrelevant as you level.
Keeping your 30 ft movement is v.useful.
I'm not convinced by the worth of SGS either as a feat. Stick to normal summoning.
Craft wondrous is a great feat as I'm guessing no one else has it?
You need your WIS at 20. Str at 8 is not a problem, especially if you only have light armour.
Herald caller is a great opportunity to have fun with skills (something that clerics rarely get the opportunity to do!), so upping INT a bit at the expense of CON or DEX can be good.
Wisdom in the flesh is an excellent trait for a cleric looking for fun.... take it for stealth and get an instant +9 from 1st level! You can now do part time rogue stuff with your approximate +17 stealth at 7th level (assuming a +4 WIS headband)..... or +22 stealth if you've made yourself a Cloak of Elvenkind.
There are some useful MM reducing traits about as well, so spending a feat on extra traits can be good.
I'm going to go a bit further and say that you need to sort out your ability stats!
Looking at your party, not only is a summon specialist useful but actually a solid spellcaster as well.
What with your bonus feats, SGM, SS and Heroism subdomain you are a very capable summoner but summoning does fade in power as you level up and you will want to still be a capable divine spellcaster.
I would change your stat distribution to that of a pure caster to get your DC and bonus spells maxed out. You don't need Combat reflexes or Power attack. A crafting feat and something more useful regarding your spells would be more appropriate IMO.
A crafty idea as a Sarenrae herald caller, is to take your domain as Fire, to get a few blasty spells and then use an Icon of Aspects to swap out Fire's fairly bad powers with that of Glory/Heroism, since Glory/Heroism spells aren't that great.
I say this without any bias.... I genuinely don't think PF2 will have the required longevity for Paizo.
In the short - medium term it will be profitable as it will keep a sufficiently high % of its client base and they will in turn buy up the books as they get released. However, I think Paizo is counting on getting back customers from D&D5.... and I just can't see that happening. D&D5 hits the "plug in and play" market perfectly and that seems to be where the market is going.
In short.... the market can only handle 1 game being properly successful.... any others will just be fighting for leftovers. D&D5 has the enormous advantage of being backed by Hasbro.
Blossoming Light also makes it a lot easier to dump charisma. You get so many channels, that the number granted by your charisma modifier doesn't matter as much. This could free you to invest more in dexterity or constitution, if you are worried about survival.
Big problem with that rationale is that plenty of people dump CHA on a cleric anyway.... why?.... Because channeling is pretty crap and CHA is overall the least useful stat!
CHA 8 - 10 on a cleric is pretty common if you're looking to be optimal. I've played several dwarf clerics with CHA 7 and not batted an eyelid.
These lists are all based on the notion that the base class is standardised at Power = 0 Versatility = 0.
Therefore, never in a million years is a BL - Power = +1
It makes zero sense.
I completely disagree....
To give a 'Power +1' implies that this is a power upgrade on the basic cleric.
A BL gives up all of its domain spells, armour proficiencies and restricts alignment. And in return it gets to be better at healing via channels and some related fluff.
Channeling is widely viewed as being sub-optimal and so all that you are really doing is being able to do something that is bad more often!
I could MAYBE see how a '+1 Versatility' could be argued but its never in a million years a 'Power +1'.
Ecclesitheurge is a funny one that really does require some system mastery to make work. First off IMO it only works properly with 3 races....
Dwarf gets you CON and WIS boosts which helps your point buy and gives you an excuse to dump CHA hard which further helps point buy. You basically give up on channeling. It also means with Steel Soul and Glory of Old that you can become a walking save machine!!
Samsaran boosts WIS and INT but gives you a CON penalty, this is workable though. The obvious gold is Mystic Past Life..... and clerics get great mileage with the Adept list... not least because it contains Mirror Image, which for someone as squishy as you is invaluable.
Human - this is used to get scribe scroll at Lv1 as your bonus feat. If you're in a non PFS game, then pick 4-5 of the best domains and subdomain combos as a cleric 'of a philosophy' and start shuffling through all your domains, scribing like a lunatic!
Secondly at low levels you really have to make best use of 'Blessing of the Faithful' for yourself and the party. You almost have to look at it as an ongoing cantrip.
Lastly, you really have to max out the usefulness of the primary domain and find some spells that are worth spamming.
But overall yes I agree.... levels 1-4 can be scary as an Ecclesitheurge.
I completely agree with Herald Caller being hard at low levels too.... I've played one a couple of times and hadn't bothered to summon anything until 3rd level due to the duration. Sometimes you get lucky and stumble upon a lesser MM rod of extend. Its partly why unlike many recommendations I've seen for this archetype, I still max out WIS. Until your summons kick in properly with the right feats you will be casting other spells a lot of the time!
The thing is, levels 1-5 are a large part of the game. Playing for optimal 20th level, or even optimal 10th level risks making poorer choices for a majority of the play time - if you're starting at 1st level an ecclesitheurge is...suboptimal.
I largely agree..... which is the reason why I dont have a problem with reach tactics ie) longspear use at low levels. This is a related but different concept than specifically building a reach cleric so as to optimally use reach tactics. This IMO detracts from the prime strengths of the cleric.
In terms of spell list alone the average cleric comes alive with 2nd level spells (ie at 3rd level). However with suitable domain choice, a cleric can start becoming very effective almost immediately. It certainly doesn't take till 10th level to become optimal!!
I agree that Ecclesitheurge isn't great at low levels (overall it just about scrapes in as a useful archetype IMO) but it could still utilise reach tactics by standing behind the frontline fighters to make AOOs.
Well I know my opinion isnt a popular one but I still maintain that the only worthwhile "Reach cleric" is just a cleric that happens to use a long spear between level 1-5 to do the occasional bit of minor damage. Any build that starts to dedicate ability score points and/or feats and/or reliance of constant pre-buffing towards becoming a RC is a waste, if your idea is to become optimal as a cleric. If you have other ambitions then thats a different story.
Its a bit like a healing focused cleric build.... can it be done? Yes definitely. Is it optimal? Absolutely not.
In terms of optimal cleric there are only 2 types IMO:
1) Caster cleric
This further breaks down into...
1 a) Cloth caster (playing like a divine wizard but always with a dollop of support casting involved).... 80% of the time involving the Ecclesitheurge archetype.
1 b) Tank caster... this requires a different stat array although still maxed out on WIS. You use high AC and good saves to draw fire away for the rest of the party.
2) Summoner cleric
This can involve Herald Caller (my preference) or Evangelist archetype. Contrary to others advice, I would still max out WIS as Monster Summoning can start tailing off in effectiveness once you hit 11-12th and you will need to start mixing up your spells a bit.
In the last 2-3 years of PF1 some solid options for cleric have come on line. You have to always remember that you have the 2nd best basic spell list in the game as a cleric and then when you combine that with careful domain and deity choice this improves it still. First and foremost you are a 9th level caster..... combat cleric was always suboptimal IMO.
From a business perspective, I completely understand why Paizo went down this PF2 route, and so in many ways I am not really taking a swipe at them. Its more that it just feels like the end of an era.
By all accounts things were getting financially v.tight with PF1 and with little sign in this trend changing due largely to the massive asteroid like impact of 5e.
A widespread "Unchaining" of PF1 which I think many in the community were hoping for, just wouldn't have made sense financially. Yes it would have solidified their existing client base, and in the short term increased profits a bit. It also MAY have recruited a few new players to the game, but certainly not many. What is certain is that an "Unchaining" style PF2 would not have contributed to the medium - long term financial success of Paizo..... merely delayed their demise by 2-3 years.
D&D played an absolute blinder.... they saw that the average modern tabletop RPG gamer, is a "plug in and play" style gamer, who really isnt going to invest massively in system complexity. To get customers and critically customers who are completely new to RPGs, it has to be something that a newb can pick up after a couple of hours rule reading.
I mean FFS.... Ive been playing PF1 for 7-8 years and I'm still getting rules wrong! LOL
Never in the history of RPGs has the saying...
"Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it."
....seemed for apt.
For the last 3-4 years many PF1 fans called for a "PF2", naively thinking that it would represent the v3.875 that would smooth out the rough bits but keep the existing mechanics, to become the definitive final version.
PF2 arrives but is not remotely what many had hoped for and now the 3.5 era of RPG is drawing its final breath.... :((
Yup.... Type 2 and 3 often get confused but they are definitely distinct.
Pan, definitely not a Kitsune wrote:
Yes it does seem that Reach cleric (RC) = Med armour wearing
If I was playing at light armour type cleric, I would be standing very near the wizard with very little intent in getting anyway near melee!
This is the big prob with RC vs melee enemy, even if you view RC as being to "chip in" with AOO attacks, not only are you less likely to hit but the hits you do make will cause minimum damage even with a bit of STR investment.
Melee-centric opponents are high HP opponents and most likely aren't going to care about taking an AOO for a possible 1D6 + 3 damage (or whatever)..... their ability to hit your AC increases dramatically as they level up as does their ability to dish out big damage.... certainly outpacing your ability to absorb it.
Does the ability to deliver the occasional 'free' AOO attack for low damage outweigh the risk of getting splatted quite easily?.... Me thinks not. Especially when you consider that some ability score + feat investment is required in order to even make a base level of competency.
When I've GMed and come up against magic using PCs, I certainly don't do the classic wimpy GM routine of letting the casters stand back and cast!
So in essence are you saying that a Reach Cleric is a good thing as it enables the cleric to contribute more at low levels (1 - 5)? If that is your point, I'm not sure that justifies the concept in terms of the overall build.
I've read so many posts/threads on how useful they are.... but I just dont see it.
1) Makes the class more MAD
I know about the AOO thing using reach, but the big prob is that as a 3/4 BAB class your ability to hit regular AC is going to diminish as you level up and peoples AC starts getting into the high 20s and above. Even if you do hit the amount of damage you're doing is going to be fairly trivial.
What am I missing??
If you took a basic 20 point build with optimised stats and took it through to 8th level and then gave it the appropriate wealth by level amount of GP to spend on items, approx what CR do you think it would merit?
The AP I'm running has some enemy characters that I'm looking at designing from scratch as I think my PCs will run through them. Looking at the database on PFSRD, it seems that the CR is about 1 behind the NPC level, but with these examples they are certainly not optimised in terms of stat arrays and/or items.
Loved: options and customisation. One of the areas where I think PF2 will come unstuck is that character design feels very modular, 'lego brick' and dull whereas PF1 had a much more personal feel to it.
Wanted: D6 divine class..... pretty much the only mechanical gap unfilled, a v.popular 3PP design choice but yet bizarrely ignored by Paizo.
Hated: Too many archetypes that had no RP or mechanical relevance. Would have much preferred more alternate classes (eg ninja, antipaladin) to give some proper depth where a separate class wasn't needed but an archetype just couldn't do the design justice. Lots of archetypes felt very rushed.
Will Miss: Tinkering around with builds and the forum debates!
C'est la vie.....
Thanks for the suggestions all...
Am I right in thinking from looking at the players guide for Strange Aeons that the 'Fugue State' starting point means that they can't recall the last 2-3 years of their lives but memories before that are OK?
I'm trying to get an idea of how the PCs should be writing out their background stories.
I'm looking at running a 4 man AP with experienced PCs, I have read some reviews but I wanted to get some more GM/player feedback. Here's what I'm looking for:
1) Good RP/combat balance
I was initially thinking about Strange Aoens, Age of Worms or Mummy's Mask...
Any ideas or thoughts greatly appreciated!
Well here's my Divine Paragon (cleric) rating - I'm not sure on this and so would welcome any contrasting opinion!
Full Power -1 to +1, Versatility +1
Versatility has to be +1 here because of the free deific obedience feat, it effectively gives you free entry to Evangelist PrC. This as a prestige class has its pros and cons but does certainly from a cleric perspective make you more versatile in terms of becoming the party skill monkey, and basically gives you an additional set of boons.
Power is much trickier to rate due to the significant variance of powers on offer from the various deities. Divine Paragon gives you boons at 5th, 11th and 14th in exchange for 1 of your domain's powers. For quite a few deities the trade off just isn't worth sacrificing your 1st and 8th level powers for, for some the trade off is even and for a few the trade off is definitely worth it (see below):
Chaldira - Sentinel boons
Grandmother Spider - Exalted boons
Kazutal- Exalted boons
Nivi Rhombodazzle - Exalted boons
Tsukiyo - Evangelist boons
I haven't remotely gone through all the gods so there might be a few more hidden nuggets out there.
Divine Brand is of minor benefit as being able to display your holy symbol without sacrificing a free hand has been made fairly easy to do in recent times.
Derek Dalton wrote:
I thought this was the rules thread?
By the rules the wizard absolutely does not gain the 2 bonus spells as they level if they go PrC.... the fact that your group allows it is neither here nor there as you are adopting a house rule system and so any discussion on official Paizo rules is by definition redundant!
In terms of casters, I cannot think of a single one that gains more than the cleric from PrC..... ironically, the one advantage about having poor class features overall, is that you have very little to lose! Losing channel progress is no loss since IMO channel as it stands is largely a waste of design space anyway! Why not change it for something worthwhile?!?
IMO PF Savant is a better caster PrC than Theurge
I remember reading a clarification somewhere on this....
In effect, clerics get given all their domain spells and slots at first level they arent the same as Oracle mysteries.....etc
They get them automatically when they are able to cast cleric spells of a certain level, its not related to their class level per se. It is one of the reason why PrC is generally a good option for clerics.
Wizards as far as I remember lose out on the bonus 2 spells gained per level when they PrC (and their bonus feats of course) since these are specifically tied to class level.
No it wouldn't.... a pure caster cleric does MAYBE self 1 buff pre-combat and sometimes none at all.
IMO there are only 2 types of cleric worth playing
1) Summon focused
2) Caster focused.... this splits into 2 sub-categories
a) Tank caster - very doable, especially with a race like Dwarf. Heavy armour, shield + excellent saves. Doesn't attempt to hit anything with a physical weapon. Casts and soaks up attacks. Often involves a domain like Liberation or Trickery, to make you very difficult to engage in melee.
b) Cloth caster - much harder to pull off but still possible with the right cheese.... and IMO it does definitely require cheese!
You get third domain and automatically know whether your deity would approve or disapprove (or be indifferent) to any action you do.
Dear oh dear... LOL
I shouldn't be surprised the old cleric got one final kick in the knackers from Paizo.... heaven forbid it actually gets something interesting and/or useful as a capstone!
If you're a 20th level cleric and you dont know how you should be acting there is something going badly wrong!.....And as for getting a 3rd domain... what possible domain powers are gonna be worth having/using and since you only have 1 domain slot per level, the domain spells wont be much use either! And as always half the time your domain spells are ones that clerics get anyway!
I'll say it one last time.... Paizo just doesn't get the cleric class
A huge nay.....
When I GM, my combat rolls are out in the open. I don't see the point of fudging rolls... it reeks of making the whole thing pre-ordained.
It tends to lead to more BBEG getting 1/2-shotted BUT it also leads to more PC deaths which I don't have a problem with.
As I always say to them..
"If being an adventurer was easy and a great way to get rich quick, everybody in the city would do it..... but they don't!"
The fact that you were in a campaign where you were a Lv 3 cleric and had a GM throwing maximised & empowered magic missiles at you (which by my maths that is a minimum of a Lv 5 spell slot using MM reducing traits), is evidence of nothing apart from that your GM has absolutely no idea how to build encounters..... these scenarios do not exist in any AP or PFS scenario that I'm aware of.
Lets get real buddy.... any Lv 3 PC would struggle with an encounter like that!
Thats like saying Wizards are crap because in campaign X made by GM Y there was this Lv 3 wizard and he got chopped up into pieces by a Lv 9 Barbarian who full attacked him for 100+ hp!
Call away but you're mistaken....
First up the 20 point buy is generally considered standard because of PFS, but even with a 15 point buy you can still be effective. But then with a 15 point buy many other full casters will also struggle.... eg) a Shaman will have kittens trying!
As a pure caster 9/10 you aren't going to be as good as a wizard but then thats the whole point!
However you will be a very survivable pure caster.... best WILL save in the game, good FORT save relative to many other full casters, access to armour if you want it, good Perception, D8 HD, healing....
I once played a dwarf cleric with Steel Soul and Glory of Old and he laughed hard in the face of enemy casters.... he broke down in hysterics once he got a decent Cloak of Res. and a 4 leaf clover.
And you forget with domain spells, domain abilities and some good bonus spells from some deities you can pull off all kinds of things.
Dont confuse boring with not effective.
Clerics are boring yes for most players, but that is mainly because of 3 reasons:
1) A high degree of system mastery is required to use them properly and most people don't have that
A cleric has the 2nd largest and 2nd best spell list in the game, knows of all of them, and can use it whilst wearing armour and having probably the best overall saves of any caster. Out of all the casters it is also probably the best for going into PrC with.
Boring.... yes a bit.... BUT definitely effective.
Go away and do your homework next time!
Clerics need four good stats.
That is just nonsense.
If you want to be a gish jack of all trades then yes.... but then that is actually the least effective way to be a cleric.
I can tell you emphatically, that the only way to get the most out of the cleric is to specialise. Dumping STR and CHA is perfectly viable if you want to go pure caster.
Heavy armour is overrated, although dumping DEX and CHA to boost STR is viable if you wanna be tank-caster (hello dwarf cleric). Even CON can be kept at 12 or even 10 since you get D8 HD and good FORT saves... there is nothing stopping you taking +1hp as FCB.
Personally I quite like putting INT at 14 and taking my fcb as +1 skill point.... but thats just me.
All clerics should IMO specialise, since their huge spell list and the fact that they know it all and can change it from day to day, always enables them to be a bit of a generalist when the need arises.
MT isn't necessary IMO
You'd be better going either Wiz or Cleric and then Pathfinder Savant.
People get obsessed about having the widest possible variety of spells whereas as a full 9/9 caster what you should be looking to do is make sure that you have the right spells to cover the most likely scenarios, not every single spell possible.
Furthermore, using cleric as an example, using Samsaran as your race and grabbing spells from the Adept list gets you the following straight away.... invisibility, mirror image, web, lightning bolt, polymorph. Combine that with Ecclesitheurge and a decent deity and you've already covered 95% of what you need..... Pathfinder Savant just enables you to pick up the last cherries.
Doing something similar with Wizard and taking some spells from the Witch list and you get a similar picture.
MT is not needed IMO.
Really, the closest thing is filing off the number from the Razmiran Priest archetype which gives Sorcerers access to entire divine spell casting list (more or less) via scrolls (which aren't expended). That pretty much levels the entire playing field. The only bad part is waiting till level 9 for that to kick in.
Its a v.good archetype but there is some loss of bloodline powers and spells and because of sorceror delayed progression, casting a 4th level cleric spell from a scroll not only requires the sacrifice of a 5th level slot but means you have to be 10th level to do it.
Well if I was a Cleric of Sarenrae I would be thinking SUMMONER!!
You have the Glory and Agathion subdomains which when combined make a great summoning combo, bolt on Sacred Summons and you will be kicking ass.... the fact that you haven't maxed out your WIS lends itself to this. Yes it doesn't kick in until 8th but nevertheless. I wouldn't bother with Heavy Armour.
This was the tragedy I think.... IMO the vast majority of PF1 players were hoping that PF2 was going to be basically a mass tweaking/"unchaining" of the classes that hadn't be unchained already + tidying up of any existing rule inconsistencies. The mechanics of the game would remain 90% unchanged.
Unfortunately if Paizo weren't profitable enough with PF1 the above concept would have only helped their bottom line in the short term as people would no doubt buy up the revised rule + class books. It wouldn't bring many new players/customers to the table.... ergo it wasnt worth doing.
Although Paizo is made up of RPG fans, it is at the end of the day a business. With the advent of 5E, being niche AND stony cold broke really is fairly pointless!!
Define "normal cleric"?? The irony of the class is that although on the surface it is very versatile, to actually be effective as a cleric you have to quite heavily specialise.
A cleric can dump CHA to 10 and be fine if they don't intend to be channel focussed, which is probably a good idea since outside of a few very specific builds channeling is pretty crap. Hell I've played clerics with CHA 8 and they've been fine.
The max damage given out by even a vanilla cleric with no additional feat investment is 10D6 with a save for half..... that is abysmal.... and so one that tops out at 7D6 is utterly trivial!! Thats 12 hp with a save!
The auto fail issue on mental stuff is a potential pain as well.
Even a caster optimised vanilla cleric of a GOO/OG trumps this supposedly specialist archetype quite easily IMO in both power and versatility. This in itself shows how bad the archetype is.
Well here is my take on the Elder Mythos and Divine Scourge:
Power = -2, Versatility = -1
The problem is here that there really isn't a lot that can't be done by a regular cleric of an OG/GOG.
The maddening gaze is reasonably good but has a very limited number of uses and also knocks 3D6 off your channeling damage. This is an enormous problem since neg channeling for damage is already very hard to make worthwhile and so take off another 3D6 and it becomes redundant.
Unless you have a particularly thematic reason for playing one, a Herald Caller or Ecclesitheurge will serve you much better as a caster type cleric.
Power = -1, Versatility = -2
Problems..... you have to take the Curse subdomain which is pretty bad for the most part and you only get 1 domain which compounds the problem. The Major hexes are fairly useless especially when you consider you'll be casting 6th level spells by then.
You do get access to the minor hexes but a pretty restricted selection and you would only have 2 by 7th level. In addition duration is tied to CHA and this ability replaces channeling in its entirety.
Basically you end up being forced into becoming a hex specialist, but not particularly effectively.
SUMMARY: Sadly these follow the typical Paizo pattern for cleric archetypes..... good ideas but terribly executed.
The best necromancer build I can rememeber seeing was a min-maxed Undead Lord archetype online somewhere, I should have kept a copy!
It basically revolved around Craft Reliquary Arms & Armour + Desecrate spell.....the sheer volume of undead healing and undead HD summoning was insane.
Im not sure though you couldn't do a similarly effective build with vanilla Cleric though, the UL archetype does give up a fair bit for what it gets.
Following on from Dasrak....a cleric of Xhamen-Dor using Dreamed Secrets could make a very thematic necromancer with the added bonus of getting Wall of Thorns and Insanity as bonus deity spells
Shaman is a badly designed class in that it takes a lot of the good points from both its parent classes and none of the downsides.
It has OP elements to it but is definitely not near the strongest 9th level caster although it is v.versatile.
1) The big one ironically is also one of its strong points - Arcane Enlightenment. The problem is that the entire class is basically designed on the assumption that you 100% will take Arcane Enlightenment as a hex. This instantly transforms the class to being the most MAD of the 9ers.... you need to invest in WIS, CHA and INT. This is before you have even thought about your physical stats..... a problem when you consider your poor FORT and REF saves.
When you consider the standard 20 point build this can be problematic.
Because of the assumption that you 100% will take AE hex which is a strong ability, the designers then understandably force you take sacrifices in your build. These are reflected in the rest of the class design
2) The basic spell list is crap. Probably the worst of the 9ers.
3) In order to get the precious FCB spells from the cleric list you are streamed into a fairly narrow race choice plus its 1 spell per level of a spell 1 level below that which you can cast, so it doesnt start till 3rd. Also you can no longer pick up an extra SP/HP.
4) Prestige classing is a bad choice because you are dependent on picking up class abilities as you level up.