PFS First timer - Time Oracle (Ancient Lorekeeper) building advice


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I'm about to start playing in PFS soon, and I'm currently building my first character within that specific set of rules. Since I've never played in PFS before, I'm not really sure what are the important elements to consider, hence my coming here to ask for advice.

My character is an Elf Oracle with the Ancient Lorekeeper archetype. I've chosen the Time mystery to make him a support character (buffer, healer, knowledge person). The curse I've chosent is Haunted, since it makes sense from a background point of view (but it's irrelevant on a mechanical level, so I won't discuss it here).

My ability distribution is as follows (including racial modifiers): Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 17

I've chosen to replace some racial traits with Fleet Footed (grants the Run feat and +2 initiative) and Dreamspeaker (+1 DC for sleep and divination spells, able to cast Dream once per day).

Feat: Breadth of Experience (+2 all Knowledges and Professions, all knowledge rolls can be made untrained).

Revelation: Temporal Celerity (roll 2d20 for initiative, take the best).

Spell selection includes Bless, Protection from Evil and the bonus spell CLW.

So far so good. The elements I'm really not sure about are the traits. I'm currently considering:

- Observant (+1 Per, makes it class skill), campaign type
- Warrior of Old (+2 initiative), race type
- Dangerously Curious (+1 UMD, makes it class skill), magic type
- Focused (+2 concentration), magic type

My question is the following: how useful is UMD for a divine caster in PFS? Since my character is CHA-based, it would be an obvious boon, but I'm not sure how useful it'll be. I'm also wondering if stacking a second initiative trait would be that useful (my init is currently +4, with 2d20 taking the best of them). As it stands, I've selected Observant and Dangerously Curious, but I'd like an external opinion on this.

My second question is about the choice of arcane spells my archetype allows. I was thinking about Magic Missile at 4th, Spectral Hand at 6th (casting cure spells as well as bestow curse from afar would make that an interesting choice, I think), and haste at 8th. Any other suggestions?

Any other advice for a PFS first-timer?


UMD will let you use wands/scrolls as well as a few other tricks (not sure about PFs legality, though) Perception is useful, but as a cha caster... *shrug* init is handy, and as a buffer is two thoughts: buff before, or heal after they take damage. You can always lower your rolled init.

Could always look into improving enchantment things (to further improve sleep spells)

Thanks for your opinion.

I'm not really sure I want to go the sleep spells route, since they're arcane and quickly made obsolete by levelling (and as an Ancient Lorekeeper I get a given spell later than an arcane caster).

I'll definitely consider UMD then, some arcane wands could certainly come in handy. The second trait can't be "Focused" (since it's also in the Magic category), so I'll probably pick "Warrior of Old".

Any opinion on the spell choice?

well, if not the sleep line, why not divination.
and at second level you could choose a lvl 0... so...i love prestidigitation. so many spells in one little thing..
if you dont have it, maybe read magic, resistance, or one of the light spells (light or dancing lights)

1st level is a little more interesting.
Adjuring Step - protection from AoO
Infernal Healing - evil spell but fast healing 1
Stumble Gap - hole in the floor
Comprehend Languages - in case you run into kobolds/goblinoid
True Strike - for when/if you attack
Bungle - -20 for enemy on roll
Lock Gaze - forces enemy to look at you
Vanish - invis
Dancing Lantern
Magic Weapon - buff
Touch of Gracelessness - enemies sluggish and fall

is a few interesting buff spells i saw, and a good few that have an effect after a save

Grand Lodge

Dangerously Curious is very worthwhile for an Oracle. I think all my oracles have it and more than one has a wand of magic missiles for annoying incorporeal monsters.

I looked at the Ancient Lorekeeper, but decided to pass when I realized that you learned Arcane spells at +1 level. I wouldn't play one in PFS, although I might in a home game which had an elven focus.

Thanks for the tip, I'll take Dangerously Curious then. Any advice on arcane wands I should invest in (with PFS in mind)?

Note that you can't take two initiative traits (well, technically you can, but it's useless to do so), since trait bonuses do not stack. Dangerously Curious is allright. You could also try to compensate for your weak fort save.

Ancient Lorekeeper is a very solid archetype, especially for the Time mystery which suffers from "great revelations, crappy spells"-syndrome.

For spells it depends a lot on what you plan to do. Magic Missile at level 4 is a solid choice, even as a 2nd level spell. It will at least give you something meaningful to do against most opponents.

Be careful with taking stuff that can just as well be duplicated by the cleric list, though.
For example, some of the benefits of Spectral Hand can be achieved with Sacred Bond. And Blessing of Fervor is a 4th level cleric spell which is arguably superior to Haste in many ways, and this will make taking Haste as a 4th level spell a waste.

The cleric list lacks blasting, flight, battlefield control and teleportation. I would keep that particularly in mind when picking spells. Blasting is usually not that efficient, though, so don't worry too much about that.

I would consider Mirror Image for my 2nd->3rd spell, because it's an extremely powerful defense. Normally I'd also say Dimension Door for your 4th->5th, but the teleport-revelation might be sufficient for you. Overland Flight may be a nice 5th->6th option.

Very solid spell advice, thanks Corlindale!

Actually, the bonus from Fleet-Footed is a racial bonus, which would stack with Warrior of Old (trait bonus).

I agree with you on the Magic Missile choice. Thanks for bringing to my attention Sacred Bond and Blessing of Fervor, I'll definitely check those out. In this context, Mirror Image makes indeed sense, but I'm not sure about Overland Flight, mostly because I'll get Levitate as a bonus spell from the Haunted curse.

You're absolutely right about the lack of blasting, and with a Charisma-oriented character this is something I could do, for example with Fireball as a 3rd->4th spell.

Levitate is no substitute for Overland Flight, honestly. You move slowly and can only move up and down. And it has a much shorter duration.

The magic of Overland Flight is that it lasts all day, so you won't have to spend precious combat actions to cast it, and it gives you actual flight rather than slow, uni-directional leviation.

The only thing speaking against Overland Flight is that you might eventually be able to obtain a magic item that makes it obsolete - but then again, having the spell will just save you a ton of money in that case :-)

Dunno if u noticed it, but elves alternate fav class bonus for oracle is really good.. I dunno if any time revelation would be worth a faster advancement, but its worth looking at..

i would also suggest u invest 1 point into a profession/perform so u can make ur day job roll at the end of each session..

Additionally did you take a look at the Lore Mystery? Its very similar to Time(Knowledges Skills etc), and i very much better than the Time Mystery.. Lore Keeper and Sidestep Mystery are both really great..

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

For your fisrt level feat, give some consideration to Cosmopolitan. You can make Perception and UMD class skills and get two freebie languages. A:though, Breadth of Experience is nice to have.

@Corlindale: Fair point, adding to the fact that they aren't obtained quite at the same level.

@WerePox47: You're right, and it would actually be worthwhile to invest in it for the revelation I picked at level 1 (at 7th level the character can act in the suprise round - albeit last - even if the perception roll failed, and later on you get 3d20 to roll for initiative).

I've taken a look at the Lore mystery, and while it's really good, it isn't quite what I was looking for. Though the revelations you mention are indeed very interesting (CHA bonus to Ref saves / AC instead of DEX, and CHA bonus to Knowledge skills - that could mean dumping INT and DEX to 8+2 and pump CHA to 18... at the loss of some initiative and skill points).

Upon additional reading i think an Oracle of Lore would be really good in pfs.. The few times ive played pfs knowledge rolls were hugely important.. Considering u have all as class skills and use cha to modify putting just 1 point would net at least a +8bonus at 1st level.. I would build one this way for pfs i think..

Peri Blooded Asssimar, Oracle of Lore 1

cha-17+2racial(all level +here)

Feat: Extra Revelation

Sidestep Secret

Dangerously Curious

Fav Class Bonus(+1/2 to mental acuity)

Skills at 1st:
Perception +6
Spellcraft +8
K:Arcana +8
K:Planes +10
K:Local +8
K:Religion +8

I would then alternate afew knowledge skills around at each level to have bonuses in each one.. Mental Acuity with the fav class bonus adds +4 Int by 12th level so even more skills..

AC 18 at first(unbuffed) with studded leather/lt shield.. Goes to 20 with shield of faith..

Get your self a light weapon so u threaten for falnking but try instead to stay outa melee and use the aid another action as your attack..

Saves are:
Fort: +2
Reflex: +4
Will: +3

I would pick shiled or faith and bless as ur spells.. and cure light as your freebee..

I would pick automatic writing as my next revelation to further help the party..

Grand Lodge

Lithrac wrote:
Thanks for the tip, I'll take Dangerously Curious then. Any advice on arcane wands I should invest in (with PFS in mind)?

Magic Missile is always good. The rest depend on your style of play and the group you play with (Enlarge Person for example).

Oh, excellent advice about Enlarge person. It's much more in the line of what I wanted for this character. Though with high UMD I might want a wand of this.

After some additional research, I've found that Nethys worshippers (in Faiths of Balance) have access to a different trait that gives UMD +1 as well as a class skill, thus allowing me to take the +2 concentration trait.

@Werepox47: I'll probably switch Protection from Evil to Shield of Faith at 4th level, and take the communal version of PfE. Apart from that, I'd really like to stick to my elven oracle concept, in fact.

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i would recommend UMD as a class skill highly, there are a lot of level 1 wands that are useful in PFS. i would drop bless and protection from evil as your chosen spells and replace them with wands. go with spells where level(or casting time) actually matters. i suggest liberating command instead, it is incredibly useful when it comes up, and is immediate casting time. also burning disarm is good(because something bad happens even if they make their save), and forbid action is nice. shield of faith would get better as you level also (unlike protection from evil)

with UMD i suggest wands of touch of the sea, infernal healing, protection from evil, bless, longstrider, magic missile, keep watch. all very useful level 1 spells. remember in PFS you will likely gain 2 prestige every adventure, and buying almost any level 1 wand is only 2 prestige. wouldn't take you that long to accumulate a few useful wands without having to spend any gold at all.

for loremaster spells: offense/defense (depending on what youre going for)
lvl 2 slot:magic missile/vanish
lvl 3 slot:glitterdust/invisibility(if youre just support) or mirror image (for offensive actions)
lvl 4 slot:aqueous orb/haste
lvl 5 slot:black tentacles/stoneskin

depending on what youre going for there may be better spells, but all of these are decent.

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