Life oracle... Why?


Advice

Sovereign Court

I wonder why people says life oracle is so strong (dont missunderstand me i realy think oracle is one of the best classes out there, pair with the tier 1 ones) but why people sais life mistery is so strong when healing in combat is such a poor choice?
Is because the channel energy? i dont see channel to be so strong, and if we want to make it work in combat we need at least quick channel and selective channel feats, level five and even then we can make it 3 or 4 times as much in a day combat cause it consumes 2 daily uses.
Life link is okay but seems much stronger with dips in paladin/warpriest (if you dont like to role a pally) and elemental form has a very short duration.
Healing spells as swift action is grat, maybe is for that?

Silver Crusade

No one has ever died on my watch.

Life Link allows me to heal the entire party 5 at the start of my turn, then add Channel healing on top of that. Add in Fey Foundling for +2 per d6 to me and it becomes VERY efficient to heal the party. Also, Energy Body turns you into an actual elemental, with all the immunities thereof.

Grand Lodge

It's not exactly that Life is so strong, as that it makes a great healer. And it's mostly Life Link that makes them a great healer, yeah. As you say, it makes a great dip with Paladin, but it also stands up quite well on its own since it's a full caster.

It's somewhat improved and/or overshadowed with Spirit Guide Oracle, since you can pick up Life Link and Channel Energy from the Shaman Life spirit and get a lot of what Life Oracle offers you. Or you can stay Life/Life and get double channels.

Grand Lodge

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Life Oracle is an effective build for the Sub optimal Strategy of Reactive Healing.

If you play in a low to Medium optimized group a Life oracle is efficient enough to be played and enjoyed. In High optimization and Strong encounter groups a life oracle is just dead weight wasting many standard/move actions to heal while more could be done with that standard action than healing a couple HP of damage. Since a Reactive Healbot typically does not have much offensive capabilities they do not do anything to actually end the fight and end the threat.

I'm playing a Spirit Guide oracle with the Life Mystery in a RP heavy low Combat optimization group and Like it for that. But if the game were being played at higher difficulty I would hate the character.


Targutai Minyatur wrote:

I wonder why people says life oracle is so strong (dont missunderstand me i realy think oracle is one of the best classes out there, pair with the tier 1 ones) but why people sais life mistery is so strong when healing in combat is such a poor choice?

Your problem is that your premises are skewed up. I've seen builds that were BUILT on taking damage, and a super buffed healer like this is the correct partner for them.

Healing is not the only thing a Life Oracle can do. But when they do heal, they're among the best at it.

Dark Archive

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Often combat healing, I'll repeat that often combat healing is less then ideal, but in a game as richly complex as Pathfinder there are plenty of times when it is not. For example in this hypothetical strongly optimized group, maybe the Wizard roles a 1 on his initiative and the enemy blows him out of the water before he asks. Since Wizards are a magical tier 1 best class ever per the internet (have some fun with the hyperbole) no other set of actions outside of getting your best possible gun back in the fight can beat it from a strategic perspective.

In short its a very effective support strategy for combat that can do some other interesting things.


*Channel healing is pretty great when combined with Shield Other, because it becomes twice as effective
*The Oracle's high charisma means they have a lot of channels, so burning 2 uses with quick channel isn't a big problem.
*Cure spells should almost never be used in combat, but are decent out of combat.
*Being reactive means that you don't even need a high dex, so your main stats are charisma and constitution, with every other stat being non-essential. Constitution is very important for being a damage sponge.
*Life Link is pretty good if you combine it with effects that make healing yourself more effective.

Edit: And Spirit Guide can get you a second set of Channel at level 7.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Also, remember all the ridiculous ways to get Cha bonus to other stats. Oracles epitomize the single-attribute dependency of casters.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Life Oracle is strong because it takes a strategy that is generally ineffective and actually makes it effective.

For almost all builds, healing in combat as a primary activity (not an emergency this person needs a heal or is going down) is inefficient because the action economy cost for healing isn't going to be enough to keep up, and damage is easier to prevent than to heal. That is just based on the math of how the game works. For almost all characters, the actions they spend on healing isn't going to result in enough healing to justify that action cost.

If the parameters were different, if a cleric for example could heal twice as much and the bad guys did half as much damage, then healing would be a very viable strategy. It isn't the concept of healing in combat that makes it less than optimal, it is just how the math works out.

Life Oracles move the envelop a bit, to the point where it is either a good strategy or at least very close to being one. While I don't think this 'breaks the game' it does change some of the assumptions, and that alone is enough to justify it being a strong class. This is particularly true for anyone who enjoys playing the healer role, as it changes the thing they want to do from being ineffective to being effective.

Grand Lodge

Hi, I'm Chie!
I'm here to help!
I really like being a Life Oracle. It gives me an opportunity to make sure that everyone else can be awesome. Most of the magic that I have learned and prepared is based on being able to support my fellow agents! Channels, Cures, Breath of life? You got it! Hero's Feast, Restorations, Break Enchantment? That's what I'm here to do! Bless, Prayer and Protection from Evil? Yes please!

That being said, I also want to be able to contribute if there are Big Evil Bad guys, or Unfriendly opposition. It's always good to be able to tell that line of misunderstood bowmen to "Hold up for a minute!" and having them listen. And for the especially bad, I can bring down the wrath of heaven.
As an oracle, I know that I've helped many people out of many tough situations. But I can hold my own too, and contribute in other ways!

So if you ever need someone to help, I'm around!

But Seriously:
I have a PFS Life oracle that is probably my favorite character to play. Having all the interesting mystery abilities, as well as Life Link and more channels that you could possibly need, backed up by the Fantastic Cleric spell list. Chie can heal, but also has Hold Person at a DC 22, and Greater Command. Clerics make amazing buffers, and playing the support role is one of my favorite in gaming. I don't always get to make-the-big-numbers-that-make-the-bad-mans-sad, but I get to make sure that everyone at the table has an opportunity to shine. And make sure that any consequences aren't permanent.


Healing in combat is at low to mid level is actually effective. Life Oracles at the best at that particular job as well. I have played several Life Oracles since they came out. Safe Curing is beautiful cast Cure spells without provoking. No other class can do this. They have the same armor and weapon proficiency as a Cleric, same spell selection so they can tank up and serve as a secondary tank for a group. Between dropping a monster or heal of course I'd rather drop the threat. But combat being combat sometimes it's better to heal then harm. Oracles are better then Clerics because of the Safe Curing ability one. Two they get before picking spells all spells with the word Cure in them. One more revelation they get Channel energy.

Dark Archive

so my life oracle is built around the idea of damage mitigation in the sense of, i try and take everyone's damage, and then heal it back with channels. There is also the aspect that you can nuke all but two stats into oblivion with a life oracle. I have Max Con and Chr with 244 health. You get shield other up and life link, effectively doubling the value of your channels.


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Healng in of itself MAY not be ideal, but a full caster who summons on round one and then heals the party and summons is. And that is what life oracle does. It really gets stupid powerful to have an army to swarm foes with and then make sure they never die.

Lantern Lodge

The whole idea behind life oracles is to use actions you were not using to get a secondary benefit (healing). This allows you to spend your "important" actions (standards, swifts at higher levels w/ Quicken Spell) to do standard reality-warping caster-type stuff, and get benefit as move actions (Quick Channel), or non-actions (Life-Link).

tl,dr; Action Economy, yo.


Targutai Minyatur wrote:

I wonder why people says life oracle is so strong (dont missunderstand me i realy think oracle is one of the best classes out there, pair with the tier 1 ones) but why people sais life mistery is so strong when healing in combat is such a poor choice?

Is because the channel energy? i dont see channel to be so strong, and if we want to make it work in combat we need at least quick channel and selective channel feats, level five and even then we can make it 3 or 4 times as much in a day combat cause it consumes 2 daily uses.
Life link is okay but seems much stronger with dips in paladin/warpriest (if you dont like to role a pally) and elemental form has a very short duration.
Healing spells as swift action is grat, maybe is for that?

Everyone else covered the reasons, but let me put it to you another way.

You give every party member the equivalent of Fast Healing 1-5. You are effectively a class that gives an ability no one class doesn't want. And if for some reason they don't want it, they don't have to get stuck with it. There are no drawbacks, it is all "goodness". Not only does it top you off if you don't take lots of damage, it stops bleed effects as well as bleed out deaths, and it requires no action on anyone's part (besides you occasionally to keep yourself alive). And you can still do what you want in a combat round.

If your GM said "Hey, everyone has fast healing 'battery' who wants it" would you say no to it? In just about every core case, you'd be stupid to say no to it.


Life Oracles are amazing simply because they are greater than the sum of their parts.

1. Fey Founding - heal the damage that you absorb from others more efficiently
2. Life Link - absorb damage from the whole party
3. Shield Other - Take half the damage that the tank is getting
4. Channel Energy - Heal the whole party, but you also get +2 healing per die. That's +10 healing per round at level 9.
5. At later levels, use quick channel and healing spells at the same time.

The end result is the most efficient healer in the game.

I have been in parties with an optimized Life Oracle. In PFS games you basically stop worrying about dying from simple damage, because it would take something completely absurd to actually kill anyone in a party with a Life Oracle. This means that combats end very quickly because the rest of the party kills things without worrying about self preservation.


Having played a Life Oracle to level 19, I can say I had fun with and was a full contributor to my party.

In addition to the reasons everyone else has mentioned, from level 16 on you become a Scourge of the Undead. Mass Heal followed up with a Quickened Mass Cure been the bane of many a vampire and spawn. After the Sorcerer got Sunburst we pretty much rolled any undead we met.


Life oracle is strong because when a front liner has no fear of death some seriously crazy things could happen.

Charge any monster, hack and slash, don't worry about what it is, just let my life oracle friend heal me.

Get dominated on top of a tower, 60 ft high? Then in a moment of clarity (act normally), jump off of the top of the tower so I don't kill my friends, because life oracle can heal me. (True story btw)


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Something I have noticed is healers get a bad rap. Part of that isn't so much what they do but rather how others treat the player playing one. You choose to play a Cleric or Oracle and the party goes. "Oh you're the healer. Stand in the corner if or until we need you." I have ran into this. It's almost as bad as a GM saying play what I want you to play. It happens and I hate it. I've played and seen others play Clerics that don't even consider healing. They end up being as tanked up more then the fighter trying to be the tank. Players get it in their heads that playing a cleric or oracle you are somehow limited to being only a healer.
The term Nursebot is something I hate because it implies my character being the healer is boring even useless unless healing is needed. Other players demean and harass the player for his choices. It's one thing if someone suggests a feat or spell to make the healer a better party member. It's another for a player using a fighter to say to a healer your character sucks you can't do anything except heal. It's worse when the party not the player make the character to their expectations. This results in nothing good ever.


A Life Oracle is also one of the best "tanks" in the game. Any intelligent enemy will want to focus on the healer first. And a Life Oracle can make himself very hard to kill.


Interestingly enough, most of the arguments I have seen about life oracles apply to clerics as well. They don't get lifelink, but they do get higher level spells a level earlier, as well as arguably a better casting stat and they aren't limited to the same spell list every day.


The problem with Cleric is that they are a little MAD with their Channel and Channel + Shield Other is really the only effective way to do in-combat healing.


There's likely no better ally in an undead heavy campaign. I had a channel focused life Oracle in one, and it was hilarious. With the ability to just make my channel DC absurd as opposed to a Cleric (Whom I feel turn undead was balanced around) with SAD charisma, it became more a concern to catch the (Fleeing) undead than surviving them. That on top of no one really being to concerned with their HP or even death.

Another fun advantage is getting healing spells at earlier caster levels, effectively making them a better healer than a Cleric in any and every way.

Don't get me started on Variant Channeling. At that point, you'll be struggling on what order your buffs should go in.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cleric doesn't have nearly as good of action economy as a Life Oracle. The life oracle can give several people something approaching fast healing 5 and aggregate the healing on to themselves.

The only better combat healing that I am aware of is with a Oradin, usually as a Paladin / Life Oracle although there are other options now. The lay on hands is a swift action, so the Oradin with Life Link can swift heal themselves and still have a full round action to do things in.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Frosty Ace wrote:
Another fun advantage is getting healing spells at earlier caster levels, effectively making them a better healer than a Cleric in any and every way.

I'm not sure where you are getting this since Clerics get new spell levels earlier than Oracles.


Derek Dalton wrote:

Something I have noticed is healers get a bad rap. Part of that isn't so much what they do but rather how others treat the player playing one. You choose to play a Cleric or Oracle and the party goes. "Oh you're the healer. Stand in the corner if or until we need you." I have ran into this. It's almost as bad as a GM saying play what I want you to play. It happens and I hate it. I've played and seen others play Clerics that don't even consider healing. They end up being as tanked up more then the fighter trying to be the tank. Players get it in their heads that playing a cleric or oracle you are somehow limited to being only a healer.

The term Nursebot is something I hate because it implies my character being the healer is boring even useless unless healing is needed. Other players demean and harass the player for his choices. It's one thing if someone suggests a feat or spell to make the healer a better party member. It's another for a player using a fighter to say to a healer your character sucks you can't do anything except heal. It's worse when the party not the player make the character to their expectations. This results in nothing good ever.

I'm sure the fact that historically healing has been seen as a female activity has absolutely nothing to do with it.

/sarcasm mode off.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Derek Dalton wrote:

Something I have noticed is healers get a bad rap. Part of that isn't so much what they do but rather how others treat the player playing one. You choose to play a Cleric or Oracle and the party goes. "Oh you're the healer. Stand in the corner if or until we need you." I have ran into this. It's almost as bad as a GM saying play what I want you to play. It happens and I hate it. I've played and seen others play Clerics that don't even consider healing. They end up being as tanked up more then the fighter trying to be the tank. Players get it in their heads that playing a cleric or oracle you are somehow limited to being only a healer.

The term Nursebot is something I hate because it implies my character being the healer is boring even useless unless healing is needed. Other players demean and harass the player for his choices. It's one thing if someone suggests a feat or spell to make the healer a better party member. It's another for a player using a fighter to say to a healer your character sucks you can't do anything except heal. It's worse when the party not the player make the character to their expectations. This results in nothing good ever.

I'm sure the fact that historically healing has been seen as a female activity has absolutely nothing to do with it.

/sarcasm mode off.

I'm trying to see which part is sarcasm.

Treating ilness and minor injury in the home has traditiinally been seen as a woman thing, but professional healers (doctors, surgeons, field medics...) have been male dominated for several millenia and have only really gained traction in the last 1-2 centuries.


Even in fiction, I can't think of as many female healers as there are male. Though that may be more from males dominating the genre in general.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Derek Dalton wrote:

Something I have noticed is healers get a bad rap. Part of that isn't so much what they do but rather how others treat the player playing one. You choose to play a Cleric or Oracle and the party goes. "Oh you're the healer. Stand in the corner if or until we need you." I have ran into this. It's almost as bad as a GM saying play what I want you to play. It happens and I hate it. I've played and seen others play Clerics that don't even consider healing. They end up being as tanked up more then the fighter trying to be the tank. Players get it in their heads that playing a cleric or oracle you are somehow limited to being only a healer.

The term Nursebot is something I hate because it implies my character being the healer is boring even useless unless healing is needed. Other players demean and harass the player for his choices. It's one thing if someone suggests a feat or spell to make the healer a better party member. It's another for a player using a fighter to say to a healer your character sucks you can't do anything except heal. It's worse when the party not the player make the character to their expectations. This results in nothing good ever.

I'm sure the fact that historically healing has been seen as a female activity has absolutely nothing to do with it.

/sarcasm mode off.

I'm trying to see which part is sarcasm.

Treating ilness and minor injury in the home has traditiinally been seen as a woman thing, but professional healers (doctors, surgeons, field medics...) have been male dominated for several millenia and have only really gained traction in the last 1-2 centuries.

You been to a doctor's office or hospital lately or look at photos of old military hospitals? The doctor's main role is to make an assessement, and its usually a nurse, typically female or a female volounteer who does the grunt work. And much of the work of healing IS grunt work.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Frosty Ace wrote:
Another fun advantage is getting healing spells at earlier caster levels, effectively making them a better healer than a Cleric in any and every way.
I'm not sure where you are getting this since Clerics get new spell levels earlier than Oracles.

I guess it's a reference to Life Oracles getting Mass Heal as an 8th level spell, rather than a 9th? I don't see any other early access spells on the Life Mystery, though.

Grand Lodge

Neutralize Poison as a 3rd level spell.

Cleric gets it as a 4th level spell.


Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:

Neutralize Poison as a 3rd level spell.

Cleric gets it as a 4th level spell.

Time to find a Life Oracle Apothecary to buy some cheaper emergency potions/scrolls....


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:

Neutralize Poison as a 3rd level spell.

Cleric gets it as a 4th level spell.

Time to find a Life Oracle Apothecary to buy some cheaper emergency potions/scrolls....

Or a trip to the woods. It's 3rd for druids, and they get it earlier than oracles.


bodhranist wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:

Neutralize Poison as a 3rd level spell.

Cleric gets it as a 4th level spell.

Time to find a Life Oracle Apothecary to buy some cheaper emergency potions/scrolls....
Or a trip to the woods. It's 3rd for druids, and they get it earlier than oracles.

Silly ranist, everyone knows Druids don't sell things. Or eat.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
bodhranist wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:

Neutralize Poison as a 3rd level spell.

Cleric gets it as a 4th level spell.

Time to find a Life Oracle Apothecary to buy some cheaper emergency potions/scrolls....
Or a trip to the woods. It's 3rd for druids, and they get it earlier than oracles.
Silly ranist, everyone knows Druids don't sell things. Or eat.

Druids spend a good deal of time as wild animals. I have it on good authority that wild animals did well enough for themselves before the invention of McDonalds. On a more serious note, living off the land is part of the Survival skill and that's a class skill for them.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
bodhranist wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:

Neutralize Poison as a 3rd level spell.

Cleric gets it as a 4th level spell.

Time to find a Life Oracle Apothecary to buy some cheaper emergency potions/scrolls....
Or a trip to the woods. It's 3rd for druids, and they get it earlier than oracles.
Silly ranist, everyone knows Druids don't sell things. Or eat.
Druids spend a good deal of time as wild animals. I have it on good authority that wild animals did well enough for themselves before the invention of McDonalds. On a more serious note, living off the land is part of the Survival skill and that's a class skill for them.

It was actually a joke about not harming any life. Druids eat quite well I imagine.


The strength of the class lies in that it gets to do all the healing/curing the system offers, but it is also a good buffer/enabler of the group, and can cast offensive spells in a pitch. It brings the strength of all spontaneous casters to the table, too: it can hammer any known spell home as often as needed, and can mod them on the fly.
It is all of that bundled together which works.

Consider this fight:
Invisible dragon attacks with his breath, everyone eats 120 damage, the fear aura kicks in. The life oracle saves, does a quickened remove fear on the affected fighter and a mass heal to off-set the breath. The dragon lands on one of the others (would be dead without the heal) and dishes out 90 damage. The oracle eats half from the standing shield other and does a channel and a quickened blessing of fervor.
Well, the rest was predictable: communal protection from energy to get into the forehand, communal airwalk, and finally shooting down the fleeing dragon together with the wizard.
The thing is: without a real healer the fight is over in round two, and no wand of CLW or lay on hands can save the party. With the oracle present, the group wins. Buffing the group is important here, since it frees the arcane casters to do damage instead of getting the melees into the fight (with fly in this case). It is to consider that with the oracle taking one for the team (= not going into the offense) he keeps everyone else going at full speed. It is important what the others don't have to do, because the healer/buffer is doing it for them.

In another fight I had the chance to assist our casters and we nuked the enemy band togther...I have also provided us with protective spells so the casters could nuke the enemy and us in close quarters, which was hilarious at the time (But you are all standing in the AE! Yesss...).

At lower levels it is not heal and mass heal, but channeling, lifelink and use of the more efficient healing spells (like greater path of glory), which lose much later on. Having mass heal as 8th level spell is a huge advantage at high levels, as you can cast 12 of them, if you feel like it, while clerics must use their 9th level slots.
You have always to judge what action will be best to be efficient: command an enemy, counterspell a sorcerer, whack someone with the mace (giving flanking aid), dispel the enemy, use a nuke (I still love the wand of fireballs I had; it's a staff now), or actually heal. Healing during the fight happens only when you have to...but the option (and safety) is always there.

Sovereign Court

If you don't want to healbot as a life oracle, take the spirit guide archetype for the life aspect, and then choose flame mystery for fireball/wall of fire/firestorm things when people don't need healed.

I imagine the enemies being a little surprised when the healer turns into a fire elemental and starts nuking them.

Dark Archive

Everyone loves a good support. In fact, now a days I don't really like playing characters that are heavy frontline or magic domination but sitting in the back, buffing, debuffing, and healing. To me, it's a team game and a Life Oracle can be very good at such.


I just readed the mercifull curse (3PP) With that you have a freaking oradin with no level dip into pally, full cast, full lay on hands progression and mercy.
Yeah, you have to heal an ADJACENT ally if they are harmed but you have free action lifelink, elemental form (free heal if they are adjacent) or move action channel... if none of these is enought you can swift action heal him.

Dark Archive

I played a life oracle built around channeling in a carrion crown game. It was pretty effective, and more fun than most healers. I could nuke undead or heal up to three times a round. It is one of the few builds that can heal enough damage at higher levels to be worth the actions. It also has the full cleric list, so you can do buffing, status removal, summoning, and fun things like flame strike and blade barrier.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I love this option so much I made two for PFS. My first is level 15. Only one character has died on my watch, it was from Con drain from an undead that I turned to ashes the next round.

It's not just about healing. You can do a lot more. Buffing is a good side role. With a high enough charisma and the right skills you can be a great diplomancer.

Overall, I love this option because I have had people cheer when I bring these characters out at a table. They can concentrate on kicking ass. I concentrate on keeping them alive. Personally, I think we have more than enough options for dealing damage.

Grand Lodge

I went the route of a debuff life Oracle (of Zon-Kuthon). Perhaps not optimized but very thematic as I can channel and curse/fear opponents willy-nilly. He isn't terribly high level yet but I've been enjoying him a lot so far!

For those asking why, because keeping PCs alive longer means they can suffer more in the name of Zon-Kuthon!


Earlier it was mentioned that you get to be an actual elemental with all immunities thereof.

That verified? I've got to know.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Energy Body wrote:
As a standard action, you can transform your body into pure life energy, resembling a golden-white fire elemental. In this form, you gain the elemental subtype and give off a warm, welcoming light that increases the light level within 10 feet by one step, up to normal light.

There it is.


Works for me.


I have the relevation, but never used it yet. It is the stupid standard action to activate it...

(If there was only a way to quicken such abilities.)

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