Herald caller advice


Sorry I keep going back to this class...was gonna go with a skald but been iffy. I've always wanted to work on a reach cleric but I was never a fan of the 2+ int skills...so a herald caller sounds good to me for the 4+ int skills along with some bonus summoning feats...One thing I keep going back to is a dip into fighter to gain back my armor prof as well as a bonus feat... I am also leaning towards either human or half elf and taking skill focus: linguistics then orator...get combat reflexes and power attack asap and sacred summons by lvl 5 or 7... Domain atm is travel but not 100% sold stats are Str 16 Dex 14 Con 13 int 12 14 wis and 10 cha...gonna try to put 1 point into con and then wis rest of the way. Not sure how the expanded summonings work... but thought atm is he would be a decent face while spreading his skills a bit and still be pretty nasty in a fight...later levels he would start summoning regularly

There's some fun feats for summoning, especially since you get some of the core ones for free. Evolved Summoned Monster can be good for beefing up a summons AC or natural attacks. Expanded Summon Monster giver you some new options. Summon Good Monster gives you a whole pile of monsters that work with the limitations of the archetype. Versatile Summon Monster gives you some different template options (I prefer Aerial and Primordial). Sacred Summons is of course an important one for action economy.

Overall, summoning focused characters can be incredibly versatile, especially once you start being able to get multiple rounds of usage out of a summon or multiple summons for a single spell.

Yeah kinda thinking he wouldn't really do a whole lot of summons until level 5+ any of those open up the list of sacred summons? That's gonna be the big thing imo

Assuming you're playing a good-aligned cleric, the Summon Good Monster feat adds 5-6 different monsters of good alignments (mostly a lot of creatures with the celestial template, but also a fair number of outsiders) PER TIER of Summon Monster. Depending on your cleric alignment, most of them should be available through Sacred Summons.

Expanded Summon Monster lets you add another 2 creatures per tier to your list, with a lot of Celestial templates and a handful of outsiders.

Versatile Summon Monster lets you change out those Celestial templates for things that might be more useful (Aerial gets flights, electric damage, and DR/-, and Primordial gets speed boost, some SLA's, and a bumped up natural attack).

In theory, all of these could apply to Sacred Summons if you choose your lists, alignment, and deity right.

DethBySquirl wrote:


In theory, all of these could apply to Sacred Summons if you choose your lists, alignment, and deity right.

That's an intriguing post. So if we have as given at least the Cleric or patron god is good-aligned, what alignments do you suggest.

If you have time to talk about the lists too that would be great.

On closer look, Summon Good Monster isn't all that great, though giving a specific set of summons Diehard isn't necessarily terrible.

Sacred Summons is limited to exactly your aura/alignment, so that's where it gets trickier. Most of the standard combat monsters are NG, but most of the useful outsiders are LG or CG. Being either Lawful or Chaotic also opens up the option for swapping Celestial for Resolute or Entropic, which can be useful when fighting nonevil enemies.

An interesting thing is that the Expanded Summon Monster feat says that normally templated creatures (which is generally animals/magical beasts) summoned exactly match your alignment, regardless of whatever other alignment they might normally have, and get to choose between Celestial or Fiendish, meaning that those creatures added by the feat automatically qualify for Sacred Summons.

Given that Resolute is probably more useful than Entropic (since most enemies you face will probably be chaotic, though it depends on the campaign), going with a lawful deity would be good.

So then it's a matter of if you want to be summoning a lot of outsiders (in which case LG is better), or if you want to summon a lot of templated animals (in which case LN is better).

The most flexible (though not necessarily strongest) option overall is probably LN with Versatile Summon Monster and Expanded Summon Monster feats. That would give you the option of choosing one of 3 alignment-based templates or two element-based templates for any given animal.

Speaking of elements, beware that Herald Caller limits you to only being able to summon elementals if their subtype matches a domain of your deity, so you're a little restricted there.

You also get to add a specific few options based on your deity.

Overall, looking at domains and portfolios and stuff, your best bet is to be either an LN follower of Gozreh (he can summon friggin templated giants, as well as two types of elementals), with either the Animal domain (nice to have something to hit stuff without a summon) or the Growth subdomain (if you want to be a melee combatant) or an LG follower of Sarenrae (she gets jinn and fire elementals) with the Heroism subdomain (aura of heroism is GREAT with a field full of summons).

Now, I'm not an expert on summoning, I just have fun doing research on game stuff :P

sacred summons doesn't care about the alignment of the creature you summon at all. All it cares about are the creatures subtypes. IF those match then it works. And if you have extra subtypes then it doesn't work.

Chess Pwn wrote:
sacred summons doesn't care about the alignment of the creature you summon at all. All it cares about are the creatures subtypes. IF those match then it works. And if you have extra subtypes then it doesn't work.

That's the advantage of going LG, because you can nab the various LG outsiders (who have alignment subtypes) that match your alignment aura (which does have to do with your alignment).

Which I suppose makes LN a less interesting option, because the various templated animals won't benefit from Sacred Summons.

That said, it's a free bonus feat, so it's not the end of the world if you don't use it heavily.

right, it's just that you said all the animals that gain your alignment would work with it and I was explaining that they wouldn't.

Torag for archons and earth elementals, or Shelyn for foo dogs/lions, agathions and air elementals also seem sensible ways to go. Since your aura will correspond to the deities as far as sacred summons is concerned rather than your own the exact alignment of the herald caller is not really relevant here.

Okay, given that the OP has mentioned that the domain is Travel, that does give an idea of what he/she is worshipping. And trust me, I had to dig around for deities/Empyreal Lords who had Travel to give the best assortment of options.

LN- Abadar, Dranngvit, Matravash (gives water elementals)

LG- Apsu, Wadjet (gives water elementals), Zohls

N- Ng, Ptah (gives you Earth and Fire elementals!)

NG- Aegirran (gives water elementals), Jaidz, Kurgess, Rowdrosh

CN- Count Ranalc, Hanspur (gives water elementals), Sun Wukong

CG- Cayden Cailean, Desna, Hathor (gives air elementals), Keltheald, Kofusachi, Sinashakti, Tolc (gives water elementals)

Of course, I'm assuming a non-evil cleric. I'm not totally enthused about the parsing I'll have to do for finding the Evil deities with Travel domain. I had to check the deities and note the elementals since you need to find one that also has an elemental domain to get them.

Over the long term the best summons are evil, just saying. Even though lemures have nothing on archons at 3 and 4 or even when you summon Multiples later on; even lemures have gray use for being able to bog down your foes in bodies quickly and absorb more than one rounds worth of attacks (usually). And then at 4 and 5 devils and demons become something to be feared with all lingering effects like bleeding and status effects.

Don't take a dip of fighter, you will not need it at all. Far better options exist and too many to list honestly. And you need initiative more than anything for this build so grab all mods you can and maybe even include war/tactics domain. Because your summons are not effected by negative channeling that is how I would approach this character get but that is just me. The ability to mess with all the enemies and not one of your summons or players is a gift.

Don't take combat reflexes. It's questionable use to even the best of combatants and with you not being the best you are asking for trouble. Even the best placenta will only get a couple of extra attacks in a fight and you could still miss and do minimal damage ,etc. In fact at some point your enemies will have reach often and your now a squishy cleric in their attack range.

Focus on what brings you to the dance, being smart and tactical.

Agreed leaning towards travel but I'm open...considered tactics. Not sure Renegade, it seems like if you subtract so much what is the point of playing a reach cleric...might as well play a Arcanist as a Occultist. Playing by PFS rules so no evil.

Is there any feats that expand the summons list for the sacred summons?The elementals would be nice but the full round will hurt

Dark Archive

Good and neutral summons are honestly better than evil ones. They give you the most variety of abilities, from status removal, healing, buffs, and direct damage SLAs, to pure combat, to adding new forms of movement for your allies. Summoned good and neutral monsters are much better in the long run.

If you're using Sacred Summons, you'll probably need to be a Good summoner, and use Summon Good Monster to bolster your list. Archons and Angels are always good picks. Neutral runs into issues, because you only get a few picks of LN and CN outsiders to work with, and True Neutral is completely hosed, so no Sacred Summons for Pharasmin clerics.

If you want to be a cleric with 9 level spells that uses reach tactics during combat Herald caller is a good option.

A monster tactician however
1) Is a more powerful summoner from the get go (standard action summons at Level 1)
2) Has A lot bigger monster list to summon as a standard action because he is not dependent on sacred summons.
3) Is a more powerful melee combantant, (bane level 5, init bonus at level 2, has teamwork feats and solo tactics)
4)Has medium armour
5) Is easy to make into not a good, but a great face (reformation inquisitor: diplo, intimidate and oratory keyed off wisdom, oratory becomes a class skill and at 4 level roll twice for better result).
6) will get 6+ skill points instead of 4+
7) gets expanded monster list for free

The MT comes with 2 added kickers:
Litany of righteousness doesn't help an inquisitor a lot normally but to a monster tactician if he has have summoned good monsters and is fighting evil ones: it's STOP ! Hammer Time !
Teamwork tactics on all your summons one on level 5 and one on level 8 to create delicious tactical mayhem !

Of course if non summoning casting is very important there is no comparison between 6th level inquisitor and 9th level cleric spells and you have to pay hard feats to get spell focus conjuration, augment summoning and superior summons, but considering how important medium armour to you is that's really two feats difference not three

If kicking ass in combat with summon monsters, and faceing is more important, the monster tactician is better at that game than a reach cleric I think.

People get all excited about Sacred Summons & Herald Caller....BUT you have to remember that you dont have to take it... you will still be a very good summoner, even with a full round action.

Yes you will have to use your 1 round pre-combat to summon or be prepared to lose an action in the first round but it does mean that you're not so constrained and it does mean that you can spend a feat on something else.

Sacred summons is good if you're god is LG, LE or CE....

The monster tactician is another in a long line of overly good inquisitor archetypes. It's a side-effect of the inquisitor having so many varied abilities, which normally don't stack together. But when you archetype out those abilities and replace them with things that do stack together, it just gets overpowered.

Sovereign Court

The monster tactician is (IMO) over the top - it takes a good thing way too far. I suspect that's also the reason why it's not allowed in PFS.

Yeah can't use it, otherwise i would. I would love to make some kind of reach build with standard action summons. Looked at the summoner but it is married too much to the eidolen... the monster tactician is right up my ally...

Sovereign Court

I've seen a regular summoner in action who just used the standard action summons, ignored the eidolon. It was still strong.

If reach is the principle goal than herald caller isn't what makes the most of it, it is evangelist. It summoning is the goal then reach isn't going to help much compared to what channeling gives at that point. If you want to summon then reach just because that cool but you will find that you will not be doing much at the table and might get frustrated.

Sorta disagree there Renegade... I looked at the Evangelist and while most play the heck out of it.. I felt it was weak. As I mentioned in the opening post 2+int for skills just isn't enough...granted it is a preference. So you get inspire courage...which is very nice...you still lose the med armor/shield and only one domain...oh and you lose the ability to spontaneously cast cure...granted you usually shouldn't need to use a cure...but when you need it I've found it to be important...herald caller gets you 4+ int the ability to spontaneously cast cure AND summons..as well as some bonus feats. initial thought is to maybe move them to skill focus linguistic and orator...in the long run I could see the character being able to do more than a singing cleric :)

But really to get the build up and running I really need to get standard summons but Sacred summons is somewhat limited so would be nice to have a way to gain something every level to summon. A bit annoying that a lot of other classes can seem to get the standard summons except this one

What about preservationist archetype of the alchemist?

++Standard action summons freed from the alignment constraints of divine casters (that opens up your spellbook a bit I think),
++int + 4 skills, but more skills because your prime casting stat is INT

+ able to give out potions of haste to party beat sticks pre combat without being expected to using your action in combat to buff them...
+vestigial arms so you can do bomb damage once creatures have been summoned AND keep your longspear ready for the attacks of opportunity when the enemy comes

--(no faceing class skills)
--light armour

Not really what the OP had in mind, but for anyone else reading the thread, I've been thinking of the beginnings of a decent Herald Caller build that could be interesting. Maybe not uber-optimal, but I think it would be very functional at the least, and it has a consistent flavour, which is important to me.

The basic idea is a Garuda-Blooded Aasimar Herald Caller, worshiping Erastil, and taking the Feather domain. Summoning and other casting would be the primary focus, with archery to fill the gaps and offer another option.

Good traits would include Deadeye Bowman, and perhaps Armor Expert to later pick up a mithral breastplate with no penalties. Getting a mithral buckler would also be a good trick to boost AC.

Feats will be a bit tight (probably too tight for most of the best archery feats), but there is enough room to pick up Summon Good Monster and Sacred Summons (for Archons, primarily), and the archetype itself eventually grants Augment Summoning and Superior Summons.

Boon Companion at 5th is also a key part of the build, to bolster the animal companion gained at 4th from the Feather domain. (Roc seems like the obvious choice for thematic reasons.)

Would probably look at a starting stat spread like the following, with racial adjustments accounted for (though I'd certainly welcome feedback on this, as WIS may be too high, and perhaps there are stat dumps to be considered):

STR 10 | DEX 16 | CON 12 | INT 10 | WIS 19 | CHA 10


Pros: Powerful spellcasting and summoning abilities, combined with good saves overall (with the high Dex supplementing the sole weak save for Clerics), ready and consistent access to flight as of 5th level, and okay-ish archery to use where necessary/appropriate.

Cons: Archery will definitely lag behind more dedicated builds, Feather domain spells are not the best (which sucks more for a Herald Caller than a Cleric with two domains). Not particularly tough or suited to any melee combat, either.

Check out the advice and feedback given with Herald Caller builds with Know Direction.... a couple of the guys there had a major hand in the Monster Summoners Handbook

Ironically one of the prime reasons to take the archetype is NOT to try and be an uber focussed summoner with sacred summons.... but merely to be very good at it and have a Plan B to fall back on.....

The one thing that I'm worried about is full round actions means I cant use attacks of opp...which kills the reach aspect.. I need to look at the build a bit more sounds like he might be along what i was thinking (not reach but still)

The thing about evangelist is that if you compare the total number of feats with your including summoning feats and power attack and combat reflexes is the same as an evangelist doing it without power attack and combat reflexes. The reason the evangelist gets used so is because his signing makes up for not having those two feats and then some. The herald caller only has skills and and that phrase of "your channels help summons more". If you don't channel with something worth channeling (variant, hangover, luck, etc) you are wasting your potential. Reach CANNOT compete with channeling.

Just my opinion.

Wow you really hit on a obscure point... had to go back and look at the whole channeling thing...honestly it was nice but not a factor.

To compare the two..this is assuming both are reach so both need to take combat reflexes and power attack...then really the evangelist has a sort of feat tax for lingering performance...because who wouldn't take that...meanwhile the herald doesn't have to take spell focus conjuration and gets augment summon and superior summon for free...hands down in feats the herald caller is superior...skills 2 vs 4...seriously? A evangelist loses the ability to cast cure spells for some dominating spells...a reach cleric's wis is not top notch so spells that require a opponent to make a save is not a good idea...so spontaneous cure is a another win for herald...oh wait I can spontaneously cast summons too!? (seriously no contest there) As to channel...granted the variant might be better but the herald has is uninterrupted while the evangelist loses it at 1/9/15...added effect I can heal my summons too from any distant (to variant or not to that is a question and probably nullifies the advantage of it being uninterupted)... Now granted the thing that makes me jealous of the evangelist is the inspire courage Hands down that is a win...but with the herald caller crushing in all other areas you have to wonder if it is worth it. Now if you are trying to compare a reach cleric type to a non-reach cleric type then we are doing apple and oranges at that point.

The herald caller using channel to heal summons is most important if your cleric channels negative energy. Most summons are healed by positive energy, so it's a big boon to those negative clerics.

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Unlimited range, selective, full powered channel heals for summoned monsters is the frequently missed GOLD of the Herald Caller....

Harleequin wrote:
Unlimited range, selective, full powered channel heals for summoned monsters is the frequently missed GOLD of the Herald Caller....

Good point. I can definitely see the synergy with the build I suggested above, too, where the plan is to fly above the melee, casting spells and shooting arrows.

Means I'd probably want to look at boosting CHA a bit though...

Of course, as a cleric you don't fly above heads, you casually stroll up there.

Melkiador wrote:
Of course, as a cleric you don't fly above heads, you casually stroll up there.

Well, the build I was proposing actually uses the Fly spell from the Feather domain, as well as flight by Roc-back, so it's a bit non-standard that way ;)

@ ekibus:

If you end up going with a Reach Herald Caller, you might want to consider picking up the Elven Branched Spear as your weapon.

There could be a feat tax depending on what race/traits you go with, but the bonus on AOOs from movement would be a nice boon for a Cleric with 3/4 BAB, and the ability to apply Weapon Finesse means you could double-down on Dexterity, which is a better fit for a Herald Caller given the lack of Medium armor (and synergizes well with Combat Reflexes for the # of AOOs). Enchant with Agile later to avoid the need for much Strength at all.

Certainly requires some resource investment, but I think it might be a better fit than trying to split your attributes to include Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom and potentially Charisma (all without sacrificing too much Constitution).

Again it comes down to "reach or no reach".

Be a follower of Desna or Chaldira and channel away with luck variant, +1 to +5 to your summons instantly at any range and your players. You just bridged evangelist and herald caller right there.

My question is how are you going to do your reach damage? Aside from power attack you have no scaling damage and that is at a penalty to hit. If you meet something with DR your damage is insignifact, almost. Since it's an AOO it's more or less free so that's cool but building to get one more attack is not making the most of what you have in a great archetype.

Speaking of Monster Tactician...

Can a Good Monster Tactician use their Summon Monster SLA to summon Evil creature?

Normally, you would thiunk that they can't, because "An inquisitor can’t cast spells of an alignment opposed to her own or her deity’s (if she has one). " rule.

But then we have faqs that say SLA isn't spell....

Personally, I would rule that your deity would not let you. Even if they are not completely the same thing, I feel that such restrictions would still apply.

The Steel Refrain wrote:

Means I'd probably want to look at boosting CHA a bit though...

Not massively... 12-14 max and I would get that mostly through items if I were you.

That gives you 4-5 channels/day... which is fine if you pretty much solely plan on using channeling for healing your summoned buddies in combat. ;))

Cleru wrote:
Can a Good Monster Tactician use their Summon Monster SLA to summon Evil creature?

Technically yes, as there is nothing to say they can't. But I'd say it's pretty sure the intent should have been "no". Being that you can't use them in PFS, the intent is really all that matters.

just a reminder, but you could _N with an _E deity if you really wanted to get some milage out of sacred summons.

cuatroespada wrote:
just a reminder, but you could _N with an _E deity if you really wanted to get some milage out of sacred summons.

Yep but most people don't want to seem to do this for some reason, or GMs say "summoning evil is evil".

Renegadeshepherd wrote:
or GMs say "summoning evil is evil".

ugh... sure, but balance based neutrality is a thing.

cuatroespada wrote:
Renegadeshepherd wrote:
or GMs say "summoning evil is evil".
ugh... sure, but balance based neutrality is a thing.

Definitely. Just saying that people have strange logic for why they don't want to take advantage of the opportunity you pointed out.

yeah, my disdain was just for GMs saying that like it should obviously make it taboo (for players i mean. IC taboos are just opportunities for good role playing).

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