multiclassing a cleric


Sovereign Court

Thing is our wizard is about to leave us and the only remaining caster of the party will be me, a cleric.
Right now im level 5 and doing good as a support traditional cleric BUT i know that dont have any arcane class hurts a lot to the team... Its a good idea to take some levels of sorcerer (empyral bloodline) and then mistic theurge o is going to hurt too much my spellcasting (geting spells 4 levels later than usual)
What do you think?

ask the dm if you can become a shawman theres a thing you cn do with shawman that lets you get access to wiz/sorc cleric/oracle and the shawman spell lists at the same time i cant remember off the top of my head how you do it but one of my friends told me about it

Don't multiclass. You're level 5. Going sorcerer means you're down to level one arcane spells. By the time you get to mystic theurge, you'll be a 10th level character. As a cleric, that's 5th level spells. You'd be neutering your group of both its divine AND arcane casters.

Having no arcane caster is an issue, but having a single-classed cleric in the party (you) can make up for some of it. In a previous party, our only arcane caster was a ranger/wizard/arcane archer. My cleric, who was support cleric, managed a good bit of the magic anyway. It can be done, it just won't be easy and you'll still have spots to cover.

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As a full spellcasting class, whether arcane or divine, any multiclassing you do will mean diminishing your power. So the general rule is not to do it.

One way to partially make up for the lack of an arcane spellcaster is for one or more of the guys in your party to pump up their bonus on UMD, then invest in various wands or other arcane magic goodies.

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The first rule of multiclassing is "never lose spell progression". The second rule of multiclassing is "NEVER lose spell progression".

What arcane spells do you actually need? Straight Cleric gets Blessing of Fervor, Air Walk, and Wind Walk each 4 levels before your Mystic Theurge would get Haste, Fly, and Teleport respectively, and gets Interplanetary Teleport two levels before the MT would get Greater Teleport.

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I'd dip a single level into Bard so you can pick up some wands, get some knowleges, gain a bunch of skill points and still wear some armour when casting.

I don't know why you need arcane though, is it a setting requirement? We're you asked by other players? Do you actually want to go Theurge?

Wheldrake wrote:
As a full spellcasting class, whether arcane or divine, any multiclassing you do will mean diminishing your power. So the general rule is not to do it.

I think that is an overstatement. In the long run, I think that Mystic Theurges are significantly more powerful than their single class counterparts.

Lathiira wrote:
Going sorcerer means you're down to level one arcane spells. By the time you get to mystic theurge, you'll be a 10th level character.

Now, that is a good point, though. I don't think you should multiclass with Sorcerer to become a Mystic Theurge: you should go with Wizard. The thing about Sorcerers is that they get a lot of their power from Class Abilities that you will not get when you become a Mystic Theurge. Wizards and Clerics lose much less when they multiclass than Sorcerers and Oracles.

Also, Wizards and Clerics gain earlier access to higher level spells, so that means taking levels in your Prestige Class all the sooner. If you multiclass with Wizard and Mystic Theurge, by the time you are level 10, you will effectively be a level 7 Cleric/level 5 Wizard. You lose Raise Dead, but you gain Fireball, and your lower level spells will be more numerous and all your Spell Slots will be interchangeable. Plus, you can do things like cast Shield Other on your party Fighter, and then cast Infernal Healing on yourself.

If the campaign continues, each new single level all the other characters gain, you will effectively gain 2, and if the campaign goes on for long enough, you will surpass your single class fellow spellcasters. If you had been keeping your classes even all this time, you would now be like a level 2 Cleric/3Wizard, and not I think as powerful, but by level 12, you'd effectively be level 9 in both, and I really don't think that it's definitetly worse to be a level 9 Wizard/Level 9 Cleric than it is to be a level 12 Cleric.

It was a better choice back when Paizo allowed Spell-like abilities to count as prerequisites. Then you'd play a Tiefling, using Darkness to count as a level 2 Arcane Spell and Mirror Image (Trickery Domain) to count as a level 2 Divine Spell. Then you'd take your first MT level at level 4: by level 12, you'd be a level 11 Wizard/10 Cleric; much better.

I have a counter proposal for you, though. Rather than dipping to become a Mystic Theurge, why not just take the Leadership Feat, and get a Wizard Cohort?

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A single classed cleric is actually better at filling in for an arcane caster than mystic theurge. The cleric spell list is actually a lot better than most people realize. This assumes that you are playing with the full cleric spell list. If you are limited to only the core rule book, that is a completely different story.

Blasting is usually considered to be the least effective tactic for a wizard. But at the same time that is where they have the biggest advantage over a cleric. Most of the clerics direct damage spells are heavily focused on damaging outsiders and undead. They actually do better at dealing with these foes than a wizard, but worse at dealing with everything else.

Clerics have a much better selection of buffing spells than a wizard. There may be a couple of spells on the wizard list that are going to be missed, but nothing that you can’t live without.

Clerics fall a little behind wizard in battle field control spells. The lack of wall and cloud spells, make it more difficult to control the battle field. But when it comes to summoning the cleric actually has some advantages. They get all the summon monster spells at the same level as the wizard. The planar ally spells are a lot less dangerous than the planar binding spells. Summoned monsters have such a wide range of abilities that they can often cover what you need to accomplish.

Losing the wizard is going to hurt for another reason. With one less character your party’s action economy took a big hit. Now your party gets one less action per turn. The mystic theurge is not going to help overcome this. In fact it is going to probably hurt it. As a cleric you can cast a spell or two early in the combat and then wade in to help the rest of the party by attacking the enemy. With a mystic theurge you will be casting all the time. It also means that by the time you get all your spells up it may be too late for it to matter.

The other thing to consider is if you go mystic theurge you have to abide by all the limitation of both classes to be effective. This means that you can no longer wear armor. You now also have slow BAB and fortitude saves. Also other than spells mystic theurge does not increase any of your other class abilities. This means you don’t get your domain powers and your channel energy does not scale up. And you sorcerer bloodline abilities are also frozen.

Going mystic theurge is going to mean that neither role is going to be fulfilled, and your character is going to be a lot more vulnerable so will require more protection from the party. This is going to mean they are not able to concentrate on taking down the enemy.

Not worth it. It'd be ideal to have domains that grant you some of the better battlefield control powers. (The caves domain is useful.) But MT costs too many spell levels off the arcane and divine sides. Master of none, indeed. Just develop your cleric and you'll find ways to be a lot more useful than doing a MT.

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Mystic theurge can work but I think it's probably too late for you to flop into it now. Also it's a myth that every party needs a 9th level divine and arcane caster to be effective.

If the Leadership feat might be allowed that'd help a lot more than a mystic theurge would here.

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What domains do you use? Maybe your GM will let you switch domains to something more "arcaney?"

Can another character "step up" and add some arcane? Like a fighter 5/wizard 5/eldritch knight 10? Or a barbarian 5/sorcerer 1/dragon disciple 10?

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What will the party have remaining after the Wizard leaves, and will the party be getting any replacement character at all (judging by the original post, obviously not a replacement arcane caster)? Does anybody (including the incoming character, if any) have decent Use Magic Device?

Also, does your character have stats that would even support becoming a decent Mystic Theurge (and if so, whether you choose Sorcerer or Wizard might be determined by whether you have higher Charisma or Intelligence, and if neither of these cut it, you might be stuck with Empyreal Sorcerer, to get Wisdom-based Sorcerer spellcasting); related to this, how much is your Cleric into physical combat (at which a Mystic Theurge is going to be terrible).

If you do decide to go Mystic Theurge, see if the following method would be okay with your GM: Get 1 level of Sorcerer or Wizard, and get the feat Equipment Trick (Sunrod), which lets you boost the 1st level Dancing Lantern spell, which has the [Light] descriptor(*), up to 2nd level (and the text says "for all purposes"). Since this is an actual spell and not a spell-like ability, it is not affected by the SLA FAQ nerf, and qualifies you for entry into Mystic Theurge with just 1 level of lost Cleric spellcasting progression and a tax of 1 feat(*). Since you already have 5 levels of Cleric, unfortunately that's 5 levels of lost Sorcerer or Wizard spellcasting progression, so as soon as you can, get Additional Traits to grab Magical Knack(**) to at least boost your Sorcerer or Wizard caster level by 2 (at the cost of increasing your feat tax to 1.5, since you can pick the other trait to be useful).

(*)Since it works even if the lantern doesn't have any oil, meaning it makes the light itself and just needs the lantern as an ongoing focus, the [Light] descriptor (along with the [Fire] descriptor) for this spell actually makes sense and is unlikely to be Errata'd away; also note that Dancing Lantern lasts 1 hour per level, thus saving you from having to recast a Light Orison/Cantrip in the middle of potentially multiple battles. Furthermore, you might even be able to get real use out of what amounts to a [Light]-specific and single level version of Heighten spell that doesn't increase the level of the required spell slot, since bumping [Light] spells up by 1 level means that any [Darkness] spell that was just barely able to counter them without this can no longer counter them.

(**)This is assuming that you haven't already taken a Magic Trait -- if you have, it might be worth seeing if you can retrain; at the same time, use this feat to grab some other good trait for an arcane spellcaster that isn't on the Magic Traits list.

MT gets good around 15th level.

The ones before are pretty painful. If you need to grab some more spells domains can nick you some good ones, and there are a couple tricks to nab them. Depends on what spells you want. (Too late to be a samsaran?)

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With the Equipment Trick (Sunrod) early entry (which you could potentially do on BOTH base classes if you were starting at 1st level instead of already at 5th level), Mystic Theurge is only barely painful at all once you get past the very lowest levels.

On the off-chance that the original poster is playing a Half-Elf (since we haven't heard the party composition yet), I just remembered that Half-Elves can replace the Multitalented standard racial trait with the Multidisciplined alternate racial trait. Although this partly shoots itself in the foot by denying you a second Favored Class, for Mystic Theurge it would definitely be worth it, to make up for lost spellcasting levels in both Cleric and Sorcerer/Wizard, and it would stack with Magical Knack to make up for total 3 of 5 lost caster levels (unfortunately not lost spellcasting progression) on the Sorcerer/Wizard side, which gets you pretty close to what you could get with a Cohort, apart from not getting the action economy advantage of a Cohort.

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While losing a level of casting progression on a Cleric isn't that big a deal, and multiclass Clerics can work for some purposes, I wouldn't try to go theurge myself.

Take a look at the Pathfinder Savant Prestige Class, which loses one casting level - or loses no levels with Prestigious Spellcaster - in exchange for picking spells from other lists. If you simply want some Wizard list spells, this is much better than going the long road to theurge. The Savant is Pathfinder Society legal as well, so it's quite 'accepted' content (in PFS they require Spell Focus instead of Item Creation). I think it's actually a rather overlooked Prestige option.

Edit: Pathfinder Savant = AKA Arcane Savant on the SRD.

^This is a reasonable choice, but note that Prestigious Spellcaster requires Favored Prestige Class, which only gives its full benefit after you get all the levels of a prestige class, and Pathfinder Savant has only 7 levels(*) instead of 10, which cuts its benefit by 3 (hit or skill) points, and 10 (hit or skill points) is only half as good as Toughness or the new Cunning feat that people talk about but that doesn't seem to be available online yet, so make sure you can get good use out of the other half of Favored Prestige Class, which is basically 2/3 of Skill Focus (although it stacks with Skill Focus but DOESN'T stack with the split skill boost feats).

(*)And only the 6 levels after 1st give you an Esoteric Spell, even with Prestigious Spellcaster.

I just look at Prestigious Spellcaster as 2+ feats for 1+ whole spellcasting levels, and feel like I'm getting away with something.

^In this case, it's going to be exactly 2 feats and 1 spellcasting level, unless the original poster later goes into another prestige class AND Favored Prestige Class lets you take it more than once (I don't think it does, but due to incomplete site migration and lack of the old site, I can't check now).

Yes, which makes it great to have but not overwhelmingly desirable or necessary. It's more game-changing when it ends up granting a character something like three more spell levels.

^To get 3 more spell levels, that's 4 feats, which is 4/5 of a VMC and will probably hose any plans you had to use an actual VMC. So it doesn't seem overpowered -- the only possible exception might be if you had a spellcasting class and prestige class that had a lot of bonus feats. For that, even Wizard is probably not quite enough to cut it, or barely so (and forget about it for Cleric into anything a Cleric could qualify for) -- the only example I can think of would be Warpriest, but then I can't think of any prestige classes that would work well for Warpriest except as a dip (in which case Favfored Prestige Class becomes a feat tax even if you could find a good use for 2/3 of a Skill Focus), other than Evangelist (with which Prestigious Spellcaster doesn't work anyway, Rules As Written, because even though Aligned Class advances spellcasting, it never says +1 level of existing spellcasting class). If some prestige class that gave as many bonus feats as Eldritch Knight existed that had 3 lost levels of spellcasting, Wizard into that class might qualify for what I am talking about above, but Eldritch Knight as it is is rather bare except for the bonus feats, and only causes 1 level of spellcasting progression loss (indirectly, it causes 2 unless you got in with Oracle of Battle with the Skill at Arms Revelation, but 1 of those is loss due to your martial dip, so it doesn't count, because Prestigious Spellcaster doesn't work on it).

UnArcaneElection wrote:
^To get 3 more spell levels, that's 4 feats, which is 4/5 of a VMC and will probably hose any plans you had to use an actual VMC. So it doesn't seem overpowered -- the only possible exception might be if you had a spellcasting class and prestige class that had a lot of bonus feats.

It's a very heavy feat cost, but considering something like a high-level Dragon Disciple (say a straight Sorcerer/DD at level 14), it's the difference between 6/6/6/6/4 and 6/6/6/6/6/5/3, which is roughly the difference in casting ability between a Sorcerer and a Bard at that level. I wouldn't call it 'overpowered' exactly, because what is there to even really compare that kind of effect to?

It would be necessary to consider what one can do with the extra spells as opposed to the feats that would otherwise be able to go into something else, which is going to be highly dependent upon what else your build is doing. It would require something like . . . a playtest.

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