Evangelist Cleric Advice: Build and Backstory


Hello all, I'm starting a new campaign that's more roleplaying heavy than I've done before. We're playing a modified Crown of the Kobold King which is set in Darkmoon Vale (which I believe in turn is in Andoran). Because of the close relations to Cheliax I was thinking of some background as a freed slave but I haven't delved too deeply into the lore yet.

As far as the build goes our group has a samurai (ronnin) that likes mounted combat, an archery ranger, and a magus. I don't know any more details yet as our first session is on Friday but I'm going with an evangelist cleric because I love playing clerics and I think the evangelist would make a great addition to the team. I usually play dwarven clerics of Iomedae but I'd thought I'd switch it up a bit and pay a human cleric of Desna. We have a 32 point buy and I want my character to be supportive both in and out of combat.

So far I've got straight 14's across the board for stats, with a 15 in wis and the human +2 going somewhere undetermined. I was thinking of doing a reach cleric / summoner with combat reflexes and spell focus/augment summoning for my feats. Skills are likely acro, diplo, religion, sense motive, spellcraft. We're third level so I think we're starting with 3000gp worth of equipment. Any thoughts?

Desna is a wonderful choice. I recommend using luck domain and luck variant channeling as these are very good at all levels. Because your channeling is positive you need not have a very large charisma and MAY not need selective channeling. Your stats I would change a little depending on if you actually want combat reflexes or not as it is t really that big of a deal.

As a human I'd go with lingering performance, spell focus, then augment summoning. After that at level 5 take sacred summons, and then 7 take superior summons. Your pretty set from there on. I mean summoning potentially 7 lantern archons at level 7 as a standard action and buffi them all as a move is very strong.

Playing an Evangelist your channels are going to be pretty weaksauce unless you use a variant channel option. I'd be tempted to use Charisma as a dump stat, keep Intelligence at 10 and boost your Strength and Wisdom. This way you maximise your melee potential and casting. You'll lose some skillpoints and face ability but that's why you have spells, right?

Domain choice is a big thing, especially for Evangelists who only get the one domain. What do you want from it? Travel, Luck and Liberation are all very good options but play differently. My favorite domain to combine with Evangelists is the Heroism subdomain for swift action +2 to hit & damage aura at level 8, synchronising and stacking with inspire Courage while still leaving your standard action free.

The Exchange

Desna can't standard summon lantern archons. Those sre LG, she's CG. You might not even be able to summon lantern archons for that matter. I would probably drop int/cha to a 10 to get 16 str, and 18 wis(if possible), otherwise 17 is fine. Sacred summons for CG characters - you get nothing until fairly high levels, and you probably need to fit a summon good monster feat around lv 3 to broaden your options for sacred summons.

If you are using luck variant channel please get selective channeling, we don't want to give those monsters all those nice things. Then, do not drop cha, drop int instead. If your channels are only going to be used out of combat, you can drop cha to 10.

Wow, thanks for the quick replies so far. What I'm hearing from you guys so far is that Desna is a good choice for evangelist clerics. I will say that I don't think that this game will go on for very long, or reach a high level so I'd like to build something I can use right off the get-go. I guess my limiting factor is my feats, as while being human helps I only get three. Lingering performance is another one I was considering, but between that, variant channeling, combat reflexes and the summoning feats I'm not quite sure which route to go. Granted, intelligence could probably be dropped down, in which case I'd have to narrow down which skills to focus on. Charisma from what you said should also be dropped unless I focus on channelling, which I'm on the fence about as it'd take a feat to do. What are your thoughts?

Edit: what do you guys think of the flagbearer feat?

Your correct just a mort, she can't use the lanterns as a standard because of alignment. She could still summon the lanterns if it is desired though. The ability to mass summon anything (even lemures) as a standard action and buff them is still very strong.

Grand Lodge

Flagbearer feat lol....its called Bless.

Don't waste a feat on something a 1st level spell you have can do.

This is my evangelist cleric, Nef. (Click on her avatar to see backstory and build.)

She's a negative channeler, hangover build. She's built around variant dazing channel so her charisma had to be sky high. I have flagbearer feat on her and it has been excellent. At 5th level, I'm laying down +3 to attack and damage every battle. I like it in lieu of bless because it's always on. I don't have to use a spell for it. Also, unlike bless, it adds to damage.

There are may ways to build an evangelist cleric. You can be a melee reach specialist, in which case your want a decent strength and maybe some fighter feats. You can be a summoner. Or you can go hangover build and be a negative channeler specializing in either daze or nausea.

The key is to pick your schtick and build around it, sorting your stats and feats to one of the three main specialties.


The Exchange

Yes actually you cannot summon lantern archons as a cleric of Desna.


"A cleric casts divine spells which are drawn from thecleric spell list. Her alignment, however, may restrict her from casting certain spells opposed to her moral or ethical beliefs; see Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells.

When you use a summoning spell to summon a creature with an alignment or elemental subtype, it is a spell of that type.

Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells A cleric can't cast spells of an alignment opposed to her own or her deity's (if she has one). "

Desna is CG. Lantern archons are LG. Since law and chaos are on opposite sides of the spectrum, a cleric of Desna literally can't summon lawful creatures. I suspected this was the case, but had to make sure first.

Lingering performance = no real need, later levels you'll have more then enough rounds for use.

What you focus on, is really up to you, though if I were to give a honest analysis of your party, I would worship Ra or Horus, take rulership variant domain, build a hangover cleric of Ra/ Horus. The party seems to lack control, unless that magus in question is a hexcrafter. With a 32 point buy I might even be tempted to try out my dazing theologian/hangover cleric of Ra (so far all theory craft), but the party would appreciate you more for evangelist. Desna is the wrong god for hangover clerics, though I admit she has some of the coolest domains, ever.

Horus gives you an animal companion, in case that samurai decides to do ride-by and no one's in front to protect the squishies. Str based magus may not have good ac at low levels.Dex based ones are fine ac wise, but deal next to no dmg until they get dervish dance at lv 3. Expect their dps to suffer if they run into skeletons.
Ra would give you sun domain, so undead don't get to add their channel resistance to your channel (can be quite some).

The Exchange

32 point buy is really generous. If I were to make a hangover cleric, would run the following stats:

Aasimar/dual talented human evangelist cleric, after racials
10 str, 14 dex, 14 con, 12 int, 18 wis, 18 cha
Deity: Ra
Domain : Sun
Variant channel rulership
Lv 1 - Scion of war
Lv 3 - Selective channel
Lv 5 - Versatile channel
Lv 7 - Improved channel
Lv 9 - Quicken channel
Lv 11 - Spell penetration

In a high stat game, animal companions get overshadowed, and besides, its putting extra strain on your selective channeling (you need 20 wis to unselect everyone and their animal companions).

If you want something less extreme you could certainly go:

14 Str, 13 Dex, 14 con, 12 int, 17 wis, 18 cha

As you don't have that many spells to play with at the start. then add lv 4 bonus into wisdom.

Since the module says Crown of the Kobold King, I suggest getting draconic as one of your starting languages, be it putting a rank into linguistics or starting with a higher int. Standing at the back behind all the melee dudes, then commanding the hapless kobold to "Approach", the results are fairly hilarious.

One bad thing about hangover clerics is that because of their neutrality, there isn't anything for them to scared summon, so by doing a hangover cleric, you give up on sacred summons.

Regarding the Flagbearer feat - alone it is terrible. In combination with a Banner of the Ancient Kings it becomes very good - you effectively get Improved Initiative and an always-on area-of-effect Heroism as long as you use a Longspear.

If you have 15 Charisma then taking it once you can buy a BotAK (level 9+ with magic mart access) is a good plan - but I'd tend to do this on a Bard or Oracle who has 15 Charisma and uses a Longspear already, not a (channel nerfed) Evangelist.

Hm. I think I would go another route.

Race is optional but I like Aasimar or halfling (for the halfling helpful trait). But yes, reach cleric with combat reflexes and body guard, ench armor w the benevolent trait to buff my AoO aid another actions. the Divine Protection feat to get CHA to saves and scroll making feat. Domain would be Glory and Good's Archon sub-domain to pass out heroism (buff) and menace (debuff) at 8th (so Serenrae). You want to pick up the Halfling helpful trait if halfling and the one that makes UMD a class skill. Aasimar is a cool race for cleric bu the free use of daylight is meh. I would take heavenly radiance feat to get 2 new uses of even better spells (wandering star motes!). Regardless of race, I'd also check out the Combat Advice feat, and pick up a toppling rod and rime rod asap to use with the 2nd level spells holy ice weapon (an auto entangling wp with your level as a dmg bonus!) and instant weapon (wp of force that knocks people down and you are automatically proficient with - falcata time!) Shout out to extra chanel, versatile channel, power attack and vital strike (with enlarge and lead blades up), but here is ultimately why I went with some of these non-std suggestions: action economy.

1. grant +4-6 AC bonus w aid another using Bodyguard, or threaten with reach (AoO)
2. grant heroism to allies in 30' at 8th (swift)
3. give an ally a +2 to hit w combat advice (move)
4. swing or cast, or start a multi round aura of menace at 8th (std)
5. summon (full rd)

The thrust here is that you have something to do at each strata of the action economy. Trust me, you want this. Else you are like "cast/swing, move 6 squares and hope someone moves into threat range of my longspear". Fine at low levels, but by 8th you need to be getting more out of your cleric or you will spend a lot of time building up buffs instead of hitting (and a cleric that hits w/o casting or buffs is just a fighter w 3/4 BAB).

My two cents. More important, have fun. Clerics are full of flavor.

The Exchange

Instant weapon and toppling rod work, but at higher levels CMDs are such that its hard to trip.

Also holy ice weapon would qualify for rime spell, but the material components used per cast is 50 gp - silver costs 25 gp, flask of holywater costs 25 gp. Might be painful at low levels. Divine protection has been errataed to a 1/day only. Not worth it, Imo.

Lead blades is not a cleric spell so you cant use unless you UMD. I've never been a fan of bodyguard - dead/dazed baddies deal no damage, and if you went halfling, you take a -2 str penalty that would affect your to hit and damage.

If you went evangelist, your performance already gives competence bonus to attack and damage to entire party, at 7, its a move action, 13 a swift action which makes combat advice redundant.

I feel if you wanted to do AOO route, evangelist of Iomedae with heroism domain is better. Sacred summons for LG alignment is pretty robust, you can standard action summon lantern and hound archons.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

Divine Protection has been changed, doesn't add CHA to saves anymore.

magispitt wrote:
what do you guys think of the flagbearer feat?

For an Evangelist Cleric, Flagbearer is amazing. The action economy you save to have the flag up all the time, or simply a move action to wield it, is crazy good. To not have to ever memorize or cast Bless ever again? Priceless.

Spiritual Weapon becomes a nice tool as well when you are stacking Inspire Courage and Flagbearer on it. At low levels, Toppling Spiritual Weapons are quite fun!

If you did want to consider standard action summon lantern archons, then Erastil makes a great choice. Getting an animal companion (at level 4) and a boost to Perception is incredibly nice.

What alignment are you playing?

Taenia wrote:
Divine Protection has been changed, doesn't add CHA to saves anymore.

Holy smokes. Don't tell my GM!

Grand Lodge

Told him...he is gonna kill you off next session

Does the Banner of the Ancient Kings work with the Evangelist?

If so, then Flagbearer may not be awful.

Sarenrae might be worth taking for Healing Domain and Dervish Dance access.

The Exchange

It does not work. The wording states bard. Evangelist clerics are NOT bards, so that portion for 4 levels higher performance does not work, the rest does.

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