Need a little advice on my first cleric...


Advice


Nobody in our group ever plays a Cleric - for some reason the general mechanics and feel of them doesn't appeal to anyone. I've finally decided to throw my hat in the ring and take a break from the usual bad@ss melee types I tend to play.

My vision is a Dwarf who delved too deep in his youth and was captured for a time by the abominations that dwell below... he escaped, his sanity already tweaked by what he had witnessed and fled as long and far as he could from his captors, eventually escaping into the world above witnessing for the first time the night sky - endless, boundless, infinite and filled with stars staring down at him. It broke a part of the agoraphobic dwarf's mind, trapped between the madness below and the infinite above, and he has become convinced of the inevitable end of everything at the hands of this alien presence.

Technically he's a Cleric of Azathoth, though he is less a follower of the Old One and more a herald of his arrival and eventual dominion, devoted to staving off that eventuality but deep down convinced that its inevitable. He's going to be twisted, kind of off-his-rocker and will be played as both tragic and comic at times, given to disturbing mutterings and unerving speeches at the most inopportune times - kind of a 'Rasputin the Mad Dwarf', so to speak.

So I'm going Dwarf, obviously, and Evangelist with the Madness Domain selected. He'll take the Deep Warrior racial option for flavor though I don't view him as a combatant - he just doesn't have the feats to be an effective one I don't think. He'll also take the favored class option to make full use of that excellent Madness Domain 1st level granted power as both a buff and debuff in and out of combat. I think I've got a handle on how I want to distribute his attribute points though I'm not married to it - what I'm trying to figure out is his feat selection.

The character is probably going to play as a pure support type, using Vision of Madness, Aura of Madness, spells and Sermonic Performance to buff/debuff and then his healing ability between battles more often than not. I'm not sure where to go with feats beyond Lingering Performance and Discordant Voice (which fits the concept perfectly) - he's going to have a very high Wisdom but a very low Charisma so I'm thinking about loading up on Channelling feats, particularly Extra Channel... but with the Evangelist's already reduced Channelling ability, I'm wondering if that's an efficient use of the character's relatively few feats.

Here's what I'm thinking, but I'm not sure its the way to go. Any advice would be most welcome (on feat selection or any other aspect of the character).

Traits:
Glory of Old
Exalted of the Society

Feats:
1st - Lingering Performance
3rd - Extra Channel
5th - Extra Channel
7th - Extra Channel
9th - Selective Channel
11th - Discordant Voice
13th - Quicken Spell
15th - Extra Channel
17th - Extra Channel
19th - Extra Channel


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Update: Okay, After a bit of re-education, I've changed the build somewhat. My reduced Channel Energy will be used only for 'maintenance' healing at the end of the day and I won't be taking any feats to modify it. Instead, I'm going to focus more on my spellcasting, in particular increasing the DC's of Necromancy and Enchantment spells as those two schools seem the best suited for spell selection by a mentally unbalanced dwarf convinced of the end of the world. As an Evangelist I'll get enchantment spells that can be cast spontaneously and spells like Doom, Aura of Doom and Blindness/Deafness will all benefit from the boost to necromancy. Combined with Visions of Madness there should be some pretty nice save or suck options in the middle to higher levels.

I also made some choices to give his limited skills at least a niche of usefulness.

New build:

Dwarven 20th level Evangelist (Madness Domain)
Dwarven favored class option, Deep Warrior

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 10
DEX - 14
CON - 14 (+2 racial modifier)
INT - 12
WIS - 16 (+2 racial modifier, +1 at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th & 20th)
CHA - 8 (-2 racial modifier)

Traits:
Glory of Old (+1 saves vs. Spells, Spell-like Abilities & Poison)
Militant Merchant (+1 Perception, Perception is class skill)

Feats:
1st - Lingering Performance
3rd - Spell Focus: Enchantment
5th - Spell Focus: Necromancy
7th - Spell Penetration
9th - Greater Spell Penetration
11th - Discordant Voice
13th - Greater Spell Focus: Enchantment
15th - Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
17th - Quicken Spell
19th - Improved Initiative

Skills: (3 ranks/level)
Perception - 1/level
Sense Motive - 1/level
Profession: Miner - 1/1st level
Perform: Oratory - 1/2nd - 11th level
Knowledge: Planes - 1/12th - 20th level

Silver Crusade

If your going for casting focus. I would start with a higher Wis. Spell focus will do you little to no good over all. As there are not many spells of each level to use. With dwarf as you race Deep Sight can be a good idea.

My suggestion on feats.
1: Lingering Performance
3: Reach Spell ( So you can turn touch spells to close. IE all cure spells.)
5: Deep Sight ( Lets you see targets father away then normal.)
7: Spell Penetration
9: Greater Spell Penetration
11: Discordant Voice
13: Persistent Spell
15: Quicken Spell
17: Improved Initiative
19: Piercing Spell


Click on this portrait for a similar build that I am using in PbP right now.

I like the spell focus for enchantment and necromancy. There are not a lot of spells, but they are some of the nicest ones.

Consider reach spell since many of really good spells are touch.

If I felt improved initiative was needed, I'd take it at the begining not the end.


Some good advice there. A few things to consider - the Vision of Madness power is going to be used with this build a LOT, meaning that 1) I'll have to get within reach range fairly often anyway and 2) at middle to higher levels I won't need the Focus feats since I'll be flooring saves anyway.

Based on the advice above, I'm looking at this feat selection now:

1st Lingering Performance
3rd Spell Focus: Enchantment
5th Spell Focus: Necromancy
7th Improved Initiative
9th Spell Penetration
11th Discordant Voice
13th Quicken Spell
15th Greater Spell Penetration
17th Reach Spell
19th Healer's Touch

I'm also considering taking a level of Wizard at perhaps 9th level or so to get access to first level Wizard spells (I can envision this character using a lot of wands), the Scribe Scroll feat and perhaps a Greensting Scorpion (or some theme-appropriate version) familiar. The higher Initiative is going to be particularly valuable for me because in the opening round of combat I would like to be able to get Inspire Courage up and running and perhaps land a Vision of Madness buff or debuff before anyone else moves.

Thoughts?


Looks perfectly reasonable.

Yes, you need to get close to use vision of madness. Doesn't mean you always want to stay that close though.

Just me, but instead of taking 2 spell focus, I would pick one and go to greater spell focus.

Not sure what you mean by flooring saves. But if you don't need spell focus you could move the reach and improved initiative sooner.

Seems like I read that there is a monster feat that some GM's allow to make a Su ability have reach. Could use that with vision of madness.

Rather than a level of wizard I would take the dangerously curious trait and max UMD. By 9th level that will work most of the time for a wand anyway.


Gronk de'Morcaine wrote:

Looks perfectly reasonable.

Yes, you need to get close to use vision of madness. Doesn't mean you always want to stay that close though.

Just me, but instead of taking 2 spell focus, I would pick one and go to greater spell focus.

Not sure what you mean by flooring saves. But if you don't need spell focus you could move the reach and improved initiative sooner.

Seems like I read that there is a monster feat that some GM's allow to make a Su ability have reach. Could use that with vision of madness.

Rather than a level of wizard I would take the dangerously curious trait and max UMD. By 9th level that will work most of the time for a wand anyway.

Vision of Madness causes, among other things, a save penalty equal to 1/2 Cleric level. For three rounds a pop.

I've been looking everywhere for an option that would let me use that ability at range but so far no luck.


I may have been remembering something from 3.5 or 3rd party instead.

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