Channeling the Cosmos: A guide to the Oracle


Advice

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Iridian wrote:
Sean FitzSimon wrote:

It doesn't explicitly say so in the Elemental Spell feat, but yes, it'll add the descriptor to the spell.

The bolded bit is relevant.

Oh nice, thanks! When I saw the devotee feat, I just knew I had to make a blaster that employs it. I think oracle is best suited for that, due to the feat's very limited scope (divine, fire). Even though you say blaster oracles are less than optimal. :)

Optimality is the first thing to die for Awesome's sake.


Cheapy wrote:
Iridian wrote:
Sean FitzSimon wrote:

It doesn't explicitly say so in the Elemental Spell feat, but yes, it'll add the descriptor to the spell.

The bolded bit is relevant.

Oh nice, thanks! When I saw the devotee feat, I just knew I had to make a blaster that employs it. I think oracle is best suited for that, due to the feat's very limited scope (divine, fire). Even though you say blaster oracles are less than optimal. :)
Optimality is the first thing to die for Awesome's sake.

Couldn't have said it better myself. :D

The guide focuses on gauging abilities by their mechanical strength, and pretty much ignores the rule of cool.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Trip only fails against three types of opponents: those who can fly, those who lack legs, and those larger than you by two size categories. The assumption that every single enemy past level 10 falls into at least one of those categories is somewhat mind boggling.

It's not about what the enemies are able to do, but what the characters are able to do.

PCs have access to fly. The enemy doesn't. You can use a crossbow to kill him, using 0 resources in the process. Why would you go into melee range?

Quote:
You clearly don't see the value of the combat maneuvers, and that's totally fair from your perspective. Combat maneuvers are here to give you additional options beyond your spells, particularly because any save DCs of a melee oriented oracle are going to be rather low. The value of trip is significant: it requires a move action to stand back up, thus limiting its range of actions to a standard, and it also provokes opportunity attacks from all adjacent enemies.

Let's look at the numbers; I'll use CR 10 monster as a baseline.

  • Bebilith: CMD 34 (46 vs trip), Huge (you need to be Large to try a bull rush, a drag, an overrun, a reposition or a trip), doesn't have item (immune to disarm, steal and sunder). Will save : +7. A command with 11 Cha has more chance of affecting it than any maneuver.
  • Brachiosaurus: CMD 40 (44 vs trip), Gargantuan (almost immune to bull rush, drag, overrun, reposition and trip), doesn't have item (immune to disarm, steal and sunder). Will save : +9. A plane shift with 15 Cha has more chance of affecting it than any maneuver.
  • Clay golem: CMD 30, doesn't have item (immune to disarm, steal and sunder). Highest save +4, but immune to magic.
  • Coualt: CMD 32, can't be tripped, fly, doesn't have item (immune to disarm, steal and sunder). Fort +9. A sound burst with Cha 12 is still a better option than trip or bull rush.
  • Fire giant: CMD 31. Ref +4, Will +9. Spells and maneuvers are as valuable here. Would the oracle have some good Raf spell (like create pit), spells would be better.
  • Giant flytrap: CMD 32, can't be tripped, Huge (you need to be Large to try a bull rush, a drag, an overrun or a reposition), doesn't have item (immune to disarm, steal and sunder). Will +5. A plane shift with 15 Cha is more efficient than any maneuver.
  • Guardian naga: CMD 31, can't be tripped, doesn't have item (immune to disarm, steal and sunder). Fort +9. A sound burst with Cha 12 is still a better option than trip or bull rush.
  • Rakshaza: CMD 29. Fort +9, Will +8, SR 25. Maneuver are better (since the oracle doesn't have enough SR-ignoring spells).
  • Young red dragon: CMD 30, fly (can't be tripped), doesn't have item (immune to disarm, steal and sunder). Will +10. A plane shift with 15 Cha is still a better option than trip or sunder.
  • Young silver dragon: CMD 28, fly (can't be tripped), doesn't have item (immune to disarm, steal and sunder). Will +12. A plane shift with 15 Cha is still a better option than trip or sunder.
  • Young white dragon: CMD 32, fly (can't be tripped), doesn't have item (immune to disarm, steal and sunder). Will +10. A plane shift with 15 Cha is still a better option than trip or sunder.
Three of those monsters are vulnerable to trip. That's not a good score. Even less than that are vulnerable to sunder or disarm. It seems to me that the revelation is "a mediocre, or uncommonly useful option. Generally not worth it".

And almost every of them are vulnerable to plane shift, even if the oracle doesn't have Cha. How could a an ability that enhance trip be blue while spell focus (conjuration) isn't ? There are far less creature immune to plane shift than trip, it's easier to land a plane shift than a trip even with a crappy Charisma, and the effect of plane shift is far more powerful.

Or maybe you're not writing a guide about the oracle, but a guide about campaign in which every enemy is an humanoid with class level. That's the only case in which maneuvers are that valuable.

Quote:

[about combat healer]

I don't discard it. I've rated it as orange, which as noted in the start of the guide is to mean "A mediocre, or uncommonly useful option. Generally not worth it." In this case it is an uncommonly useful option, and thus deserving of its rating.

Huh?

It can be useful at each round in which you're wounded. You're a battle oracle, you spend almost every round in melee range with a moderate AC. How can a swift-action healing "uncommonly useful"?

Quote:

[about bouncing and persistent]

I really don't have anything more to say on this. Both feats exist as a way to help with making your spells stick. One lets the spell jump to another enemy for a lower cost, while the other requires the enemy to make two saves at a higher cost. I see them both as equally useful because they both fill the same role: make your spells more effective. Neither are blue for most casters.

No, you don't understand.

One of the two feat do this completely inefficiently. It cost a swift action, impose many condition (the spell must have no effect at all if the save is a success, it have to have only one target, etc), etc. Nobody cares about how many level it cost: it's inefficient, therefore you don't take it. Merciful spell is only +0 level, but you don't take it anyway.

The other feat does its job with great efficiency. More than dazing (especially with the cleric spell list), which is blue under your ranking (how can dazing be blue, while quicken and persistent aren't?).

Quote:
You actually hit my main argument against Mantle of Moonlight in your post: "Even if you only encounter caster every other day, it's still worth it." Something that's only useful on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays isn't a blue option. It's green, to be sure, because it's very powerful. But it's not blue.

...

Well, that's...

Huh.

...

I simply can't understand how something like maneuver mastery or toughness can be blue if two or three "I win" buttons usable on some very though encounters every Monday, Wednesday and Friday isn't. Maneuver mastery is less powerful and less often usable (not to mention less often useful).

...

... Do you really think that toughness is useful more often than mantle of moonlight?


GâtFromKI wrote:

It's not about what the enemies are able to do, but what the characters are able to do.

PCs have access to fly. The enemy doesn't. You can use a crossbow to kill him, using 0 resources in the process. Why would you go into melee range?

If your DM is the type to let a monster with any form of intelligence meander stupidly below you while you tickle them to death with crossbow attacks then yes, this is a completely valid choice. However, ranged attacks aren't uncommon among monsters and nearly all of them are intelligent enough to take cover.

GâtFromKI wrote:
Arguments against combat maneuvers

Trip is clearly the superior combat maneuver in a standard game, though I admit that my assessment of this ability didn't relay that. You also seem to have missed a couple candidates in the CR 10 range that are susceptible to trip: grug, kalavakus demon, and nereid (out of water, obviously). This also abandons the idea that the core rules encourage adjusting CRs and combining lower CRs to challenge a party. It makes it difficult to predict which enemies will be thrown at your group.

I've adjusted the rating to include a range of campaigns.

GâtFromKI wrote:

Huh?

It can be useful at each round in which you're wounded. You're a battle oracle, you spend almost every round in melee range with a moderate AC. How can a swift-action healing "uncommonly useful"?

You can fight just as well with 1 HP or 100 HP. The only time healing needs to occur in combat is if you're in danger of falling into the negatives or dying. Yes, this ability makes it easier to do, but it's not something you need to worry about most days- hence, orange.

GâtFromKI wrote:
The other feat does its job with great efficiency. More than dazing (especially with the cleric spell list), which is blue under your ranking (how can dazing be blue, while quicken and persistent aren't?).

Dazing applies a very power debuff to your enemies for a significant period of time. The cleric list isn't short of spells that deal damage in an AoE fashion, but the spells themselves are pretty lame. Adding this onto them turns it into an excellent disabler. This isn't even touching on the wide variety of blasts that crop up among all the mystery spells.

GâtFromKI wrote:
I simply can't understand how something like maneuver mastery or toughness can be blue if two or three "I win" buttons usable on some very though encounters every Monday, Wednesday and Friday isn't. Maneuver mastery is less powerful and less often usable (not to mention less often useful).

Toughness requires you to be hit, or to share your hit points with an ally through many of the different oracle options. Mantle of Moonlight is stupidly powerful against caster, but only casters who can't back up those spells with a nasty attack (nearly all outsiders can). It doesn't warrant a blue rating.

GâtFromKI wrote:
... Do you really think that toughness is useful more often than mantle of moonlight?

Yes.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
GâtFromKI wrote:
... Do you really think that toughness is useful more often than mantle of moonlight?
Yes.

Toughness is useful each time you would be in the negatives without it. You're basically saying that an oracle without toughness drops to the negative each day.

You're wrong.

Quote:
Dazing applies a very power debuff to your enemies for a significant period of time. The cleric list isn't short of spells that deal damage in an AoE fashion, but the spells themselves are pretty lame. Adding this onto them turns it into an excellent disabler. This isn't even touching on the wide variety of blasts that crop up among all the mystery spells.

Why do you add them to your known spells in the first place if they are lame? Why do you cast them?

A dazing flame strike is still a very lame spell, and it cost you a feat and a level 7 slot. It doesn't compare with a persistent sound burst or a quickened sound burst. Or a persistent plane shift. Or a quickened divine favor.

Actually, dazing is useful to create Ref-disabling effects. But it's less useful than persistent: there's no point into creating Ref-disabling effects if you don't ensure that your Fort-disabling and Will-disabling effects work.

Shadow Lodge

GâtFromKI wrote:
You're wrong.

A comment from the 'neutral' sidelines:

Gat, your style is confrontational and somewhat black and white. This makes it difficult to take your points at face value. Your feedback has been seen and partially appreciated as well, but carrying on here appears a bit.. fruitless.

If you really feel that strongly about this, why not write your own guide, from your own point of view?


You're probably right.

Actually, I have a French guide to write; That's why I was interested in this guide...

The Exchange

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GâtFromKI wrote:

You're probably right.

Actually, I have a French guide to write; That's why I was interested in this guide...

Nonetheless Gat's comments are mostly *right*.

I also made a few comments, after an attempt or two I quit trying to persuade the writer.

I *often* take a 12 con with a wizard. And it isn't the hitpoints I worry about - its the fort save. So to say that toughness is blue - is just wrong.

No less than Monte Cook said that toughness is a trap feat. If one of the architects of 3.x says a feat is a trap feat, I think you should consider revising your opinion.

Gat is also more or less right on his ranking of persistent, & quickened. I don't really go for fighting oracles, personally I thinking fighting is for fighters - so I will leave the defense of persistent to him. Personally I suspect a rod of persistent is probably better than the feat.

While a soundburst cannot be persistent (nothing instaneous can be) it can be quickened.

Gat is also right about combat maneuvers. Combat maneuvers are COMPLETELY a waste at high level - and to my mind they get that way starting around level 10.

It isn't only that your non-humanoid opponents are essentially immune to them- its that your humanoid opponents should have counters to them as well.

Lets look at the counters to grapple: Grease + alchemical grease. Contingency, ring of blinking, FoM, conjuration school, Familiar with any of a variety of wands, Stilled spells... and the list goes on.

So you are spending feats for something that I wll have a counter EVERY time by level 6.

And the story is virtually the same for trip. To start off with - as a caster - I don't *care* if you trip me. And honestly - nor will a lot of fighter builds. Sunder deprives the party resource - and bull rush and overrun are NEVER more than situationally useful. Once every 5 games - maybe?

Now one thing I do agree with the OP: Bouncing spell is definitely a good meta feat - and often overlooked. The game often comes down to action economy- you can't afford for your action to be of no consequence. Bouncing gives you a chance to affect the BEBG with a safe out if it fails.

I do however agree with GAT as well that dazing is not as good for clerics as it is for wizards - whether it retains an blue or green rating is debatable. Fundamentally, Oracles lack magic missiles or a good 0th level orizon with an elemental trait and a reflex save.

I tried to suggest that healing is also MUCH better than people realize - and that stacking healing has ABSOLUTELY changed the game. I have essentially retired a Cleric/Oracle because he broke the game. A couple of level dip of oracle with the ring/armor/headcap of mystery (being facetious) combined with the healing domain is very strong - and there are a lot of very strong combinations besides that one. When you are tossing out 90 pts a round of AOE healing that STACKS as temporary hp - NO combat based on hp is going to matter.

Anyway I still applaud the writer for the effort it takes to write a guide.

The Exchange

GâtFromKI wrote:

Actually, dazing is useful to create Ref-disabling effects. But it's less useful than persistent: there's no point into creating Ref-disabling effects if you don't ensure that your Fort-disabling and Will-disabling effects work.

Nah, you don't need Fort-disabling / Will-disabling effects at all.

At higher levels of play a significant number of encounters will be with large or larger opponents.

Often reflex is the poor save, however, even if it is not, the large+ templates apply penalties to the reflex save.

this is why snapdragon fireworks is so powerful for a wizard. If the original spell allows a save (snapdragon does-reflex) that type of save is retained. So the BBEG makes a reflex save or be dazed.


cp wrote:


So you are spending feats for something that I wll have a counter EVERY time by level 6.

So you are a gm that makes damn sure to counter a player's strategy all fights every fight?

The Exchange

TarkXT wrote:
cp wrote:


So you are spending feats for something that I wll have a counter EVERY time by level 6.

So you are a gm that makes damn sure to counter a player's strategy all fights every fight?

Nah, I'm saying as a player.

~ ~ ~ ~ `
Guides are strategies to better efficiency. Whether or not a modules opponents have coutners or not is relatively not the point. The point is that they could, and are likely to, by a certain level.

That makes these strategies less effective - and therefore to be discounted in the guide.


cp wrote:
While a soundburst cannot be persistent (nothing instaneous can be)...

What.

Can you substantiate this somehow? Nothing at all in the description of Persistent Spell mentions durations of spells or even any restriction at all on how the feat can be applied.


cp wrote:


Guides are strategies to better efficiency. Whether or not a modules opponents have coutners or not is relatively not the point. The point is that they could, and are likely to, by a certain level.

That makes these strategies less effective - and therefore to be discounted in the guide.

This is dangerous thinking. There's lots of coulds in this game. You could be facing a lot of swarms rendering many melee, ranged, and spellcasting strategies useless. You could be facing an opponent custom built to crush the group. You could be facing them 100% of the time.

Interesting note: full attacks are regarded to be the most efficient action a fighter type can take at any given time. However one of the arguments for the controversial Vital Strike is that you're not going to get full attacks most of the time purely because savvy GM's move there creatures in such a way to prevent it.

I think this applies here as well. Combat maneuvers are worth an investment if you plan on investing a lot. Personally I don't think they're really worth it to oracles and clerics. It's generally better for classes that get the bonus feats to spare into it. Sadly oracles and clerics aren't one of them. I'm not going to get too far into it as that's an entirely different thread topic entirely. But discounting combat maneuvers at all but the highest levels (past 14-15 or so) simply because something could counter it does not mean it's not a good option.


TarkXT wrote:
I think this applies here as well. Combat maneuvers are worth an investment if you plan on investing a lot. Personally I don't think they're really worth it to oracles and clerics. It's generally better for classes that get the bonus feats to spare into it. Sadly oracles and clerics aren't one of them. I'm not going to get too far into it as that's an entirely different thread topic entirely. But discounting combat maneuvers at all but the highest levels (past 14-15 or so) simply because something could counter it does not mean it's not a good option.

I think the fact that an Oracle can invest one feat, without a stat investment, and end up with two feats and a maneuver that functions at full BAB, makes this a valid choice for a Oracle of Battle.

Its the same reason I like Weapon Mastery. It may not compare favorably to some revelations, but after a while, it definately compares favorably to some feats. And since all it costs is a feat, for three? Sounds like a fun deal to me.

Liberty's Edge

Sean FitzSimon wrote:
First of all, the wizard spell list is better than the cleric spell list in almost every way. Doing a direct comparison of the two will have the wizard side winning every time, even if you're only comparing the top 10%.

Its a good thing we're not actually comparing the wizard and the cleric list. Instead, we're comparing a cleric spell to 1 hp, or 1 skill point.

Quote:

The cleric spell list is marred by an abundance of highly situation spells or spells of marginal use on a day-to-day basis. It's got some real gems, but those aren't hard to pick up with the standard allotment of oracle spells known. This is especially true of warrior types who won't have the spell DCs to make a lot of the good spells worth it.

What the human oracle has over every other oracle is the ability to pick up some of those situation spells in a pretty low cost way. This can be excellent for small parties lacking a cleric/wizard,

I agree that there are many situational spells that can be gained for extremely low cost as a human. Many of these situational spells don't appear on the wizard's list or are significantly better for an oracle, rather its because its lower level (remove curse) or because being able to spontaneously dispel magic is better than having to memorize it.

Quote:
but when a prepared caster enters the mix (especially a cleric) the use here is even less. Why get those highly situation spells when an ally can cover that base for you?

A lot of options are significantly less good if someone else can cover for you. Channeling for instance. Are you going to go through and mark every one of those options down 1 or more levels? A guide shouldn't be written with an attitude of "get someone else to do it for you."

Quote:
Saying that every other race is worthless because of this feature is pretty similar to saying that every race without darkvision is worthless if you enjoy dungeon delving. It's an advantage, sure, but it's easily overcome in common setups.

Wow, this looks like an attempted straw man, but its a really REALLY bad one. Darkvision doesn't come close to the ability to cast remove curse, dispel magic, and literally more than a dozen other spells, especially on a spontaneous caster with limited spells known.

Quote:
And for the record, it may be 10 feats over 20 levels, but it's ten really crappy feats.

An oracle can double the number of eighth level spells they know at level 20 in exchange for 3 hp and you think its crappy? Are we even playing the same game?

A human oracle who takes a spell known can increase her spell casting flexibility by around 33% at a cost of, maybe 10% of her hp. How is that a bad trade?


Shadow, thats all fantastic.

However, as a half-elf I can have a non-duplicable +4 to saves against enemy enchantments (which includes a +2 to all Will saves which stacks with Iron Will) (a class of SoD spells which can do worse than kill you, they can make you kill your party), which is also pretty fantastic, especially since all I'm essentially missing that the human has is versatility, not actual functionality.

Anything the human can do, the Half-Elf can; just not necessarily with the breadth of options. The human can not make up the gap in saves at any cost.

Is it as good? Debatable, but probably not as good. Its still very good. There may be other examples, but thats the one I'm personally fond of.


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Ok, it appears that we might be having tone issues in this discussion here, and it all seems to be getting a bit too defensive.

@ShadowcatX: I wasn't trying to belittle your opinion here, so I'm sorry if it came off that way. You made a comparison of the oracle to the sorcerer and stated that every race other than human is red when you consider the favored class bonus. I felt that this simplified a very complex issue and needed to be expanded on.

@CP & Gat: After looking over some additional data I think I may have overestimated the use of combat maneuvers and the toughness feat. I've adjusted both of them in the guide. It bears stating that Cook identified Toughness as a trap feat back when it only gave +3 hit points, not its current incarnation.

I think it needs stating that this guide is not for me. I decided to write this guide when I looked through a list of available guides and noticed that the oracle didn't have anything written about it. I've had some experience with the class and have a pretty firm grasp on the system, so I thought I'd take a stab at it. This was not an attempt to produce something to show off and have people praise me for being oh-so-clever.

My only goal with this document was to produce an in depth examination of the class and the mechanics relating to it. I can only write it based on my own experiences and understanding of the system, but it's pretty clear that I can/will be wrong about lots of different things. I hope that I've demonstrated my ability to change my opinion and the guide to follow reasonable data as it's presented to me. This thing isn't even done and it's already undergone over two dozen revisions based entirely on what someone in this thread has said.

I don't pretend to know everything. I'm presenting my opinion and attempting to base it on facts that I can reference in the SRD. Sometimes I just need a bit of time to chew on an idea (particularly one radically different to my own) before I can really come to a good conclusion here.

I have to say, though, coming in here and stating "this ability is absolutely worthless and here's why you're wrong" is a bit abrasive. I'm not pointing any fingers, but this sort of thing immediately puts someone on the defensive and is counterproductive to a free exchange of ideas. I know that I've been guilty of this myself, and I'm trying to pay more attention to that.

---

Anyways, I'm attempting to work through the cleric spells but it's a slow process. There are a lot of effing cleric spells.


Rime Spell would be more useful in conjunction with Elemental Spell, although I don't really see +2 to level to make your Fireball entangle people as being worth it. Though I suppose a high level Waves Oracle can spam Walls of Ice with Rime Spell.


nategar05 wrote:
Rime Spell would be more useful in conjunction with Elemental Spell, although I don't really see +2 to level to make your Fireball entangle people as being worth it. Though I suppose a high level Waves Oracle can spam Walls of Ice with Rime Spell.

This is pretty much where I am on this as well. Walls of Ice only do damage if you attempt to pass through a shattered one, which makes it even less useful.


It's a pity that there are basically only 3 Cold spells that a Water Oracle can get. It's a great 1 level dip for sorcerers though.

Liberty's Edge

KrispyXIV wrote:

Shadow, thats all fantastic.

However, as a half-elf I can have a non-duplicable +4 to saves against enemy enchantments (which includes a +2 to all Will saves which stacks with Iron Will) (a class of SoD spells which can do worse than kill you, they can make you kill your party), which is also pretty fantastic, especially since all I'm essentially missing that the human has is versatility, not actual functionality.

Anything the human can do, the Half-Elf can; just not necessarily with the breadth of options. The human can not make up the gap in saves at any cost.

Is it as good? Debatable, but probably not as good. Its still very good. There may be other examples, but thats the one I'm personally fond of.

Protection from Evil/chaos/law and later, the circle versions. Be completely immune to mind influencing effects >>> +4 to save vs. enchantment.

Of course, you're giving up adaptability for that +2 to will saves, and that's putting you a feat behind as well.

Sean FitzSimon wrote:
@ShadowcatX: I wasn't trying to belittle your opinion here,

Are you referring to when you called it uneducated or when you put forth the horrendous straw man because calling it uneducated is pretty close to the definition of belittle and the fact that you can only attack it based on a straw man, well I take that as a compliment.

Put forth a list of spells for any type of Oracle and a racial choice for that oracle. Then compare the extra spells you're getting as a favored class bonus to those racial abilities and tell me which side comes out ahead.


ShadowcatX wrote:

Are you referring to when you called it uneducated or when you put forth the horrendous straw man because calling it uneducated is pretty close to the definition of belittle and the fact that you can only attack it based on a straw man, well I take that as a compliment.

Put forth a list of spells for any type of Oracle and a racial choice for that oracle. Then compare the extra spells you're getting as a favored class bonus to those racial abilities and tell me which side comes out ahead.

Dude, you're being pretty aggressive and that's uncalled for. I apologized, but I'll say it again as plainly as possible: I'm sorry I offended you. Your attitude isn't really helping further the discussion.


I'd actually put the Shatter spell as green. Beyond its not-inconsiderable uses for sundering weapons, component pouches and the like, it's also one of the most powerful demolishing tools in the game. Columns, keystones in arches, and other key architectural stress points are very vulnerable to this spell. A cleverly targeted use of this spell can bring down an entire building!

Grand Lodge

I should have posted this before, but I appreciate your guide and am awed by the effort that you have put into it.

I especially like the inclusion of options that aren't the most optimal, but I might want to try anyway (ie combat maneuvers). Even the Most Honored Guide-Crafter, the High Defender of Optimization, and God Wizard Prime, Treantmonk gives ideas and options for stratagies and spells that he feels are less than first rate. Even where my opinions and whims differ from his, his guide is still of much use to me. Your guide has much the same functionality for me as well. Again, thank you for your words and your work.


@FallingIcicle: That's something I hadn't considered. I've amended the spell.

@Dax Thura: I think that Treantmonk is such a wonderful guide writer because he's so thorough in his assessment of a class. It's pretty hard to write anything without at least some influence from him, you know? I followed the CharOp boards in 3.5 and I was glad to see him transition over to Pathfinder.

One of my main goals in writing this guide was to touch on everything relevant to the oracle, even if it was just to explore why it was a poor option or whatever. I've read a few guide that focus on the good and ignore the rest, and those are helpful for quickly identifying what some solid choices are when you're building a character. I'm not trying to demean them or anything, because (as I've discovered) writing a guide at all is a lot more involved than I'd anticipated. Advice is advice, and some is better than none. Still, I've changed a lot of my opinions on the class simply by taking a look at everything that relates to it and weighing it. I've changed even more of my opinions in this short discussion about how I rated things. I think that my choice to follow that established idea of "look at everything" has really helped to paint a more complete picture of what an oracle is and can be. And that's largely thanks to Treantmonk and the people who've taken the time to contribute to this here on the forums.

So yeah, I'm glad you appreciate it. I know I won't be able to compile a guide that everyone can agree with simply because Pathfinder is so utterly subjective. But if I can come up with something that people can look at and mostly agree then I think that we, as a community, have developed a good resource. That's pretty much all I'm trying to do here.


ShadowcatX wrote:
Protection from Evil/chaos/law and later, the circle versions. Be completely immune to mind influencing effects >>> +4 to save vs. enchantment.

True enough; for minutes a casting and only against the alignment you've cast it against (watch out for neutral enchanters), as well as not protecting you from surprise attacks (I still remember losing a character to a Dominate from out of nowhere by a surprise succubus).

Generally saves are less relevant when you're not on the bad end of a first strike; a lot of effects can be negated by having the appropriate spell up. And yet, most people still recomend having good saves. Because generally if you can't get that spell up, its irrelevant that whatever SoS you just got hit with could have been avoided.

My point was not that Half-Elves are a better choice than Humans, but they aren't completely without merit, have unique otherwise unobtainable benefits, and can make perfectly valid and powerful Oracles.

Liberty's Edge

Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Dude, you're being pretty aggressive and that's uncalled for.

Actually no, I was simply pointing out that you were being insincere. Had you just apologized, I'd have dropped it. But trying to go back and act like you didn't do what you plainly did, well, I'm not a fan of that. Never the less, we can stop discussing your attack, I'm fine with that.

Quote:
Your attitude isn't really helping further the discussion.

I notice you still aren't defending your opinion that other racial abilities are as good as the bonus spells.

Anyways, on a different topic, experimental spellcaster is a feat that should be looked at for any full spontaneous spellcaster. At 7th level summon servitor III can be boosted to be the equivalent of a 5th level spell 3/day.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Just wanted to add to the discussion around the Haunted curse.

This curse had (for me) and unexpected impact on my spell selection. I usually look at a spell in the 1-3 zone and say "is that something that would have the same effect if cast from a wand / scroll. For example, remove paralysis. The only thing that changes is range, woop-di-doo, but in light of the haunted curse, if my ally is held and is about to face a coup de grace I can't necessarily afford the std action to draw the wand, and then an action next turn to activate it. Nor do I necessarily want to run around with that wand in my hand.

A glove of storing mitigates some of this, but not completely, because now I can have 1 wand, or rod at the ready. Honestly, it might be worth taking the craft staff feat just to make a utility staff of low levels spells I don't want on my spell list and keep that in the glove.

My point is just Haunted really means you have to REALLY want that item, and that probably means a lot of situational spell wands just aren't going to be used in combat. It also turns out a scroll of breath of life is also useless :)

Anyways, just some thoughts, boiled down:
Haunted Curse == critical spell/item selection + glove of storing


Yea, the Haunted curse seems, at first glance, to be the most lenient curse. But the effects can be nasty. I'd rather have Tongues!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
cp wrote:


No less than Monte Cook said that toughness is a trap feat. If one of the architects of 3.x says a feat is a trap feat, I think you should consider revising your opinion.

Remember that the feat Cook was talking about only gave you a flat 3 bonus hit points, not one per level with a minimum of three.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
Yea, the Haunted curse seems, at first glance, to be the most lenient curse. But the effects can be nasty. I'd rather have Tongues!

I did a bit more reading, and have resurrected a rule thread on Haunted, because I may be mistaken

The gist being, that retrieving a stored item, may be a different class of action then drawing a readily available item, (wand/weapon/ammo/potion.)

Anyways, I'll follow that thread, and I've marked it for FAQ, maybe we can get an answer and draw that back over into the guide.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
cp wrote:


No less than Monte Cook said that toughness is a trap feat. If one of the architects of 3.x says a feat is a trap feat, I think you should consider revising your opinion.

Remember that the feat Cook was talking about only gave you a flat 3 bonus hit points, not one per level with a minimum of three.

There was a great thread in the basic box discussion about how all of us play by a mismash of rules from 3.0, where we haven't all absorbed the changes of PF on the game as a whole.


@ShadowcatX: I can't find this Experimental Spellcaster feat. What book is it in?

@Galnörag: That's a much better explanation than I was able to do in the short blurb I had on haunted. :) I updated my description to include this.

@Cheapy: I agree. Tongues and Wasting are the two "low impact" curses that apply a minor debuff to you and give back just as little. I usually go with tongues just because I'm in love with the flavor.


Galnörag wrote:
LazarX wrote:
cp wrote:


No less than Monte Cook said that toughness is a trap feat. If one of the architects of 3.x says a feat is a trap feat, I think you should consider revising your opinion.

Remember that the feat Cook was talking about only gave you a flat 3 bonus hit points, not one per level with a minimum of three.
There was a great thread in the basic box discussion about how all of us play by a mismash of rules from 3.0, where we haven't all absorbed the changes of PF on the game as a whole.

Well hey, if your group is still using the 3.5 polymorph rules I've got just the character to join you with... :)


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
@ShadowcatX: I can't find this Experimental Spellcaster feat. What book is it in?

Its a Words of Power thing. I did a doubletake looking for it too.

It lets you pick up a single Effect Word and add it to your list.


KrispyXIV wrote:
Sean FitzSimon wrote:
@ShadowcatX: I can't find this Experimental Spellcaster feat. What book is it in?

Its a Words of Power thing. I did a doubletake looking for it too.

It lets you pick up a single Effect Word and add it to your list.

Oh! Well that explains my ignorance.


FallingIcicle wrote:
I'd actually put the Shatter spell as green. Beyond its not-inconsiderable uses for sundering weapons, component pouches and the like, it's also one of the most powerful demolishing tools in the game. Columns, keystones in arches, and other key architectural stress points are very vulnerable to this spell. A cleverly targeted use of this spell can bring down an entire building!

That's a really good point. However, that would require a DC 20 Engineering check. Maybe if you could get the Wizard to tell you exactly where to Shatter. Unless you're a Lore Oracle of course.

On Words of Power: eh. It looks interesting, but I'm not sure the system is as good as the standard spells at this point. It could be quite versatile, but I haven't actually played it and it looked to me like a fairly large amount of stuff needed to recreate the good spells that we already have was left out.


waitwaitwaitwaitwait. Back to the Shatter idea.

What exactly would you target that's within the weight thresholds?

Scarab Sages

nategar05 wrote:
17. For Spellscar and Outer Rifts, I tried to rank Spellscar, got to the revelations and quit. Still haven't ranked either. You dodged a bullet on that one lol. I still don't know what the 16th level bonus spell on Spellscar is. It just links to a Google thing that I don't have.

Spellscar is from the Inner Sea Magic dealie.

For 10 minutes/lvl it mutes the colors of two 10' cubes/lvl. Inside this area any spell, spell-like ability, or magic item activation triggers a primal magic event (dc15+(2x spell level) conc check to avoid triggering the event (non-spellcasters cannot make a check when using a magic device)

The caster gains a +4 insight bonus on these checks and rolls twice to choose which event she wishes to occur.

There's a table in the book for the Primal Magic Events.


Telodzrum wrote:
nategar05 wrote:
17. For Spellscar and Outer Rifts, I tried to rank Spellscar, got to the revelations and quit. Still haven't ranked either. You dodged a bullet on that one lol. I still don't know what the 16th level bonus spell on Spellscar is. It just links to a Google thing that I don't have.

Spellscar is from the Inner Sea Magic dealie.

For 10 minutes/lvl it mutes the colors of two 10' cubes/lvl. Inside this area any spell, spell-like ability, or magic item activation triggers a primal magic event (dc15+(2x spell level) conc check to avoid triggering the event (non-spellcasters cannot make a check when using a magic device)

The caster gains a +4 insight bonus on these checks and rolls twice to choose which event she wishes to occur.

There's a table in the book for the Primal Magic Events.

Thanks. I saw the table and read through it and I assumed the spell had something to do with it, but I didn't know.

I'm kinda surprised someone read that whole post. Lol, it was a long one. : P


I am not sure if that has already been mentioned: If you want to play an oracle of battle and wear at least medium armor, there is almost no reason not to take the dual-cursed archetype and use lame as your second curse (the one that does not improve with levels). As encumbrance never slows you down, you still have 20ft. of movement.

O.k., there might be a reason. Your first three mystery spells change. Losing "Enlarge Person" might hurt some builds.

The Exchange

KrispyXIV wrote:
cp wrote:
While a soundburst cannot be persistent (nothing instaneous can be)...

What.

Can you substantiate this somehow? Nothing at all in the description of Persistent Spell mentions durations of spells or even any restriction at all on how the feat can be applied.

I certainly can. Complete and utter brain fart. Please disregard this. I was a stark raving lunatic.


I believe Tark mentioned using Water Walk as an underwater Reverse Gravity. Good times.


Turgan wrote:

I am not sure if that has already been mentioned: If you want to play an oracle of battle and wear at least medium armor, there is almost no reason not to take the dual-cursed archetype and use lame as your second curse (the one that does not improve with levels). As encumbrance never slows you down, you still have 20ft. of movement.

O.k., there might be a reason. Your first three mystery spells change. Losing "Enlarge Person" might hurt some builds.

For Battle it's probably a really good choice. Hell, for nearly any oracle it's the strongest archetype. Keep in mind that dual cursed oracles have to take two curses, and one of them never provides any of the benefits of the curse.

Your idea here would have the oracle running with a 15' land speed (assuming medium). That's pretty rough.

The Exchange

Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Turgan wrote:

I am not sure if that has already been mentioned: If you want to play an oracle of battle and wear at least medium armor, there is almost no reason not to take the dual-cursed archetype and use lame as your second curse (the one that does not improve with levels). As encumbrance never slows you down, you still have 20ft. of movement.

O.k., there might be a reason. Your first three mystery spells change. Losing "Enlarge Person" might hurt some builds.

For Battle it's probably a really good choice. Hell, for nearly any oracle it's the strongest archetype. Keep in mind that dual cursed oracles have to take two curses, and one of them never provides any of the benefits of the curse.

Your idea here would have the oracle running with a 15' land speed (assuming medium). That's pretty rough.

Dual cursed ain't bad - but its not green or blue. Healing oracles, heaven oracles get no real benefit from dual cursed.


cp wrote:
Dual cursed ain't bad - but its not green or blue. Healing oracles, heaven oracles get no real benefit from dual cursed.

If you're okay with losing your first three spells and taking on a second curse, Dual Cursed is fantastic. It gives you two additional revelations (your choice) and adds two revelations to your list of choices. Both of the new revelations are really good, too.


I´d say every oracle benefits from it, even if it is just for the 1/Day reroll for your allies. But especially heavens, as you want your color spray to work, right?
And even if you don´t have spells with saves, someone in your party probably will.

So why don´t you think its usefual for healing/heavens oracles?


Just to make sure: as long as you're no melee-oracle (and maybe even then) human is sososososo much better than any other race. 17 additional spells for free is just amazing and the most important thing a spontaneous caster could get.
In view of optimization its maybe a little bit sad that humans are superior for all sorcerer/oracle builds but thats just a fact.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Your idea here would have the oracle running with a 15' land speed (assuming medium). That's pretty rough.

Really? That was just my point: You take lame as a second curse (the one that provides no benefits) So it does not matter if you are wearing medium or heavy armor, because your speed will always be 20ft.

"Lame: One of your legs is permanently wounded, reducing your base land speed by 10 feet if your base speed is 30 feet or more. If your base speed is less than 30 feet, your speed is reduced by 5 feet. Your speed is never reduced due to encumbrance."


speed never reduced from emcumbrance =/= speed never reduced from armor.

Dela wrote:
I´d say every oracle benefits from it, even if it is just for the 1/Day reroll for your allies. But especially heavens, as you want your color spray to work, right?

A dual-cursed heavens oracle doesn't know color spray.

Spoiler:
Dela wrote:
GâtFromKI wrote:


Note: I also think oracle's archetypes are retarded (they change the known spell and the revelation... that's the same as "taking an other mystery"), therefore I boycott them strongly. I won't ever take any of them or look at their powers, even if someone prove me that the most powerful character in pathfinder is an oracle with some archetype. But I guess that lure of the heavens can be useful for someone less stubborn than me, with an archetype which replace overland fly.

Currently playing a dual cursed nature oracle I would advice looking at the archetypes ;)

Misfortune is so good, I can´t even really discribe it. This alone would make it worthwhile, but trading charm animal for ill omen and speak with plants for bestow curse is very good as well. Loosing Barkskin and the skills kind of hurts, but even so, Misfortune more then makes up for this.

Maybe the archetypes are not that good for all mysteries, but trading more or less useless spells for usful ones and very useful abilities is worth a look.

That's not a question of "being good". It's a question of "being silly".

Let's say I'm playing a level 2 stone oracle with the possessed archetype. My revelation is automatically two mind, which isn't a stone revelation. My bonus spell is ventriloquism, which isn't a stone bonus spell. Actually, my oracle is as "stonish" as a life oracle: choosing the archetype is actually exactly the same as "choosing an other mystery in the first place". Remind me, why isn't "possessed" a mystery instead of an archetype, since it does the same thing and override my mystery?

... Oh yeah, because "we need to create options that seems totally new even if they are exactly the same as existing stuff, and we need to add a new useless subsystem for no reason". OK, but even if those options are powerful, I won't look at them, because the whole idea of replacing-the-mystery-with-something-that-isn't-a-mystery-and-doesn't-preve nt-you-from-chosing-a-mystery is retarded. I also refuse to look at the arcane-discoveries-which-are-totally-not-feats, and some other useless and retarded subsystems.

As a side note, not only oracle's archetypes are retarded, but dual cursed is also poorly-written. Remind me, what's the effect of Oracle's burden if cast by a dual-cursed oracle?

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