Where has my battle cleric gone?


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Grand Lodge

I love clerics. Have for a while and I don't see that changing anytime soon. But where has the "oomph" in the battle cleric gone? I loved my battle cleric in 3.5, and I know that the pathfinder cleric is a different beast, but where is the Gorumite archetype or PrC?

Dark Archive

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The "oomph" that Battle Clerics had was "I am a full-caster who can also fight as well as, or better than, a Fighter" in 3.5, and that's long gone, likely never to return.

A Cleric of Gorum that goes into the Holy Vindicator prestige class might work, but it's not going to be the same thing.


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Seranov wrote:
The "oomph" that Battle Clerics had was "I am a full-caster who can also fight as well as, or better than, a Fighter" in 3.5, and that's long gone, likely never to return.

2nd, and thank god for that.


Jt Squish wrote:
I love clerics. Have for a while and I don't see that changing anytime soon. But where has the "oomph" in the battle cleric gone? I loved my battle cleric in 3.5, and I know that the pathfinder cleric is a different beast, but where is the Gorumite archetype or PrC?

Since there's been very few nerfs, and the old spells (Righteous Might, Divine Power) are still there and worded as in 3.5, I don't see what the complaint is.

I think clerics are a bit better in Pathfinder with Channel Energy. (Instead of you having to go up to a wounded PC and heal them, you call for a huddle and make your allies use up their actions getting to you!)

I think the cleric was and is a conflicted class from 1e to 3.x and Pathfinder (no clear role, vast spell selection), but this isn't a 4e forum, so I won't talk about why I think 4e clerics are cool. I think this is one reason why my group prefers oracles and witches with Healing Hex, even though the cleric is probably a stronger class than either one of those two.

Grand Lodge

Kimera757 wrote:
Jt Squish wrote:
I love clerics. Have for a while and I don't see that changing anytime soon. But where has the "oomph" in the battle cleric gone? I loved my battle cleric in 3.5, and I know that the pathfinder cleric is a different beast, but where is the Gorumite archetype or PrC?

Since there's been very few nerfs, and the old spells (Righteous Might, Divine Power) are still there and worded as in 3.5, I don't see what the complaint is.

I think clerics are a bit better in Pathfinder with Channel Energy. (Instead of you having to go up to a wounded PC and heal them, you call for a huddle and make your allies use up their actions getting to you!)

I think the cleric was and is a conflicted class from 1e to 3.x and Pathfinder (no clear role, vast spell selection), but this isn't a 4e forum, so I won't talk about why I think 4e clerics are cool. I think this is one reason why my group prefers oracles and witches with Healing Hex, even though the cleric is probably a stronger class than either one of those two.

Righteouse might remained largely unchanged (it used to give you a +8 bonus on strength, though I believe it was errataed down to a +4), but divine power used to give you a +6 enhancement bonus to strength along with increasing your BAB equal to your HD and giving you temp HP equal to caster level. The war domain also used to give you weapon focus in your god's favored weapon, if memory serves. Now I'll admit freely that the 3.5 cleric could get out of hand fairly easily and I do think it needed to be knocked down a peg, but I was just a little disappointed to be unable to find a viable archetype/prestige class that would be suitable for the battle cleric. I like playing heal bots too and find the channel ability to be ingenious, but when I looked for a different path to build my cleric on I felt a little uninspired. I think out of anything else the lack of heavy armor proficiency hit me the hardest in this specific regard.

Dark Archive

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Oracle of Battle can get Heavy Armor Proficiency and all Martial Weapon proficiencies at level 1, plus Spontaneous Casting, though you lose Channel + having all the Divine spells known.

The Crusader Cleric archetype gives up a Domain to be more Battle Cleric-y. And it's not like you generally run around in Heavy Armor at level 1, anyway, so by the time you generally get a suit of the stuff, you can have the feat.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Seranov wrote:

***

The Crusader Cleric archetype gives up a Domain to be more Battle Cleric-y. And it's not like you generally run around in Heavy Armor at level 1, anyway, so by the time you generally get a suit of the stuff, you can have the feat.

This was going to be my suggestion as well. You lose a domain but gain a suite of 5 bonus feats that include several feats typically reserved for fighters. You can even snag that heavy Armor Proficiency right at level one without impinging on your normal feat selections. Their Legion's Blessing ability can actually be pretty useful on occasion as well.

Shadow Lodge

It's not that they have no clear role, it's that a lot of other classes have really stepped on the Cleric's toes. Pathfinder basically made the Paladin, Inquisitor, and Oracle into far better clerics than the Cleric, both mechanically and with flavor. The Cleric is trapped in this wierd place, as a Full caster but not actually able to use (at all or very effectively) the majority of Caster designed things (feats and the like). They are also an "ok" melee class, but without any bonus feats or real class options, they are again stuck too far behind most other classes for using those options well either. Essentually the PF Cleric is sort of the core 3E Bard. Personal opinion, but the ball was dropped with the PF Cleric, the only class to take backwards steps in coolness. It still has 17-19 dead levels, (depending on which Domains), and is the most MAD class in the game.

There are two Archtypes that do help, the MENDEV PRIEST and the CRUSADER.

Contributor

I never played 3.0/3.5 so I can't make a fair comparison. In general, I really like Pathfinder clerics, especially the way they're customizable with domains, subdomains, and variant channeling.

I want to play something in Pathfinder Society that I intuit is close to what the original poster means by "battle cleric" and when I went searching through all my books, yes, the Crusader archetype is what I came up with. He's a Dual Talent human cleric 1 of Iomedae, with the Glory (Heroism) domain/subdomain and Valor variant channeling. Feats are Toughness and Heavy Armor Proficiency and traits are Beneficent Touch and Shield Bearer.

The trouble I anticipate running into at first level is "presenting" my holy symbol as a sword and board combatant, but once I can afford it, I'll use the channel foci rules from Adventurer's Armory to consecrate my longsword as my holy symbol.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Christopher Rowe wrote:

I never played 3.0/3.5 so I can't make a fair comparison. In general, I really like Pathfinder clerics, especially the way they're customizable with domains, subdomains, and variant channeling.

I want to play something in Pathfinder Society that I intuit is close to what the original poster means by "battle cleric" and when I went searching through all my books, yes, the Crusader archetype is what I came up with. He's a Dual Talent human cleric 1 of Iomedae, with the Glory (Heroism) domain/subdomain and Valor variant channeling. Feats are Toughness and Heavy Armor Proficiency and traits are Beneficent Touch and Shield Bearer.

The trouble I anticipate running into at first level is "presenting" my holy symbol as a sword and board combatant, but once I can afford it, I'll use the channel foci rules from Adventurer's Armory to consecrate my longsword as my holy symbol.

Is Dual Talent really worth the feat and skill points? Not really on topic, I just never really saw that alternate trait as being worthwhile. You could just as easily have gone Channel Smite, Guided Hand, and Heavy Armor Proficiency at 1st level and pumped WIS as your primary combat stat making up your damage with buffs. The bonus skill points would offset lower stats in your STR-based skills pretty easily and you end up with more bonus spells, higher DC's if you decided to tuck away a few offensive spells, etc.

Contributor

Ssalarn wrote:
Is Dual Talent really worth the feat and skill points? Not really on topic, I just never really saw that alternate trait as being worthwhile. You could just as easily have gone Channel Smite, Guided Hand, and Heavy Armor Proficiency at 1st level and pumped WIS as your primary combat stat making up your damage with buffs. The bonus skill points would offset lower stats in your STR-based skills pretty easily and you end up with more bonus spells, higher DC's if you decided to tuck away a few offensive spells, etc.

I haven't played this character yet, and indeed, have never played any Pathfinder cleric, so I can't authoritatively answer your question. Your observations seem well-considered, but I've actually gone Dual Talent for the last two characters I've rolled up (the other is a Guide Ranger/Archivist Bard), spreading 16, 16, 14, 14, 10, 10 across the array. In both cases I did so to support the backstory and narrative character concept I've come up with, and acknowledge that my choices may not be the most mechanically efficacious.

Shadow Lodge

There is also the Birthmark Trait or a Holy Symbol Tattoo for really cheap.

If you are using a Light Shield, you can aso transfer your weapon to the shield hand (fre action) cast or channel, and transfere the weapon back to the normal hand for use (free action again). A Buckler doesn't use your hand, so no issues there. A Heavy or Tower Shield though does and is a problm.


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Jt Squish wrote:
Righteouse might remained largely unchanged (it used to give you a +8 bonus on strength, though I believe it was errataed down to a +4)

IIRC, this is 3.5-era errata. I don't know for sure, but I think so. In any event, it gives DR 5/alignment, which is pretty sweet for a PC. (How often do NPCs use unholy weapons? They can't afford them!)

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but divine power used to give you a +6 enhancement bonus to strength along with increasing your BAB equal to your HD and giving you temp HP equal to caster level.

Here's what the SRD (Pathfinder version) says:

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Calling upon the divine power of your patron, you imbue yourself with strength and skill in combat. You gain a +1 luck bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, Strength checks, and Strength-based skill checks for every three caster levels you have (maximum +6). You also gain 1 temporary hit point per caster level. Whenever you make a full-attack action, you can make an additional attack at your full base attack bonus, plus any appropriate modifiers. This additional attack is not cumulative with similar effects, such as haste or weapons with the speed special ability.

A +1 attack boost/4 levels would actually fill in for BAB. You are correct that it no longer gives a Strength boost. You'll need to wait two levels for that. (I think Paizo didn't want those two spells stacking.)

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The war domain also used to give you weapon focus in your god's favored weapon, if memory serves.

Yeah, there's a small nerf there.

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Now I'll admit freely that the 3.5 cleric could get out of hand fairly easily and I do think it needed to be knocked down a peg, but I was just a little disappointed to be unable to find a viable archetype/prestige class that would be suitable for the battle cleric.

That's probably because it's stepping on the toes of the fighter (or really, more like the barbarian).

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I think out of anything else the lack of heavy armor proficiency hit me the hardest in this specific regard.

And then there's that. All in all, a cleric is losing about two points of AC, a point of attack bonus, and had a small number of spells nerfed (one of which I'm sure only saw that nerf in 3.5, and in some ways is better).

"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
It's not that they have no clear role

No, I'm going to call them on having "no clear role". That went back all the way to 2e (and probably 1e, but I've never played that version). I'm not sure why the same class needs to be able to cast spells like Cause Fear, Blindness, and Command also needs to be able to cast Righteous Might and use the Destruction domain. Toss in a few cool but not-really-role-fitting standby spells like Destruction, Flame Strike and (in 3.x/PF) Summon Monster and you end up with a class that can do just about anything.

(Of course, AD&D tried at least once to "fix" that with spheres. Unfortunately, it became way too easy to make a cleric that wasn't useful at anything beyond maybe healing, and possibly -- if a death cleric, for instance -- not even that. This might have worked if the designers had insisted on certain spheres being common to all player clerics, even at the expense of flavor. A death priest who can't heal makes a great NPC, but you don't need one in your party.)

Clerics can:
Control (like a wizard). They're not as good at this, but they're not bad either. Command, Blindness, Blade Barrier...

Buff & Bash (eg self-buffing), like a barbarian or druid, to rival a fighter in combat. At least in Pathfinder, they tend to fall behind a little, but for every feat that a fighter has, the cleric has a spell that can let it do things a fighter can never hope to do.

Heal - not necessarily their primary role, but they're one of the few classes that are good at it. They're also the best at condition management, with spells like Break Enchantment. (Druids and witches can't cast spells like Remove Blindness.)

Blast - starting from 1st-level, clerics can wither you with negative energy or with sonic blasts. As you go up you get Searing Light (not that great) and Flame Strike (wonderful). For some reason they don't get Call Lightning (no priests of Zeus?). If you're going to take a role, you might as well go hog-wild with it. In general wizards are better at this though. I presume clerics get Flame Strike because it was used once in a religious book.

Save-or-Die - not control, I mean this literally. Starting at 9th-level, you get Slay Living (and Plane Shift, which is basically the same thing when you pick the right plane). Goes all the way up to Implosion, which is almost as good as Wail of the Banshee and bypasses Death Ward.

Party Offensive Buffing - in the non-personal buff category, clerics have cast spells like Bless and Prayer from 1st Edition onward. Some of their spells (eg Magic Weapon) copy wizard spells.

Defensive Buffing - not nearly as good as the wizard's, but then they don't really need it. Cleric defensive buffs can usually be cast on others as well as the cleric. I'm looking at Death Ward and Spell Resistance. Also Magic Vestment, but that's not really an awesome spell.

Really Long Term Prep - clerics get Planar Ally (safer than Planar Binding) and Gate. Pretty much like a wizard. Also, Glyph of Warding. A sonic glyph makes for a good aggressive alarm.

Divination/Utility - Scrying, Detect Traps, etc. These range from amazing to really weak.

Slap on two domains and you can start stealing from the bard, wizard, or what have you.

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it's that a lot of other classes have really stepped on the Cleric's toes.

I agree with this, but the problem goes back to before 3.0 core rules, when many of these classes (inquisitor, oracle) didn't even exist.

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Pathfinder basically made the Paladin, Inquisitor, and Oracle into far better clerics than the Cleric, both mechanically and with flavor.

I would love to know how the paladin makes a "better cleric". I'm not familiar with the inquisitor, unfortunately. We did have an oracle in our party once - there was a lot more flavor there, but I don't think it actually did the cleric's job better. It was more limited - possibly a good thing given the vast number of spells a cleric could know - but it could conceivably cast any cleric spell anyway.

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The Cleric is trapped in this wierd place, as a Full caster but not actually able to use (at all or very effectively) the majority of Caster designed things (feats and the like).

I play but don't run Pathfinder, so I don't have the rules mastery I had in 3.x. What are you talking about? I'd like to see an example.

Certainly I don't see a problem with casting feats. You get fewer of them than a wizard, but not fewer than a sorcerer or most other caster classes.

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They are also an "ok" melee class, but without any bonus feats or real class options

Between picking an appropriate melee domain (War, Destruction) and picking the right buff spells, you can still match a fighter's increased bonuses in Pathfinder. I would consider domains and spells to be "class options". (Fighters get a +4 or +5 bonus to hit and damage compared to 3.5 with their best weapon at 20th-level; with two buff spells, clerics can get similar buffs.) Was it okay for clerics to be able to exceed fighters in 3.x? Not really.

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It still has 17-19 dead levels, (depending on which Domains), and is the most MAD class in the game.

I wouldn't consider those levels "dead", anymore than I'd consider wizard levels (based on specialties) or sorcerer bloodlines to be "dead levels". Every domain gives you extra spells every other level, and you can pick domains that give you unique spells not available to other clerics (and sometimes not even to any classes at all).

As for MAD... it's probably because low-level clerics had slightly better than average weapon options and no good damaging first-level spells that they were encouraged to have high Strength, leading to the really strong personal buffs they got in 3.x. But a cleric does not have to go that route. If you're not trying to copy a fighter, you don't need their stats.

It's also vaguely a funny statement in a game with the bard and monk in the core rules.

Back in 3.0, a friend of mine played a neutral cleric in a campaign I DM'd from first to seventh level. He wanted to channel negative energy. I was opposed, for fear that the PCs would keep running away from encounters due to a lack of healing, but he said he'd prep lots of healing spells. Between a Wand of CLW for in-combat healing, and being able to trade out Cure X Wounds for Inflict X Wounds, he was downright scary. I had no idea that you could effectively use the inflict spells. (IIRC, he took Spell Focus [whatever] to boost the inflict save DCs, and it's not like hitting an opponent's touch AC is ever hard, so he didn't need high Strength either.) I never did this, but I wondered if a drow priestess without the "typical" high Strength/Con and heavy armor of a cleric could be dangerous using that same technique. (Drow priestesses are only dangerous in Salvatore's works; they seem more like zealous wizards than clerics.)


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You don't NEED a prestige classe to play a ''battle cleric''. A single level dip into the fighter class, selecting the right domains and high strength and constitution scores should suffice. However, an increased fighting capability is obtained at the expense of decreased spellcasting and energy channeling capabilities.

In our current campaing of Carrion Crown, we have a human cleric of Cayden Cailean with the Strength and Travel domains. He has a starting strength score of 18 and he took a single level dip into the fighter class so that he could wear a full plate and wield a lucerne hammer. He's a real beast and becomes even more powerful after casting Enlarge Person and Bull's Strength of himself. He even one shoted the first encounter of the 2nd module (CR = APL +1) while we only had 15 points to spend during character creation. How more powerful than that should a battle cleric be in your opinion? Brokenly powerful?

Shadow Lodge

Paladins have become the defacto holy warrior, which was always (until PF) the role of the Cleric. In PF, Paladins (after a few levels) can keep up with and exceed in the healing dept, (and even swift action heal themselves), and begin to also, on the fly, remove various conditions for free. The Cleric has to have the right spell prepped to do that, and even then will tend to have only one (or two if your lucky) of those prepped. In a sense, that's basically giving the Paladin the equivalent of spontanious all Remove spells for free. Extra Channel can only be taken once, but Paladins can take Extra Lay on Hands & Channel Energy, and are Cha based Class, slightly behind the Cleric in MAD.

Heavy Armor, again something iconic to the Cleric was removed specifically to make Paladins better and different than Clerics. There are options that let the Paladin branch out even more into the Cleric's lane, either to get Domains or to actually add spells to their spell list. In the 1E and 2E days, Clerics had the best saves, they where a strong defensive style warrior class with some magic, similar to 3E Bard casting. In 3E they became a "full caster", with 9th level spells, but really they just sort of stretched out their spells a bit, which leaves a few Cleric spell levels very dry and boring.

Now enter the Inquisitor, who is in many ways a Cleric+. They are not restricted with all those pesky Cleric rules about their deity, have all kinds of non-spell options, and have some much synergy, it makes the Cleric cry.

Next enters the Oracle, which basically steals a full half of the Cleric's flavor, (special preson choosen by their deity, a prophet, mouthpiece, and judge divinely inspired). They are less MAD overall, AND they basically use one stat for all of their class features. Mysteries are overall better, (less dead levels, you can pick and choose/customize what you want, and they don't become irrelevant as you level, oh and it's not just 2 abilities ever). The thing about Divine Spont Casters is that there are only a few actually good Divine spell typically preped. It works for the Arcane side where there is a whole lot more balance, choosing a good spell is challenging, and there are triple the number of options (min). Not really on the Divine side though. It just means you don't need to worry about how many of the same spell you where going to prep anyway. Oracles also have a lot more synergy.

A Dead Level is when you don't get anything new for "leveling up". More of what you already have BaB, HD, Saves, Skill Points, Spells, etc. . . is still a Dead Level, where as unlocking a new Class Feature is not.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey, there used to be a guy called Beckett who would rant all the time about how Cleric was a poor class in 3.5E and Pathfinder destroyed it completely by taking away heavy armor proficiency and gimping it to below Monk level, wonder where he has gone... ;-)


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Someone honestly thought that?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

I think Pathfinder really opened the door for cleric's to fill in just about any niche appropriate to their chosen deity. You can't fill in any role with the exact same character like you could in 3.0, but you can fill any role you build the character for. I've played with a lot of players both in home games and in PFS, and I've had a cleric in nearly every group and they've all been very different characters.

Silver Crusade

Don't know about your cleric, but I'm right here.

Contributor

"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
[snip]

I don't understand your use of the word synergy in your post. In two cases you say that classes "have" it, but you don't say what's synergizing with what.


"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
Paladins have become the defacto holy warrior, which was always (until PF) the role of the Cleric.

This was one of the complaints I was making upthread. Does the game need two holy warrior classes in the core rules? I think not.

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In PF, Paladins (after a few levels) can keep up with and exceed in the healing dept

Explain how. Lay on Hands and Channel Energy cannot match Heal, unless there's something I'm missing (probably not in the core rules).

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on the fly, remove various conditions for free.

True, and it's free... but unlike a cleric, a paladin's mercies are set in stone once selected. If you have the ability to remove nauseated, and someone is instead blinded, well... too bad.

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The Cleric has to have the right spell prepped to do that

A funny thing happened in the third or fourth part of the Kingmaker campaign I'm in. We have a paladin and a druid (the latter being my character), plus some others that aren't relevant to this discussion. During the battle, some of us got blinded by bird flocks.

After the battle, I said I'd wait until the next day (no one wants to fight while blinded), prep Remove Blindness, and then unblind everyone.

So that happened... only later did I discover that druids can't cast the spell! The DM let it slide, that one time. Our paladin can't restore blindness either (either it's not an available mercy, or he hadn't chosen it). Furthermore, the entire restoration line of spells goes way beyond what a paladin can do. A character could have their Wisdom score dropped to 0 and petrified, and a cleric can fix that. A paladin can't.

If we'd had a cleric, that wouldn't have happened (or rather, the problem would have been solved legally). Now of course there's a lot to be said about having the right spell at the right time. Just because a cleric can cast Remove Blindness doesn't mean they have it right now; our party was lucky not to have been attacked when they were blinded. On the other hand, a paladin with the "wrong" mercy would have been just as out of luck. (A cleric can also use those higher-level scrolls that they can scribe and store or just buy. A paladin would need Use Magic Device to pull that off. Our witch, who joined our party after the incident above, tried that with some higher-level Restoration scrolls, only to find they succeed less than half the time on their UMD check.)

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In a sense, that's basically giving the Paladin the equivalent of spontanious all Remove spells for free.

You can see why I disagree. What the paladin gets is a few free restoration spells... and they get fewer spells than clerics get. This is filling the gap, it's not actually putting the paladin ahead of the cleric.

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Extra Channel can only be taken once, but Paladins can take Extra Lay on Hands & Channel Energy, and are Cha based Class, slightly behind the Cleric in MAD.

Paladins used to get that kind of thing at half level. I missed that boost in Pathfinder.

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Heavy Armor, again something iconic to the Cleric

I wouldn't call it iconic. I'd call it "niche stealing". There's already fighters and paladins, clerics didn't need to step on their toes. (Plate armor didn't make sense for a lot of archetypes too, not talking the mechanical Pathfinder term here.)

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In the 1E and 2E days, Clerics had the best saves

No they didn't. Warriors had the best saves, or more to the point, they did at certain levels. No class had flat out the best saves at all levels. (The closest were paladins, if only because they got +2 to all saves.)

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They are less MAD overall, AND they basically use one stat for all of their class features. Mysteries are overall better, (less dead levels, you can pick and choose/customize what you want, and they don't become irrelevant as you level, oh and it's not just 2 abilities ever). The thing about Divine Spont Casters is that there...

I guess I'm not seeing clerics as being MAD. They only need two stats to function (Wisdom and Charisma), although that's less than the oracle (just Charisma). It's only when they try to steal the fighter's niche that they suddenly need another two. Even so, they're less MAD than paladin, which need at least three stats (Strength, Con and Charisma, since Pathfinder moved their spellcasting from Wisdom to Charisma).

On a note unrelated to this post, quotes seem to keep getting cut off. Is there a post-size limit?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Kimera757 wrote:
On a note unrelated to this post, quotes seem to keep getting cut off. Is there a post-size limit?

Yep. I think it's right around 300 characters, but I'm not positive about that.

They're trying to control *cough, cough* posters who fill threads with giant walls of text.

Not that your posts weren't on-topic and contributive to the discussion.


how was the cleric in 1e and 2e not a full caster, exactly?

Silver Crusade

Too lazy to read the whole thread, but just wanted to point out the recent "Reach Cleric" guide, which I found interesting: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2p68o?New-Class-Guide-Reach-Cleric


Several oracle mysteries make better battle clerics than battle clerics these days.

You need to choose your domains carefully, there are some real deadly domains for battle cleric.

Also, check out the Crusader archetype - snag some extra combat feats.

Multiclass monk and cleric get crusader's flurry and flurry with a badass weapon. Flurry scimitars or Sawtooth Sabres anyone?

Dark Archive

Which deity has a Sawtooth Sabre as a favored weapon?


Seranov wrote:
Which deity has a Sawtooth Sabre as a favored weapon?

Achaekek, patron god of the Red Mantis.


achekek? (sp?)

could always just spend a feat...

Dark Archive

Proficiency doesn't let you Flurry with them, though.

I am now thinking of a LE Cleric/Monk with Guided Hand.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Pendagast wrote:
how was the cleric in 1e and 2e not a full caster, exactly?

By modern standards, the only full caster in those editions, was the Magic-User.


Could do it with lawful neutral, too, if you don't care for evil.

Shadow Lodge

Until 3E, Clerics had (3Eish) Bard casting. 1-6th Level spells, no Orisons, and where very limited in scope. They also couldn't spont. Cure, so what they had prepped was what they had prepped, period. Anyone could used a scroll/potion of Cure, (or other protective Cleric spells like Prot from Evil).

Stuff part 1:
3E expanded this by 4 spell levels, which leaves some spell levels very bland (I think 2nd, 4th, and 7th) off the top of my head, and also basically took many and ported them over to other classes. 3E allowed it, but PF also really pushed for a more NPCish white mage style Cleric, and lost sight of the role in the process. The issue is that many of the magic related Feats either do not apply to Clerics, or are not very great ideas. Many Cleric spells are simply improved versions of lower level spells, but Metamagic versions of them are worse than the higher level base spells, (typically), or because many Cleric spells either cap out very quickly, or do not follow the typical Arcane formula (1d6 with +1/level vs +1d6/level). There are exceptions, but the Cleric spell list is one of the smallest in the games, and there is not a lot of variety, there is a lot less use/need for metamagic Feats, (there are exceptions, Quicken, Extend, and Reach Spell all stand out, but not much else really).

Stuff part 2:
PF also wanted to push the idea of forcing spellcasters to relly on lower level spells more often, but Cleric spells usually do not keep up, many where nerfed too much, and PF made a lot of them do the same thing/offer the same bonus, which basically starts to invalidate their own list.

This sort of leads to the continuation of all Clerics basically being the same regardless of deity/faith/Domains, which really have very little impact on the concept (vs things like Bloodline or Fighting Style). Take a look at most Cleric Guides and you will see basically a uniform Spell List regardless of what the characters faith and tenets are all about. Clerics do not get a single class feature than other classes can not have, and usually a lot of other classes have easy access to them, and can (with a decent build) actually utilize them better. They also made the Paladin a little too good, in my opinion, a little too perfect, and with other little changes like upping the HD of other classes (particularly Bards, Sorcerers, and Rogues) messed with the idea of Clerics being a more front line class (even though most of their spells require Touch range) and place them standing behind the Rogue rather than the Fighter. Rogues and Paladins ar sort of the defacto Undead bane classes now, which again was the Cleric's thing from the start, and Paladins are far better at dealing with evil outsiders, again steppng on the Cleric's toes a bit too much.

Silver Crusade

"Devil's Advocate" wrote:
If you are using a Light Shield, you can aso transfer your weapon to the shield hand (fre action) cast or channel, and transfere the weapon back to the normal hand for use (free action again). A Buckler doesn't use your hand, so no issues there. A Heavy or Tower Shield though does and is a problm.

My cleric uses a heavy shield and puts his weapon on a weapon cord. You can drop your weapon to cast, then recover it after you cast (as a swift action, I believe).

Shadow Lodge

Yes, that is true. I do a similar thing, honestly, and a Weapon cord (relatively new item) is basically standard gear for any character/class I play now.


I think it's more to do with the same problem combat rogues have, straight 3/4BAB just doesn't cut it for front-liners anymore. Unless the class has a built-in mechanism to increase effective BAB (inquisitor bane for instance) the combat potential just isn't there. Combat balance is set for full BAB classes not 3/4th BAB classes and a battle cleric just isn't capable of hitting often enough. All a battle cleric can do is use a few spells like Divine Power to keep them from being useless in combat but they just aren't capable of shining.


You can still be an effektiv battle cleric. You had of course made some vclever moves.
3/4 BAB Classes aren't so bad frontliners, with clever use of spells, feats and placement you can negate the lower BAB, only thing which hurts a little bit is that you get extra attacks a few levels later (but in exchange you have some fancy spells/abilities^^)


"Devil's Advocate" wrote:

Until 3E, Clerics had (3Eish) Bard casting. 1-6th Level spells, no Orisons, and where very limited in scope. They also couldn't spont. Cure, so what they had prepped was what they had prepped, period. Anyone could used a scroll/potion of Cure, (or other protective Cleric spells like Prot from Evil).

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **...

I distinctly recall 7th level divine spells. Cantrips were something new added later and they suck anyway. Saving throws worked different back then too so "DCs" werent based off of spell level.


Pendegast is right. Only the magic user had 8th and 9th level spells. Cleric, druid, and illusionist went up to 7th.

Honestly, if you want to turn your cleric into a battle cleric then take a level of fighter or paladin.

EDIT
Oops! Didn't see that there was a second page of this.

Shadow Lodge

Might be right. Actully 7th does sound correct.


Yes, 1E Clerics had spells up to 7th level.

However, there was NOT a direct, 1:1 correlation between Cleric spell levels and Magic-User spell levels, either. In 1E, Cleric spells, while limited in focus, tended to be more powerful than Magic-User spells of the "same" level.


Eh, I've found that a full battle cleric can be good enough fighter with buffs and a battle array. 18 str, who cares dex, decent con, dumb int, decent/good wis, above average cha. Give him a 2 handed weapon (Gorum) and channel smite (negative energy, healing is for wands, scrolls, and prepped spells).

A battle cleric starts with meh wisdom, because he doesn't need a high DC on buff spells. As long as he can eventually get items or stat increases he can start at 15 wisdom, or even lower. A battle cleric uses 18 strength, because that is the most efficient good stat you can get (with a put anywhere race), and gets the most out of 2 handed weapons. A battle cleric doesn't need a good dex, because he can buff his armor or heal himself. A battle cleric doesn't need a ton of CHA, because he isn't going to heal with channel, and channeled smite is for big fights that have huge health pools.

My PFS gorum cleric is relatively low level, but he does quite a bit of damage. Destructive smite, channeled smite, 2d6 weapon, 18 strength, it all adds up. Add in a quick buff while closing the range and you start to tear into the enemy quick enough for a challenging game. Get into the must have all enemies as munched out as the super munchin players game and then it might suffer. Even then its still a full caster which is close in effectiveness as a martial specialist. Suffers a little because support from feats and class abilities is spotty, but still a good 2nd beater (in MMO terms, they make for good off tank/secondary striker).


In MMO the battle clerics usually are better builds than the full fighters, in fact not usually, always.


Jt Squish wrote:
I love clerics. Have for a while and I don't see that changing anytime soon. But where has the "oomph" in the battle cleric gone? I loved my battle cleric in 3.5, and I know that the pathfinder cleric is a different beast, but where is the Gorumite archetype or PrC?

Take Gorum as a god and pick the Rage Sub-Domain?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kimera757 wrote:
On a note unrelated to this post, quotes seem to keep getting cut off. Is there a post-size limit?

There are quote size limits, nto post size limits AFAIK.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
"Devil's Advocate" wrote:

Until 3E, Clerics had (3Eish) Bard casting. 1-6th Level spells, no Orisons, and where very limited in scope. They also couldn't spont. Cure, so what they had prepped was what they had prepped, period. Anyone could used a scroll/potion of Cure, (or other protective Cleric spells like Prot from Evil).

Plenty of wrong data there about 1st and 2nd edition:

- 1st and 2nd ed clerica has 7 levels of spells, same thing for druids;
- no one was capable to spontaneously cast spell, so the clerics weren't in any way an exception;
- only level 10+ thieves where capable to read scrools that weren't made for their class.


I find the cleric is a pretty nice package. Med BAB and HD, Med armor and shields, Full spellcasting, Good saves on the ones that matter, Flexible class features in the form of domains, and channel energy to top it off.

Taken as a class its solid. There are problems though and that is with downright stupid design on things outside the class itself. Like the channel boosting items taking up the same body slot as the mental stat boosting item that is very needed for a cleric that wants a solid amount of channeling.

Then there is the channel smite feat. It should be a good and interesting battle cleric option. But since a missed attack waste the channel AND it still has a save its pretty bad. It should be one other the other not both.

Then the fact that extra channel can not be taken more then once unlike most other classes extra recourse feats. This makes it so a paladin can get far more uses because they can take extra channel once and then extra lay on hands as much as they want which can be turned into channel energy.

Anyway as I said the class at its base is solid but someone sure screwed up its feat and item options.

Dark Archive

Threw together a Human Cleric/Monk of Achaekek yesterday. Seemed kind of nifty. Then I discovered there is a CN Orc god whose favored weapon in the Earthbreaker. Time to make an Orc Battle Cleric who goes Holy Vindicator!

Spoiler:
Help, I've lost control of my life.

Shadow Lodge

Diego Rossi wrote:
"Devil's Advocate" wrote:

Until 3E, Clerics had (3Eish) Bard casting. 1-6th Level spells, no Orisons, and where very limited in scope. They also couldn't spont. Cure, so what they had prepped was what they had prepped, period. Anyone could used a scroll/potion of Cure, (or other protective Cleric spells like Prot from Evil).

Plenty of wrong data there about 1st and 2nd edition:

- 1st and 2nd ed clerica has 7 levels of spells, same thing for druids;
- no one was capable to spontaneously cast spell, so the clerics weren't in any way an exception;
- only level 10+ thieves where capable to read scrools that weren't made for their class.

Actually, no, anyone can use scrolls of protection. I already said I was wrong about the 7th level spells, my mistake, and I was pointing out that until 3E, Clerics could not Spont cast Cures, not comparing it to other classes, (which only one can now anyway). A 10th Level Thief had the chance to read any scroll, your correct.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

DA, we're getting a game together this afternoon. Let me know if you are free.

Shadow Lodge

Stome wrote:

Taken as a class its solid. There are problems though and that is with downright stupid design on things outside the class itself. Like the channel boosting items taking up the same body slot as the mental stat boosting item that is very needed for a cleric that wants a solid amount of channeling.

Anyway as I said the class at its base is solid but someone sure screwed up its feat and item options.

Paizo did this purposefully, because they wanted the Paladin and Sorcerer to be able to use both the Cloack of Resistance and (what used to be) the Cloack of Cha together. It's kind of funny, because the Phylactery of Positive/Negative Channeling is basically the only item really designed specificaly for Clerics in the game, (though other classes can get use from it too), and its basically an either/or situation for the two items many Clerics essentually need. Overall, I think the Headband of Cha (not including the needed Wis as well), is better than the Phylactery, as far as usefulness, aside from low levels when you can't really afford it anyway.

Another issue I have is that most of the Channel Related Feats do not build on each other. They essentually give you another option to use with the same small pool. The base class is ok, fairly solid with just the core material. The further from it though, the more it really starts to lag.

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