Playing style


Advice


Ok fellow gamers... I’m looking for some advice here

The short story first - I keep dying. In the last 3 AP I have lost 19 characters

Admittedly they have all been clerics... so I either suck at playing a cleric or something else is going on

I don’t think it’s my builds as I pretty much religiously (no pun intended) follow the cl ric guides

Cleric 1 - bad build ... no question
Cleric 2 - killed when he opened a sarcophagus and rolled like. 1 or 2 on a will save
Cleric 3 - charmed by singing eel things jumped into
Water and drowned (no the party didn’t save me)
Cleric 4 - smothered by a lurker above
Number 5 - got backed into a corner and couldn’t get away
6 - my own fault, wasn’t really listening and when somebody said check out these religious things I did and got attacked by 4 invisible rogue types with Armor piercing arrows... all with sneak damage
7- rolled a 1 on a will save and was paralysed in front of a greater mummy
8 - I can’t remember
9 - fell or was pushed can’t remember into a endless hole
10 - I think he survived the end of the AP
.... most famous and best death was one of the last ones... failed a will save again.. panicked... in order to stop me from running too far away our valiant dwarf fighter with a warhammer threw it to try and knock me unconscious... rolled a natural 20 and then confirmed it.... let’s just say that a small thermonuclear warhead would leave more bits behind from the damage he did.

And so on... some have been the result of bad rolls, one or two have been because the GM was a ***********!

The rest have been the result of bad choices maybe in spells...

So I guess the question is... I’m looking for resources and tips for better play... or is it that I just totally suck at clerics and should go play a bard?


It sounds like your party isn't good at working together to keep each other alive. It could be that they're the ones that would need to change.

Tho' personally I wouldn't run 3 similar characters in succession, much less 19.


Have they all been the same style of cleric? At this point I'd go probably go a full force tank paladin if you really need a divine caster/healer or something in your group.

Get fey foundling trait. Go for amazing saves. Possibly even grab iron will and improved to reroll a fatal crit fail. Throw on full plate, a heavy shield, and whatever natural armor, dodge, deflection, etc bonus you can get.


Very similar types of cleric I tried a few different flavours... holy vindicator... I think 10 was a dwarven cleric/holy vindicator/ stalwart defender with stupid AC of 40 something

2 deaths in the recent pile were because I was the back up healer (as the main healer couldn’t make every game and the GM decreed that if he wasn’t there we could let run his character as a npc)...

I have taken to wearing a red shirt at the game table (for those who get the Star Trek reference)

The current cleric I have built using the reach cleric build but doesn’t want to get within 30’ of any combat unless absolutely necessary and this time have taken iron will and greater iron will so my will save is like +25 and wanted to focus on touch type spells that rebuff and inflict... I took versatile channeller so I could harm or heal.... but we are near the end of this AP so hopefully he can survive long enough...

It’s my turn to GM after this one so I’ll have a break from character builds!


Leitner wrote:

Have they all been the same style of cleric? At this point I'd go probably go a full force tank paladin if you really need a divine caster/healer or something in your group.

Get fey foundling trait. Go for amazing saves. Possibly even grab iron will and improved to reroll a fatal crit fail. Throw on full plate, a heavy shield, and whatever natural armor, dodge, deflection, etc bonus you can get.

I didn’t start out playing clerics in the last AP first one was a rogue but then the guy who played the cleric left the group... and I had just died due to.....being hit by a giant with a great axe for a triple confirmed critical... There was no coming back from that


Welcome to the "I got one-shot by a big monster with a greataxe" club. Lost my favorite PC that way.

We should make T-shirts!

Silver Crusade

Make sure you're boosting your saving throws. My rule of thumb is to spend 1/4 of my wealth on my Cloak of Resistance.

Don't take unnecessary chances. If you're doing something where a fall would be fatal, use a rope. Don't stay in melee with single digit hit points. Ask yourself, "What would happen if the enemy's next attack was a crit?".


avr wrote:
It sounds like your party isn't good at working together to keep each other alive. It could be that they're the ones that would need to change.

The evidence:


  • Cleric 2 - killed when he opened a sarcophagus and rolled like. 1 or 2 on a will save
  • Cleric 4 - smothered by a lurker above
  • Number 5 - got backed into a corner and couldn’t get away
  • 6 - ... when somebody said check out these religious things I did and got attacked by 4 invisible rogue types with Armor piercing arrows... all with sneak damage
  • 7- rolled a 1 on a will save and was paralysed in front of a greater mummy

Situations 4, 5, and 7 should have had the party working desperately to save the cleric. Situation 2 should have had someone else open the sarcophagus with the cleric on standby to remove any cursed condition that resulted. Situation 6 was the party walking into an ambush and the cleric taking the brunt of it.

Do the other PCs die at a similar rate? I remember in my AD&D days that the tactics against an enemy group was to kill their healer first, since that made killing the rest of them easier. In our current Pathfinder games, no-one would be able to tell who is the healer, since Hero Points and good teamwork make combat healing almost never necessary. (The primary healer is the strix skald flying around with the lucerne hammer. The gunslinger with the medical kit and the bloodrager with the potions are the backups.)

Try playing another class to break you and the other players of whichever habits killed the clerics and the rogue.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

blahpers wrote:

Welcome to the "I got one-shot by a big monster with a greataxe" club. Lost my favorite PC that way.

We should make T-shirts!

My druid that way when he cast cure light wounds on his animal companion, and got an AoO crit from an orc with a greataxe. 3d12+12 vs 2nd level druid = no more druid.

(But he got raised, but I still needed to get a new animal companion...)

EDIT:

Definitely try mixing it up, class-wise. A Fey Foundling paladin is very durable. Or maybe try an unbreakable barbarian.

A paladin with Fey Foundling, Power Attack, and VMC Cavalier Order of the Stars, Iron Will and Improved Iron Will and Toughness will have great healing potential and survivability.


Mathmuse wrote:
avr wrote:
It sounds like your party isn't good at working together to keep each other alive. It could be that they're the ones that would need to change.

The evidence:


  • Cleric 2 - killed when he opened a sarcophagus and rolled like. 1 or 2 on a will save
  • Cleric 4 - smothered by a lurker above
  • Number 5 - got backed into a corner and couldn’t get away
  • 6 - ... when somebody said check out these religious things I did and got attacked by 4 invisible rogue types with Armor piercing arrows... all with sneak damage
  • 7- rolled a 1 on a will save and was paralysed in front of a greater mummy

Situations 4, 5, and 7 should have had the party working desperately to save the cleric. Situation 2 should have had someone else open the sarcophagus with the cleric on standby to remove any cursed condition that resulted. Situation 6 was the party walking into an ambush and the cleric taking the brunt of it.

Do the other PCs die at a similar rate? I remember in my AD&D days that the tactics against an enemy group was to kill their healer first, since that made killing the rest of them easier. In our current Pathfinder games, no-one would be able to tell who is the healer, since Hero Points and good teamwork make combat healing almost never necessary. (The primary healer is the strix skald flying around with the lucerne hammer. The gunslinger with the medical kit and the bloodrager with the potions are the backups.)

Try playing another class to break you and the other players of whichever habits killed the clerics and the rogue.

The fighter has cheesed his character out (ok dwarf fighting giants - obvious choice) has died twice but he is very hard to hit, I think vs Giants his AC is like 40

The wizard has never died....
the archer has died once but he only shows up when he can (he is a bit of a part time player due to family reasons) and the rogue has died twice in this AP..

I should note that most of the deaths occurred during shatter star... that was just brutal on characters I think over all we lost at least 30 between 5 of us... I still remember one game . Opened a door.... make will save ... rolls a 1— instant death....disintegrate trap or something...


I’ve spoken with the GM so when I get home
I’ll post my current build and see where we can make improvements

Scarab Sages

I have a guy in my current group with a very similar problem. Unfortunately, there isn't much help I can give, other than sometimes characters just die. Sometimes you fight a Banshee and blow a save. Sometimes you get hit with Flesh to Stone and your party loses a fight because you were dead. It happens.

That being said, it may be a group approach to problems that is getting you killed, or you may just be playing in a hyper lethal game. I'd be interested to know how Cleric #2 died from failing a Will Save when opening a sarcophagus. It seems like they may have been low level, and I'd be surprised if you sprung a 100% lethal trap at low levels.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

it sounds like your group/DM is fairly unforgiving in playstyle, just by hearing those overall numbers. Some groups/players prefer it that way, others do not. If you and the other players are disheartened by it, perhaps mention it to the DM as food for thought on his side.


I wouldn't. There are some nasty freaking traps out there. Heck, an unlucky squishy could get one-shot by a CR 2 spiked pit trap (max 30 damage before crits come into play...hey, it happens).


Davor wrote:
I'd be interested to know how Cleric #2 died from failing a Will Save when opening a sarcophagus. It seems like they may have been low level, and I'd be surprised if you sprung a 100% lethal trap at low levels.

After conferring with the GM who ran that, it wasn't actually on the sarcophagus, it was on an amulet that the body was wearing, I cast detect magic on it, and it glowed, but the GM determined that in order to get more detail I had to handle the item, that's when the trigger happened. Basically it was instant death, but your soul was replaced, so I had to wander around as a female cleric for a while...

Hence Baldric became Baldrina.


Rathendar wrote:
it sounds like your group/DM is fairly unforgiving in playstyle, just by hearing those overall numbers. Some groups/players prefer it that way, others do not. If you and the other players are disheartened by it, perhaps mention it to the DM as food for thought on his side.

Our GM's have been to play creatures as intelligent, and never pull punches...

There was really only one death that ****** me off... I was invisible and got knocked unconscious by a spell I think, as I next to the creature, the GM rolled to see if it noticed me, he rolled a natural 20 and coup de grace'd me.


Diablo2970 wrote:
Rathendar wrote:
it sounds like your group/DM is fairly unforgiving in playstyle, just by hearing those overall numbers. Some groups/players prefer it that way, others do not. If you and the other players are disheartened by it, perhaps mention it to the DM as food for thought on his side.

Our GM's have been to play creatures as intelligent, and never pull punches...

There was really only one death that ****** me off... I was invisible and got knocked unconscious by a spell I think, as I next to the creature, the GM rolled to see if it noticed me, he rolled a natural 20 and coup de grace'd me.

prd wrote:
You can't deliver a coup de grace against a creature that is immune to critical hits. You can deliver a coup de grace against a creature with total concealment, but doing this requires two consecutive full-round actions (one to "find" the creature once you've determined what square it's in, and one to deliver the coup de grace).

Your GM didn't follow this rule. An additional round may have given the party another round to save you. Invisibility provides total concealment.


He might not of meant the game mechanic coup de grace and rather just the term for finish me off. (I didn't think you had to roll to coup de grace game mechnic wise it was treat as auto crit but I could be wrong. I haven't looked it up recently. )


So meet Besh:

Half-Orc Cleric 17 of Mhar

Domains: Earth and Ash
Racial Abilities +2 Wisdom

Current AC: 33, Current HP: 159

STR: 10/14, Dex 16, Con 12/16, Int 10, Wis 20/24, Cha 12/16

Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Reach Spell, Selective Channel, Spell Penetration, Spring Attack, Toughness, Versatile Channel, Iron Will

Traits: Exalted of the Society, Disillusioned

Magic Items: Belt of Physical Might (Inherited from previous), Cloak of Resist +2, Headband of Mental Prowess +4 (WIS, CON), Ring of Protection +2, Ioun Stones (Pink and Green Sphere and Dusty Rose Prism), Ring of Sustenance, Amulet of Natural Armor +5

Armour: +5 Agile Breastplate (crafted)
He doesn't have a shield at the moment, because there aren't any his size ... we have been fighting giants!

Spells:
Domain: Burning Hands, Soften Earth and Stone, Stone Shape, Wall of Fire, Fire Shield, Stoneskin, Elemental Body IV (Earth only), Incendiary Cloud

0 - Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Guidance, Resistance
1 - Bless, Burning Disarm, Detect Evil, Entropic Shield, Remove Fear, Shield of Faith
2 - Endure Elements - Communal, Healing Token, Hold Person, Inflict Moderate Wounds, Protection from Evil - Communal, Spiritual Weapon
3 - Agonize, dispel magic, Inflict Serious Wounds, Magic Vestment, Prayer, Resist Energy - Communal
4 - Aura of Doom, Curse of Unexpected death, Inflict critical wounds, poison, protection from energy - communal
5 - Breath of Life, Flame Strike, Life bubble, slay living, spell resistance
6 - Blade Barrier, Cold Ice Strike, Harm, Heal, Joyful Rapture
7 - Destruction, Jolting Portent, Repulsion
8 - Angelic Aspect, Greater, Stormbolts
9 - Scourge of the Horsemen.

I originally built her to do spring touch attacks but have changed my mind since then


Vidmaster7 wrote:
He might not of meant the game mechanic coup de grace and rather just the term for finish me off. (I didn't think you had to roll to coup de grace game mechnic wise it was treat as auto crit but I could be wrong. I haven't looked it up recently. )

It was a while ago, so I can't honestly remember the exact words...

but basically he finished me off.... we have only just since re-found that rule about total concealment.

Just like the stabilise check - we always assumed DC10, but its not its DC10 + how many negative hit points you have....


Yeah that is an easy one to miss. I think the heal check doesn't care what negatives your at unless your dead however so that helps.


blahpers wrote:

Welcome to the "I got one-shot by a big monster with a greataxe" club. Lost my favorite PC that way.

We should make T-shirts!

Definitely !

a second version -

Make a will save - you are confused...
Rolls..... attacks nearest creature... and its an archer.... oh dear.

Silver Crusade

At that level, you should have a +5 Cloak of Resistance.

Scarab Sages

Well, as for analyzing your character, let me start with this right off the bat:

A 33 AC looks far more impressive than it really is. 15 above your level is generally considered decent, but being tanky requires at LEAST a 20+, which would be 37. You could achieve this relatively cheaply by spending one of your Spring Attack feats for Heavy Armor proficiency and picking up Mithral Full-Plate. That alone would bring your AC up to 36 for just a little extra investment. You also said you don't have a shield because you've been fighting giants, but what about all your other gear? Aren't you a new character? A +1 heavy shield, while it may not seem like much, is really cheap and puts your AC over the top, bringing it up to 39, a respectable number. For what it's worth, an Amulet of Natural Armor +5 costs TWICE as much as a +5 Heavy Shield. You could get an Amulet of Natural Armor +3, a +5 Heavy Shield, and basically cover the difference cost between your current breastplate and an upgrade to Mithral Full-Plate, which would put your AC, if my math is correct, at a 41. THAT'S a reasonable AC.

I would completely get rid of those inflict spells you have prepared (except Harm, which is a REALLY good spell). Change your feats out to ones that will either A) Improve your Defenses, or B) Improve your spellcasting. Higher save DCs will go a long way. I also notice you only have a Cloak of Resistance +2. Your stats are okay, but you REALLY ought to consider changing some part of your gear out for a +5. That headband you have may be holding you back. I know you want the extra channels and higher channel DCs (as indicated by your feat choices), but really that +4 Charisma is only giving you two extra channels and a +2 to their DC. If you got just a Headband of Inspired Wisdom +4, you could EASILY boost yourself up to a Cloak of Resistance +5 and STILL have money left over. The game assumes that you have one by level 17, and deadly effects are way more common at that level.

Just at a glance, it seems like your character is under WBL for his level, despite being a "new" character. Is your DM penalizing you? Or are there other expenses that aren't listed? If that Belt of Physical Might is counting against your WBL, I would drop it in a heartbeat. If you want the extra Hit Points, just get a Con. belt and spend that extra money on boosting your AC. Heck, maybe even on some Boots of Springing and Striding, just to get you out of trouble faster.


Some good advice just above from Davor. Good advice that can be generalized.

Always spend a lot of the funds you have for magic items on things that keep you alive. Good AC, saving throws. Getting several that stack is much cheaper than one of a greater value.

2 items giving +2 to AC cost much less than 1 giving +4.

Spending funds on stuff that keeps you alive is more important playing classes like wizard that are innately vulnerable.


Davor wrote:

Well, as for analyzing your character, let me start with this right off the bat:

A 33 AC looks far more impressive than it really is. 15 above your level is generally considered decent, but being tanky requires at LEAST a 20+, which would be 37. You could achieve this relatively cheaply by spending one of your Spring Attack feats for Heavy Armor proficiency and picking up Mithral Full-Plate. That alone would bring your AC up to 36 for just a little extra investment. You also said you don't have a shield because you've been fighting giants, but what about all your other gear? Aren't you a new character?

Our group and GM has made it a policy for a long time that new characters can only use what the previous one had. We are nearing the end of this AP, and deep within the enemy's fortress, and because the previous character was a more militant cleric, he liked to go in with the warrior after doing as much buffing as possible, he also wielded a greatsword (story item), so he never had a shield.

Davor wrote:
I would completely get rid of those inflict spells you have prepared (except Harm, which is a REALLY good spell). Change your feats out to ones that will either A) Improve your Defenses, or B) Improve your spellcasting. Higher save DCs will go a long way. I also notice you only have a Cloak of Resistance +2. Your stats are okay, but you REALLY ought to consider changing some part of your gear out for a +5.

We didn't have enough money or time to create the high level cloaks before going into where we are, and there is no way out at the moment... hopefully what I have will keep him alive til the end. (which I don't think is very far, as we are in the last book of the AP)

I've already told the group, the next game after I finish my GM stint, I want the rogue. A plain simple, rogue. No spellcasting, no silly stuff, just a guy who likes to sneak ahead, scout and report...oh and collect shiny bits of gold.

Appreciate all the help guys, it seems like I have to modify my play style...oh and stay away from bloody clerics for a while!


If you're dying as a cleric, you are really not going to last as a rogue under the unforgiving DM.


Maybe your group could try Hero Points. They work pretty well for us, and if people really like things riskier they can always spend the Hero Points on silly stuff and showing off.

Yeah, I know, Hero Points are for wimps, but some groups find it less unseemly than lots of Raise Dead (which really sits wrong with some folks)

Scarab Sages

Diablo2970 wrote:


Our group and GM has made it a policy for a long time that new characters can only use what the previous one had. We are nearing the end of this AP, and deep within the enemy's fortress, and because the previous character was a more militant cleric, he liked to go in with the warrior after doing as much buffing as possible, he also wielded a greatsword (story item), so he never had a shield.

Ah. This is probably why you keep dying. At least it likely contributes to it.

Your DM's heart is in the right place, but this is not a great houserule. He'd be better of doing something like "Your new character has items at the same WBL, but your old character gets buried with his stuff/it's sent to his family, etc.". You're basically FORCED into either suboptimal gear, or playing a character almost basically the same as your previous one, neither of which is a fun part of bringing in a new character.

I would talk to your DM about possibly rebuilding your character, especially given your numerous deaths and lack of synergy with the old.

Since you're nearing the end of the AP, maybe just tough it out and swamp out some spells for now, but I would suggest it regardless.

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