Full caster reach(?) build


Advice


I always liked the idea of the cleric reach build, but it never clicked for me... maybe it was the skill points or just lack of "flavor" (yes I know you can flavor them it is a vague term in that they dont get a whole lot of unique flavors) I'm playing in pfs and have a archer inquisitor with a animal companion and a empiricist investigator.. and trying to come up with something different. Just trying to find something that can be str based but move into full caster mode later on. Any ideas?


A reach goliath druid could work well, as could a reach oracle with the wood or battle mysteries.


Funny enough those were the two I was looking at. Think the spirit guide might be good. Just wasn't sure if I'm missing any


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Shaman with Battle Spirit is another excellent choice for a Divine, full-casting, reach build.

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Another option is a Psychic or a psychic bloodline sorcerer. Psychic spellcasting allows you to both not need hands and cast in heavy armor. Bab is poor, but with buffs and only making AoOs it's not so bad.


Hmm... it looks like the best option might be a battle oracle with the spirit guide archetype to poach abilities from the battle spirit,

An 8th level spirit guide oracle with the battle mystery (weapon master revelation and Extra Revelation (maneuver master)) and the battle spirit (battle master hex and battle spirit ability) gets Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, Improved Trip, an extra +2 on trip attempts, an extra attack of opportunity, and +2 attack and damage for the whole party several rounds per day. You can use a longspear or grab proficiency with your favorite reach weapon. Toss in Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, a solid strength score, and lots of castings of enlarge person, and you've got a pretty terrifying melee beast to rule the battlefield, all without losing a single level of spellcasting.


Wish I could do ancient lorekeeper with the spirit guide but dont think they stack. I kinda like the idea that it is a floating spirit.. Ideally go battle and go at it but I could be open for life or knowledge later on. This is for PFS after all, I like the ability to be able to shift by need. Any other archetype stack with the spirit guide?


ekibus wrote:
Any other archetype stack with the spirit guide?

Black-blooded oracle, elementalist oracle, and possessed oracle.


my question is, what do you mean by full caster mode?
reason being a str person won't have the best casting stat for you casting. Also, if you plan on casting most of your rounds then the str is more wasted.
Which to me seems like you should be a full caster focusing on full casting from the get go


Goes back to the cleric reach guide. The argument that a cleric is more martial earlier in the game and in later levels can rely more on his spells. I would probably go with summons later on. The teach build is the idea you could still cast but maybe take a wack at something with a reach weapon as a attack of opp.martial feats would be minimal while working on long term feats. So power attack and reflexes then summon feats


The other reason reach *clerics* are preferred is that you can take the Sacred Summons feat to get standard action summons instead of full-round ones that prevent you from making AoOs entirely.

So I wouldn't recommend summoning as a focus for reach casters unless they are clerics (or are another class with the aura class feature). You'd need to have something else useful you can do with standard action spells until people run up to where you can AoO them.

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For a PbP, I made a sorcerer 6/cavalier 1/eldritch knight that used a glaive. It was ALMOST a full caster. Not optimized, but pretty fun. He and the party barbarian both had Precise Strike for flanking shenanigans.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

The other reason reach *clerics* are preferred is that you can take the Sacred Summons feat to get standard action summons instead of full-round ones that prevent you from making AoOs entirely.

So I wouldn't recommend summoning as a focus for reach casters unless they are clerics (or are another class with the aura class feature). You'd need to have something else useful you can do with standard action spells until people run up to where you can AoO them.

I just realized that Sacred Summons doesn't require that your Aura of {insert alignment here} and ability to cast Summon Monster come from the same class, and it doesn't actually care about what level you are in the Aura class as long as you have the Aura. So for instance if you go the Sorcadin route, you qualify for this feat.

Combinations that work for this:

  • Paladin or Antipaladin 2/Sorcerer 6/Eldritch Knight 10 (as mentioned above) -- loses 3 levels of spellcasting progression (2 if you manage to squeeze in Favored Prestige Class and Prestigious Spellcaster), but getting Charisma bonus to all Saves is too good to pass up if you're dipping Paladin (or Antipaladin) at all, even though you get the Aura at 1st level.
  • Warpriest 1/Sorcerer 6/Eldritch Knight 10 -- less loss of spellcasting progression, but not great synergy otherwise (somewhat better if you go Empyreal Sorcerer).
  • Any 9/9 arcane or divine spellcaster 5 or 6 (prepared or spontaneous, respectively)/Hellknight Signifer 10 -- restricted to Aura of Law, and if your class doesn't give you Medium armor proficiency, you're going to have to get it somehow, but on the other hand, NO loss of spellcasting progression if you don't need a dip to get Medium armor proficiency; best for divine primary classes but can be made to work with arcane primary classes.
  • Any 9/9 arcane or divine spellcaster VMC Cleric -- technically this works, but VMC Cleric is just bad (2 of the VMC levels are just making up for deficiencies in earlier VMC levels), and has the same problems as VMC Paladin (see below).
  • Any 9/9 arcane or divine spellcaster VMC Paladin -- not great, but at least each VMC level potentially does something for you other than make up for a deficiency of a previous VMC level, although some of the abilities come horrifically late; if you're arcane, you're going to need a martial dip and Eldritch Knight to keep from being completely hosed on Base Attack Bonus.


I would be looking at an Aberrant Sorcerer, the extra Reach from 3rd will keep you that little more out of harms way. The only melee Feat I would advise taking is Power Attack, you just won't get the multiple AoOp often enough to make Combat Reflexes worth your while. This also means you can leave Dex at 10.


^Even if you have the Strength, Power Attack is going to be terrible on a 1/2 BAB character (Eldritch Knight will eventually get it to 3/4, but this is normally still not good for Power Attack, although you can mitigate much of the penalty with Blade Tutor's Spirit, thus mainly suffering from slow progression of Power Attack). If you're seriously going Reach and are up against multiple enemies at a time (and they don't all hang back and make ranged/spell attacks), you definitely want Combat Reflexes -- not having Combat Reflexes mostly defeats the purpose of going Reach.


Sorcadins & similar can have the problem that their spell levels are a bit behind the best. Since summoning is heavily spell level dependent - there are very few summoning spells which are situationally better than higher level ones - this hurts them badly as summoners.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

The other reason reach *clerics* are preferred is that you can take the Sacred Summons feat to get standard action summons instead of full-round ones that prevent you from making AoOs entirely.

So I wouldn't recommend summoning as a focus for reach casters unless they are clerics (or are another class with the aura class feature). You'd need to have something else useful you can do with standard action spells until people run up to where you can AoO them.

Or druids that have totemic summoning ?


So question from left field. The point of the reach build for me is to allow me to be useful in the early levels. One direction I was thinking was going arcanist with the occultist archetype. Any ideas how to get me through the first few levels?


ekibus wrote:
So question from left field. The point of the reach build for me is to allow me to be useful in the early levels. One direction I was thinking was going arcanist with the occultist archetype. Any ideas how to get me through the first few levels?

Summon early, summon often. When you can, grab a familiar to deliver touch spells for you. I like the thrush or raven, since they can fly and speak. They make great scouts, and the fly speed will make it easier to land touch spells on people out of reach.


Haven't done a full caster in a long time, maybe I should bite the bullet. Thing with the arcanist is I need a lot of feats. I like the arcanist for the ability to be versatile. Standard summons for a min per at a wizard speed doesn't hurt. Arcane points scare me though. Summons and a crossbow for a few levels.


Ray of frost is a decent back-up option.
Wand of magic missile is great for PFS, spend 2 prestige and have all the offense you need for a long time.
Because MM deals 3.5 damage always, which is pretty good when you compare it to +2 for 1d8+3 (14 str) that's 7.5 damage, but it's not consistent, so your DPR is 4.33 against AC 12. Against AC 14 your DPR is 3.54.
So against AC 14+ MM is just as good if not better than having 14 str with a longspear.
So instead of needing the point buy for STR, DEX and CON to survive near the frontline and some constant source of AC, all you need is a wand that you buy with prestige.
Please stay away from crossbow, it's so inaccurate that ray of frost is a better option for you.


I think at this point I'm leaning towards the arcanist or the oracle...the oracle seems to have a lot of flexibility so it is appealing to me

Grand Lodge

Dual cursed oracles of battle are great.


Druid or Oracle FTW.... cleric is a poor choice IMO.


Dual cursed is really nice, spirit guide is really nice with getting the wandering spirit... at 3 I can pick one and all the spells get added to my spell list at 7 I get the minor ability.


Remember though you're going for a reach build/melee + spells.... if its pure caster you're looking for then cleric should be the go to option.

Plus I think I remember reading that Spirit Guide + Wandering Spirit doesnt actually work RAW...


Problem i have with the cleric is it feels a bit mad and the 2+ int for skills really sucks to me. Sorry spirit guide is a archetype.. basically the ability at level 3 to get a wandering spirit.. so every day you can pick one and gain the bonus spells. What is a solid option is taking the life spirit and round off the healing and at level 7 gain the channel ability...just a example


Yes I know its an archetype, I just dont think it works with Wandering Spirit... I could be wrong... something to do with prepared vs spont casting or something....

Grand Lodge

I like dual cursed for the force multiplier effect. You can make casters better without effecting action economy and you can save people from failed saves using the same ability. More spells on the spell list is good it's always worth getting heroism but it seems weaker to me and, though I love the spell, less interesting strategically. For me it's more fun to try and use misfortune in a life saving moment then I put heroism up at the beginning of a dungeon.

Both are great options though. You will have fun either way.


Wow this is a delayed reaction. @Doc Roc Think I mentioned it before, I agree the cleric probably would be the better caster choice, I just feel like they are too mad/skills are lacking and not much in the frills department. So there might be a ruling that I couldn't float the level 3 spirit around everyday? That would really suck. I really like the druid but the goliath and the saurian revolve heavily around dinosaurs...and I admit I have a issue with dinosaurs in a fantasy game...yeah I know it is fantasy...but it feels silly to me.
@Grandlounge I really want to like the dual cursed but I've never really seen it work as intended. IE person uses misfortune but finds out he is 35ft away or had already used it on the opponent. If spirit guide works how I hope it does I would have some decent options at a pfs table (ie if there is no "healer" I could go life or if melee is short I could do nature for summons and a big companion.

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