So my group is gonna gear up to play Way of the Wicked soon, and I figured I'd step up to be the cleric (my group is full of a bunch of "me-first" players that have no idea what synergy is). Now, having said that, Clerics are something that while I understand, I've never built one, and aren't really familiar with their best strengths, expecially if I'm playing an Evil one. (My previous characters have been mostly martials and arcane partial casters)
Things I've considered:
-Possibly Fiendish Vessel; it fits with the campaign well, and its channel Evil ability would let me heal both my undead mooks, summons, and my party, and give minor debuffs to the Good Outsiders the campaign features. However, I really don't like having to take the Devil Domain, as it basically neuters the Evil domain's best feature, which would be great for the AP.
-Going for a full-on necromancy build. I've read through the guides, but not sure how to do this best, really
-Going for a full-on summoning build. Again, Summoners are obviously better summoners, but I'm going some form of Cleric. Sacred Summons is a neat feat...
-Maybe something involving the Envoy of Balance PrC? This is the most interesting concept, but far from the strongest, for sure.
Any feedback with build tips, flavor tips, etc. is appreciated. It's a 25 point buy, and the DM lets us use the Flaws system from 3.5 for up to two extra feats at first level.
Your first step is to decide which type of cleric you intend to play. Once you've decided on that you can figure out how to get there (e.g. attributes, prestige classes, Fiendish Vessel, Envoy of Balance, whatever).
It's not obvious that Summoners are better than summoners at summmoning. One can make a pretty strong argument that an evangelist cleric specialized in summoning is at least as effective a summoner as is a Summoner. Master Summoner excepted. Getting Bardsong bonus applied to all summons is huge. Sacred Summons is essential. Your superior augmented inspired sacred summons will totally rock.
I've never played a necromancy cleric, but I've GMd for a couple, and they certainly are effective.
Maybe post again, once you've narrowed it down to a cleric type?
I'm thinking primarily of a casty role-- I have little desire to get in the fray as a melee cleric, as I'm more than certain the rest of the players will be. Its likely that the group will have a Magus, some flavor of Psion, a martial archer, and another partial arcane, so I'll probably be the only divine caster, as well.
I was thinking of doing a build with lots of mook potential, be it summons or necromancy. Summon builds are straightforward, but I've not seen any necromancy builds (my line of thinking with necro is that since the AP is basically just an excuse to play evil PCs, I might as well go whole-hog).
Otherwise, I'm not really sure what to be doing on my turns that I wouldn't be summoning or picking someone up. Like I said, I've primarily played martials, and constantly have a powerbuilt healbot in the party (the DM is notorious for it).
So, to answer your question, either your Pure Casting, or Lord of Undeath styles.
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Sounds eviltabulous. Here are a few suggestions to consider:
* There's nothing that says a necromancer, with hordes of undead minions, can't also summon more minions. If you do the minion-mancer thing make sure you have all the mechanics streamlined, so it doesn't slow down combat. It works best to have a few powerful servants.
* Several evil deities have awesome Variant Channels. These options are usually only available to PCs playing Way of the Wicked. For example, the Lawful Evil pain-lord Xon-Kuthon has the Envy portfiolio, which gives the funniest Variant Channel.
Envy: Harm—Creatures must attempt a steal combat maneuver on their next turn against an adjacent enemy. This is a compulsion effect.
Note that the 'steal'combat maneuver provokes an AoO!!!!
The archdevil Dispater, Asmodeus' number 2 man, has the powerful Rulership portfolio. With this approach you could teach your healbot-happy GM the true power of a cleric. Healbot is the least effective way to play a cleric.
Various other evil deities have effective Variant Channels.
The High CHA you need for offensive channeling also makes you better at necromancy.
Great advice, and I appreciate it, and plan on doing an Evangelist of Dispater. I picked up Champions of Corruption, and plan to utilize Summon Evil Monster to great effect. That said...
So my feats are:
Flaw BF #1 - Spell Focus (Conj)
Flaw BF #2 - Augment Summon
Level 1 - Summon Evil Monster
Level 3 - Selective Channel (As an Evangelist, I won't get channeling until here, anyway)
Level 5 - ???
Should I go with Superior Summoning at level 5, or would it be better to do Evolved Summons and just grant a single monster pounce? Or are those both trap feats, and should just be spent on something else entirely?
Well the Evangelist will only do negative energy channel, where as the Fiendish Vessel heals evil and harms neutral/good in the same channel. For a undead/summon cleric I truly recommend the fiendish vessel. Also an imp latter brings many possibilities both with UMD or the channel starting point. The domain choice is not as fun, but what you get in return is well worth it IMO. YMMV