The Priest Base Class (PFRPG) PDF

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The Priest base class was created to bring that clothy divine caster seen in so many console RPGs to the tabletop world. For decades, the divine have had an odd obsession with whacking foes with blunt maces while donning big heavy armor. The priest goes back to the roots of what one intuitively thinks of when they imagine a healer, sage, necromancer, or witchdoctor.

The key to the uniqueness of the Priest are her dogmas. Each priest selects three dogmas (a primary and 2 secondaries) that correspond with cleric domains of the same name. These 'dogmas' give the Priest bonus spells she can spontaneously cast; not only that, these spells have much more "clothy" functions than their sister domains' spells.

Product Features:

  • The Priest Base Class!
  • 100+ Dogmas and subdogmas!
  • Favored Class Bonuses for the Core races!
  • Priest Archetypes: Fanatic, Heretic, Hospitaler, Kahuna, Necromancer, Philosopher, Sage, Undivided Priest, Wanderer, and Zealot!
  • And four new feats!
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    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    3/5

    The freshman offering by Flaming Crab Games clocks in at 28 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 24 pages of content, so let's take a look!

    The priest base class gets d6, 4+Int skills, 1/2 BAB-progression, good Will-saves as well as proficiency with club, dagger, light mace, quarterstaff and stake. The priest does not get armor or shield proficiency. Off here: the priest loses spellcasting while wearing armor or shields - no increased spell failure or the like - just strap a padded armor on those hostile priests and boom: Impotent priests. Not a fan of this design decision.

    Like a cleric, the priest receives an Aura (but has the (ex) not properly bolded in a minor formatting glitch) and gets Wis-based prepared spellcasting and channel energy progression like a cleric - which brings me to one point: This is an alternate class and should be designated as such to prevent multiclassing with the cleric...but I digress.

    What you'll ask by now, you'll note that there needs to be something to offset the lack of martial potency the priest exhibits in comparison to the cleric. This would be the selection of a dogma: These can generally be considered to be the replacements for the respective domains and alignment-specific constraints regarding spells etc. still retain in effect. The dogmas have the same name of the domains, conveniently, and thus provide all necessary means of adapting new content to the class, which is neat indeed. Dogmas also sport dogma powers, which unless otherwise noted, are initiated as a standard action.

    2nd level adds half class level to Knowledge (Arcana), (Religion), one Knowledge of the priest's choice and Linguistics and may make such checks untrained. 2nd level grants two secondary dogmas and 4th level unlocks these second dogma's powers, while the capstone makes the dogma-selection flexible on a daily basis...which is kind of lame, considering the limited array of dogmas each deity offers. The important change, though, does lie in the spontaneous conversion ability of the priest - you see, the class can spontaneously convert spells prepared into the dogma's respective granted bonus spells, providing superior spell flexibility over the regular cleric's selection - one btw. further enhanced by a wide array of subdogmas associated basically with the cleric's respective subdomain choices and yes, the dogmas sport the respective powers you'd assume.

    Now, while quite a few of these dogmas are truly intriguing, at the same time, I do feel like they are not close to being universally well-balanced. You see, the basic premise of the priest is that it feels more wizard-y and thus is more spell-centric than the more martial bent of the cleric and in this regard, the class does succeed at its goal. In the fine-tuning of the class, however, some serious playtesting wouldn't have hurt the priest. The dogmas do not sport the cleric's usual spell-list, with Destruction providing fireball at 4th level and lightning bolt at 3rd level - okay, right? Well...it kind of isn't nice once you start thinking about it. The one defining weakness of the wizard and the only thing that renders the sorceror even halfway valid, is the lack of flexibility and requirement for the preparation in advance. Secondly, the cleric and druid get instant access to all divine spells and so does the priest, meaning that the relative, slightly decreased usefulness of these spells versus the superb sorc/wiz-list is offset by mere availability. Now dogmas do poach excessively among better spell-lists, so that's one component that offsets the loss of martial prowess, so far, so good. However, things get kind of ugly once you realize that you have 3 dogmas for spontaneous conversion, with some allowing you to maintain the power output of a sorceror or wizard that only specializes in a given field, while also retaining superb flexibility. The problem is evident: While high-powered campaigns may shrug this issue off, more conservatively balanced groups will not appreciate this; it's, ultimately, a balance-concern here that surpasses the payoff of the decreased martial prowess, though not in a way that necessarily renders it broken - only potentially problematic.

    The pdf also comes with a broad selection of archetypes for the priest class, all of which can be considered to be among the small, function-driven type. The Fanatic replaces channel energy with scaling columns of 10-ft divine, untyped power, which is pretty nasty, as it is not subject to any means of prevention. Heretics may choose a dogma (not a subdogma) from another deity, but loses one dogma power from among her dogmas, exacerbating the above-mentioned flexibility issue, but also providing a lot of roleplaying potential in-game. The Hospitaler is the dedicated healer priest, locked into healing channels and the dogma, but also gets mercy-like anti-condition benefits to add to her channels, which is pretty powerful, but okay. The Kahuna replaces two dogmas with nature bond and the class also gets a witch hex at first level, +1 at 2nd and every even level thereafter - which is much too strong, considering the power of hexes. Worse, at 10th level, the archetype allows for the selection of a grand hex WHENEVER SHE GAINS A NEW HEX. Grand Hex. You know, the stuff witches get at 18th level...äh...lol? I do believe this ought to be major hexes, NOT grand hexes...

    The very unfortunately-named Necromancer-archetype loses one secondary dogma, but obviously gets some undead-control tricks and automatically empowers all spells, spell-like abilities, etc. used to heal undead...which is nasty indeed and should probably have a daily cap. Philosophers may freely replace all dogma spells of a dogma with any spells from the sorc/wiz or cleric list and treat them as dogma spells instead, but at +1 level. This allows you to cherry pick spells. Extremely powerful...and problematic. The Sage uses Int instead of Wis and gets the benefits for skills. Additionally, instead of secondary dogma, the archetype gets one spell of the sorc/wiz-list at 2nd level and every even level thereafter, again, cherry-picking spells, but at least at the cost of most of dogma's flexibility.

    The undivided priest cannot select a subdogma for her primary dogma, but gains an increased caster level or two of her primary dogma's subdogma's powers as well as adding subdogma spells to the spells known - basically, we have a variation of the flexibility the base class provides here, with a focus on subdogma spells, with the issues from the base class basically still existing in variations. Wanderers replace the primary dogmas with animal companions and they also may add spells from the druid spell list (1 at 2nd level, +1 every even level) to their arsenal in lieu of druid levels while also receiving gaining associated skill benefits. 6th level is a bit problematic, with a level 1 druid spell with a duration longer than instantaneous with a range of creature touched/personal becoming a supernatural ability on a permanent basis - while this can be problematic, the replacement for channel energy makes this still valid - in fact, this archetype is better balanced than the base class. Zealots get +1 primary dogma, but may not cast any spells not on the dogma lists - again, taking care of the balance-ramifications, though in this case, the nerf may be a bit too pronounced. The pdf closes with 4 feats: 2 uses of Channel energy for an empowered version; one feat to increase die-size of channel by one step, one feat that renders the sage's divine arcana a full-blown wildcard spell (BROKEN) and one that lets you expend 3 channels for a maximized channel - which is better than 4WFG's version of the feat with its flat 3/day limit sans taxing the resource itself.

    Conclusion:

    Editing and formatting are good, though not perfect. Layout adheres to an elegant 2-column full-color standard and the pdf has a GORGEOUS artwork for the class - kudos to the artist! The pdf comes fully bookmarked and also sports hyperlinks to d20pfsrd.com's shop - the good ones, mind you. Finally, the book comes with a lite-version that is more tablet-friendly and also one with hidden hyperlinks - kudos there again!

    Alex Abel and his Flaming Cab Games' freshman offering, the Priest, is certainly an interesting class that very much feels like an alternate class and should be declared as such; The priest does not stun you with mechanical innovation or the like, but the way in which it codifies a vast amount of dogmas and the like is an impressive feat in itself.

    At the same time, this pdf does show less refinement than later Flaming Crab Games pdfs in both rules-language and the precise components of the respective rules - the value of spontaneous conversion, for example, is grossly underestimated by the class's balancing and generally, I would have really enjoyed more unique tricks - as presented, this pretty much can be considered a more wizard-like alternate class of the cleric that may work fine at some tables and break the game for more gritty/optimization-centric tables.

    By no means bad, this still remains a flawed, though not terribly so, class that can easily work with some agreement between players and GMs at a given table. On the formal side, I wish this ironed out the glitches that haunt it and took the balance between dogmas and values of its benefits a bit more serious...and had a better armor-rule, which is pretty nasty. In the end, this is an okay freshman offering for the company that can still work for some tables- hence, I will rate this 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 due to this being a freshman offering.

    Endzeitgeist out.


    Missed Opportunity

    3/5

    I should start by saying that this is a perfectly serviceable stand-in for the Cleric class. It does an excellent job of creating a holy class that doesn't feel like a warrior draped in holy robes. Rather, the priest feels like someone you could meet running a temple or on a pilgrimage.

    However, I think there was a missed opportunity here. Because the book was so short, I feel that it is rather mechanical. Like many religious based classes, the priest captures mechanics just fine but in a sterile way. It doesn't really offer vehicles for expressing or feeling the beauty of religion, the joy of a hymn or the power of devotion. The archetype for the priest comes close but the short formatting unfortunately doesn't allow them to more properly explore it.

    The beauty and joy of religious expression can be captured through mechanics and roleplaying. The obediences and monument devotions presented by Paizo, for example, in various Player Sourcebooks do a wonderful job of bringing forth the spirit of religion while also offering mechanical support to encourage the roleplay of it by players.

    I wish Priest had done more to capture that as well.




    Webstore Gninja Minion

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Now available (and welcome, Flaming Crab Games)!


    Thanks a ton, Liz!

    By the way, the first 12 people to comment in the discussion get a free copy of the Priest Base Class from yours truly!


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    FINALLY!!
    Looking forward to reading this!


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Well, that's a great way to make an entrance!

    How does this version of the priest compare to other 3PP takes on the concept?


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Looks interesting. Want to know more about the "clothy" feel to their spells.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    This class looks like it would be really fun to play. Can't wait to try it out on the campaign my group is starting in a few weeks


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    IronDesk wrote:

    Well, that's a great way to make an entrance!

    How does this version of the priest compare to other 3PP takes on the concept?

    Other priests simply take away armor/HP/BAB and give their class more spells per day and/or d8 channel dice.

    Our Priest is defined greatly by its domain-like dogmas. Every (sub)dogma had spells hand-picked that'd make much more sense for a clothy type. That way, the Priest isn't still stuck with the martial domain spells (while still having access to the buffing/healing cleric spells for their base spells per day).

    For example:
    Here are the cleric's strength domain spells: 1st—enlarge person, 2nd—bull's strength, 3rd—magic vestment, 4th—spell immunity, 5th—righteous might, 6th—stoneskin, 7th—grasping hand, 8th—clenched fist, 9th—crushing hand.

    Here are the priest's strength dogma spells: 1st—magic missile, 2nd—pilfering hand, 3rd—force punch, 4th—telekinetic charge, 5th— interposing hand, 6th—forceful hand, 7th—grasping hand, 8th—clenched fist, 9th—crushing hand

    In addition, we have a few fun archetypes for the Priest that could almost be classes in their own right!


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Looks good, now gimme dat free stuff.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Very excited to see this!

    Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    This looks awesome!


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Looks interesting. Curious how much different this is compared to Adamant's Priest class from their Tome of Secrets. From what I have read about the description, it has me intrigued. Always love me some more classes.

    And yay non-armor-clad divine caster! Definitely intrigued about this.


    So how does this cleric subtype compAre to the armored crusader type?

    Horizon Hunters

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    The idea of a non armoured divine class is intriguing. Very interested sir!


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Well, I'm curious. To echo Chris, an unarmoured divine class has me all sorts of interested!


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    Weeee wants it!


    Screemonkey wrote:
    So how does this cleric subtype compAre to the armored crusader type?

    The Priest vs an armored crusader type.. hmm..

    These two types are certainly very different, and that's the point of the Priest class being published. The Priest fills more of a role expected in a wizard than their sister class- the cleric (such as blasting, battlefield control, debuffing, party buffing, etc. rather than the self-buffing seen often with clerics)


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    This looks really cool. I am very interested.


    Intriguing, and I’m inclined to buy at the moment....


    Ah, to late for the top 12.....
    I'll be picking this guy up later on this week. Dogmas have me piqued and some of the archtypes seem very interesting


    Finally I can realize my dreams to play a "Big (Large) Kahuna"!!!

    The Priest looks really interesting and fills a void in the divine class lineup - I'll pick this up as soon as I get home. :)


    Gonna be looking this over later today when I got a bit more time. Will more than likely write up a review.

    Grand Lodge

    Was this the class in the the homebrew section?


    Yeah I think this class was in the homebrew section a while back, but it got a few modifications (for the better I think).


    I just read over my copy, and I'm pretty impressed by the work Flaming Crab has put into it. Nice illustrations (I love the cover) and nicely laid out. The only downside to me is it's a little too much like the ordinary cleric in my opinion. Same number of channel energies per day, same damage die for them. Same number of spells per day (if I read the chart right). Having said all that, it's still worth giving a shot on the game table.

    I may be wrong about some of what I said here, but again I read over it, but not too thoroughly as I was in a hurry.


    Another sale. I have been looking for an unarmored / priest type class. Thanks!


    It's a pretty good class, IMO. I like some of the archetypes, though not a fan of the Kahuna (mainly because I am no fan of the Witch, and the archetype gains witch hexes).

    Overall, I like it, and find it to be a bit better than the Tome of Secrets Priest class. I agree that, just looking at the class without having played it, it looks a bit too much like the ordinary cleric. Still I like the dogmas, and the overall look of the class. I may tweak it a bit to include it in my game to differentiate it more from the cleric.


    One thing that just came to mind, is that the Kahuna may need an errata after the Advanced Class Guide comes out, due to the Shaman getting it's own version of hexes, just something to keep an eye on, since the Kahuna doesn't mention witch hexes specifically.


    Illius wrote:

    One thing that just came to mind, is that the Kahuna may need an errata after the Advanced Class Guide comes out, due to the Shaman getting it's own version of hexes, just something to keep an eye on, since the Kahuna doesn't mention witch hexes specifically.

    Thanks, we'll certainly make sure to update the product to clarify which hexes to use (there's a small chance Shaman hexes may be more appropriate than Witch hexes).

    President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

    Hmmm, interesting. Note to self: check this out.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    I think the class concept is interesting, but like Cal I think it's a bit too similar to the cleric - it loses a lot of cleric features (BAB, proficiencies, hit die, saves) and I'm not quite sure if the extra skills, dogmas and religious study makes up for it.

    The BAB progression and short proficiency list makes me believe it is meant to be a primary caster - I would have liked to see it gain one more spell/day at each spell level, putting it on equal footing with a specialized wizard. Losing spontaneous Cure/Harm spells unless you worship a deity with the Healing domain is inconvenient since it means you need to start preparing healing spells in an already fairly tight set of spell slots. I also wish it had a few more class features down the line, since there are quite a few dead levels.

    That said, this is all theorycraft - Dogmas might well make up the difference in actual gameplay.

    I find the Dogmas fun and many of the dogma powers very useful (though some are more versatile than others) and I'm very happy you included subdogmas, they really help flesh out the deities.

    I didn't really have time to look over the archetypes, I'll check those out later.

    Quick edit: I skimmed the archetypes and I'm seeing a lot of really, really fun stuff here - I love the Fanatic and the Sage! For me personally the archetypes definitely makes the Priest much more interesting.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Kudaku wrote:

    I think the class concept is interesting, but like Cal I think it's a bit too similar to the cleric - it loses a lot of cleric features (BAB, proficiencies, hit die, saves) and I'm not quite sure if the extra skills, dogmas and religious study makes up for it.

    I find the Dogmas fun and many of the dogma powers very useful (though some are more versatile than others) and I'm very happy you included subdogmas, they really help flesh out the deities.

    Quick edit: I skimmed the archetypes and I'm seeing a lot of really, really fun stuff here - I love the Fanatic and the Sage! For me personally the archetypes definitely makes the Priest much more interesting.

    Thanks for the reply!

    The Priest was certainly intended as a cleric with a dash of wizard. Perhaps the product came out rather close to the cleric... for better or worse.
    We considered allowing spontaneous healing and 3 dogmas, but we figured having 4 spontaneous spells per spell level overshadowed the sorcerer/oracle around too much. And I think you will find in actual play that having 3 spontaneous 'free' spells per spell level goes a long way in being prepared for whatever is ahead..even though one may have to take the Healing Dogma to get spontaneous heals. (getting the dogma power and spontaneous Breath of Life is a big perk, though)

    A big belief of mine is that archetypes are a core reason why Pathfinder is awesome. The Priest is meant to be a bit of a blank slate to work with for archetypes. So we made sure to add ~10 archetypes that go further than "clothy divine caster."
    (As such, we're more than happy for suggestions for archetypes to add to a future $1 supplement for the class)


    First of all thank you for reading the post in the spirit it was intended - I was worried it was coming across as overly negative when I really do think the priest has a lot going for it!

    You make a good point about Breath of Life, I hadn't considered that. I also absolutely agree with you on archetypes, I think it's one of the best things Pathfinder has going for it. My normal games are in hiatus for the summer break but I'm going to make a fanatic priest for an upcoming Emerald Spire game - looking forward to seeing it in play. :)

    One archetype I think could be interesting is a Priest who focuses on summoning and binding spells, or an archetype gaining an eidolon - a divine take on the summoner.

    Edit: One minor suggestion, since you seem very open to them - having Improved Channel as a prerequisite for Greater Channel strikes me as counter-intuitive, since Improved Channel is practically a dead feat if you primarily use channel energy for healing - I'd suggest replacing Improved Channel with Empower Channel as a prerequisite. It makes for a more cohesive progression (both feats focus on increasing the ouput of Channeling), and Empower Channel is equally useful whether you use Channel Energy for damage or for healing.


    Kudaku wrote:

    First of all thank you for reading the post in the spirit it was intended - I was worried it was coming across as overly negative when I really do think the priest has a lot going for it!

    You make a good point about Breath of Life, I hadn't considered that. I also absolutely agree with you on archetypes, I think it's one of the best things Pathfinder has going for it. My normal games are in hiatus for the summer break but I'm going to make a fanatic priest for an upcoming Emerald Spire game - looking forward to seeing it in play. :)

    One archetype I think could be interesting is a Priest who focuses on summoning and binding spells, or an archetype gaining an eidolon - a divine take on the summoner.

    Edit: One minor suggestion, since you seem very open to them - having Improved Channel as a prerequisite for Greater Channel strikes me as counter-intuitive, since Improved Channel is practically a dead feat if you primarily use channel energy for healing - I'd suggest replacing Improved Channel with Empower Channel as a prerequisite. It makes for a more cohesive progression (both feats focus on increasing the ouput of Channeling, and Empower Channel is equally useful whether you use Channel Energy for damage or for healing.

    No problemo, I appreciate criticism.

    A summoning/binding Priest is a cool idea. I know it's very popular for Clerics to make a summoning build, so why not have the clothy-cleric do it well, too!

    I'll definitely make Greater Channel (with a different name) have a different prerequisite (probably Empower Channel). That makes a lot of sense, actually.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Endzeitgeist wrote:
    Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

    As always, thanks for the review! I'm glad to hear that we've cleaned up a bit since our first book, here. This is a class I've debated with myself about giving a major face-lift, so this helps a ton if/when I do.


    Great to hear, Alex! For a first foray, it does make an intriguing option! :D


    Thinking of starting a campaign as a Priest. The one thing holding me back is I haven't found a Hero Lab data package supporting the class. Is there one somewhere that I've missed? Player supported, pro or beta are all better than nothing.

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