White Mage or Battle Priest?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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It appears that our favorite RPG now has a "new" type of Cleric to compete with the age old, traditional, iron-clad battle priest. Now that Channel Positive Energy is such an attractive option for it's ability to not only heal but to do so at a distance and for multiple targets, what will likely be forever referred to as the White Mage is born. Clerics everywhere are hangin up their full plate in favor of focusing on becoming the ultimate healer...or are they?

I'm curious, if you were forced to make and play a Cleric right now, what kind would he or she be? Would you make a Battle Priest, a White Mage or perhaps the new Dark Priest that many seem to overlook?

If you are going with the White Mage, is it just because it's something shiny and new and you want to give it a try or do you feel that it fits better than the traditional medieval warrior concept?

If you are going with one of the other two, feel free to say why that option looks more interesting if you'd like.

Or feel free to flame me for creating yet another Cleric related thread if you'd like.


ya know I really do not get the white mage thing. Ya got armor a D8 pretty good BAB and good weapon selections. That is not a white mage.

I have seen the channle cleric and the battle cleric. Ya can go massive healer but as long as ya have armor,weapons the current HD and BAB then no you do not have a white mage


I am currently playing a cleric with the war and healing domains, that wields a scythe. Since I am only level 3, I can't fight so well so I am concentrating on healing. Later I will focus more on combat. I dont have a preference for either type. It just depends on what I feel like playing at the time, and also what the group might need more.


If you want a white mage, maybe try the Priest class from Tome of Secrets. Otherwise, no, this is not a white mage.


I allow that one but I took out the extra spell and extra domain power


Well, for me if anything moved the cleric towards "White Mage," it was with the move away from separate spell lists for Wizard and Cleric, to sharing a lot of spells from the common pool. Maybe the various understandings of positive and negative energy from across the game are what's causing the impression. For me, these never meant much of anything. In my games, I will always speak of the cleric channeling divine power, and this mechanic well represents what we see clerics doing in literature against the enemies of their deity--especially fiendish and undead ones.


I've never been a huge cleric fan... right now I'm a bit drawn towards being a cleric of Pharasma or even Urgathoa.


I am playing an Elf Priest wearing breastplate and using a shield. I have the Charm and Protection domains. My Saving throws are outta sight. My deity gives me proficiency with the whip. I took Selective Channeling, Extra Channeling, and Weapon Finesse. My Charisma is higher than my Wisdom.

I worship Sune, in Forgotten Realms, that's pretty much the goddess of seduction, sex, and, I guess, love. My character is officially the party "face". They call be "Boss" (especially our "tank", the half-orc Monk). We're a bunch of carnies, so I guess that makes sense. With the high Charisma, I channel a lot, but sometimes I'll help the Rogue flank and I'm damn good when disarming with the whip.

I guess I don't fit a niche, but I'd say I do play party leader both in and out of combat. I can assist in combat a bit, but my main purpose is buffing with spells and channel healing.


Thread jack

Sorry small neat pick but I think ya have Sune confused with Sharss I am thinking. As Sune is beauty , love and passion. She is also the goddes of marriage.

Sharess is the goddess of Hedonism, sexual fulfillment, feasthalls and cats.

So while the act of love leads to sex often Sune is not really the god of sex, that would be Sharess who's Rituals and holy days tend to be large orgy's

End thread jack


yep went and fixed that. I always liked her myself CG but with some hints of rules and structures. Marriage having them after all. I Ran a paladin of Sune many years back. Of coarse in FR ya can always find a god to fit your concept. 1000 flavors of cleric's indeed


Frogboy wrote:
I'm curious, if you were forced to make and play a Cleric right now, what kind would he or she be? Would you make a Battle Priest, a White Mage or perhaps the new Dark Priest that many seem to overlook?

I had/have a Cleric in mind for Legacy of Fire. It was supposed to be a Cleric of Nethys with the Magic and Destruction domains. Now, I don't feel like gimping myself that way.

I had/have a Cleric concept for Second Darkness. It was supposed to be a Cleric of (a name I can't remember from Zobeck) with the Artifice and Fire domains. The Clerics main combat was to revolve around "machines" that delivered the Fire domain spell like abilities. A pistol, of sorts to shoot the Fire Bolt. A sort of sawed-off shotgun for the burning hands. A back pack rocket launcher for the Fireball. Too bad all that works is shot to hell with the final...

I've played Clerics of Death, or the Dark Clerics you mention. Back when you could actually control 2, to 4 Hit Dice of undead per level. And they were pretty damn weak, although I did have a single zombie (raised from an evil druid the party slew) that managed to kill two dragons due to a house rule crit chart. Now with a single Hit Die per level, I'm not sure it is worth a feat yet...

I've played Cloistered Clerics. Great stuff if you want a primarily spell casting Cleric. I was working on the Apostle of Peace prestige class. Had a great deal of fun with that character, and would have had tons of healing.

If I was forced to play a Cleric, right now, with the Pathfinder Core rules... I'd be very tempted to play a Cleric of Rovagug and turn on the party as soon as possible.


Disenchanter wrote:
The Pathfinder cleric stole my kool-aid

We get ya man, ya hate Pathfinder cleric with unending rage we get that. I would say just don't play a cleric

Although I am not sure whats wrong with the first the 2nd sounds like ya want to play an artificer really.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:
The Pathfinder cleric stole my kool-aid
We get ya man, ya hate Pathfinder cleric with unending rage we get that. I would say just don't play a cleric

Have a little pity, obviously Paizo cut the man deep. It may take years for him to mourn.


Yeah I was gonna edited, but as I have been quoted no point in doing so now, I t just looked like a "I don't like rule x post" as Eh if I want to play a cleric with those 2 domains I'll be damned if I allows them being "sub par" stop me. And his 2nd one really was more a artificer and not a cleric so I don't see how it's the classes fault.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
ya know I really do not get the white mage thing. Ya got armor a D8 pretty good BAB and good weapon selections. That is not a white mage.

I don't know if d8 and proficiency in simple weapons really counts as all that battle worthy. Now dieties favored weapon (in some cases) and buffing spells on the other hand a fine warrior can make. If you aren't buffing yourself and going into melee though, White Mage is kind of a fitting description. It's just a style of Cleric that will now be more popular, I suspect. Call it what you like.

Disenchanter wrote:

I've played Clerics of Death, or the Dark Clerics you mention. Back when you could actually control 2, to 4 Hit Dice of undead per level. And they were pretty damn weak, although I did have a single zombie (raised from an evil druid the party slew) that managed to kill two dragons due to a house rule crit chart. Now with a single Hit Die per level, I'm not sure it is worth a feat yet...

I'm curious what made the Dark Priest weak.

Yeah, I have worries about Command Undead myself. I want a quick look at the Bestiary to see what they did with undead in PF.


well D8 is not bad, it's mid ground and the BAB is not bad at all, sure it's not full but it's damned fine for a full caster. Pare that with good armor and weapons and yeah your alot better off in melee then a white mage. Put him toe to toe spell less with a wizard in a melee fight and tell me who's the weak one.

To me when I hear white mage I think white mage. No armor, few weapons D6 and Poor BAB. That's a white mage.


I agree completely


I would make some cleric that was closer to the deity portfolio than to either role. If I'm going to make a cleric of a god of fire I'll be using area spells, specially with fire, and fire spells in my weapons.

It don't really matter. Trying to tie the cleric to these two categories just diminishes it.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
To me when I hear white mage I think white mage. No armor, few weapons D6 and Poor BAB. That's a white mage.

Well, I will be playing my Dark Priest, so to speak, tomorrow. He's similar, yet opposite to the White Mage flavor. Light armor (easy enough to throw a robe over) and really no desire to enter melee. The higher BAB and HD are mearly a bonus. He could just as easily be low BAB and d6 and it wouldn't effect my build any since that's the way I'll be using him.

I'm not saying that the Cleric is now a White Mage. I'm just saying that it's a flavor just like Swashbuckler is a flavor of the Bard or Rogue (or any other) class.

By the way, I remember people talking about "white necromancers" before PF final came out. Did that ever go anywhere? I haven't really heard anything since about it since.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:

Thread jack

Sorry small neat pick but I think ya have Sune confused with Sharss I am thinking. As Sune is beauty , love and passion. She is also the goddes of marriage.

Sharess is the goddess of Hedonism, sexual fulfillment, feasthalls and cats.

So while the act of love leads to sex often Sune is not really the god of sex, that would be Sharess who's Rituals and holy days tend to be large orgy's

End thread jack

My character went the Chaotic Neutral route and worships the more carnal side of the goddess, but I guess a different deity may have been a better choice. I'm not much into that campaign world.

Liberty's Edge

Okay, I think the following might be my new "typical" cleric. This assumes that the game is not a one shot, but is short term enough that I won't invest serious roleplay time in the character.

I'd still be inclined to build a buffing cleric designed to man the front lines. Unfortunately, I get fewer buff spells at lower spell levels. That sucks, but it makes the spells they cast more valuable when I do cast them.

I'd still be inclined to shoot for the heaviest armor available. With the new armor I'd never dump a feat on getting Heavy Armor Proficiency. It is no longer worth the feat, but if they still had proficiency I'd use it. Since they don't, it looks like I'll be wearing a Breastplate.

The new weapon proficiency will make me shoot for a deity that gives me a better weapon. That never smacks of White Mage to me. I'd shoot for whatever diety gave me an awesome weapon so I wouldn't have to waste a feat on it. Iomedae, Torag, Gorum, yada... but I'd probably never choose Pharasma, Asmodeus, or Nethys without some kind of strange build (cleric with Stealth anyone?) in mind or I am shooting for a prestige class.

I don't think that I'd shoot my Wisdom and Charisma incredibly high. I'd leave them about mid-range (maybe 14 and 12 respectively) and choose spells that target allies instead of targeting enemies. I'll let the Mage worry about DCs.

I'd leave my cleric's strength, dex, and con around mid-level too. This Cleric becomes a supreme generalist, capable of doing whatever. If he needs to man the front lines, he can. If he needs to buff, he can. If the party needs to kill something quick, then he'll set up with an ally to do it.

So... I still think he's more battle inclined than "white mage". It'll just take some work getting used to this new configuration.


Diego Bastet wrote:
It don't really matter. Trying to tie the cleric to these two categories just diminishes it.

White Mage = Magic and Healing focused

Dark Priest = Magic and Damage focused
Battle Priest = Melee focused

I know you can creat a million different kinds of Clerics. They are one of the most versatile classes in the game. It's hard to venture too far out of these general ideas. Heck, the only other one I can think of is the skill heavy Cleric and that one's really hard to do without multiclassing as a Rogue, Bard or Ranger.

Like I said before. The names aren't important, especially since they're totally made up anyway.


Loopy wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:

Thread jack

Sorry small neat pick but I think ya have Sune confused with Sharss I am thinking. As Sune is beauty , love and passion. She is also the goddes of marriage.

Sharess is the goddess of Hedonism, sexual fulfillment, feasthalls and cats.

So while the act of love leads to sex often Sune is not really the god of sex, that would be Sharess who's Rituals and holy days tend to be large orgy's

End thread jack

My character went the Chaotic Neutral route and worships the more carnal side of the goddess, but I guess a different deity may have been a better choice. I'm not much into that campaign world.

Alot of folks make that mistake, and while many of her clerics are a bit loose with sex , they almost always have some feeling for any partners they take. They do love everything pretty, And she is the goddness of passion , so nothing wrong with your concept


Frogboy wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

I've played Clerics of Death, or the Dark Clerics you mention. Back when you could actually control 2, to 4 Hit Dice of undead per level. And they were pretty damn weak, although I did have a single zombie (raised from an evil druid the party slew) that managed to kill two dragons due to a house rule crit chart. Now with a single Hit Die per level, I'm not sure it is worth a feat yet...

I'm curious what made the Dark Priest weak.

Yeah, I have worries about Command Undead myself. I want a quick look at the Bestiary to see what they did with undead in PF.

Ahh... I see i wasn't clear. Sorry.

The Cleric wasn't so weak, the Undead were. Even with up to 4 Hit Dice of them per level they fell in the first round usually.

So I, too, am waiting to see what the Undead end up like. I'm afraid they won't be boosted so much to offset the Hit Die cap. I can't see how they would be able to do that without blowing the CR (or equivalent).

Dennis da Ogre wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:
The Pathfinder cleric stole my kool-aid
We get ya man, ya hate Pathfinder cleric with unending rage we get that. I would say just don't play a cleric
Have a little pity, obviously Paizo cut the man deep. It may take years for him to mourn.

It won't take me nearly as long as those that wailed about CoDzilla...


Disenchanter wrote:
Frogboy wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

I've played Clerics of Death, or the Dark Clerics you mention. Back when you could actually control 2, to 4 Hit Dice of undead per level. And they were pretty damn weak, although I did have a single zombie (raised from an evil druid the party slew) that managed to kill two dragons due to a house rule crit chart. Now with a single Hit Die per level, I'm not sure it is worth a feat yet...

I'm curious what made the Dark Priest weak.

Yeah, I have worries about Command Undead myself. I want a quick look at the Bestiary to see what they did with undead in PF.

Ahh... I see i wasn't clear. Sorry.

The Cleric wasn't so weak, the Undead were. Even with up to 4 Hit Dice of them per level they fell in the first round usually.

So I, too, am waiting to see what the Undead end up like. I'm afraid they won't be boosted so much to offset the Hit Die cap. I can't see how they would be able to do that without blowing the CR (or equivalent).

I could see it being done. Even off the preview, I get the impression that undead can be pretty nasty in PF. Skeletons got a boost (not a bad one either), and I can see some ways with the templates to make skeletons or groups of skeletons with a CR appropriate to the party a not happy prospect.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:

well D8 is not bad, it's mid ground and the BAB is not bad at all, sure it's not full but it's damned fine for a full caster. Pare that with good armor and weapons and yeah your alot better off in melee then a white mage. Put him toe to toe spell less with a wizard in a melee fight and tell me who's the weak one.

To me when I hear white mage I think white mage. No armor, few weapons D6 and Poor BAB. That's a white mage.

Well, the point is that on PF all melee classes have been boosted considerably (besides, clerics lost heavy armor prof). So, simply having d8 HD, medium armor and simple weapon proficiency doesn't make you comparable with Fighters, Barbarians and Paladins. Perhaps that was true on 3.5E, but on PF, thankfully, that's not the case.

A PF cleric that doesn't focus his ability scores/domains/spells on becoming a battle priest is still somewhat stronger than a wizard on melee combat, but is a wimp compared to a Fighter.

So, in practice, I think it's true that a Channel Energy/Healing focused cleric becomes sort of a White Mage. If the DM challenges the party with monsters capable of going toe to toe with Fighters, Barbarians and Paladins, then the Channel/Healing cleric should better stay in the back. Not only because he is much weaker than the melee class combatants, but also because if he is dropped fast the party will have its main source of healing cut.


Disenchanter wrote:

Ahh... I see i wasn't clear. Sorry.

The Cleric wasn't so weak, the Undead were. Even with up to 4 Hit Dice of them per level they fell in the first round usually.

So I, too, am waiting to see what the Undead end up like. I'm afraid they won't be boosted so much to offset the Hit Die cap. I can't see how they would be able to do that without blowing the CR (or equivalent).

Ah, I see. That probably wouldn't affect my character much. If I took control of mindless undead, I'd likely just have them rip each other apart while the group and I journeyed onward. Not really interested in traveling with them. It would be used as a defensive measure. Make that vampire bow before me and such before I dismissed him.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd be very tempted to play a cleric of Asmodeus with the Fire and Trickery Domains. He'd be a complete snake oil salesman, focussed on Bluff, Diplomacy and Sense Motive as skills. He'd be the party face interacting with NPCs in such a way to get the party's payment squared away, and paying local bards a cut to sing the party's praises.

"A Cleric of Asmodeus gets things DONE. In fact forget payment, we'll wipe out that pesky Gnoll problem for free if you can fill the town hall with people who'll listen to my sermon about the advantages of accepting Asmodeus as your personal lord and saviour!"

(Party role wise instead of a Battle-Cleric or Healer he'd probably be a Utility Cleric. Maybe Lawyer Cleric?)

There's nothing like smacking some country hick with a case of leprosy while casting Remove Disease and yelling in my best southern preacher-man accent: "BE HEALED! SEE THE POW-WAH OF ASMODEUS!"


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Alot of folks make that mistake, and while many of her clerics are a bit loose with sex , they almost always have some feeling for any partners they take. They do love everything pretty, And she is the goddness of passion , so nothing wrong with your concept

Yeah, dude. I don't EVER use detect evil! Why should I when all I have to ask for is their Chrisma score and whether the DM feels that it reflects their outward appearance!

I know that's a very... dangerous way to deal with people but it's GREAT for the character. :)


Frogboy wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

Ahh... I see i wasn't clear. Sorry.

The Cleric wasn't so weak, the Undead were. Even with up to 4 Hit Dice of them per level they fell in the first round usually.

So I, too, am waiting to see what the Undead end up like. I'm afraid they won't be boosted so much to offset the Hit Die cap. I can't see how they would be able to do that without blowing the CR (or equivalent).

Ah, I see. That probably wouldn't affect my character much. If I took control of mindless undead, I'd likely just have them rip each other apart while the group and I journeyed onward. Not really interested in traveling with them. It would be used as a defensive measure. Make that vampire bow before me and such before I dismissed him.

That may be the most effective use. :-)

I don't know about making the vampire bow though... Again, the Bestiary may change things. But do you often face vampires with equal or lesser Hit Dice? The 3.5 Command at least has a provision to temporarily control a single undead of up to twice your level in Hit Dice (each individual undead was normally limited to your level, you could just have more of them) as long as you concentrated.

Unrelated to Undead, a tip: Without Spontaneous Cure spell casting you will need to carefully plan you spell selection. That isn't too bad, there really aren't that many spells per level that are generally useful. But I found a useful rule of thumb to be 1/2 (round up) your spells per spell level in Cure spells.


Fun Fact: Final Fantasy came out when I was around 12 years old (I think). Up until that point, I'd never played PnP DND although I did have friends that played. I had played the old CRPG Gold Box DND games though. To this day when I play FF1 (yes, I still play it from time to time) or even refer to it, I call the White Mage "the Cleric". Why? Well, that's pretty much what he was. He casted healing and defensive spells, was the bane of undead and didn't use edged weapons. The only noticable difference was the fact that he didn't wear armor.


The pathfinder cleric is now a healing battery who may do other things but no matter how he builds he's a battery of healing.

Is he more white mage then battle cleric, well only sort of. He certainly stepped closer to white mage with pathfinder then ever before, his hit points are close to a mages, his armor is closer, his spells are closer, and with his ability to fart out heals without using spells he's even encourage more then ever to cast non-healing spells in combats.

But I don't think he's fully there yet. He's taken stides in the direction but the road is long and he aint there yet.

He also isn't the battle cleric of old either, he can build that direction but he will always be a healing battery no matter what. So the idea of a non-healing combat focused cleric is dead. Most parties are likely happy about this but an optional build has been put down.

I also think it has made the paladin too good at healing. One of the arguements for removing heavy armor from clerics was it made it too easy to step on the paladin's toes. It allowed the cleric to play at being a holy warrior too easily. Yet that same arguement seems to not be involved in the dramatic increase to paladin healing channel energy has done. It would appear a double standard of sorts is in play. It's not right for the cleric to step on the paladin's toes even a little, but the paladin is suppose to stomp all over the cleric's. Not sure I agree with this at all. But if you use the arguement that heavy armor allowed clerics to pretend to be clerics, I don't see how you can support channel energy for paladins.


As in 3.5, whether or not a cleric is a white mage or battle priest is going to depend mostly on how you build him, equip him, prep spells for him, and play him. Either direction can credibly be pursued.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

The real White Mage is the Healer class. Light armor (no metal), simple weapons, and nothing but healing/protective spells. Seriously.


(edited - comment removed, whilst clarification is sought on topic of spontaneous casting elsewhere)
On another Thread:

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I do not want to interfere with the discussion here too much, because I find it interesting to see what folks think from outside the office.

That said, I do want to clear something up. The cleric changes were not, in any way, an attempt to move to the "white mage" concept. I like my clerics in armor.. just not heavy.

((And lets not start that discussion again.. ))

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

In addition to what Jason Bulmahn has said, I would like to point out that six of the twenty deities listed in the Core Rulebook are evil aligned; this means that they don't dole out healing magic en masse with their channel energies (or at least not to most creatures) and their spontaneous casting converts to inflict spells. And no evil clerics are not an option in PFS, but yes you can play neutral aligned clerics of evil deities if I understand correctly. Or for that matter you can play a neutral cleric of one of the seven neutral deities listed in the Core Rulebook and opt to wield negative energy.

I'm not sure that such a negative energy wielding cleric falls into the role which I imagine a 'white mage' is supposed to serve (although I do not have the third edition book which apparently features this class/prestige class so I cannot be completely certain here) or necessarily that of a 'battle priest'.

I understand that some people are very upset about some of the changes, but I do not see that the changes 'force' clerics into any particular one or two roles.
If the fact that a cleric of a good deity (or a neutral cleric who goes a positive energy route) can channel positive energy or spontaneously cast healing spells does make them a 'healing battery', I do not think that their role stops there. As someone else pointed out, but which seems to have been lost in the general sound and fury of these cleric threads, the fact that good clerics have so much healing 'on tap' can take pressure off their spell list if there was such pressure in the first place from the rest of the party for someone to partly play a role of 'healing battery'.

I have noticed a number of 'ohnoes, the cleric is completely wrecked now!!!' posts floating around, without actual reports of in-game examples of catastrophes caused by these changes (or for that matter contradictory reports of catastrophes averted by changes).
For a while I understand that in real-world science there was a view that it should be theoretically impossible for bumble-bees to fly, in despite of which elucidated mathematics the bees still somehow went about their business of pollinating flowers and making honey...
Translation: I am very interested in seeing some evidence in terms of reports of in-play experiences to show that the cleric now 'suxxors mightily' (or does not) instead of a lot of speculating and poring over stats.


Perhaps dumb question time, but what is a "white mage" in the context of this thread?

-- david
Papa.DRB

Liberty's Edge

Papa-DRB wrote:

Perhaps dumb question time, but what is a "white mage" in the context of this thread?

-- david
Papa.DRB

In the Final Fantasy games the White Mages are spellcasters that pretty much cast only healing/protective magic, can't wear armor beyond robes (and a few other 'clothy' type things), and wield fairly mediocre weapons.


Thanks, Gene.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Ah yes, the NES Final Fantasy, where the real challenge was beating it with just four White Mages...


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ah yes, the NES Final Fantasy, where the real challenge was beating it with just four White Mages...

LOL. I made a quip about this in one of the other Cleric threads. :)

Papa-DRB wrote:
Perhaps dumb question time, but what is a "white mage" in the context of this thread?
Frogboy wrote:

White Mage = Magic and Healing focused

Dark Priest = Magic and Damage focused
Battle Priest = Melee focused
Frogboy wrote:
Fun Fact: Final Fantasy came out when I was around 12 years old (I think). Up until that point, I'd never played PnP DND although I did have friends that played. I had played the old CRPG Gold Box DND games though. To this day when I play FF1 (yes, I still play it from time to time) or even refer to it, I call the White Mage "the Cleric". Why? Well, that's pretty much what he was. He casted healing and defensive spells, was the bane of undead and didn't use edged weapons. The only noticable difference was the fact that he didn't wear armor.


Frogboy wrote:
It appears that our favorite RPG now has a "new" type of Cleric....

Frogboy... I copy n' pasted this here from the other topic because it fits this topic a LOT better...

>

Well first let me say I'm coming from a PFS/RPGA point of view here...

When you bring a cleric to the table there are some baseline expectations, the first is, you’re a cleric… so you can heal.

By dropping Charisma and thus forgetting channeling you are turning your back on a core class feature. Is akin to creating a ranger who uses two-handed swords in melee… you are ignoring all the feats the class gives you…

Build the two characters side by side… you will quickly see that you are, in fact, working against the strengths of the class.

The Cleric class skill list, powers, and abilities all work off of mental stats… Not one works off a Physical stat, and the time you spend in combat buffing yourself to reach a basic power level in which you can hold your own in melee, is better spent casting control spells or direct damage spells. And every feat you take to improve your melee combat potential, the farther you get from your classes core abilities.

I hate 4th edition, but it did teach me one thing, efficacy of actions…

Ask yourself, what would be the most effective thing for me to do? Drop a flame strike dealing 9d8 damage to 2 targets before the rest of my party gets into melee? Or buff myself to give me a +3 to hit/+3 on damage (divine power) and next round get into melee dealing 1d8+11 (18 Strength + divine power, and -2/+4 from power attack) – Now god forbid you want to make a Dex based melee cleric (read my Swashbuckling cleric post)

I feel that if the designers wanted you to get into melee, some cleric melee buff spells would have been a swift action to cast. Now before you yell, “But you will be better than the fighter” that’s not true at all... The fighter will still be better fighters…it may have been true with the 3.5 fighter, but NOT with the Pathfinder fighter….

Liberty's Edge

Frogboy wrote:

It appears that our favorite RPG now has a "new" type of Cleric to compete with the age old, traditional, iron-clad battle priest. Now that Channel Positive Energy is such an attractive option for it's ability to not only heal but to do so at a distance and for multiple targets, what will likely be forever referred to as the White Mage is born. Clerics everywhere are hangin up their full plate in favor of focusing on becoming the ultimate healer...or are they?

I'm curious, if you were forced to make and play a Cleric right now, what kind would he or she be? Would you make a Battle Priest, a White Mage or perhaps the new Dark Priest that many seem to overlook?

If you are going with the White Mage, is it just because it's something shiny and new and you want to give it a try or do you feel that it fits better than the traditional medieval warrior concept?

If you are going with one of the other two, feel free to say why that option looks more interesting if you'd like.

Or feel free to flame me for creating yet another Cleric related thread if you'd like.

i am no for either options, the cleric is much more than just that...

that is one of the reasons I am not using Pathfinder RPG at all except for the skills sections... yes about 520 pages or more are pretty much useless to me...

So no... I go for combat options and healing in as much as I can, at least with my normal cleric... Iomedae is not proud of those who stay behind when evil is upfront, be it cleric or paladin, there is no place for cowards in her army on heaven, if you are fit to fight you fight

besides I have always liked more Red Mage... even if its only gets translated to munchkin bard :P (yes 8 Bit Theatre FTW!)


Nunspa wrote:
Frogboy wrote:
It appears that our favorite RPG now has a "new" type of Cleric....

Frogboy... I copy n' pasted this here from the other topic because it fits this topic a LOT better...

*** See above ***

Well, yes and no. Despite my melodramatic entrance designed to make everyone go, "oh no, not again!", the primary goal of this thread was mainly to see if people's perception of what a Cleric is and should be have changed since the golden age of DND. That and to see what flavor of Cleric people would play if they statted one up right now. It wasn't really supposed to be one vs. the other debate but it doesn't look like that beast is going to die anytime soon. :)

Now to address your point, that I did see but didn't get around to addressing before (that thread is just cruising). True, an optimized build would probably guide you to dropping Flame Strikes at 9d6 (I'm assuming that was a typo). This is a very general statement though. If you're fighting one creature, I'd say you get more bang for your buck buffing yourself and chargin into melee. You can do way more damage over the course of 8 or 9 rounds as a buffed Battle Priest then you would dropping a 5th level attack spell.

I don't know for sure because I haven't played or seen one in action but it doesn't appear to me that being a Battle Priest is the road to ruin and ineffectiveness. I think they could do rather well and still have a lot of extra abilities to fall back on particularly when you face things that your magic isn't good against. Multiclasses with Fighter, I think a Cleric could be just as effective as his 3.5 counterpart without the level 7-9 spells which aI think is a fair trade for the sake of game balance. Until 3.x, Fighter/Cleric was always a perfect blend. It would've been that in 3.x too except the fact that there was absolutely no need to. Every Cleric I knew that took a couple levels of Fighter regretted it. I don't think that'll be the case this time.

Montalve wrote:

i am no for either options, the cleric is much more than just that...

that is one of the reasons I am not using Pathfinder RPG at all except for the skills sections... yes about 520 pages or more are pretty much useless to me...

So no... I go for combat options and healing in as much as I can, at least with my normal cleric... Iomedae is not proud of those who stay behind when evil is upfront, be it cleric or paladin, there is no place for cowards in her army on heaven, if you are fit to fight you fight

besides I have always liked more Red Mage... even if its only gets translated to munchkin bard :P (yes 8 Bit Theatre FTW!)

A happy medium is fine. I listed the extremes. There's a million shades of grey in between.

Funny you should mention it. The PF Cleric is awefully close to the Red Mage. :)

Liberty's Edge

Frogboy wrote:

A happy medium is fine. I listed the extremes. There's a million shades of grey in between.

Funny you should mention it. The PF Cleric is awefully close to the Red Mage. :)

maybe one of Sarenrae's clerics :P

je... my problem is i didn't liked the Final Domains... ok they did it the same as the bloodlines... but took some of the cool abilities to give bonus spells wich I could live without,... still need to revise it thoroughly... but somehow... its not lack of time... but lack of desire... I see the enormous book and I had expected months ago I will be very exited to have it arrive... but a few weeks before release I lost all exitement... now I keep seeing it over my table or the bookcase and it just don't alls to me.. except when I need to check some skill and I have the Beta closed...

the art is ebutiful and I loved the stories... before each chapter... but as I emntioned once the cleric was such a dealbreaker with me... and the crippling of the bard too helped me lose most of my interes (besides... magic is not as useful as it was... since it was nerfed again.. i may not read the book, but i read the commentaries aboard)

but irght now i am using the Beta cleric combined with the BoXM rules... and its working well for us... so no complains


No worries. I have plans to house rule the living daylights out of PF once we've played for long enough to see what fits our gaming style best. I kind of feel like a fool for not doing more with 3.5. We played most things as-is. Because of that, the 11 core classes got narrowed down significantly. I can't remember the last time someone played a Barbarian, Bard or Sorcerer. Paladins were very few and far between. We probably only had six or seven core classes although others moved in to take their place.

I have a feeling that death spells will be first to get tweaked.

Liberty's Edge

oh... not in my game... the wizards demand a decent polymorf

we played pretty much vanilla... actually I hate non core classes in general unless is a complete different book... I can't see the Cloistered Cleric, Dedicated Bard or Warlock (so yes... i take it baddly when I present what I see as a problem in a class and they solve it with a non core class...), but if we change rules completely (Arcana Evolved or Iron heroes) I have no problem with those settign classes, they are part of the setting and they are done to be cool...

So yes I have began in this last year to try new things in that area, I am of the kind of DM that for christmas gices 1 feat or +1 in a stat to everyone in the gaming table, r for their birthdays... or just add them a new feat if I feel they earned (like Paizo's Achievement Feats... but without the cost)...

right now we are checking the 3.5 PHB 2 and we have been finding lots of interesting feats and mechancis for the party, combined with the fighting domains and Disciplines in BoXM you get some very interesting posibilities...

of coruse the 1st thing we house ruled and damned be Paizo :P was to give 2 extra skill points to every clase... we are very skill focused in our games.


I think there's room for both concepts, but I think they shouldn't necessarily be the same class. Of course my idea of a white mage is, for one thing, a mage...


lordzack wrote:
I think there's room for both concepts, but I think they shouldn't necessarily be the same class. Of course my idea of a white mage is, for one thing, a mage...

Feel free to use the terms healy cleric, fighty cleric and destructy cleric if you like. Healbot is also perfectly acceptable. I pulled White Mage from the other thread because it seems to ruffle a few feathers even though the concept that it was derived from was just a cleric with no armor. It was a mage though. They didn't differentiate in Final Fantasy.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Frogboy wrote:
[T]he primary goal of this thread was mainly to see if people's perception of what a Cleric is and should be have changed since the golden age of DND.
I'd almost say you have to look at the cleric not as a continuation of the traditional cleric, but as a cleric who killed the 2nd edition specialty priest and took all of his stuff. Consider:

  • Not all specialty priests had proficiency with heavy armor; not all clerics have proficiency with heavy armor.
  • Not all specialty priests could turn/rebuke undead; not all clerics can turn/rebuke undead.
  • Some specialty priests could cast a few non-cleric spells; some clerics can cast a few non-cleric spells.
  • Many specialty priests were proficient with deity-specific weapons; all clerics are proficient with deity-specific weapons.
  • All specialty priests had miscellaneous abilities tied closely to their deities; all clerics have miscellaneous abilities tied closely to their deities' domains.

Based on that, I'm inclined to say that the Pathfinder cleric isn't a straight, traditional cleric, but an amalgam of both the traditional cleric and the specialty priest, with a few class abilities turned into feats to make room for specialty priest stuff.

Liberty's Edge

Epic Meepo wrote:
Frogboy wrote:
[T]he primary goal of this thread was mainly to see if people's perception of what a Cleric is and should be have changed since the golden age of DND.
I'd almost say you have to look at the cleric not as a continuation of the traditional cleric, but as a cleric who killed the 2nd edition specialty priest and took all of his stuff. Consider:

  • Not all specialty priests had proficiency with heavy armor; not all clerics have proficiency with heavy armor.
  • Not all specialty priests could turn/rebuke undead; not all clerics can turn/rebuke undead.
  • Some specialty priests could cast a few non-cleric spells; some clerics can cast a few non-cleric spells.
  • All specialty priests had miscellaneous abilities tied closely to their deities; all clerics have miscellaneous abilities tied closely to their deities' domains.

That enough to make me inclined to say that the Pathfinder cleric isn't just a straight cleric, but an amalgam of both the traditional cleric and the specialty priest. You're not quite an traditional cleric without taking a feat or two because a few of your traditional class abilities got converted into feats to make room for the specialty priest stuff you absorbed.

specialty cleric were optionals, even more optionals than the specialty wizards about schools, in the main PHB of 2nd edition you get nothing but guidelines to arm your own specialty clerics, you get to see something just until you saw the gods... and it depended in the god...

but here we don't see it, ok its moderately rpescented in the Domains and if you have gods & Magic in the spells given by your god...

but at the same time theycut you options... there were optionals rules where you could decide not tonuse your heavy armor and get intead skill points per level for your character, or another feat...

now they took away that option, and they don't offer nothing to those who for their kind of faith (lets say Sheylin) decide to use light or no armor...

so its kind of hypocrital when they say they took it for game balance... game balances means mechanics notebliefs... the thing here is they are thrown in this game balance (not my option mind you) as either healbots (now with more and different spells) or secundary fighters...

in the part of white magie or healbot they are reduced with the now again nerfed spells (as same as wizards and et all..)

in the part of secudnary fighter less armor mens its harder to cover the fighter... and if the fighter falls its better for the cleric just to leave him there... whatever brought down a fighter now can bring down easier the cleric who would try to save him,.. half of those times giving AoOs to his enemies... same if he cast a spell even if he is out of the area the fighter would get an AoO when he stands...

when I use a cleric I don't usually get heavy armor, because i put my characters moderately to a bit high strenght... but not whatis encesary to move decently in one of those things...

then why do I complain? they took options away... and I knwo they would say check 3.5 and PFRPG you wills e new things

yes I knwo... the problem is that I saw the beta, where some of the best and more interesting ideas for classes were buried... so now I just can't make myself reinterest myself in PFRPG :P

its like being in love and feeling you have been desilusioned... that what you expected was not to be... and even when it aches you and want to go back, you simply can because its not there anymore

oh yes its a depressive feeling when yopu have a 50 bucks book over your table, and just prefer to read the planet stories book because it looks a lot more interesting

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