Making Clerics fun


Advice

Vigilant Seal

Hey, I'm going to be playing in a "Haunted Asylum" campaign, so probably ghosts and undead mostly. I immediately thought about playing a exorcist style cleric. however I'm having difficulty building one thats not really boring to play.

Requirements are:
20pt buy
Human
Cleric
5th level starting point

I was trying to work in scribe scroll for some party utility. I'm also leaning more toward casting as we have a couple martials already.

Side note - If anyone can come up with some compelling Warpriest build alternatives that could be cool too.


Toppling Spell & Spiritual Weapon might be good against those targets and any crazy residents of the asylum. With one trait on reducing the cost of metamagic on a spell you can keep SW a 2nd level spell. Burst of Radiance is another 2nd level spell which can be fun to use; more offensive than many cleric spells, anyway. Save the 1st and 3rd level spells for buffs, probably including Remove Fear from the sound of the campaign.

Nethys is a different sort of god, and Destruction and Knowledge sounds like an interesting combination of domains. If you're a caster you might not want the Destruction domain granted powers so much as the domain spells though, so the Divine Paragon archetype might be useful - you could trade out them for the Divine Obedience feat which gives you a +4 on concentration checks and, at 5th level, one boon - I suggest Fly 1/day or Mirror Image 2/day.

The Magical Epiphany feat might be good to have a condition removal spell on call. Fits Nethys too.

That leaves you a couple of feats. Scribe Scroll and Improved Initiative work. I'm not sure what feats you were wanting though that it was going to be hard to fit in Scribe Scroll?

A warpriest basically is a martial character. Just one that buffs. If you're avoiding playing a martial they're not the right choice.


Ouch... I had fun playing a mythic cleric, levels 1 to 4 especially. Kept having fun for a while, but certainly went downhill from there.

Cleric is a powerful class... but I don't really see high level clerics as fun at all, unless you really, really enjoy buffing. And really, really enjoy casting the same damn buffs every single battle, in the same sequence no less. The spell list is underwhelming and the buffs, requiring no save, tend to stick out as the best options.

And the archetypes... are garbage. Even worse than the paladin's.


Gobbo, you have not delved deep into the reaches of the cleric spell list. There's more than the core rulebook out there.

Also the limits of prepared casting can make casting the same sequence of buffs each battle quite hard. Which is a good thing - you won't cast Blessing of Fervor round 1 every battle for a while because you don't have 4 4th level slots, and anyway you might need an Air Walk or Freedom of Movement, maybe another spell or two of that level. It's oracles that get pigeonholed.

& I suggested the use of an archetype above and I think it would be useful.Divine Paragon. Others which may be useful to the right character are Theologian, Evangelist, Herald Caller, Divine Strategist ... even Ecclesitheurge or Cardinal though those those rub some people the wrong way.


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What have you built and why are they boring?
What is not boring for you?
This will help to have actual good advice.


I have a Cleric with the Roaming Exorcist archetype, lots of INT, and the Knowledge domain. The archetype was more a happy accident as I wanted a Cleric with skill points, but it sounds like it'd be your style. Anyway, as a Human, that archetype, a decent INT and the Fast Learner feat, I have 8 skill points to spend without really dumping any of my other stats too much. It's weird, but now I'm the knowledge guy of the party. I'm not as good as a Wizard will be, but I'm still consistently identifying all monsters, know random stuff, and have skill points for my other duties as well. I really love that take on the Cleric, especially considering my previous Cleric had 1 skill point per level and couldn't do anything useful.

The only downside is that if your focus is on INT, your channels will be quite lacklustre, which is sort of a nonbo with your archetype. Then again, most undead have channel resistance, so it's usually not a good idea to channel them to death anyway.


So I personally have made a bad-touch cleric with a good side-order of battlefield control, and I've gotta say I'm finding it quite fun.

Ultimately what you really have to do is train your party not to expect you to be Buff-O-Matic 3000

The easy way to do this is to only prepare very specific aoe buffs that don't take much effort to lay down (Prayer or blessing of fervor are usually the go-to's in this regard.) and after that, just go to town on whatever you happen to hate with a burning passion that particular day.


AVR not sure why tou are assuming I was limiting myself to core... we used all of Paizo. Prayer and Blessing of Fervor are just way better than the rest in a martial heavy party. Their mythic versions make it stupid to do anything else than that. As for spell slots... with mythic you can spam even your highest level spells quite a lot and can also afford not to prepare a wide diversity because tou can use a point to spontaneously cast any spell on your list. Level 1 and 2 spells are bith fun and potent. Command, murderous command, hold person, and bear's strength namely. From lvl 9 you can start quickening those which makes things less dull but their DC by then is typically too low and the buffs are made useless by bracers and such. Sure, now and then I got great effect from a very situational control water, wall of stone, windwall or other such spell. But by lvl 11 or so I just gave up and became a paly. It had become impossible to penetrate all of the immunities, resistances, SR, and saves. The only dudes I could reliably debuff wouldn't survive long enough for it to matter. Buffs, on the other hand... never wasted.

The arcane spell list is much more interesting. A pity really, but the cleric barely evolved since 3.x. Turn and rebuke was modified, meagre domain bonuses were added, and they called it a day. Don't get me wrong clerics are top tier. But not overly fun for most of their levels.


What about them isn't fun and what things are fun? What makes the divine list boring and the arcane interesting? Why are you playing a cleric?


I think part of what makes clerics feel less fun is the physical interactions with the world compared to what a wizard is doing.

At level 7 a cleric is casting blessing of fervour, a wizard is conjuring a swamp of grappling tentacles. At level 5 a cleric is casting prayer good but sinfully dull compared to fly/haste/fireball.


What makes Clerics so boring are their lack of class features. Well, Wizards are comparable, but at least they can look forward to some bonus feats. A Cleric's abilities are all completely unlocked at level 1, except for some domain powers. Sorcerers get bloodline powers (not all of which are equally interesting, but still) and pretty much every other caster get to choose from a list of things every few levels (Oracle Revelations, Magus Arcana, Alchemist Discoveries, and so on), or unlock new stuff (Druid Wildshapes, Inquisitor Bane, and so on) while a Cleric gets absolutely nothing (again, apart from the domains).
And, as Durgon said, for most of the flashy spells, you go to the arcane side of magic. I love playing support Clerics, don't get me wrong, but I rarely have the feeling I'm shining in combat apart from using status removal spells.


Yeah, a real problem with clerics is that there's not really a psychological reward of "you get something new to play with" when you level up. The only thing that really increases as you level is your channel die and your spellcasting. The cleric is fine, but I could be playing an oracle instead and the oracle gets revelations and advances their curse.


Some spells on the cleric list I like that aren't buff/support/utility spells.
1: Burning Disarm, Command & variants
2: Burst of Radiance, Spiritual Weapon
3: Charitable Impulse, Chain of Perdition
4: Terrible Remorse, Spit Venom, Spiritual Ally
5: Caustic Blood, Plane Shift
6: Chains of Light, Cold Ice Strike

True, you don't get the variety that a wizard does, but there's enough there to work with IMO.

If you're at higher levels and using Quicken Spell I suggest limiting it to buffs and battlefield control, being 4 points of DC below your best isn't going to be very good. To keep low level spells relevant longer Persistent Spell is your best bet.


Cleric is always a class I'm looking to take into a PrC, which always helps me with my build.

My general favorites are:

* Hellknight Signifer
* Soul Warden (Channel Casting is great)
* Exalted
* Holy Vindicator (even more exciting thanks to the new Prestigious Spellcaster feat)
* Stargazer
* Envoy of Balance

In general, I find that there's very little about cleric that encourages me to stay there, but that PrC's that adequately increase spellcasting are very enticing.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Outland King wrote:
Hey, I'm going to be playing in a "Haunted Asylum" campaign, so probably ghosts and undead mostly. I immediately thought about playing a exorcist style cleric. however I'm having difficulty building one thats not really boring to play.

IMO, clerics need to have a theme around which to develop. Luckily, they have a built-in one as a representative of their deity.

Do you want an undead-slaying, "sword of light" cleric of Sarenrae who also learns exorcism techniques to combat undead that possess the living? Combat clerics are pretty straightforward and Sarenrae has some good domains (that can be useful against more than just undead).

Do you want a more support-style "minister of souls" cleric of Pharasma who focuses on spellcasting (buffing/debuffing and anti-undead)? Caster clerics are also fairly straightforward and the Repose domain is a natural fit; Death/Psychopomp could make an interesting second domain. Or perhaps more of a bookish "speaker for the dead" cleric with the Knowledge/Memory and Repose/Ancestors domains?

Or perhaps instead of an exorcist, maybe you could go in the opposite direction and play a cleric focused on summoning (and buffing). A cleric of Nethys with the Destruction and Protection domains (for versatility) or the Protection and Rune domains (to focus a bit more on summoning/binding) could do a decent job of summoning (and buffing) outsiders to fight undead: celestial creatures get smite evil, after all; and summon monster III can summon a lantern archon.


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Play a Shaman instead, and simply behave and roleplay like a Cleric.

Shadow Lodge

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Dragonchess Player wrote:
Outland King wrote:
Hey, I'm going to be playing in a "Haunted Asylum" campaign, so probably ghosts and undead mostly. I immediately thought about playing a exorcist style cleric. however I'm having difficulty building one thats not really boring to play.
IMO, clerics need to have a theme around which to develop. Luckily, they have a built-in one as a representative of their deity.

Concentrate on the RP concept first. For example,

A Cleric of Groetus who dresses like a street person and whose wooden holy symbol is a box top with the words "the end is near" written on it.

A half elven Cleric of Sheyln who is trying to find the beauty of where she fits in a world where she doesn't and has that as her "riddle".

Cleric of Erastil whose 90 something (think Hershel Greene from the walking dead) and is joining the party because his grandson just became a ghost and he's old enough not to be missed.

Sovereign Court

I'm having a lot of fun with my Asmodean Advocate. Playing such a dark cleric is quite different from the classic "mommy will make it all better" type, especially with Horror Adventures spells like Boneshaker and Grasping Chains giving you good offensive potential at low levels.

(Also, he's buying a Lesser Toppling metamagic rod now.. neat find!)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I've found the divine paragon archetype, from Divine Anthology, to be quite interesting. It really spices up the base class with deity-specific flavor. ^_^


If you are taking cleric for channel energy to deal with undead you may want to consider a life oracle. Since CHA is their main stat they actually channel energy better and more often than a cleric. The cleric spell list which the oracle shares has a lot of blast spells that are particularly good vs. undead and outsiders. Normally an oracle is going to be a lot weaker of at offensive magic than an arcane caster, but in this case you would probably be stronger. If nothing else you can always use cure spells to attack undead. Normally this tactic is used by evil clerics going for the bad touch cleric. Take the Blackend Curse to get some fire spells to deal with living creatures and you will be fine.


Human cleric with Channel Smite and Guided Hand at 1st level can be fun. Normally I'd recommend a negative-channeling cleric of Gorum, but a positive-channeling cleric of Pharasma, Sarenrae, or Iomedae could work in an undead-heavy campaign.

Vigilant Seal

THe issue with Clerics being boring is what was listed above.
they are comppletely front loaded (beyond spell levels). meaning once you select your domain(s) there is really nothing beyond adding a couple new spells or an extra channel die. Similar to wizards, but the other issue is that wizards at least have a larger spell variety to compensate and bonus feats.

I was looking into the Shaman class as it at least has less "dead levels". Warpriest looked kind of cool as well but it's too martial focused for the current party.

I'm looking for a support caster, but one that's not tied down to casting bless or aid every turn.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
If you are taking cleric for channel energy to deal with undead you may want to consider a life oracle.

The Life Spirit Guide Oracle can be made into the best channeler bar none, since in addition to the channel you get from your Life Mystery you can also get a second one that's every bit as strong at level 7 when you contact the Life Spirit.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Outland King wrote:

THe issue with Clerics being boring is what was listed above.

they are comppletely front loaded (beyond spell levels). meaning once you select your domain(s) there is really nothing beyond adding a couple new spells or an extra channel die.

You mean "boring to play" as in "lacking class feature choices when leveling," not "boring to play (during game sessions)."

Outland King wrote:

I was looking into the Shaman class as it at least has less "dead levels". Warpriest looked kind of cool as well but it's too martial focused for the current party.

I'm looking for a support caster, but one that's not tied down to casting bless or aid every turn.

Well, clerics already have other options than "casting bless or aid" (or being a heal-bot). That's what all the suggestions above are about; choose a different theme and prepare different spells (divine favor instead of bless and spiritual weapon or spear of purity instead of aid for a combat cleric, protection from evil instead of bless and lesser restoration or weapon of awe for a support cleric, summon monster spells for a summoning cleric, etc.).

Grand Lodge

You want to be a frontliner or a caster Cleric?
Third option could be a reach build summoner Cleric?

I always find that the deity I want, does not have the domains that I want...
So I end up with some obscure minor deity like Halcamora...
http://archivesofnethys.com/DeityDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Halcamora


werewolf435 wrote:

So I personally have made a bad-touch cleric with a good side-order of battlefield control, and I've gotta say I'm finding it quite fun.

Ultimately what you really have to do is train your party not to expect you to be Buff-O-Matic 3000

The easy way to do this is to only prepare very specific aoe buffs that don't take much effort to lay down (Prayer or blessing of fervor are usually the go-to's in this regard.) and after that, just go to town on whatever you happen to hate with a burning passion that particular day.

Any chance I could get a look at your build? In a pm maybe if its gonna derail the thread?

Sovereign Court

You don't have to combine reach/summoning, either. I mean the combination is nice but it'll suck in all your feats to make it work. If you pick just one of those things you can do something else on the side.

Archery cleric also works especially for Erastil (that trait...); and there's mounted cleric (animal/scalykind domain with Boon companion).

I think Reach Cleric is really nifty but it does require the rest of the party to play in a certain way to truly shine. If you're waiting for enemies to come to you to get AoOs, but your friends keep going forward, then it doesn't do a lot.


Outland King wrote:

THe issue with Clerics being boring is what was listed above.

they are comppletely front loaded (beyond spell levels). meaning once you select your domain(s) there is really nothing beyond adding a couple new spells or an extra channel die.

That's... seriously? The list of strange and wonderful things you can do with Domain spells and higher-level Domain abilities is enormous, not to mention the things you can do with Archetype abilities and interaction between feats and all of the above. New levels and new spells mean whole new interesting things you can do - like getting Admonishing Ray working with nasty metamagic like Tripping Spell to shoot-up a battlefield with knock-down force-bolts, or running things like Archon's Aura, or using Persistent Instrument of Agony to help spread fear and then totally ruin a foe, or gaining Displacement to start utilizing Moonlight Stalker, and on and on and on. And then, beyond everything else, a very small, measured amount of multiclassing can do a million interesting things as well.

"Boring Cleric" is a lack-of-creativity problem, rather than an inherent problem in the class.


But the thing is, what the cleric gets at level up is essentially "more spells" which is a thing that literally every other spellcasting class gets when they level up, and a lot (all?) of those other classes get other class features too.

So sure, you can do amazing things with 9 level spellcasting, but if "9 level cleric/oracle" list doesn't sell you on the clerics then there's not a lot else there for you.


A lot of the fun of a cleric comes in the variety of spells and strategies you select. There are a lot of different options

--combat cleric (reach weapon, bad touch, self-buffs, archer)

--buff-bot (defensive, offensive, some control ability)

--heal-bot (it can be done even if the theoretical optimizers don't like it)

--summoner (lots of flexibility and options every time you cast)

And then there are the roleplaying opportunities. There are lots of them, and lots of different approaches even with the same deity.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

But the thing is, what the cleric gets at level up is essentially "more spells" which is a thing that literally every other spellcasting class gets when they level up, and a lot (all?) of those other classes get other class features too.

So sure, you can do amazing things with 9 level spellcasting, but if "9 level cleric/oracle" list doesn't sell you on the clerics then there's not a lot else there for you.

A Cleric gets to customize between two Domains (or Inquisitions) (or Separatist Domains) that grant at least four different powers at different levels, and quite possibly cross-class spellcasting picks as well - and also sometimes bonus feats and skill adjustments. Plus they can not only customize Channel Energy abilities along normal lines, but they can take Variant Channeling options. Oh, and they can use a wide list of special deity-related options, along with multiple feats that play-off Cleric abilities, like Domain Strike, Channel Smite and Guided Hand.

This is supposedly plain and boring compared to what other classes get? It certainly does seem like people build Clerics with the idea that it's supposed to be a boring heal-bot and/or summoning specialist, and nothing more.


Currently in PFS I am playing a halfling cloistered cleric of calistra.

Pretty much the avatar of luck.

Completely useless with anything on his own but pretty good with the buufs that party members fight over him.


Honestly I think the cleric's biggest issue is a lot of times when you level up and go "oh yeah new spells!" you look at your spell list and immediately remember most of them are crap.

I mean when a wizard gets access to 3rd level spells, he's got Fireball, Fly, Haste, Exploding Runes, Stinking Cloud, Lightning Bolt, Major Image, Vampiric Touch (WHY IS THIS NOT A CLERIC SPELL?), Slow, there's pretty much something for everyone.

when you get 3rd level cleric spells you're like okay whats good, hmm, bunch of random crap about outsiders and undead I dont care about, loads of healing and condition removal, man thats boring, Animate Dead, oh wait I'm not evil I cant use it... what else is there? a bunch of buff and protection spells that help the guys who are actually good at hitting stuff like I pretend to be... yeah I should've gone to wizard school like mom told me to, why do I even have 22 wisdom if I can't make good decisions?

Basically, a lot of the time clerics get no flash, no pizzazz, no big blasty or battlefield control spells. Their spells that aren't buffs, heals and protection/restoration are random niche garbage a lot of the time. Really theres almost no reason to go straight caster except if your building an Ecclesitheurge or something similar and subsisting purely off your domains for the big bangs.

I'm playing a high level mythic cleric right now actually, I do more in combat murdering everything with a bow than I do with any of my spells. Blade Barrier is fantastic for mobbing but you don't even see it in a lot of games because it's 6th level, I mean 10 of my spell slots are dedicated to Divine Power so I can always have it up because dealing +6 damage on all 8 arrows I fire a round is way better than Implosion. The only control spells I use regularly are Greater Command, Repulsion, Hymn of Peace, the rest of my spells are heals and resurrects, condition removals or wards, and a few escapes. Destruction and Implosion sit crying in a corner on my spell list because I rarely have a reason to cast them.

We're playing Wrath of the Righteous by the way, in the entire campaign I've never cast a single one of the "hurts/screws over outsiders of X alignment spells", killing them with a bow was faster.

TBH, I wouldn't play a cleric that didn't hit things as part of it's schtick, if you wanna be a straight divine caster I'd play a shaman.

Sovereign Court

The 3rd level cleric list is a bit weird that way really. Lots of spells that completely change an encounter from "we're doomed" to "we're fine" - Communal Align Weapon, Resist Magic, Delay Poison; Remove Blindness, Curse; Create Food & Drink, Water Breathing; Invisibility Purge, Magic Circle vs. stuff. And some great utility like Stone Shape.

But it lacks some of the brutal efficiency of 2nd level spells like Admonishing Ray, Burst of Radiance and Boneshaker.


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BadBird wrote:

A Cleric gets to customize between two Domains (or Inquisitions) (or Separatist Domains) that grant at least four different powers at different levels, and quite possibly cross-class spellcasting picks as well - and also sometimes bonus feats and skill adjustments. Plus they can not only customize Channel Energy abilities along normal lines, but they can take Variant Channeling options. Oh, and they can use a wide list of special deity-related options, along with multiple feats that play-off Cleric abilities, like Domain Strike, Channel Smite and Guided Hand.

This is supposedly plain and boring compared to what other classes get? It certainly does seem like people build Clerics with the idea that it's supposed to be a boring heal-bot and/or summoning specialist, and nothing more.

But part of the issue is that all the choices a Cleric makes regarding class features are made at level 1, you're just waiting for your domain powers to show up.

By the time the Cleric has access to 4 domain powers- The Oracle has three revelations (making a choice each time, and possibly more via a feat) and has advanced their curse. A Shaman has a greater spirit, a wandering spirit, 3 hexes, and a wandering hex; so the shaman gets to choose different stuff every day. A Witch has five hexes. A Druid has eight different class features including possibly a domain. Most mechanical roles (not conceptual ones) a cleric can serve can be handled by one or more of these classes.

So it's not that the cleric is unintersting mechanically, it's just that compared to its peers it's really front-loaded.


Ascalaphus wrote:

The 3rd level cleric list is a bit weird that way really. Lots of spells that completely change an encounter from "we're doomed" to "we're fine" - Communal Align Weapon, Resist Magic, Delay Poison; Remove Blindness, Curse; Create Food & Drink, Water Breathing; Invisibility Purge, Magic Circle vs. stuff. And some great utility like Stone Shape.

But it lacks some of the brutal efficiency of 2nd level spells like Admonishing Ray, Burst of Radiance and Boneshaker.

Charitable Impulse is one of those really, really funny spells to see in action, and it's too specific to make it on to most spontaneous casters plans. Magic Vestment is a supremely practical if boring buff. Chain of Perdition allows a caster cleric to get in on the combat maneuver action if they want without spending any feats at all.

I stand by my stance that people who call the cleric spell list boring haven't read it all - or they're using some very nonstandard rules like mythic as mentioned earlier by Goblin_ Priest.


avr wrote:

{. . .}

& I suggested the use of an archetype above and I think it would be useful.Divine Paragon. Others which may be useful to the right character are Theologian, Evangelist, Herald Caller, Divine Strategist ... even Ecclesitheurge or Cardinal though those those rub some people the wrong way.

In particular:

Evangelist lets you be sort of a Bard, although for a campaign in which you have to deal with a lot of Undead, the tradeout of eventually 3 dice of Channel Energy damage hurts, so make sure you have a rider on your Channel Energy (at least Turn Undead, and preferably some kind of Variant Channeling) if you're going to invest in it at all (trading out damage dice DOESN'T decrease the DC for Undead and similar enemies to save against your Channeling).

Herald Caller lets you become a quite good Summoner as a Cleric, and even gives you more skill points per level. For thematic completeness, make sure that one of your teammates rides an all-terrain velocipede.

Ecclisitheurge can let you diversify your spells a lot. Normally, people on these boards don't consider it to be a great archetype (not being allowed to use armor and having greatly reduced weapon proficiency hurts), but since you were thinking of Scribe Scroll anyway, you can actually make good use of it. Keep swapping domains and scribing scrolls. Getting a divine bond to your holy symbol and being able to enchant it as if you were a Wizard with a Bonded Object Arcane Bond is a plus overall, although be careful of enemies that may steal it (with the same bad consequences as for such a Wizard).


PossibleCabbage wrote:

But part of the issue is that all the choices a Cleric makes regarding class features are made at level 1, you're just waiting for your domain powers to show up.

By the time the Cleric has access to 4 domain powers- The Oracle has three revelations (making a choice each time, and possibly more via a feat) and has advanced their curse. A Shaman has a greater spirit, a wandering spirit, 3 hexes, and a wandering hex; so the shaman gets to choose different stuff every day. A Witch has five hexes. A Druid has eight different class features including possibly a domain. Most mechanical roles (not conceptual ones) a cleric can serve can be handled by one or more of these classes.

So it's not that the cleric is unintersting mechanically, it's just that compared to its peers it's really front-loaded.

I'm not really seeing the 'front-loaded choices' issue so much, considering that most people plan out how their class features are going to run before level 2.

Besides, choosing at level 1 is a very, very different thing from getting everything at level 1, and both 'problems' are a very far cry from

PossibleCabbage wrote:
...if "9 level cleric/oracle" list doesn't sell you on the clerics then there's not a lot else there for you.

But sure... if you want to be surprised by your choices as you go... point conceded.

Edit: Just as a note on interesting things that you can do with a Cleric, something I've been looking at:

Quote:

Tyrvald Fame-Wolf

Separatist Cleric of Gorum 9/ Unbreakable Fighter 1/ Living Monolith 1.
Ulfen Human: 16/18STR, 12DEX, 14CON, 10INT, 15WIS, 7CHA
Traits: Fate's Favored, Magical Knack
Domains: Anger Inquisition, Wolf Domain (Separatist)

1SC. *Wolf Domain* / *Anger Inquisition: Hateful Retort* / (+Improved Trip) / Iron Will / Dirty Fighting
2SC.
3SC. Heighten Spell
4SC.
5SC. Preferred Spell: Aspect of the Wolf
6UF. (+Endurance) / (+Diehard)
7SC. *Anger Inquisition: Divine Anger* / Extra Rage
8LM. *Ka Stone* / (+Toughness)
9SC. Greater Trip
10SC.
11SC. Extra Rage

Preferred Spell: Aspect of the Wolf means that by level 5 and beyond it can be cast as a level 3 spell many times a day, using any spell slot (regular or Domain) at 3 or above. As a level 3 spell, it's also very cheap to pre-buff with a lesser metamagic rod of extend. If it has to be cast in combat, it still allows cast -> move -> swift trip -> AoO. Divine Favor has the usual pre-buffing issues, though it can at least be combined with the swift-action Enlarge Person and a move into position.

Rage and the Living Monolith Enlarge Person ability grant a total of +6STR to two-handed 3d6 Furious greatsword attacks, while Divine Favor buffs attack and damage; the total gain from strength bonus, size bonus, and furious enhanced weapon should hopefully keep trip pretty solid, and overall damage and accuracy should be very good without Power Attack.

Diehard means that Raging Vitality isn't necessary, and free Toughness plus Rage keeps HP pretty high; AC and/or mobility might be an issue though.

It's a rather extreme example with some multiclassing but still... I really don't get complaints about how boring Clerics have to be. It's one of my most tinkered-with classes.


Here is how I made my cleric interesting.

Aasimar Evangelist Cleric of Erastil

Feats: Flag Bearer, Toppling Spell, Boon Companion, Sacred Summons, ...

In his journey, my PFS cleric started as a good party buffer, proceeded to small offensive debuffing, added a formidable melee presence, evolved into a GREAT buffer, and finally summons flying death at a hand wave.

1st level - Inspire Courage and Flag Bearer made him a really good buffer

3rd level - Toppling Spiritual Weapons tripped foes, +8 to hit made this fairly effective

4th level - Bear as a level 1 animal companion with area buffs was a neat toy

5th level - Boon Companion made Bear a beast, and Inspire Courage buff went up

7th level - Standard Action Summon Archons (via Sacred Summoning) got to be a nifty thing, Move Action Inspire Courage was FREEDOM

8th level - Banner of the Ancient Kings... buff-maniac!

(8th level is where he is at now)

He can in 1 round drop 1d3 Lantern Archons onto the map while giving the party +4 to +5 to attack and damage. Those little archons make for pretty amazing offense or defense. And don't forget the ever formidable Bear.

My cleric also has a crazy good Perception of +25 (via accidental synergy with race and class bonuses), so sees everything coming more or less.

9th level will bring a lot more spell slots to be able to mix up a lot of effective potentials. Summoning 1d4+1 Lantern Archons >> 1d3 Lantern Archons.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In Mummy's Mask, which is very undead heavy, I had a blast with a cleric of Sarenrae. Her channel was actually really effective. She took the sun domain, which not only gave her bonus damage, but also meant she ignored channel resistance. It was quite rare for undead to make their saves. When I built her, cha was her second strongest stat. I found her to be quite a fun character.


Frogsplosion wrote:

Honestly I think the cleric's biggest issue is a lot of times when you level up and go "oh yeah new spells!" you look at your spell list and immediately remember most of them are crap.

I mean when a wizard gets access to 3rd level spells, he's got Fireball, Fly, Haste, Exploding Runes, Stinking Cloud, Lightning Bolt, Major Image, Vampiric Touch (WHY IS THIS NOT A CLERIC SPELL?), Slow, there's pretty much something for everyone.

when you get 3rd level cleric spells you're like okay whats good, hmm, bunch of random crap about outsiders and undead I dont care about, loads of healing and condition removal, man thats boring, Animate Dead, oh wait I'm not evil I cant use it... what else is there? a bunch of buff and protection spells that help the guys who are actually good at hitting stuff like I pretend to be... yeah I should've gone to wizard school like mom told me to, why do I even have 22 wisdom if I can't make good decisions?

Basically, a lot of the time clerics get no flash, no pizzazz, no big blasty or battlefield control spells. Their spells that aren't buffs, heals and protection/restoration are random niche garbage a lot of the time. Really theres almost no reason to go straight caster except if your building an Ecclesitheurge or something similar and subsisting purely off your domains for the big bangs.

I'm playing a high level mythic cleric right now actually, I do more in combat murdering everything with a bow than I do with any of my spells. Blade Barrier is fantastic for mobbing but you don't even see it in a lot of games because it's 6th level, I mean 10 of my spell slots are dedicated to Divine Power so I can always have it up because dealing +6 damage on all 8 arrows I fire a round is way better than Implosion. The only control spells I use regularly are Greater Command, Repulsion, Hymn of Peace, the rest of my spells are heals and resurrects, condition removals or wards, and a few escapes. Destruction and Implosion sit crying in a corner on my spell list because I rarely have a...

That was pretty much my experience with the cleric. I made the mistake of not reviewing the spell list first (it had been over a decade since I had played a cleric)... Each time, past the lvl 2 spells, I was utterly disappointed. Why is the cleric a prepared caster, anyways? With mythic I had the whole spell list at my disposal at all times, and still... meh.

The only good spells are mostly buff spells. The debuffs are too hard to land, with SR, saves, immunities and whatnot. Combat clerics are... why aren't you playing a fighter or a barbarian again? Caster clerics are... why aren't you playing a wizard again? Healing clerics are... everyone knows combat healing is weak. Heck, even for buffs, one can wonder why you aren't playing a bard.

Sure, the cleric has versatility. He's not as squishy as the wizard. He's got way more options than the bard. He can heal himself when needed unlike the fighter/barb. But all he does, others do better. So while he remains a strong class, the cleric is not very fun for most people. I would rather a wizard any day.


If it's not for you then don't play one. As seen in this thread, many feel it's not boring nor weak.


What is not fun about daze locking your enemy, summoning monsters to kill him and then animating him to serve you? What is not fun about having one of the best spell lists in the game and full-on 9th level casting? What is not fun about building a Cleric nine different ways?

Sovereign Court

I'm playing a badass revolutionary grandma covered in magical tattoos that spreads graffiti and uses her "feminine wiles" to get what she wants. She's a Charm (Love subdomain) and Luck (Imagination subdomain) cleric of Shelyn with Spell Focus: Enchantment and Inscribe Magical Tattoo, which has gotten me a Mesmeric Tattoo to boost enchantment DC, an Animal Spirit Tattoo to gain flying, and a Caster's Tatoo that lets me cast one spell per day as both silent and still.

Her glaive (Shelyn's weapon of choice) doubles as a giant paintbrush, and the Imagination subdomain grants Silent, Minor, and Major image as domain spells, which she uses to make midair art on the spot. Because she's a popular painter and graffiti artist, she has paintings spread around Korvosa, which allows me to use Enter Image or Majestic Image to enter them and spy or communicate.

Her mastery over local gossip is second to none, and she loves to play matchmaker. She teaches folks that not all rules are meant to be followed, especially the ones that constrain the heart.

She's a blast to play when we're in the city and dealing with a lot of people. When we have to journey through the hinterlands or into other planes, she still has a fair amount of buffs, summons, and the incredible Bit of Luck ability to pull her through.

My point being, a Cleric is what you make of it. The spell list is very limited when it comes to evocation, but there are quite a lot of good Enchantment spells on there - Command, Hold Person, Charitable Impulse, Debilitating Portent, Greater Command, etc. There also fun build around spells like Enter Image, Animate Dead, or Bestow Curse.


A fairly straightforward cleric that's fun but a bit mind-numbingly simple is the Fire Theologian Cleric. The long and short of it: boost your Caster Level through various means and throw truly impressive fireballs.

It takes a bit of cheesing, but it works like this: Theologian gives you a free metamagic for a specific spell (from a list of good ones), including one that lets you increase the spell's max caster level. It also lets you memorize Domain spells in regular spell slots. Fireball is a Fire Domain spell. So you start as a Gnome with pyromania (+1 Caster Level to fire spells), take the appropriate trait (+1 caster level to Fireball), get a level of Crossblooded Tattooed Sorcerer with the Orc and either Dragon or Fire bloodlines (+2 damage/die rolled with your fire spells), get Spell Specialization (more caster level), and... you get the idea. Boost caster level on Fireball. Memorize Fireball in all available slots. BURN EVERYTHING.

Burning Hands at level 2 is respectable on a gnome fire theologian, but not super scary: 3d4+6 damage. (1 level Cleric, 1 level Sorc; 1 caster level +1 from the pyromania or whatever racial trait +1 from the Varisian Tattoo feat which you got for free.) You can use wands and scrolls from both the Cleric/Oracle and Sorcerer/Wizard spell lists without a problem thanks to the brief dip, too. You'll always progress your spells a level slower than everyone else, but your spells deal a crapton of damage.

There's probably other combinations that'd work for a Theologian with a sorcerer dip, but finding the right race (to boost caster level a little more) and the right domains (to be affected by the various traits you need) is a little tougher.

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