Cleric or Oracle?


Advice

Liberty's Edge

Just wanting to hear some other opinions what you would choose in my current situation. Four PC party starting Jade Regent with 15pt buy.

Gnome Druid - Stats as a caster.
Serpentine Sorcerer - Enchantment and utility with minimal blasting.
Alchemist or Summoner?? Third character hasnt fully decided yet but is leaning heavily toward those 2 options.

I need to fit into this party with my character and I see 2 things lacking. No frontline really and limited healing. Considering that I am looking at Human Battle Cleric or Oracle(Battle Mystery).

I am currently leaning toward Battle Oracle but I would like to hear other opinions and comparisons. Other options are also being considered however, paladin is not on the table as an option.

Any advice or comparisons will be appreciated.


The low point buy makes playing a martial-caster hybrid character of any kind difficult. I'd lean more towards cleric than oracle, as a cleric has more overall versatility than an oracle, and is a little easier to stat out.

A dwarf would be a solid race for a battle cleric, honestly. No racial Strength bonus, but you'd get a bonus to Con and Wisdom, allowing you to put them higher than you would otherwise have been able to with a low point buy. A good dwarf cleric might look like

Str 16
Dex 12
Con 14
Int 8
Wis 16
Cha 6

Feat: Toughness

Silver Crusade

Cleric : if your only doing one to two fights per day will do better.
Oracle : if your doing long work days like my group. four + encounters per rest. Oracle pulls out front.

Battle clerics have realy good bursting damage with the right domains. But lack the real staying power of a pure martal class.

Oracle of battle lacks the versatility of the cleric but makes up for it in staying power close to that of a pure martal class.

The thing most missed by alot of players is the divine caster list. If you strip it down to only the buffing and cure spells. There are not that meny good spell left. So the Oracle will have 90% of the same spells a battle cleric dose just with the ability to cast a few more per day.

The other thing is with low point buy oracle dose better here as well. Droping Cha to get other stats is fine but you lose out on channel ability of the cleric. So it gose back to castings per day for healing and this is where the oracle pulls out front.

Domains over all do help the cleric in melee, but are limited in the times per day they can be used.
Mysterys give you alot more focus on combat and most of them are used at all times.

My Oracle of battle that im playing using a 15 point buy. Hase done much better then other battle cleric I have made in the past. The real advantage here is the long work day. With the party being Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Bard(Combat Focused), and Oracle of Battle.
Str 17 (15+2Human) All level up points here
Dex 12
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 7 (Yes I know it's low, but with only 15 points you have to make choices. This was droped to put base Str from 14 to 15, and Dex from 10 to 12. You could go with 8 Wis and Dex 10 and it still work very well.)
Cha 14
Traits: Reactionary (The other one is a AP trait.)
Feat: Improved Initiative
Human: Extra Revelation: War Sight (+7 Init Roll two dice keap one)
Revelation: Skill at Arms
(Did not take weapon master as at level 3 picking up exotic weapon Fauchard. And Weapon Master for it. Started level 1 with a Bardiche. For the characters main weapon.)
Going to take Manuver Master trip for the level 7 revelation.

Grand Lodge

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Your summoner could fill the front line role with his eidolon. The same is true for the druid's animal companion. You really need to find out what they are planning before you can make any decisions.

The cleric channeling ability handles in combat healing far better than the oracle. It also allows you to use your spelll slots for something other than cure spells.

Sovereign Court

I know that this article is about the Cleric vs. Oracle, but do not count out the Inquisitor. Limited spells, but they have awesome combat ability as a Divine Caster. Go with Healing and Buffing Spells, like Prayer, Aid, and Bless and there ya go!


sieylianna wrote:

Your summoner could fill the front line role with his eidolon. The same is true for the druid's animal companion. You really need to find out what they are planning before you can make any decisions.

The cleric channeling ability handles in combat healing far better than the oracle. It also allows you to use your spelll slots for something other than cure spells.

Actually I'm currently playing an oracle of life, and the thing about them is that they only need one mental stat to function, whereas the cleric needs wis and cha.

Shadow Lodge

if the third character ends a master summoner you pretty much won't need a front liner.

If some one has the Inner World Sea Guide there is a wizard/sorc spell called Infernal Healing that would help out the healing a bit.(fast healing 1 for a minute(10 rounds))

how easy will it be for your party to get a hold of happy sticks (aka wands of cure light wounds)? consider making a full bab character, and aiming for high AC, you don't need much healing when things need a nat 20 to hit you. pity paladin is off the table, you could obtain high ac/saves and have some healing on the side

problem with an eidolon front lining is that only the summoner can heal it and the summoner doesn't have many spells at low levels as it is. Not only that the druid's animal companion and the eidolon don't start with max HP IIRC. which really begs the question, what'll hurt more, no dedicated healer or no dedicated front-liner?


Skerek wrote:


problem with an eidolon front lining is that only the summoner can heal it and the summoner doesn't have many spells at low levels as it is.

Where does it say the eidolon can't be healed by other people?

All that an eidolon can't do is heal naturally.

Dark Archive

A non-support line druid would be the correct call. You and animal companion hold the front with lots of support. Summoner's Eidilon has some HP difficulty early; but can. Eventually do similar. Your Druid heals fine, you need front line. Equally viable would be a paladin or straight fighter.

The battlefield should be controlled nicely; you need a high damage dealer with lots of AC, front and center, more than a cleric.

Battle clerics / oracles can make decent (never good) secondary front liners, but not primaries.

Liberty's Edge

A battle oracle can hold the front line very well, just build it with an eye towards building a warrior, not a caster, and you'll do well I think.

A battle cleric is trickier as you have to balance the need for wisdom and charisma with your combat ability. At a 15 point buy, I'd definitely go oracle.

Shadow Lodge

Just as another possibility, how about a paladin?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Have you considered a Paladin? I believe you are right to note that you don't have a primary healer, but your summoner can heal his eidolon, and even himself if he's into the infernal healing jazz from Cheliax. At level one and two, your Druid is not a terrible healer. Goodberry (imo) is better than cure light at extremely low levels. And once your paladin gets lay on hands at level 2, your group now has 3 off-healers, two of whom can use wands of cure light.

Channel energy is important, but not NECESSARY unless you're facing lots of fireballs or AoE traps, which shouldn't happen until lvl 5 or soe, when a paladin has access to channelling anyway. Check Ultimate Magic for some feats that really put paladin healers on pace with clerics.

Dark Archive

Paladin would be my top pick as well; with Fighter 2nd. As a pally you self-heal as a swift action, and have good saves. For optimal stats on 15 points:

Str: 18
Int: 7
Wis: 7
Dex: 13
Con: 14
Chr: 14

Wield a greatsword (Falchion if you plan to play to very high levels) and swing for the fences.

Liberty's Edge

Thank you all for the information. I ultimately decided upon Human Battle Oracle. After getting started on the campaign I can say I think it will be very fun.

So our party ended up as this...

Human Battle Oracle (Ulfen Noble Warrior/Mystic)
Human Rage Chemist with a dip into barbarian (Crazy 2hand wielder)
Human Sorcerer - Cross Fey/Serpentine (Varisian Gypsy - Manipulator)
Gnome Druid with dip into Ranger (Ranged and Spells)

So while not having a full front liner the 4 man group did end up with a good mix of capability. There is a decent amount of versatility due to every member bringing some form of casting to the table. Myself, the oracle, and the Rage Chemist will be the front line. Of course we will use spells/abilities to increase our melee combat ability. While we are supported from range by the other 2. The party also ended up with 3 people able to cast healing spells and the sorcerer is building UMD.

BTW, I went with a Hvy Flail as a weapon of choice. I intend to take advantage of the Trip and Disarm qualities.

I think it will be a very fun adventure.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Congratulations on the decision. One last mention, playing a melee battle oracle with a 2hander is going to be very squishy at times, be cautious with your poor d8 hit die. If you plan on a high STR for CMBs, a 13 int for imp trip or disarm, and a decent CHA, chances are your CON won't be super high, so try to remember you're a primary caster :) I've seen too many battle oracles die in blazes of glory.

Also, if you haven't picked your curse yet, don't take haunted. I love the curse, but for a melee oracle, it's a death wish.

Liberty's Edge

AmosTrask32 wrote:
Also, if you haven't picked your curse yet, don't take haunted. I love the curse, but for a melee oracle, it's a death wish.

Can you elaborate on this. I was actually debating Haunted vs Tongues. As for haunted, I understand that if I drop my weapon it will be difficult to pick it back up. Other than that it will be difficult to find time to draw items from my back pack. Am I missing something in how difficult Haunted can make things for a battle oracle specifically?

For the other concerns you mentioned.

Hvy Flail is the weapon of choice but I intend to have a flail/shield combo for times of extreme difficulty. Also, while I dont have an int of 13 I can take Maneuver Mastery(x). So assuming I live to lvl 7 I will pick up mastery for either trip or disarm. I am not completely decided yet. Also, while enlarged I can perform a trip on most medium creatures as they provoke an AoO from me getting close. For the hp, while its not a perfect solution I chose Toughness as my 1st feat and I have a 14 con.

My spell selection is also intended to assist in survivability through damage mitigation and output as well. I am hoping that the party can work well enough together that I do not have to begin casting cure spells too often in combat. That will depend on our tactics of course.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Happy to elaborate. I suppose first you should clear with your GM whether or not weapons count as "stored items in your gear." When I GM, I made it clear that they do, and so our haunted battle oracle in Carrion Crown (Hat Hat Johnson)has a nasty habit of finding his sheathed sword on the wrong hip, or his morningstar getting tangled in the 50' of rope hanging from his backpack.

Especially if you plan on going sword and board with a heavy shield of some kind, you will eventually want to be able to drop a weapon to pull a potion/scroll/rope/bag of magic beans from your backpack. That moment is the worst day of your life as a haunted Oracle. I'm sure we've all been at low health and thanked the gods for five-foot step, drop sword, draw potion, drink.

The "your item flies 10 feet in a random direction" is bad enough when it's a wand, scroll, or healing potion. But when it's your +2 adamantine flail of dragonsmiting... and you're on a bridge/ship/treetop/back of a flying dragon... It's a huge risk for not much reward.

Also, don't forget even a huge CMD and careful planning won't guarantee you never drop an item. Stunned, Panicked, and even falling unconscious all make you drop whatever you're carrying.

Haunted is great for caster Oracles. Ones that solve problems with magic usually have time to get what they need out of melee, or, even better, just walk around with that wand in their hand, just in case.

All that said, those are silly rule-based reasons. If you have a cool Haunted backstory, you go for it! Ruleswise, your most comfortable curses as Battle are usually Wasting or Lame. Lame makes that super-heavy armor a breeze, and Wasting helps you wade through those pesky noxious clouds, stench monsters, and can even turn your next rancid garbage chute into a slip 'n slide!

Tongues is neat, but since most GMs suck at enforcing "no talking in Common in combat" at the table, it's usually not really all that roleplayed so it makes me sad to see it used as a "not a curse" curse.

Also, I love Toughness at lvl 1 :) Glad you're taking some physicals as primary stats. I assume you're STR > CON > CHA > DEX > INT > WIS? Who needs a super high CHA as a buffer/basher anyway, right?


+1 for Inquisitor. Though oracles are also very capable. I agree that they're better than clerics for the situation and that it stretches MAD too much to rely on Wis and Cha.


AmosTrask32 wrote:

Happy to elaborate. I suppose first you should clear with your GM whether or not weapons count as "stored items in your gear." When I GM, I made it clear that they do, and so our haunted battle oracle in Carrion Crown (Hat Hat Johnson)has a nasty habit of finding his sheathed sword on the wrong hip, or his morningstar getting tangled in the 50' of rope hanging from his backpack.

Especially if you plan on going sword and board with a heavy shield of some kind, you will eventually want to be able to drop a weapon to pull a potion/scroll/rope/bag of magic beans from your backpack. That moment is the worst day of your life as a haunted Oracle. I'm sure we've all been at low health and thanked the gods for five-foot step, drop sword, draw potion, drink.

The "your item flies 10 feet in a random direction" is bad enough when it's a wand, scroll, or healing potion. But when it's your +2 adamantine flail of dragonsmiting... and you're on a bridge/ship/treetop/back of a flying dragon... It's a huge risk for not much reward.

Also, don't forget even a huge CMD and careful planning won't guarantee you never drop an item. Stunned, Panicked, and even falling unconscious all make you drop whatever you're carrying.

Haunted is great for caster Oracles. Ones that solve problems with magic usually have time to get what they need out of melee, or, even better, just walk around with that wand in their hand, just in case.

All that said, those are silly rule-based reasons. If you have a cool Haunted backstory, you go for it! Ruleswise, your most comfortable curses as Battle are usually Wasting or Lame. Lame makes that super-heavy armor a breeze, and Wasting helps you wade through those pesky noxious clouds, stench monsters, and can even turn your next rancid garbage chute into a slip 'n slide!

Tongues is neat, but since most GMs suck at enforcing "no talking in Common in combat" at the table, it's usually not really all that roleplayed so it makes me sad to see it used as a "not a curse" curse.

Also, I...

As someone who has played combat oracle with the haunted curse and is playing in the game Amos Trask is talking about, I must agree with this post. Action economy can mean life or death in game, and having to spend a standard to draw things can be a HUGE problem for melee characters. If you're a caster oracle though, don't worry about it.

Grand Lodge

AmosTrask32 wrote:
Tongues is neat, but since most GMs suck at enforcing "no talking in Common in combat" at the table, it's usually not really all that roleplayed so it makes me sad to see it used as a "not a curse" curse.

Tongues is a curse if you are attempting to be the party face. When the barbarian says something untoward to the city watch, you can't defuse the situation speaking infernal. That fact alone has nixed the tongues curse for a couple of my characters.

Liberty's Edge

You do bring up a good point. I wasnt considering weapons as 'stored' items. I was thinking of gear in backpacks, belt pouches, scroll cases, etc. That and I had a pretty nice back story built around haunted or tongues. Honestly I was leaning more toward haunted for the spells known. However, lame does make a lot of sense due to being reduced to 20ft speed anyway from wearing armor.

That said, I havent yet found out just how much emphasis my dm intends to put into the curse. Considering I put reasons for the curse into my back story I assume he will play it up a bit. Im definitely not a fan of wasting as I will end up being the party face. My group mates are new to pathfinder and Im a bit skeptical of limiting my characters diplomatic abilities. After reading your post I intend to have a chat with him and possibly request a change to lame curse. We have only played a single session so I dont think it would be a problem.

As for stats, we have something close to 15pt buy.
17(+1 at 4th)
12
14
8
8
16

I debated for a week about con vs cha. Honestly I chose cha at 16 b/c I decided that I might want/need to cast a spell with a DC on the enemy. Again, the decision was based around my group mates being new to pathfinder and I dont know how our group tactics etc are going to play out.

*Edit*
So this is the plan for the oracle. Feel free to share your opinion.
Lvl 1
Toughness
Extra Revelation - Skill at Arms
Revelation - Weapon Mastery (Hvy Flail)

Lvl 3
Power Attack
Revelation - War Sight

Lvl 5
Furious Focus (Im debating Combat Casting or Extend Spell(for buffs) here. Thinking Ive got time before this decision must be absolutely made and I can see how combat plays out.)

Lvl 7
Extra Revelation - Maneuver Mastery (Trip or Disarm) Havent decided?
Revelation - Combat Healer

Beyond 7th I havent planned out explicitly b/c Id like to find out more of how our group is going to play. Some things such as, if the sorcerer doesnt want to take craft rod at lvl 9 then I will consider it. Potential team work feats to take with the rage chemist/barb is another example.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Okay, so that's a 20 point array, I can more reasonably see Battle Oracle with a high powered game like that. I hope your first session went well, I really like Jade Regent.

If your GM does let you switch to lame, I should point out that you still go from 20' to 15' in medium/heavy armor until you get to lvl 10. The real reason it's so common for Battle oracles is they get Ride/Handle Animal, and horses aren't too expensive :) At higher levels

I also see it a lot with Rage Prophets (of course, fatigue immune rage omnom) and Oracles of Nature (Because of the intelligent mount revelation)

Best of luck, and don't listen to anything OmegaZ says, he's a witch!!!

hehehe... Haunted fire oracle... hehehe.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I gotta lean towards the oracle option, mostly because I'm playing one in our Runelords game, and he's doing pretty well keeping everybody alive. Granted, the Sanguine bloodline sorcerer is making my life hard, what with him being a postive-energy resistant dhampir . . .

Anywho, I'm the only source of healing in a party of four [besides the odd emergency potion], and the GM isn't pulling any punches, so I think that speaks well for the utility of an oracle. FYI, I'm playing one with the Metal mystery, not Battle or Life, and I end up on the front lines more often than not. As a front line guy, the option to summon any martial melee weapon to suit the current circumstance is pretty nice.

Of course, a lot of this depends on good teamwork. The sorcerer hangs back with his longspear, casting as needs be, and stabbing guys from a safe distance. The archer archetype fighter puts arrows through skulls with great precision. The rogue . . . sneaks around and occasionally stabs things. Gotta get her to clue in to the flanks I try to set up, but there's hope there.

That's my two copper; hope it helps your decision!

Liberty's Edge

IMO Cleric just has too many bennies to pass up, particularly when you pour over the domain and feat lists with a fine-toothed comb.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Metal mystery - in Ultimate Magic- might be of interest to the OP. It has some similarities to the Battle mystery.

It can allow you to move unimpeded by medium metal armour (Armour Mastery revelation), move faster with a metal weapon in your hands (Dance of the Blades revelation), gain proficiency with heavy armour and all martial weaponss (Skill at Arms revelation), create a weapon from nothing (Iron Weapon revelation, also makes it cold iron/adamantine and gives it a magical enhancement at higher levels), plus other stuff like the Iron Constitution and Iron Skin revelations.

Plus the the first mystery bonus spell is Lead Blades, which is normally a Ranger-only spell from the APG. (Similar to Gravity Bow, another nice spell.)

Shadow Lodge

AmosTrask32 wrote:

Happy to elaborate. I suppose first you should clear with your GM whether or not weapons count as "stored items in your gear." When I GM, I made it clear that they do, and so our haunted battle oracle in Carrion Crown (Hat Hat Johnson)has a nasty habit of finding his sheathed sword on the wrong hip, or his morningstar getting tangled in the 50' of rope hanging from his backpack.

I'd like to also mention that this is most definitely a house rule, and not RAW. There is a "draw weapon" action, and a separate "retrieve a stored item" action. By RAW, the Haunted curse only affects the "retrieve" action.

Nothing wrong with playing it affecting weapons, but it is indeed a house rule.

Lantern Lodge

Just ending my thoughts to this as I played a Cleric and an Orcale before, both time focusing on spellcasting.

I have to say the the Cleric is better.
The BIGGEST difference and why Cleric wins, is the quicker access to higher level spells.
As an Orcale, I face the problem of not being able to access spells like Lesser Restoration and such more then once. While a Cleric of the same level would already have access.

As a Cleric you have flexibility with spells, and like a good repairman, you can keep your party running like a well oiled machine.
A Orcale, feels more... selfish.. its a more "solo-able" character thanks to the tons of Revelations that give Cha as Dex and other powers.

On the lack of tanking, I too am in a party that lack front-line tankers. The answer? Get the Sacred Summons feat. Unless your DM is a RAW by RAW person, you can use it to crank out meat shields to support and protect your party.
You are like a master summoner with healing! (Less on the summon, more on the healing.)

With all that said, the OP seems to have a party that is pretty well rounded. Good luck!


Thalin wrote:

Paladin would be my top pick as well; with Fighter 2nd. As a pally you self-heal as a swift action, and have good saves. For optimal stats on 15 points:

Str: 18
Int: 7
Wis: 7
Dex: 13
Con: 14
Chr: 14

Wield a greatsword (Falchion if you plan to play to very high levels) and swing for the fences.

Even so that paladin is not very viable. I would sacrifice STR over CHR. Also I think for 15 point buy your math is wrong, but admittedly I hate using point buy. Your total points seem to be

Points 15:

Int 7 = 15 - (-4)=19
Str 18 = 19-17 = 2
Wis 7 = 2 - (-4)=6
Con 14 = 6 -5 = 1
Dex, Chr brings it down to -7
Did I miss something?

I don't think you can make a viable character with 18's using 15 point buy.

I think you meant to say STR 16. If that is indeed the case, that 16 should go into CHR. The +1 extra dmg and attack is not worth the sacrifice of losing that one point off of charisma for a paladin.


Mournblade94 wrote:
Thalin wrote:

Paladin would be my top pick as well; with Fighter 2nd. As a pally you self-heal as a swift action, and have good saves. For optimal stats on 15 points:

Str: 18
Int: 7
Wis: 7
Dex: 13
Con: 14
Chr: 14

Wield a greatsword (Falchion if you plan to play to very high levels) and swing for the fences.

Even so that paladin is not very viable. I would sacrifice STR over CHR. Also I think for 15 point buy your math is wrong, but admittedly I hate using point buy. Your total points seem to be

Points 15:

Int 7 = 15 - (-4)=19
Str 18 = 19-17 = 2
Wis 7 = 2 - (-4)=6
Con 14 = 6 -5 = 1
Dex, Chr brings it down to -7
Did I miss something?

I don't think you can make a viable character with 18's using 15 point buy.

I think you meant to say STR 16. If that is indeed the case, that 16 should go into CHR. The +1 extra dmg and attack is not worth the sacrifice of losing that one point off of charisma for a paladin.

Try it with a 16 in strength.

16=-10
7= +4
7= +4
14= -5
14= -5
13= -3

15 points

Add a +2 racial modifier to strength and you get 18.


TarkXT wrote:
Mournblade94 wrote:
Thalin wrote:

Paladin would be my top pick as well; with Fighter 2nd. As a pally you self-heal as a swift action, and have good saves. For optimal stats on 15 points:

Str: 18
Int: 7
Wis: 7
Dex: 13
Con: 14
Chr: 14

Wield a greatsword (Falchion if you plan to play to very high levels) and swing for the fences.

Even so that paladin is not very viable. I would sacrifice STR over CHR. Also I think for 15 point buy your math is wrong, but admittedly I hate using point buy. Your total points seem to be

Points 15:

Int 7 = 15 - (-4)=19
Str 18 = 19-17 = 2
Wis 7 = 2 - (-4)=6
Con 14 = 6 -5 = 1
Dex, Chr brings it down to -7
Did I miss something?

I don't think you can make a viable character with 18's using 15 point buy.

I think you meant to say STR 16. If that is indeed the case, that 16 should go into CHR. The +1 extra dmg and attack is not worth the sacrifice of losing that one point off of charisma for a paladin.

Try it with a 16 in strength.

16=-10
7= +4
7= +4
14= -5
14= -5
13= -3

15 points

Add a +2 racial modifier to strength and you get 18.

OK. I had only raw ability scores in mind. Many Thanks!


Fing Mandragoran wrote:

Lvl 7

Extra Revelation - Maneuver Mastery (Trip or Disarm) Havent decided?
Revelation - Combat Healer

Combat Healer (Su): Whenever you cast a cure spell (a spell with “cure” in its name), you can cast it as a swift action, as if using the Quicken Spell feat, by expending two spell slots. This does not increase the level of the spell. You can use this ability once per day at 7th level and one additional time per day for every four levels beyond 7th. You must be at least 7th level to select this revelation.

Surprising Charge (Ex): Once per day, you can move up to your speed as an immediate action. You can use this ability one additional time per day at 7th level and 15th level.

*****************************

Comparing the two:

Combat Healer (@ level 7) gives you 1 (per day) swift action ability that uses up additional resources (2 spell slots).

Surprising Charge (@ level 7) gives you 2 (per day) immediate action abilities that uses up no additional resources.

It's very powerful to be able to tactically move in reaction to anyone doing anything.

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