Spell casting Pharasma cleric. Help picking feats. Augment Summoning worth it?


Advice


Hello.
I need some advice on my cleric. At first at created a wizard, but our party was TPK:ed so when we started over I thought I created a divine caster with channeling.
Rumors say that The APG we are playing now has a lot of Haunts and undeads. At first I planned on playing an male gnome or human Oracle of Life, but I switched to a female human Cleric.

edit:

Our current party consists of:

  • My Pharasma cleric
  • Dex Rogue (scout archetype). Level 4. He has very few hit points. Bad rolls, low con, and I believe FC to skills
  • Strength based Magus (core). Level 4
  • Strength based Barbarian (Elemental Kin archetype for pure role playing reasons). Level 4.

    All players are casual players, and no one is really a power gamer except perhaps me. Oddly enough I'm playing a healer even though I don't believe in the healing concept. More of that later. Here are her stats:

    Alignment: N. She will probably drift towards LN or NG, but I'm not sure yet.

    Str : 12
    Dex: 12
    Con: 12
    Int: 12
    Wis: 18 (17+1)
    Char: 14

    Traits:
    Rich Parents: your starting cash increases to 900 gp.
    Focused Mind: +2 trait bonus on concentration checks.

    I know Rich Parents is a crappy trait, but it fitted (Her father is a cleric. Her mother is a promiscuous Sorcerer) and it saved us another TPK.

    Her Feats:
    1 Toughness, Human: Selective channeling.
    3: Extra channeling.
    5?
    7?
    9?
    11?
    13?
    15?

    I found out that Selective channeling was a bit pointless when you fight a lot of undeads, but obviously we won't just fight undeads. At level 3 I didn't know what to do. She's not good at melee, since she is built as a caster and make her an archer now would cost too much. One of the player suggested extra channeling since the group needed the healing and since my cleric didn't have that many spells per day yet.

    My plan was to make her a caster. I've played cleric before and seen others play them to and know that channeling is great at lower levels, but usually a weak option past level 5. Past level 7 it's more or less useless in battle.

    So my plan was:
    At lower levels (1-5) Use spells and channel and some scrolls.
    At mid levels (7 -10) focus on spells and use summons.
    At really high levels: say level 11-15 focus on summons and use spells.

    I sooner or later I probably want quicken channeling. Doesn't have to be now. What's great with quicken channeling ? I can cast a spell and channel the same round. With quicken spell/quicken rod and quicken channeling I can cast 2 spells and use one channel in one round. Also What I like with channel is that Spell resistance doesn't apply. Nice if you summon stuff with SR or if anyone in the party has SR.

    I later will get a Phylactery of positive channeling, but make it slot less so I can use a head band of wisdom. I also going to get an Ioun stone of char.

    here is the deal: I like AS (Augment Summoning), but I don't like Spell Focus (conjuration). Are there any good conjuration spells if you are a cleric? We use Core book, APG, UC and UM.
    I haven't asked GM if we are going to use The Inner Sea World Guide and/or Inner Sea Magic.
    Are there any good spells in Inner Sea Magic? Any good conjuration spells in UC or UM? I have UC and UM but I haven't found any nice conjuration spells.

    I just feel playing two levels with a feat I can't use just so I can get AS is a bit rough. Also, I guess I want a lot of other feats. Like reach spells, spell penetration.

  • So should I get AS?
  • When should I Pick it, that is when should I pick Spell Focus (conjuration) so I later can pick AS?
  • Are there any good conjuration spells?
  • If I shouldn't pick SF (conjuration) + AS? What should I pick instead?
  • When should I pick quicken channeling? Should I even pick quicken channeling?

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

    /Zark


  • AS is a great feat it hurts buying it with spell focus but imo it is worth it in the end. It sounds like you plan to be summoning a lot so grab the feats. Take spell focus around 5th or 7th level so that you can get AS at 7th or 9th when summoning really starts to come in to it's own.

    As far as quicken channel it's a toss up as you said combat healing falls off fast but on the other hand it gives you healing that you wouldn't have without ask the dm if retraining later if it doesn't work out would be allowed.


    Thanks for the answer.
    Retraining later will not be permited, I'm sure.

    Are there any good conjuration spells?


    Zark wrote:

    Thanks for the answer.

    Retraining later will not be permited, I'm sure.

    Are there any good conjuration spells?

    What are your domains?


    Just a heads up...

    If you really want to deal with undead, Pharasma is NOT the goddess for you (mechanics wise).

    Instead, Iomadae or Sarenrae is your best bet.

    Why?

    The Sun and Glory domains.

    Sun Domain wrote:

    Sun's Blessing (Su): Whenever you channel positive energy to harm undead creatures, add your cleric level to the damage dealt. Undead do not add their channel resistance to their saves when you channel positive energy.

    Nimbus of Light (Su): At 8th level, you can emit a 30-foot nimbus of light for a number of rounds per day equal to your cleric level. This acts as a daylight spell. In addition, undead within this radius take an amount of damage equal to your cleric level each round that they remain inside the nimbus. Spells and spell-like abilities with the darkness descriptor are automatically dispelled if brought inside this nimbus. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.

    Glory Domain wrote:
    You are infused with the glory of the divine, and are a true foe of the undead. In addition, when you channel positive energy to harm undead creatures, the save DC to halve the damage is increased by 2.

    The Glory domain powers are neat, but are not part of why you should take it as an undead hunter.

    I'd say that, for a goddess that's all "Back to your grave, abomination!" they're not really much better equipped at handling them than an average cleric. Even worse, her domains are lackluster and her favored weapon is the dagger so you're pretty much on the low-end of generic cleric effectiveness.

    The flavor is good though.


    ThatEvilGuy wrote:

    Just a heads up...

    If you really want to deal with undead, Pharasma is NOT the goddess for you (mechanics wise).

    Instead, Iomadae or Sarenrae is your best bet.

    Why?

    The Sun and Glory domains.

    Sun Domain wrote:

    Sun's Blessing (Su): Whenever you channel positive energy to harm undead creatures, add your cleric level to the damage dealt. Undead do not add their channel resistance to their saves when you channel positive energy.

    Nimbus of Light (Su): At 8th level, you can emit a 30-foot nimbus of light for a number of rounds per day equal to your cleric level. This acts as a daylight spell. In addition, undead within this radius take an amount of damage equal to your cleric level each round that they remain inside the nimbus. Spells and spell-like abilities with the darkness descriptor are automatically dispelled if brought inside this nimbus. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.

    Glory Domain wrote:
    You are infused with the glory of the divine, and are a true foe of the undead. In addition, when you channel positive energy to harm undead creatures, the save DC to halve the damage is increased by 2.

    The Glory domain powers are neat, but are not part of why you should take it as an undead hunter.

    I'd say that, for a goddess that's all "Back to your grave, abomination!" they're not really much better equipped at handling them than an average cleric. Even worse, her domains are lackluster and her favored weapon is the dagger so you're pretty much on the low-end of generic cleric effectiveness.

    The flavor is good though.

    The other drawback of Pharasma if you want to focus on summonings is that she is one of the few deities that cannot benefit from sacred summons. A cleric of a neutral deity does not gain an aura.


    I have created her and played her for 3 levels. (she is level 4 now)
    Retraining or recreating her will not be permited.


    For a cleric, Skill Focus: Conjuration is essentially just a feat tax for Augment Summoning.

    The only inherent value of Skill Focus: Conjuration for a cleric (that I am aware of) is the use of Cure ... Wounds spells to attack undead.


    Axl wrote:

    For a cleric, Skill Focus: Conjuration is essentially just a feat tax for Augment Summoning.

    The only inherent value of Skill Focus: Conjuration for a cleric (that I am aware of) is the use of Cure ... Wounds spells to attack undead.

    First it is Spell Focus.

    Second clerics have the Wall of Stone and Fleshworm Infestation that are nasty conjuration spells. Although Fleshworm is an evil spell if you don't make it a habit a N cleric should be fine casting it.

    It may be worth it just for the Wall of Stone. I certainly would prepare that spell everyday, maybe even 2x a day.

    That is also why I asked what domains he is playing. He might get a few conjuration spells from his domains and so Spell Focus: Conjuration is less of a feat tax.


    Of course I meant Spell Focus. :-)

    Thanks for pointing out those other spells. (I am not at all familiar with Ultimate Magic though.)


    Gignere wrote:
    Axl wrote:

    For a cleric, Skill Focus: Conjuration is essentially just a feat tax for Augment Summoning.

    The only inherent value of Skill Focus: Conjuration for a cleric (that I am aware of) is the use of Cure ... Wounds spells to attack undead.

    First it is Spell Focus.

    Second clerics have the Wall of Stone and Fleshworm Infestation that are nasty conjuration spells. Although Fleshworm is an evil spell if you don't make it a habit a N cleric should be fine casting it.

    It may be worth it just for the Wall of Stone. I certainly would prepare that spell everyday, maybe even 2x a day.

    That is also why I asked what domains he is playing. He might get a few conjuration spells from his domains and so Spell Focus: Conjuration is less of a feat tax.

    Oh, I didn't add her domains in the OP. Bad editing on my part.

    Her domains are:
    Healing.: Restoration Subdomain (APG)
    Repose (core book)
    Thanks ! I will check out Fleshworm Infestation. She is N/N so evil spells shouldn't be a problem unless she drifts towards NG, but ,my bet is she will drift towards LN. BTW, I forgot Wall of Stone. That is a great spell!
    Any more advice now that you know her domains?


    Zark wrote:

    Oh, I didn't add her domains in the OP. Bad editing on my part.

    Her domains are:
    Healing.: Restoration Subdomain (APG)
    Repose (core book)
    Thanks ! I will check out Fleshworm Infestation. She is N/N so evil spells shouldn't be a problem unless she drifts towards NG, but ,my bet is she will drift towards LN. BTW, I forgot Wall of Stone. That is a great spell!
    Any more advice now that you know her domains?

    None of your domain spells work well with Spell Focus Conjuration other than when you are damaging undead with your cure/heal spells. You might want to consider picking up Eldritch Heritage chain with the arcane bloodline, and pick up 3 sorcerer/wizard conjuration spells.

    3 feats so one of your feat is less of a tax. I don't know.


    No, she won't take Eldritch Heritag.
    I looked at Fleshworm Infestation. Very nasty spell. :-)

    Dark Archive

    Gignere wrote:

    None of your domain spells work well with Spell Focus Conjuration other than when you are damaging undead with your cure/heal spells. You might want to consider picking up Eldritch Heritage chain with the arcane bloodline, and pick up 3 sorcerer/wizard conjuration spells.

    3 feats so one of your feat is less of a tax. I don't know.

    I saw this post and was like "Wow, I'm making a Cleric, this sounds great!" but then looked up the Eldritch Heritage feat chain and saw that you don't get any Sor/Wiz spells at all, you get Sorcerer bloodline powers only.

    My Cleric I'm currently planning right now (playing tomorrow at 1st lvl), is a Cleric of Desna that is going to be taking Harrower later; I was also thinking about Augment Summoning and Spell Focus (conjuration) but those went toward Harrower and Fortune Teller (obviously we're using any Paizo PFRPG stuff in my GM's game).

    One feat that I will definitely be taking is Reach Spell, to be able to heal people from a distance.


    Ian Eastmond wrote:
    Gignere wrote:

    None of your domain spells work well with Spell Focus Conjuration other than when you are damaging undead with your cure/heal spells. You might want to consider picking up Eldritch Heritage chain with the arcane bloodline, and pick up 3 sorcerer/wizard conjuration spells.

    3 feats so one of your feat is less of a tax. I don't know.

    I saw this post and was like "Wow, I'm making a Cleric, this sounds great!" but then looked up the Eldritch Heritage feat chain and saw that you don't get any Sor/Wiz spells at all, you get Sorcerer bloodline powers only.

    My Cleric I'm currently planning right now (playing tomorrow at 1st lvl), is a Cleric of Desna that is going to be taking Harrower later; I was also thinking about Augment Summoning and Spell Focus (conjuration) but those went toward Harrower and Fortune Teller (obviously we're using any Paizo PFRPG stuff in my GM's game).

    One feat that I will definitely be taking is Reach Spell, to be able to heal people from a distance.

    You are not looking hard enough. One of the arcane bloodline abilities, I believe the level 9 one, grants spells.

    Dark Archive

    Gignere wrote:
    You are not looking hard enough. One of the arcane bloodline abilities, I believe the level 9 one, grants spells.

    Okay just looked at that. Granted, you get one spell for that, arcane bond, and metamagic adept, but you don't get 3 spells. I'm not sure that's worth 4 feats (including the Skill Focus you'll have to take for Eldritch Heritage) for a Cleric to get one conjuration spell.


    It sounds like you are in carrion crown or something similar. I would suggest reach spell and/or the one that increases the DC of your channel vs. undead.

    I don't see many clerics use enough offensive conjuration spells for the spell focus conjuration to do much good. There are a few good ones, but I've rarely seen them used. So then you are taking 2 feats to bump the summons a little bit. To me, that is not worth it. Plus I don't think summons are the best choice for undead fighting.

    I don't think it is a horrible choice, just not the best.


    Ian Eastmond wrote:
    Gignere wrote:
    You are not looking hard enough. One of the arcane bloodline abilities, I believe the level 9 one, grants spells.
    Okay just looked at that. Granted, you get one spell for that, arcane bond, and metamagic adept, but you don't get 3 spells. I'm not sure that's worth 4 feats (including the Skill Focus you'll have to take for Eldritch Heritage) for a Cleric to get one conjuration spell.

    It's 3 because the ability scales with level, it is 1 at level 9 or in this case level 11 since your effective sorcerer level is -2 using eldritch heritage. But you get another at level 15 and another at 19.

    It would help to get the wondrous item that ups your effective sorcerer level by 4 levels for bloodline abilities. So you get 2 spells at level 11 right off the bat and then another spell at 15.


    Ian Eastmond wrote:

    stuff

    One feat that I will definitely be taking is Reach Spell, to be able to heal people from a distance.

    For healing you don't really need the feat reach spell.

    You can just as well use the spells: Sacred Bond or Shield Other.
    Or you can use a rod of reach spell.

    Sacred Bond even works with heal and breath of life.


    Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

    It sounds like you are in carrion crown or something similar. I would suggest reach spell and/or the one that increases the DC of your channel vs. undead.

    I don't see many clerics use enough offensive conjuration spells for the spell focus conjuration to do much good. There are a few good ones, but I've rarely seen them used. So then you are taking 2 feats to bump the summons a little bit. To me, that is not worth it. Plus I don't think summons are the best choice for undead fighting.

    I don't think it is a horrible choice, just not the best.

    Thanks for the help.

    I probably will pick reach spell or/and buy some rods and pick quick draw.

    Since my English is a bit of:
    When you say you don't see many clerics use enough offensive conjuration for spell focus conjuration, do you mean there aren't that many good conjuration spells or do you mean people should use more conjuration spells? If the later what spells are you thinking of?
    I' m not sure I think channeling is that great vs. undeads. At least not at higher level.
    A 10 level cleric deal an average of 17 damage using channeling. If the make their save it's 8.
    Same cleric using holy smite would deal 22 damage, 11 if they make their save. With incense of meditation it would be 40 or 20.

    summons are good since they can deal with all foes. We won't just fight undeads...I hope :-)


    I am a player in Carrion Crown mostly through the second book so I won't spoil anything for you.

    Zark wrote:
    ...When you say you don't see many clerics use enough offensive conjuration for spell focus conjuration, do you mean there aren't that many good conjuration spells or do you mean people should use more conjuration spells? If the later what spells are you thinking of?...

    I do not have all the cleric spells memorized. When I see someone play a cleric, I rarely see them casting a conjuration spell that the opponent has to save against. So they would get no benefit from spell focus conjuration. If you read through and find conjuration spells you like and will use often, then it may be different for you.

    Zark wrote:

    ... I' m not sure I think channeling is that great vs. undeads. At least not at higher level.

    A 10 level cleric deal an average of 17 damage using channeling. If the make their save it's 8.
    Same cleric using holy smite would deal 22 damage, 11 if they make their save. With incense of meditation it would be 40 or 20...

    Not certain at higher levels, but you have to survive to those higher levels. =) Also, most everyone on the boards agrees that channel is one of the few ways to hurt the undead if it has possessed one of the PC's. Your cleric may not want to get close enough to smite them. Often there are more than one to fight at a time. Your 22 is better on 1 undead, but it is better than 17 on 4 undead? { shrug } I've seen it argued both ways, but we really wish our paladin had more channels rather than more smites.

    Zark wrote:

    ... summons are good since they can deal with all foes. We won't just fight undeads...I hope :-)

    So far for us, it has been about 2/3 undead.

    .
    .
    .
    In case you want one tiny hint.
    Carrion Crown:
    Since youare a cleric, as soon as you can get it, almost always prepare speak with dead.


    Clerics get essentially no conjuration spells that require saves. The "trap a guy" use of Wall of Stone, the Chaotic Evil spell Rift of Ruin, the "teleport with something he's holding" use of Interplanetary Teleport, the never-casting-this Waters of Lamashtu, Fleshworm Infestation - also evil - Soul Transfer, and Light of Iomedae are the only cleric spells on my version of the spreadsheet that are conjuration spells you can save against. So no, I wouldn't take Spell Focus (Conjuration) with a cleric unless my domain was almost nothing but or I wanted Augment Summoning.


    Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
    I am a player in Carrion Crown mostly through the second book so I won't spoil anything for you.

    Thank you! The reason I did post what AP I'm playing is because I don't want any spoilers.

    I also don't want people to give me advice based on the having played the AP. It's also really bad when people have played the whole AP and gives away spoilers that rune the rest of the game.
    So thanks again.

    Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:


    Not certain at higher levels, but you have to survive to those higher levels. =)

    Good point. That is one of the thing that p*ss med of with optimizers threads where people base their build on being level 10 or 15 or 20.

    It's one thing starting at level 10. It's another starting from level 1.

    Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:


    Also, most everyone on the boards agrees that channel is one of the few ways to hurt the undead if it has possessed one of the PC's.

    I never heard if undeads being able to possessed a PC. Cool. Is that a new rule?

    Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:


    Your cleric may not want to get close enough to smite them. Often there are more than one to fight at a time. Your 22 is better on 1 undead, but it is better than 17 on 4 undead? { shrug } I've seen it argued both ways, but we really wish our paladin had more channels rather than more smites.

    Sorry if I was unclear. I meant the spell holy smite. A 4th level spell in the core book.

    I've build a spell casting cleric that uses/will use channel.
    The thing is. I don't want her to be a melee cleric nor a archer. I want her to use spells, but the spell list of clerics isn't that great at higher levels, at least not 7th and 8th level spells (those you get at 13th and 15 level). But summons can be real good. Since she is neutral she can summon anything. Evil and good creatures. I also plan to use summons as utility spells since a lot of the high level summons have spells and/or spell like abilities. Problem is they have spell resistance so healing them can be a problem. At least in battle. So channeling will help. Especially if you use quicken channeling.

    I still don't know if I need Augment Summoning. I probably won't use summons all the time. But I'm not sure.


    Joyd wrote:
    Clerics get essentially no conjuration spells that require saves. The "trap a guy" use of Wall of Stone, the Chaotic Evil spell Rift of Ruin, the "teleport with something he's holding" use of Interplanetary Teleport, the never-casting-this Waters of Lamashtu, Fleshworm Infestation - also evil - Soul Transfer, and Light of Iomedae are the only cleric spells on my version of the spreadsheet that are conjuration spells you can save against. So no, I wouldn't take Spell Focus (Conjuration) with a cleric unless my domain was almost nothing but or I wanted Augment Summoning.

    OK. So we agree. Spell Focus (Conjuration) suck. :-(

    What is your opinion on augment Summoning?

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