Reach Cleric and a one level dip in fighter?


So I am playing a reach cleric with the domains of travel and madness. My god is unknown as part of the backstory, the diety's favored weapon is the flying blade, the +2 on attacks of opportunity makes it pretty ideal for a cleric of this type. My feats thus far are improved initiative and combat reflexes. He has both high STR and WIS, which makes him very capable of sitting in the middle of battle, grabbing 3 attacks of opportunity, and casting.

So a couple of questions for the community at large. Would a dip into fighter at level 6 be worth it for heavy armor proficiency, bow proficiency, and power attack? Is it worth giving up a level of caster progression; my goal is to be effective at both casting and fighting, and I concentrate mostly on bf control, buffing, and debuffing. It has proven very effective thus far, but there are lots of benefits and tradeoffs here (for instance delay the level 8 travel domain ability, which this character is going to use to it's advantage).

Is heavy armor worth the tradeoff? Right now he has a 20/21 AC going into level 4 and I plan on getting mithral armor as I want to get the max out of a decent DEX. Any other thoughts on a character of this sort? He plans on summoning once he can take sacred summons, but that might be a little while given how feat starved he is. I look forward to any thoughts y'all might have.

Silver Crusade

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It's not worth given up the caster level progression.

I have played 3 different clerics with fighter level dip. Every time later I regretted the choice. As a battle cleric you still need spells that are your level to heal effectively in combat should the need arise. Plus delayed access to heal(The spell) is never a good idea. Unless you have a plan for what your character will gain/lose. I don't recommend multiclassing.

With that I am cleric that has a dip. Cleric(Divine Strategist)6 Monk(Sensei)2. This was something I planed when I made the character. Yes this character can not channel. This character was not made to fill the healing role. I made it as a divine offensive caster.
So now he has.
Initiative +11 Divine Strategist3 Improved Initiative4 Reactionary2 Dex2
Wis Mod = Will save, AC, To Hit(Unarmed Strike), Spell DC, Stunning Fist DC.
unbuffed AC 20 Buffed AC 34
Unarmed Strike to hit +12 (Damage is a joke) Stunning Fist DC20 + Touch spell discharge.(normally bestow curse)

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Do you have a good idea of the feats you will take until you hit the level cap at your table? I'm playing my own reach cleric, and don't feel the build is very feat intensive. My point being, you could probably just take heavy armor as a feat and skip fighter.

Are you the only frontliner? That would increase the value of a fighter level a lot. If you aren't, I'd stick with straight cleric.

We've got a decent mix. An melee alchemist, ranger, and paladin. We also have a sorcerer who regularly enlarges me and will also concentrate on bf control. But my plan is to stick up front, throw out spells like murderous command and soundburst while grabbing a bunch of attacks of opportunity. There are a lot of feats I'd like to grab, such as the summoning feats and dimensional agility. We have no idea how high this game to go, it's entirely possible we'll hit 20, it's equally possible we'll stop at 8.

My instinct is to stay in cleric, but I definitely see some efficiencies in a fighter dip.

Silver Crusade

Stay full Cleric. The fighter/whatever dip helps at low levels, but one regrets it by middle levels. Spell casting becomes exponentially more effective with level, so avoid losing full caster levels.

Perhaps the Heavy Armor feat (+3 AC from medium Breastplate to heavy Full Plate) is worth it, perhaps not. There are better ways to improve your defenses, even AC, than heavy armor. For example, some form of shield that does not interfere with wielding a two handed weapon: Shield spell, Animated Shield, buckler, some other ways. There are probably other feats you want more.

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Yeah, that's been my inclination, especially since he's been a pretty brutal force on the battlefield anyway at the early levels. I highly recommend the build to anyone who enjoys super action economy. At least four actions around if there's enough provocation and more as dex increases. Summoning works well with it as well, it's a really efficient, fun way to play a cleric. I had to forgo must in the way of channeling because of a CHA dump, but the trade off is worth it and I believe I will choose a form of variant healing that is more likely to be effective when needed than the minor impact of a single channel I could replace with a wand of CLW.

Also, any thoughts on the best variant channel with a dumped CHA. I get one per day and minimal healing of HP seems useless. My initial instinct is to take the variant which heals ability damage. Only selectively useful , but massively so when it comes up. I like some of the harm effects, but the DCs would be so low as to be worthless. Any thoughts on a one shot channel type that does not depend upon DCs?

Best variant channels for positive energy are those that buff the party. For that reason low charisma characters should favor positive energy as saves are irrelevant against all but undead. For negative channel u want something that adds a really bad condition or status effect. With madness lowing saves by mid levels very well I'd go for anything that lowers saves even further. Perfect for bad touch clerics.

Silver Crusade

Here are some suggested variant channels for a low CHA occasional weak channeler.

Positive: Strength(stacks with everything ...), Earth, Disease, Bravery(Save your team from fear!), Ale/Wine?, Farming (to help a Barbarian rage-cycle?) ...

Negative: Earth(your lousy DC does not matter!), Envy(Extra AoOs and ROFL), ...

Silver Crusade

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If your making a pure combat cleric. Cleric(Evangelist) is a good way to go with out needing to take the variant channels. It gives you inspire courage in exchange for a even more reduced channel that will not hurt your character any. Now having only light armor might seem like a down side. When you look at mobility on a tactical map. That counts for a great deal. You can also add other ability's to increases your speed.

I've found that non-tank reach wielders don't actually get attacked very often. If heavy armor is your motivation then I'd say definitely not worth the dip - and I love dipping.

I also think you're spreading yourself a little thin trying to summon AND fight as a cleric with their limited feats. Better to focus on one or the other in addition to normal spell casting/Domain power usage.

Madness is one of my favorite domains due to Visions of Madness, but with a reach weapon you'll be staying out of range to use it. Might be another case of trying to do too many things.

In Way of the Wicked I had a Heroism/Madness Dwarven Cleric who summoned and buffed/healed almost exclusively but his favorite tactic was to floor a foe's saves and then use Planeshift as a weapon - nothing better than banishing your foe to hell with a touch.

Magda Luckbender wrote:

Here are some suggested variant channels for a low CHA occasional weak channeler.

Positive: Strength(stacks with everything ...), Earth, Disease, Bravery(Save your team from fear!), Ale/Wine?, Farming (to help a Barbarian rage-cycle?) ...

Negative: Earth(your lousy DC does not matter!), Envy(Extra AoOs and ROFL), ...

Bravery channeling is also a sweet way to kick off a battle, really helps those chargers out.

Earth (harm) is especially good for those reach wielders because it eliminates that pesky 5' step.

I plan to focus on full casting, and want to be able to buff, summon, or hit with the few good bf control spells on the cleric list. I may stay at medium armor, but he's really built to take his attacks on the off turn and cast as a standard action. Also my intention is to get a conductive weapon enchantment, really enhancing the vision of madness ability. Also when aura of madness kicks in, creatures are going to have to move out of my range provoking more attacks.

Thanks for the good advice, those are some nice suggestions for low CHA channeling. I am really enjoy the build and I suspect this advice will help it get even better. I'd love to discuss more if there are any additional thoughts.

I think it's down to either Disease (Heal) which is useful for the occasional ability point detrimental battle. On the other hand, I am considering the Earth (harm) spell which creates difficult terrain and would be very helpful to an attacks of opportunity build. No five foot step means bad news for casters. But I can imagine this being annoying for my party generally. But at the same time, my travel domain power allows me to move easily through difficult terrain. It feels like perfect synergy, but it might not be worth disrupting my fellow party members.

Dark Archive

If it is for pfs (I don't recall anymore) worry about disrupting the party because few groups manage to get any semblance of organization, even if you tell them about the ability in advance. I am speaking from experience.

If it is for a home game don't worry about the group. They should adapt and you guys should develop tactics around such a powerful ability. Just consider letting them know in advance.

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