Reach Cleric for Rise of the Runelords (Core Rulebok Only)


Advice

Sovereign Court

So after a bit of a hiatus, my group will be going through Rise of the Runelords. But here's the tricky part: due to 2 other player's hatred for the vast array of books released over the years, this game will be Core Rulebook only content, using 20 Point Buy.

Which means all of the stuff that I usually take for granted (such as character traits) are right out the window.

It'll be a group of 4 (unless someone drops out), with the only confirmation so far to be:

Human or Dwarf Ranger (switch hitter)
Me (Cleric)

The other two players will probably be a Rogue and a Sorcerer or Wizard, but that could easily change.

So I'm looking at a Core Rulebook Only version of the Reach Cleric. Assume party tactics to not be ideal at times.

So far, I'm looking at a Shoanti Cleric of Desna, playing it up as a shaman-type of character:

Core Rulebook Reach Cleric wrote:

Kurdan Sky-Whisper, Shoanti Cleric of Desna

Ability Scores: TDB

Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
Domains: Luck, Travel
Skills: Acrobatics, Perception (& other skills if high enough INT)

Equipment: Scale Mail, Longspear, Wooden Holy Symbol of Desna covered with Holly and Mistletoe, various mundane gear, Potions of Enlarge Person (at higher levels)

Biggest trouble I'm having is how to handle Acrobatics and Perception, which aren't class skills. One possibility I thought of was taking Skill Focus in both skills at some point to help offset the lack of the +3 class skill bonus, but I'm hesitant about doing that.

So any advice will be helpful for a Core Rulebook Reach Cleric.


The easiest solution to your Acrobatic/Perception issue is a simple one, but probably won't be very popular. Multiclass, if only for a single level. I'd recommend Rogue or Bard, simply for the skill points. The Reflex bonus would be nice and the bard song/spells (limited as they are) would compliment things a bit without distracting too much from your own spellcasting. Or just dip a level of barbarian. Not a lot of skill points, but they get the Acrobatic and the Perception skills in class and gives you a few rounds of rage for emergencies.

Personally, I'd go with the Bard 1 dip route. Countersoung & Distraction, are not level dependent, merely ranks in Perform. The ability to use spell activation items on the bard spell list is nothing to sniff at either.


Perception is of course a valuable skill, but it not being a class skill isn't that big of a deal. The +3 others would get for having it as a class skill will be offset by your WIS bonus, giving you a pretty good perception anyway.

Personally I think a reach cleric is just fine without Acrobatics at all, but if that is the play style you like, you could take skill focus and have a decent skill level. Personally, if that was my concern I'd be more likely to take mobility and focus on upping my AC, probably you would end up with almost as good a chance against most foes, maybe even better and it would have the advantage of sucking up opponents attacks of opportunity (if they don't have combat reflexes, and they miss you, they can't try against anyone else.) That would also leave your skill ranks open for something that might be more important, especially if you end up with a sorcerer instead of a wizard who won't have all the knowledge or spellcraft skills.


Umm...what are your stats going to look like? Are you going to be OK as a cleric? Wis is your primary, Cha if you want extra channels, Dex is needed for Combat Reflexes, and Str is a direct feed for melee. Aren't you too all over the place to be good at anything?

Wis 16(+2) Cha 12 Dex 12 Str 14 Int 9 Con 12 is one possible stat array. Assuming human, for any other race take away the (+2) and add whatever is appropriate.

I'd feel better if the character was a little more focused. Then again I'm not a huge fan of Combat Reflexes so I'm biased. I do think you'd do better overall if you went for something more like

Wis 16(+2), Str 14, Cha 14, Int 10, Dex 10, Con 10. Or Con 14 and count on buffs you throw to give you a chance to hit. But I don't like throwing a lot of buffs before you fight.

You could make Cha your primary stat too. Wis sets DC but if you stick to buffing and healing, who cares about DC? Extra channels are nice, and high Cha sets you up to become the face of the party. If there is a sorcerer they can do it, but if its a wizard then you're the only player with a reason to go Cha at all.

Personally it Irks me quite a bit hearing 'no traits' for Rise of the Runelords since the AP has its own campaign based traits. I'd argue with the GM that every character should be required to take one. Since all of the traits are in the same category, you can only pick one of them. If they don't want to let you have a second trait that is fine, just seriously you should have access to the stuff introduced in the AP!

Sovereign Court

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DeathlessOne wrote:

The easiest solution to your Acrobatic/Perception issue is a simple one, but probably won't be very popular. Multiclass, if only for a single level. I'd recommend Rogue or Bard, simply for the skill points. The Reflex bonus would be nice and the bard song/spells (limited as they are) would compliment things a bit without distracting too much from your own spellcasting. Or just dip a level of barbarian. Not a lot of skill points, but they get the Acrobatic and the Perception skills in class and gives you a few rounds of rage for emergencies.

Personally, I'd go with the Bard 1 dip route. Countersoung & Distraction, are not level dependent, merely ranks in Perform. The ability to use spell activation items on the bard spell list is nothing to sniff at either.

Normally, I wouldn't be opposed to multiclassing, even on a caster. Usually I grab Magical Knack as one of my traits, and accept the slower progression of spells (only slightly worse than an Oracle). But the no traits this is making that rough.

I thought about Barbarian as well. Just don't know if it's worth it.

Dave Justus wrote:

Perception is of course a valuable skill, but it not being a class skill isn't that big of a deal. The +3 others would get for having it as a class skill will be offset by your WIS bonus, giving you a pretty good perception anyway.

Personally I think a reach cleric is just fine without Acrobatics at all, but if that is the play style you like, you could take skill focus and have a decent skill level. Personally, if that was my concern I'd be more likely to take mobility and focus on upping my AC, probably you would end up with almost as good a chance against most foes, maybe even better and it would have the advantage of sucking up opponents attacks of opportunity (if they don't have combat reflexes, and they miss you, they can't try against anyone else.) That would also leave your skill ranks open for something that might be more important, especially if you end up with a sorcerer instead of a wizard who won't have all the knowledge or spellcraft skills.

Yeah, you make a good point. On the up side, I could go Dodge/Mobility/Spring Attack while I'm at it. Maybe I'll play around with something using that route:

1st level: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
3rd level: Power Attack
5th level: Dodge
7th level: Mobility
9th level: Quicken Spell
11th level: Spring Attack

Meirril wrote:

Umm...what are your stats going to look like? Are you going to be OK as a cleric? Wis is your primary, Cha if you want extra channels, Dex is needed for Combat Reflexes, and Str is a direct feed for melee. Aren't you too all over the place to be good at anything?

Wis 16(+2) Cha 12 Dex 12 Str 14 Int 9 Con 12 is one possible stat array. Assuming human, for any other race take away the (+2) and add whatever is appropriate.

I'd feel better if the character was a little more focused. Then again I'm not a huge fan of Combat Reflexes so I'm biased. I do think you'd do better overall if you went for something more like

Wis 16(+2), Str 14, Cha 14, Int 10, Dex 10, Con 10. Or Con 14 and count on buffs you throw to give you a chance to hit. But I don't like throwing a lot of buffs before you fight.

You could make Cha your primary stat too. Wis sets DC but if you stick to buffing and healing, who cares about DC? Extra channels are nice, and high Cha sets you up to become the face of the party. If there is a sorcerer they can do it, but if its a wizard then you're the only player with a reason to go Cha at all.

Personally it Irks me quite a bit hearing 'no traits' for Rise of the Runelords since the AP has its own campaign based traits. I'd argue with the GM that every character should be required to take one. Since all of the traits are in the same category, you can only pick one of them. If they don't want to let you have a second trait that is fine, just seriously you should have access to the stuff introduced in the AP!

Well, I haven't thought too much about stats. It depends on whether I want channeling or not. One thing I learned is that you don't need a high Wisdom when playing a melee-oriented Cleric. Those types usually go for buff/condition removal/utility, in which the DC isn't crucial.

I was thinking of something like:

STR+ 15, DEX 14, CON 14, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 12 (if some usage of channeling will be needed); or

STR+ 17, DEX 14, CON 14, INT 12, WIS 14, CHA 7 (if channeling isn't needed)

1st level stat increase will be to STR at 4th. (Of course, it's more efficient for the 2nd array using this scheme, less on the first; special thanks to Sir Thugsalot's 20 Point Buy Paint By Numbers approach).

As to traits, I can try talking to the GM, but 2 of the players have some strange thoughts at times (but everyone as far as gamers/friends are concerned, are pretty awesome). For instance, they think Unchained Rogue is over the top. Probably because they think the normal Rogue is ok as it is and didn't need to be improved. *shrug*

=============

So, 1st rough draft, assuming I'm going to need to keep some channeling for utility healing:

STR+ 15, DEX 14, CON 14, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 12

Domains: Luck, Travel

Feat Progression:
1) Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
3) Power Attack (possibly moving this to level 5 or 7; not sure)
5) Dodge
7) Mobility
9) Quicken Spell
11) Spring Attack
13) Lunge
15) Strike Back
17) Vital Strike
19) Improved Vital Strike

I may or may not want crafting feats in there. I always have problems figuring out what feats I should take at higher levels. Of course, the way our group plays, I expect a TPK long before I would need to worry about it!


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Arassuil wrote:

Normally, I wouldn't be opposed to multiclassing, even on a caster. Usually I grab Magical Knack as one of my traits, and accept the slower progression of spells (only slightly worse than an Oracle). But the no traits this is making that rough.

I thought about Barbarian as well. Just don't know if it's worth it.

I have found, in my experience, that slightly delayed spellcasting is really not that of a big deal. Sure, from an optimization stand point, you never want to delay or sacrifice power, but outside of single character theory building, the group dynamic and tactical play more than make up for it. But, good luck convincing anyone else of that.

Personally, I find playing a pure cleric fairly boring. I am more of the 3/4 BAB, 6th level casting, got-something-to-do-in-every-situation, rough and tumble kind of player. I once played an Archeologist Bard that dipped FOUR levels into Sleuth Investigator (6 Bard/4 Investigator/10 Bard) just because I thought having a Luck pool would be more effective than 3rd level Bard spells (I’d get 6th level spells .. eventually) and the cleric already had haste. And it ended up saving the party from a TPK. Man, that character was ALL over the place. Good times.

But, back on topic, your build looks good though Spring Attack and Vital Strike seems counter productive. Maybe Spring-heeled Style? And Improved Spring Attack?. You’ll need to make room for Nimble Moves, though.


So no feats into Channeling? I can see why you expect there to be a TPK. 12 cha will give you 4 channels, 7 will give you 2 channels. You need at least a 13 cha to get selective channeling which lets you deny cha mod opponents from benefiting from your channel. As long as you build for it, Channel is an excellent scaling source of group heals. Selective Channeling is almost a mandatory feat for clerics.

You're spending all of your feats to be a pole arm fighter. Are you sure you're going to be able to adequately handle the cleric part of the job? I think your concentrating too much effort on making melee effective.


Meirril wrote:
So no feats into Channeling? I can see why you expect there to be a TPK. 12 cha will give you 4 channels, 7 will give you 2 channels. You need at least a 13 cha to get selective channeling which lets you deny cha mod opponents from benefiting from your channel. As long as you build for it, Channel is an excellent scaling source of group heals. Selective Channeling is almost a mandatory feat for clerics.

Typically, a Cleric has better things to do with their actions than channel energy. This should be obvious just from looking at the channel energy scaling; it scales at 1d6 per every other level, where offensive magic scales at 1d6 per level. And offensive magic isn't even all that great at hurting things.

Quick Channel makes channel energy far more useful, since it's no longer competing with actual spells for the standard action, but this is a core only game so that isn't an option.

Meirril wrote:
You're spending all of your feats to be a pole arm fighter. Are you sure you're going to be able to adequately handle the cleric part of the job? I think your concentrating too much effort on making melee effective.

The use of a polearm is to get attacks of opportunity off while saving standard actions to use spells. It combines the strengths of a caster and a melee cleric, I assure you that the build is devastatingly effective. More so with all the shiny new options that have come out over the years . . . but the same goes for any class, neh?

As far as advice to the OP goes, is it really worth it taking Spring Attack and Vital Strike so late in the game? At that point you'll ideally be getting most of your attacks off on their turns, and casting spells on your own.


Core only game? Ouch.

The first thing I will suggest is that you communicate your intent to be a reach cleric to your allies and what that means for teamwork and cooperation. In my experience with pick-up Society tables, it's all too easy for overeager fightmans to charge right past your well placed spear wall and into the waiting jaws of the enemy.

Second, assuming you haven't already read it, I would strongly suggest reading Brewer's Reach Cleric guide. Based on your skill selection I assume you've already read Brewer's guide.

As for skills? Acrobatics is great but you're stuck with 2+Int and it looks like you might be dumping that stat. Plus monster CMBs balloon out of control later on and your armor holds you back even more. I suggest you stick with the needs of the party. Knowledge (Religion) is a great one if the party doesn't have it, and Diplomacy is pretty much mandatory for at least someone to invest in. If those are covered (Try to figure out what your other 2 friends are going to play!) then you can always try rolling a Half Elf for perception. One less feat hurts, but having the +2 racial bonus and a free Skill Focus is something. Plus, it's still possible with the character's nationality.

I strongly suggest you don't multiclass. The sooner you get those spells, the better.

Sovereign Court

DeathlessOne wrote:

I have found, in my experience, that slightly delayed spellcasting is really not that of a big deal. Sure, from an optimization stand point, you never want to delay or sacrifice power, but outside of single character theory building, the group dynamic and tactical play more than make up for it. But, good luck convincing anyone else of that.

Personally, I find playing a pure cleric fairly boring. I am more of the 3/4 BAB, 6th level casting, got-something-to-do-in-every-situation, rough and tumble kind of player. I once played an Archeologist Bard that dipped FOUR levels into Sleuth Investigator (6 Bard/4 Investigator/10 Bard) just because I thought having a Luck pool would be more effective than 3rd level Bard spells (I’d get 6th level spells .. eventually) and the cleric already had haste. And it ended up saving the party from a TPK. Man, that character was ALL over the place. Good times.

I think almost every character I have ever built in Pathfinder has always multiclassed at least 1 level into another class (including casters). But usually I relied on Magical Knack to take the sting off of it. It can be effective, as you're trading power for versatility, so depends on the situation.

DeathlessOne wrote:
But, back on topic, your build looks good though Spring Attack and Vital Strike seems counter productive. Maybe Spring-heeled Style? And Improved Spring Attack?. You’ll need to make room for Nimble Moves, though.
Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
As far as advice to the OP goes, is it really worth it taking Spring Attack and Vital Strike so late in the game? At that point you'll ideally be getting most of your attacks off on their turns, and casting spells on your own.

Yeah, you're both right regarding Spring Attack and Vital Strike. I always have difficulty finding the right feats to pick on a Cleric at higher level.

Can't do Spring-heeled Style nor Improved/Greater Spring Attack. Silly Core Rulebook only situation.

Any suggestions would be good. Maybe crafting feats or metamagic? Most of the CRB metamagic feats aren't all too great for a Cleric IMO.

Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:

Typically, a Cleric has better things to do with their actions than channel energy. This should be obvious just from looking at the channel energy scaling; it scales at 1d6 per every other level, where offensive magic scales at 1d6 per level. And offensive magic isn't even all that great at hurting things.

Quick Channel makes channel energy far more useful, since it's no longer competing with actual spells for the standard action, but this is a core only game so that isn't an option.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Channel Energy typically runs out of steam around level 5, maybe 7 with a Phylactery of Positive Channeling. You can make it good, as per the Hangover Cleric, but that takes resources that are usually outside of the CRB, which I don't have access to.

Still, it's a good out of combat utility, to top off party members without using my primary resource: spells. I figure a 10-12 CHA should be sufficient for such an exercise.

Rosc wrote:
Core only game? Ouch.

I hear ya. But, c'est la vie.

Rosc wrote:
The first thing I will suggest is that you communicate your intent to be a reach cleric to your allies and what that means for teamwork and cooperation. In my experience with pick-up Society tables, it's all too easy for overeager fightmans to charge right past your well placed spear wall and into the waiting jaws of the enemy.

Good piece of advice. I'll do my best, but it seems the group dynamic tends to lead more onto the Chaotic-side of things, heh.

Rosc wrote:

Second, assuming you haven't already read it, I would strongly suggest reading Brewer's Reach Cleric guide. Based on your skill selection I assume you've already read Brewer's guide.

As for skills? Acrobatics is great but you're stuck with 2+Int and it looks like you might be dumping that stat. Plus monster CMBs balloon out of control later on and your armor holds you back even more. I suggest you stick with the needs of the party. Knowledge (Religion) is a great one if the party doesn't have it, and Diplomacy is pretty much mandatory for at least someone to invest in. If those are covered (Try to figure out what your other 2 friends are going to play!) then you can always try rolling a Half Elf for perception. One less feat hurts, but having the +2 racial bonus and a free Skill Focus is something. Plus, it's still possible with the character's nationality.

I strongly suggest you don't multiclass. The sooner you get those spells, the better.

Yep, I've read Brewer's guide. Core-only makes things rougher, but a lot of the content is available from the CRB, and I figure I can use spells like Spiritual Weapon in place of Summons for lower levels to achieve a similar effect.

----

Overall, some good pieces of advice. I'll mull over things and post an updated plan soon.

Sovereign Court

Ok, here's a 2nd draft:

Quote:

Kurdan Sky-Whisper, Shoanti Cleric of Desna (Levels 1-20; no multiclassing)

Ability Scores: STR+ 15, DEX 14, CON 14, INT 10 or 12, WIS 14, CHA 12 or 10

Domains: Luck, Travel

Skills: TBD (depending on needs of the campaign & what other party members lack)

Feat Progression:
1) Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
3) Power Attack
5) Dodge
7) Mobility
9) Quicken Spell
11) Lunge
13) Extend Spell
15) Strike Back
17) Spell Penetration
19) Greater Spell Penetration

One downside: if I'm relying on Potions of Enlarge Person for the extra reach, my DEX will drop from 14 to 12, meaning I'd lose the pre-requisites for Dodge and Mobility. Easily fixed at higher level with stat-boosting items, but kind of annoying.

I guess I could lower INT or CHA by 2 to raise DEX to 15. Or I can try to play around with the point buy in some other fashion.

Alternatively, I could just drop Dodge & Mobility, and pickup something else, like Craft Magic Arms and Armor and Craft Wondrous Item. Not sure if there'll be time for item crafting in this AP.

Hmm... decision, decisions.

EDIT: One possibility, which might fit into the role of a big dumb Barbarian-type personality, is to go with:

STR: 15, DEX+ 16, CON 14, INT 7, WIS 14, CHA 12

Favored Class into skill ranks, thus getting 3 skills per level.

That way, when enlarged, DEX drops to 14, keeping prerequisites for Dodge, Mobility. Plus might be fun to roleplay.


Arassuil wrote:

Yeah, you're both right regarding Spring Attack and Vital Strike. I always have difficulty finding the right feats to pick on a Cleric at higher level.

Can't do Spring-heeled Style nor Improved/Greater Spring Attack. Silly Core Rulebook only situation.

Any suggestions would be good. Maybe crafting feats or metamagic? Most of the CRB metamagic feats aren't all too great for a Cleric IMO.

Gah! Forgot about the Core Only for the briefest of instances! Honestly ... I think you might be better suited to use the extra feats for channeling. Or rage rounds, if you chose to go with barbarian dip. Or extra performance, with the bard dip.

Honestly, with your ability to hit the enemies on their turn and cast on your own, you are going to be highly effective regardless.


* Your armor-check penalty will butcher Acrobatics (and APs tend to be stingy with money, so that mithral breastplate will be a long time in coming).

* The first half of your build is 100% combat feats. --You are a caster.

* As much fun as raging is, being limited to only the core archetype barbarian will murder your AC, especially when being Enlarged knocks another two off, leaving you relatively AC-4. It also costs you a feat and forfeits Heavy Armor Proficiency relative to dipping fighter.

* Mobility you're not going to need much, if ever, prior to monsters constantly having over 30' reach in the high-level game.

human
STR+ 17 (all bumps; belt at 4th)
DEX: 14
CON: 14
INT: 7
WIS: 14 (headband upgrades at 6th, 8th, 10th)
CHA: 12

00 saves FT RF WI
00 base: 02 02 02
01 fight1 04 02 02 Improved Initiative, Combat Reflexes, Dodge
03 cleric2 Power Attack
05 cleric3 Augment Summons
07 (Metamatic and Spell XYZ feats from here on)

* Wear full-plate + magical buckler by 3rd.
* Climb and Swim are now class (and a point in each may save your life).
* STR 19 w/Enlarge Person early, then 22 w/belt at 4th hit 1.5x 2hPA sweet-spots.
* Unless there's a sorc or a bard in the party, you are "face", so your skills are likely to be Diplomacy and Perception, with 1pt roving every level. (Then again, I've never played RotRL; if it's a dungeon-crawl, Diplomacy may not be that big of a deal.)

Combat play-by-play: 1) Bless the party, then move as appropriate; 2) stabby-stabby AoOs; 3) drink potion or Summon; 4) more stabby-stabby AoOs.

Sovereign Court

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Slim Jim wrote:

* Your armor-check penalty will butcher Acrobatics (and APs tend to be stingy with money, so that mithral breastplate will be a long time in coming).

* The first half of your build is 100% combat feats. --You are a caster.

* As much fun as raging is, being limited to only the core archetype barbarian will murder your AC, especially when being Enlarged knocks another two off, leaving you relatively AC-4. It also costs you a feat and forfeits Heavy Armor Proficiency relative to dipping fighter.

* Mobility you're not going to need much, if ever, prior to monsters constantly having over 30' reach in the high-level game.

human
STR+ 17 (all bumps; belt at 4th)
DEX: 14
CON: 14
INT: 7
WIS: 14 (headband upgrades at 6th, 8th, 10th)
CHA: 12

00 saves FT RF WI
00 base: 02 02 02
01 fight1 04 02 02 Improved Initiative, Combat Reflexes, Dodge
03 cleric2 Power Attack
05 cleric3 Augment Summons
07 (Metamatic and Spell XYZ feats from here on)

* Wear full-plate + magical buckler by 3rd.
* Climb and Swim are now class (and a point in each may save your life).
* STR 19 w/Enlarge Person early, then 22 w/belt at 4th hit 1.5x 2hPA sweet-spots.
* Unless there's a sorc or a bard in the party, you are "face", so your skills are likely to be Diplomacy and Perception, with 1pt roving every level. (Then again, I've never played RotRL; if it's a dungeon-crawl, Diplomacy may not be that big of a deal.)

Combat play-by-play: 1) Bless the party, then move as appropriate; 2) stabby-stabby AoOs; 3) drink potion or Summon; 4) more stabby-stabby AoOs.

Weird. I started reading this post, and could have sworn it was a post by Sir Thugsalot.

Anyways, thanks for the advice. Couple of points:

1) Taking Augment Summoning requires Spell Focus: Conjuration.
2) Taking Dodge with 14 DEX means, once Enlarged, DEX becomes 12, making Dodge useless until I upgrade the STR belt to a STR/DEX belt or grab an DEX Ioun Stone.

Ergo, using that build, something like this makes more sense to me:

human
STR+ 17 (all bumps; belt at 4th)
DEX: 14
CON: 14
INT: 7
WIS: 14 (headband upgrades at 6th, 8th, 10th)
CHA: 12

00 saves FT RF WI
00 base: 02 00 00
01 fight1 04 02 02 Improved Initiative, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack
03 cleric2 Spell Focus (Conjuration)
05 cleric4 Augment Summoning

If a monster eats an AoO to close within my reach, I'll need to dis-engage, 'cause 5 ft. steps won't cut it. Which means I'll have to eat an AoO to do so. Or, I guess I could in such a case just drop my reach weapon, draw out a two-handed non-reach weapon and wail away, but that kind of defeats the purpose.

I'm not dis-counting the idea, just trying to think of what I should do in such a situation.

But, I do like the ability score array (Sir Thugsalot's 15,14,14,14,12,7 array for the win). Over the past day or two, I've been leaning towards maybe using that exact spread. Between a Ranger and either a Rogue or a Wizard, they should have skills covered.


Keep Power Attack where it was (at 3rd) and take Shield Focus at 1st. (It's arguably a better choice than Dodge anyway because it works flat-footed so long as the buckler is strapped.) It'll take awhile before the summoning thing has any decent material to work with, so Augment can wait until 7th.

The fighter dip at 1st also permits taking Defender of the Society trait for AC+1 as long we're in medium or heavy armor (and the GM allows society traits when building AP characters). Since DotS is a combat trait, if you would otherwise have wanted Reactionary (a combat trait) for INIT+2, instead take Adopted (half-elf: Elven Reflexes).

Quote:
If a monster eats an AoO to close within my reach, I'll need to dis-engage, 'cause 5 ft. steps won't cut it. Which means I'll have to eat an AoO to do so. Or, I guess I could in such a case just drop my reach weapon, draw out a two-handed non-reach weapon and wail away, but that kind of defeats the purpose.

Aside from armor spikes and the Fortuitous property, you might budget another combat feat for Pushing Assault. A bardiche's* charge-busting Brace property combined with Pushing Assault will make a pounce monster sit right down and behave if you were ready for him. (It's also nice if your allies are paying attention to your needs, i.e., assisting with a bull rush or a Hydraulic Push, etc.)

(*In a striker build, I'd upgrade the bardiche to a fauchard via ioun-granted martial proficiency relatively early, but for a reach-cleric with a fighter dip, the bardiche is a "keeper" 2d8 Enlarged with a decent-enough 19-20 threat range. It's CMD+2 vs sunder may also come into play at some point.)


(Hmpf. Nevermind the traits advice, because...OP.)

Liberty's Edge

My advice is to shift your (human's) stats from:

STR+ 15 (13+2), DEX 14, CON 14, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 12

to

STR+ 16 (14+2), DEX 13, CON 14, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 12

You are planning on a lot of combat; get that extra stat bump right away. Forget about 14 Dex, go with the 13 you need for Combat Expertise and wear full plate (which will only allow one Dex add to AC anyway).

(Note that I am adverse to dumping stats, but there is no reason you have to be. Dump your INT to buff your DEX/CHA if you want to.)

I recommend that every stat bump go into Wis, as you are eventually going to want to cast high level spells. The bumps at 4/8/12/16 get you to 18 eventually, and you pick up a headband/wis bump for 4,000 gp somewhere along the way.

Plan on bumping you Str with Bull Strength, and get a 2nd level Pearl of Power to help keep that spell in play.

For reach problems, get a Wand of Longarm. It's a first level arcane spell that lasts 1 min/level. Whoever in your party can use arcane spells uses the wand on you, and everyone else that wants it. Replace as necessary.

As to feats... I'm not sold on Dodge, Mobility or Spring Attack. Maybe take Selective Channeling earlier? I'd suggest Phallanx Formation, but it's not CORE.


Reach-clerics avoid casting spells that are DC-dependent, meaning that an Int of 10 is a waste of four build points in a human (who can be pulling 3 skills a level with a 7 and take-skills/level + racial Skill bonus).

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