Cleric customization.


Advice


Greetings, this is my first time posting in the forums!

I started playing PnP pathfinder about 3 weeks ago, finished my 3rd session and had a few fights with Undead creatures with the rest of my party, which consists of a Ratfolk rogue, a Kitsune bard, an Elf Wizard and me playing an Aasimar Cleric of Sarenrae, (glory+healing domain). We started at 3rd level.

The basic idea for me is to be a frontliner for the party, who heals. At least that's what we discussed with my friends, who have a lot more experience than me.

I have read on tons of material regarding clerics, builds, multiclassing, prestige classes etc etc to the point it has become a mess in my head and thought I should just play pure cleric.

I have only put 1 feat, Toughness, have 2 traits that I haven't selected and my abilities are 14 STR 10 DEX 16 CON 10 int 16 WIS 10 CHA, 15 point buy Archon Heritage Aasimar.

I would really appreciate any guidelines or ideas on how to build and play my character on the following levels. I am not so much fascinated by the channel energy builds and I would like to have full spell progression.

Thank you in advance!

Grand Lodge

I don't have a ton of experience as a cleric, but one piece of advice I would give you to never prepare any of the cure light/moderate/serious wounds spells. You can always cast those anyway by dumping another spell.

So prepare spells that help you and your party fight, like Bull's Strength, shield of faith, protection from evil, etc. and only use the cure spells in a jam.

Also, if you are going to front line with 10 dexterity, get the heavy armor proficiency feat. If you don't, your ac won't keep up at later levels and with a D8 hit die, you won't be frontlining for long.

Grand Lodge

So the first rule of healer builds in pathfinder is that there are no really viable ways to heal in combat without channel energy. Even then you’re putting a bandaid on. So having things to help prevent being damaged in the first place is more useful, like Shield of Faith.

Spells like divine favor and deadly juggernaut will help you be a frontline fighter, but something else I would recommend is using reach tactics. Use a long spear to help keep your distance is useful to not get hit as much. One, you won’t be provoking AoOs from large creatures as often, and two, you can get AoOs more often against medium creatures. With 10 Dex Combat Reflexes isn’t worth it for you, but even so, reach will help

You gain a feat every odd level, so at level 3 you should have 2 feats. Toughness is a good first level feat but as you get to higher levels your spellcasting will be way more important than any melee fighting you do. That being said, the bards inspire courage will help a lot for your frontline abilities too. I’d recommend power attack at some point, but likely you wouldn’t want to use it unless you had opportunity to buff beforehand, else your attack bonus suffers too much.
Spell focus and metamagic feats will be feats you want to look towards getting as you level up. 15 point buy and a MAD class makes it hard to keep your ability DCs up but feats and equipment can help.


The first rule of playing a Healer is: You do not talk play a Healer. The second rule of playing a Healer is: You do not play a Healer.

Ok, to be actually helpful:
Basically, three things have to be true for infight healing to be good:
1. The target needs to have a high chance of taking damage next round.
2. Your healing needs to have a high chance of making a difference.
3. There have to be no controlling or offensive actions you can take that have a high chance of removing the source of damage.

Channel Energy with support (especially Selective Channeling, but also Quick Channel and later Phylactery of Positive Channeling) is much better than cure spells because it basically auto-fulfills #1, but it's still not always useful. Generally, the damage a (dangerous) enemy deals out in a single round is higher than what you can heal in a single round, so you can't win a battle of attrition. Party members don't need to leave the fight at full HP, as long as they don't drop below 1 HP, everything is fine. After the fight you can use a wand of CLW (or the Wizard can use a wand of Infernal Healing, which is way better) to save recources.
You should always look out for other actions you can take. You have full spell casting with one of the best lists in the game at your disposal, and you can change your spells every day to best fulfill the party's needs. Spells are your main class feature, not Channel Energy - always remember that!

I also highly second Syries' suggestion of using a reach weapon (longspear in your case), you can take one hand off the weapon to cast a spell or present the holy symbol, and put the hand back afterwars, each as a free action.

Special tip: Leave a few spell slots open at your morning spell preparation. You can later meditate for 15 minutes to fill these spell slots, that way, you can get the special removal spells (e.g. Remove Paralysis) as needed.

@Syries: Actually, the Heal spell is fine as well.

Grand Lodge

Well yeah the Heal spell is fine, it’s THE healing spell that can actually cure more than the damage taken. It and mass heal are the exception to the rule for healing spells. It’s also a 6th and 9th level spell, respectively, so they’re not exactly spells you want to be using on a whim. Also, TIL, heal is a 5th level adept spell. Huh.

Oh I would also recommend heavy armor given that you’re at 10 Dex. I second derklords suggestion of leaving spell slots open so you can prep spells as needed, particularly condition removal stuff.


The cleric can play a self-healing front-liner fairy well. The paladin is a bit better at it, but the cleric can get the job done. Still, it will require a substantial investment of feats to be really good. First, see if you can trade out that toughness feat for Fey Foundling.

This will be your feat wish list:
Fey Foundling
Selective Channel
Quick Channel
Reactive Channel

When you get level 4 spells, you will want to use the Imbue with Spell Ability spell to give someone else the ability to cast Shield Other on you, to effectively double your number of hit points.

Liberty's Edge

Look into the Path of Glory spells (2nd level and 4th, Advanced Class Guide) for mass healing effects.

Note that the 2nd level isn't worth much if you have easy access to a Wand of Cure Light Wounds (like in Pathfinder Society).


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lyoto Machida wrote:
I don't have a ton of experience as a cleric, but one piece of advice I would give you to never prepare any of the cure light/moderate/serious wounds spells. You can always cast those anyway by dumping another spell.

That is assuming that you have the Spontaneous Casting ability for positive energy.

I am not recommending selecting negative energy, since that is far less useful than positive energy in most campaigns -- but there are useful archetypes that trade away the Spontaneous Casting ability completely. If for some reason you pick one of those archetypes, you will need to prepare Cure spells.

But you definitely never need to prepare any spell that you can cast spontaneously.


1. You need 13 CHA for selective channeling. I've never used a 15 point buy but I imagine this is going to be difficult.

2. Don't multiclass if you're new.

3. As others have pointed out, in combat healing is inefficient use of standard actions.

4. You can consider a cleric with a reach weapon. Most builds I've seen will have positive dex modifiers and Combat Reflexes, so they cast spells as their standard action and then rely on attacks of opportunity to do damage (getting around the action economy problem).

5. Although this admittedly contradicts the thread title, consider paladin. You can heal yourself as a swift action (another way of getting around the action economy problems) and you get a better hit die and BAB. Conceptually, it's also simpler to play. Downside is you barely get any spells (perhaps 0 at 3rd level) and that seems important to you.

Grand Lodge

David knott 242 wrote:
Lyoto Machida wrote:
I don't have a ton of experience as a cleric, but one piece of advice I would give you to never prepare any of the cure light/moderate/serious wounds spells. You can always cast those anyway by dumping another spell.

That is assuming that you have the Spontaneous Casting ability for positive energy.

I am not recommending selecting negative energy, since that is far less useful than positive energy in most campaigns -- but there are useful archetypes that trade away the Spontaneous Casting ability completely. If for some reason you pick one of those archetypes, you will need to prepare Cure spells.

But you definitely never need to prepare any spell that you can cast spontaneously.

I think OP said in his post he was going pure cleric, so I assumed he hadn't ditched the spontaneous casting. If OP is using an archetype that ditches spontaneous casting, ignore what I said.

PS. I should have said this in my first post, but welcome to the forums and welcome to Pathfinder OP! I hope you found the responses here somewhat helpful and if you need any more specifics just ask, people here enjoy giving advice.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As others have said, a reach cleric is a very strong choice. A search for reach tactics and reach clerics gives a lot of options.

I disagree with the selective channel and quick channel as being the best options, not because they are bad exactly, but because I think there are better options. Power attack and combat reflexes are quite strong choices.

In my experience, unless it is an absolute emergency where someone is likely to die, healing is best done outside of combat. The best uses for a 'healer' in my opinion is condition removal, dealing with things like paralysis, blindness, or mental attacks is a major deal.

With a bard in the party, you all should have pretty good attacks and damages, I could see your cleric usually only casting one spell in most combats, or even none. I would see your main role as being a decent, but probably no where near the strongest melee combatant whose main job is being a reliable flanking partner for the rogue, but when things go pear shaped that is when you shine, fixing whatever has turned the tide.

This, unfortunately, requires a fair amount of understanding of the game and the spell available to you as well as the dangers you are likely to encounter, but that will develop Being versatile means that scrolls are your friends (I would even consider scribe scroll as a feat) as well as leaving a few spell slots open.

I would go with STR: 14 DEX: 13 CON: 14 INT: 10 WIS: 16 CHA: 10 as my initial stats with 15 point buy. The One less con is balanced by a bit better AC and the ability to take combat reflexes usefully.

One thing you might consider though is looking at the War Priest class. It has inferior spell casting to the cleric, but superior action economy and will still let you be a pretty competent caster.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lyoto Machida wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Lyoto Machida wrote:
I don't have a ton of experience as a cleric, but one piece of advice I would give you to never prepare any of the cure light/moderate/serious wounds spells. You can always cast those anyway by dumping another spell.

That is assuming that you have the Spontaneous Casting ability for positive energy.

I am not recommending selecting negative energy, since that is far less useful than positive energy in most campaigns -- but there are useful archetypes that trade away the Spontaneous Casting ability completely. If for some reason you pick one of those archetypes, you will need to prepare Cure spells.

But you definitely never need to prepare any spell that you can cast spontaneously.

I think OP said in his post he was going pure cleric, so I assumed he hadn't ditched the spontaneous casting. If OP is using an archetype that ditches spontaneous casting, ignore what I said.

PS. I should have said this in my first post, but welcome to the forums and welcome to Pathfinder OP! I hope you found the responses here somewhat helpful and if you need any more specifics just ask, people here enjoy giving advice.

There is also your domain to consider. Domain spells cannot be converted to Cure spells, but you could have chosen the Healing domain. In that case, you have a real choice to make about whether you want to prepare a Cure spell or a spell from your other domain in each domain spell slot.

Grand Lodge

Domain spells CAN be converted to Cure spells. Any stored spell can be converted, and you store your domain spells each day when you prepare spells.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Syries wrote:
Domain spells CAN be converted to Cure spells. Any stored spell can be converted, and you store your domain spells each day when you prepare spells.

Nope.

From the Spontaneous Casting section of the Cleric class description: "The cleric can “lose” any prepared spell that is not an orison or domain spell in order to cast any cure spell of the same spell level or lower (a cure spell is any spell with “cure” in its name)."


I wouldn't mind not going full cleric. I think our wizard will be the dominant spell caster by far. Full spell progress or at least close to full would be nice.
I just want to be as helpful as possible but I'm always open to ideas.

I considered the pala but I didn't like that he gets only 1 domain and his spell list is pretty low.

I didn't think I should focus that much on channel energy but you said its essential.

I have considered that healing is less good than preventing damage.


Generally speaking... ignore HP during combat. Whatever spell slot you use to heal an ally that is about to fall could be better used casting a spell to drive off whatever is threatening them.

It is an action economy problem- spending an action too bandaid the situation doesn't help much if your teammate gets twice as much damage from the two enemies flanking him. Buffs and crowd control are more likely to improve his situation.

As a healer, instead of focusing on HP, focus on condition removal. The nastiest encounters tend to be the ones that cripple you, rather than kill you quickly with hp damage. If the party ranger is blinded, he has lost all effectiveness as a melee warrior or archer. He is pretty much taken out of the fight- which means that his actions would be wasted. In that case, a remove blindness would be trading your actions in return for giving the ranger back his actions.

As mentioned- Heal is a really good spell. It covers conditions and a fair chunk of hp. Other than that, I would just leave some slots open so you can spend 15 minutes to get the right spell to patch things up.


lemeres wrote:

Generally speaking... ignore HP during combat. Whatever spell slot you use to heal an ally that is about to fall could be better used casting a spell to drive off whatever is threatening them.

It is an action economy problem- spending an action too bandaid the situation doesn't help much if your teammate gets twice as much damage from the two enemies flanking him. Buffs and crowd control are more likely to improve his situation.

As a healer, instead of focusing on HP, focus on condition removal. The nastiest encounters tend to be the ones that cripple you, rather than kill you quickly with hp damage. If the party ranger is blinded, he has lost all effectiveness as a melee warrior or archer. He is pretty much taken out of the fight- which means that his actions would be wasted. In that case, a remove blindness would be trading your actions in return for giving the ranger back his actions.

As mentioned- Heal is a really good spell. It covers conditions and a fair chunk of hp. Other than that, I would just leave some slots open so you can spend 15 minutes to get the right spell to patch things up.

That would be the ideal for me! I would like to be able to damage/protect/buff during the fight and heal after the dust has settled but I thought that you need someone constantly healing people all around which seems to be... wrong? Not keeping my party topped-up, rather keeping them alive during the fight.


The amount of in combat healing your party needs can vary drastically. Smaller parties need more healing and parties that don’t specialize in fast takedowns need more healing. And it can also vary depending on what you fight.


What's your Wizard ally's typical tactic? Are they an evocation focused blaster? A conjuration controller build? A transmutation buffer?

You might want to talk them into carrying a few Summon Monster spells, and also prep some of your own spell slots with this one. You'll quickly find that in tabletop pen and paper games, the action economy means that spending a full round at the start of combat to summon an ally will make a significant difference to the battle's outcome.

A summoned monster can easily set up a flanking position for your party rogue if it appears on the opposite side of the enemy. They also automatically benefit from the bard's inspire courage, boosting them for free along with the rest of your party.

At 3rd level, they'll only be lasting 3 rounds, but you'll often find that 3 rounds is about the length of a typical combat anyhow. You'll probably have a staple tactic such as:

Round 1: Bard starts inspire courage, rogue moves to flank, wizard and cleric cast summon monster.

Round 2: Bard maintains performance and attacks from range, rogue readies to attack when flanking, summoned eagles appear as cleric casts bless and wizard casts sleep/grease/color spray.

Round 3+: Everyone keeps attacking.

A pair of summoned celestial eagles can really swing a fight your way, since you get 3 attacks per round from each one. Getting into higher levels, you get even better options at each tier, and the best part is how much flexibility it can afford your group depending on the situation. Flying enemies? No problem. Underwater combat? Easy peasy.


Magnathor wrote:
That would be the ideal for me! I would like to be able to damage/protect/buff during the fight and heal after the dust has settled but I thought that you need someone constantly healing people all around which seems to be... wrong?

There are corner cases, of course, but a normal party facing normal enemies does not need infight healing. To put it bluntly, most infight healing utterly sucks. Cure spells especially heal less than an average enemy does in a round, which means you waste a spell slot to have less impact than the enemy. Defensive buff spells can prevent damage for multiple round, dito for debuffs. Offensive buffs help the party kill, incapitate or debuff enemies faster, which also reduces the amound of damage the party recieves in the fight more than you could heal.

It's not that infight healing is never useful, just rarely so, and definitely nothing in any way mandatory.

Magnathor wrote:
I wouldn't mind not going full cleric.

Every level you take in something other than Cleric is a huge downgrade. If you don't want to use Channel Energy much, there are a bunch of prestige classes that work as well, but for a beginner, I would strongly advice to simply stay in class.

Magnathor wrote:
I think our wizard will be the dominant spell caster by far.

Depends on the definition of "dominant" - you have the power to save the entire party, turn around entire fights, or simply make fights vastly more easy, too. It's not really a competition, though, the spell lists are very different and thus what the casters do in combat is usually rather different. You may not be as good as at direct damage or save-or-suck spells, but these aren't normally the best kind of spells, anyway. Your job also doesn't end when the comabt is over, far from it (dito for the Wizard, but he has different out-of-combat-stuff).

Quite frankly, playing a Cleric who isn't a big help for the party is pretty hard. Cleric is one of the ebst classesd for beginners, with perfect base saves, good default AC, almost always a way to contribute, and the ability to swap underperforming spells on a daily basis.

Magnathor wrote:
I didn't think I should focus that much on channel energy but you said its essential.

It's essential for good infight healing, not for a functional party.


Magnathor wrote:

Greetings, this is my first time posting in the forums!

I started playing PnP pathfinder about 3 weeks ago, finished my 3rd session and had a few fights with Undead creatures with the rest of my party, which consists of a Ratfolk rogue, a Kitsune bard, an Elf Wizard and me playing an Aasimar Cleric of Sarenrae, (glory+healing domain). We started at 3rd level.

The basic idea for me is to be a frontliner for the party, who heals. At least that's what we discussed with my friends, who have a lot more experience than me.

I have read on tons of material regarding clerics, builds, multiclassing, prestige classes etc etc to the point it has become a mess in my head and thought I should just play pure cleric.

I have only put 1 feat, Toughness, have 2 traits that I haven't selected and my abilities are 14 STR 10 DEX 16 CON 10 int 16 WIS 10 CHA, 15 point buy Archon Heritage Aasimar.

I would really appreciate any guidelines or ideas on how to build and play my character on the following levels. I am not so much fascinated by the channel energy builds and I would like to have full spell progression.

Thank you in advance!

Well if I was a Cleric of Sarenrae I would be thinking SUMMONER!!

You have the Glory and Agathion subdomains which when combined make a great summoning combo, bolt on Sacred Summons and you will be kicking ass.... the fact that you haven't maxed out your WIS lends itself to this. Yes it doesn't kick in until 8th but nevertheless. I wouldn't bother with Heavy Armour.


One last thing to note: As a player, I expect to be responsible for my own heals. I expect my allies to be responsible for their own heals too.

It doesn't matter whether I'm playing a double life oracle that can spend every single round dumping Selective Quickened Channel Energies, or a superstitious barbarian with a raging hard furious greatsword. One of my first purchases is a Wand of Cure Light Wounds. Then, if I can't use it, I give it to someone in the party who can, and tell them to use it on me.

I'd make sure your group understands that they are responsible for spending their own resources on their healing. They want to be topped off after a fight? No problem, you'll drop a group channel. Resting for the day? Okay, you'll burn off your unused slots on a few spontaneous cures before you sleep. But otherwise, your spells are your resource, not theirs. If they want on-tap cures, they'd better damn well buy you a wand.


JDLPF wrote:

What's your Wizard ally's typical tactic? Are they an evocation focused blaster? A conjuration controller build? A transmutation buffer?

You might want to talk them into carrying a few Summon Monster spells, and also prep some of your own spell slots with this one. You'll quickly find that in tabletop pen and paper games, the action economy means that spending a full round at the start of combat to summon an ally will make a significant difference to the battle's outcome.

A summoned monster can easily set up a flanking position for your party rogue if it appears on the opposite side of the enemy. They also automatically benefit from the bard's inspire courage, boosting them for free along with the rest of your party.

At 3rd level, they'll only be lasting 3 rounds, but you'll often find that 3 rounds is about the length of a typical combat anyhow. You'll probably have a staple tactic such as:

Round 1: Bard starts inspire courage, rogue moves to flank, wizard and cleric cast summon monster.

Round 2: Bard maintains performance and attacks from range, rogue readies to attack when flanking, summoned eagles appear as cleric casts bless and wizard casts sleep/grease/color spray.

Round 3+: Everyone keeps attacking.

A pair of summoned celestial eagles can really swing a fight your way, since you get 3 attacks per round from each one. Getting into higher levels, you get even better options at each tier, and the best part is how much flexibility it can afford your group depending on the situation. Flying enemies? No problem. Underwater combat? Easy peasy.

Controller as f$*$ at the moment! XD but I don't know how that functions at higher levels. He dropped some pretty devastating flaming spheres though...


Derklord wrote:
Magnathor wrote:
That would be the ideal for me! I would like to be able to damage/protect/buff during the fight and heal after the dust has settled but I thought that you need someone constantly healing people all around which seems to be... wrong?

There are corner cases, of course, but a normal party facing normal enemies does not need infight healing. To put it bluntly, most infight healing utterly sucks. Cure spells especially heal less than an average enemy does in a round, which means you waste a spell slot to have less impact than the enemy. Defensive buff spells can prevent damage for multiple round, dito for debuffs. Offensive buffs help the party kill, incapitate or debuff enemies faster, which also reduces the amound of damage the party recieves in the fight more than you could heal.

It's not that infight healing is never useful, just rarely so, and definitely nothing in any way mandatory.

Magnathor wrote:
I wouldn't mind not going full cleric.

Every level you take in something other than Cleric is a huge downgrade. If you don't want to use Channel Energy much, there are a bunch of prestige classes that work as well, but for a beginner, I would strongly advice to simply stay in class.

Magnathor wrote:
I think our wizard will be the dominant spell caster by far.

Depends on the definition of "dominant" - you have the power to save the entire party, turn around entire fights, or simply make fights vastly more easy, too. It's not really a competition, though, the spell lists are very different and thus what the casters do in combat is usually rather different. You may not be as good as at direct damage or save-or-suck spells, but these aren't normally the best kind of spells, anyway. Your job also doesn't end when the comabt is over, far from it (dito for the Wizard, but he has different out-of-combat-stuff).

Quite frankly, playing a Cleric who isn't a big help for the party is pretty hard. Cleric is one of the ebst classesd for beginners, with perfect base...

1. from the few combats I experienced, (skeletons, ghouls, ghosts)

nothing really hurt us except that 1 hit where the orc ghoul cut down 2/3rds of our rogue hit points and we had a butt-clench. Nothing hurt me too much either, most things never got past my AC (shield+ medium breastplate). In fact I was the most useful when I channeled energy to damage the undead group but I guess that was highly situational.

But on the moment our rogue just went "f&+% I'm dying" I appreciated the ability to heal.

2. I considered fighter maybe for the extra feat and heavy armor and martial weapon prof

3. first of all he is a lot more experienced than me in pathfinder and casting whatsoever. and a lot more invested! 19 intellect etc etc.

4. Channel energy is essential for infight healing but infight healing isn't essential ergo channel energy isn't essential?


At some point in the near future, your characters will have enough resources that spending 750 gp on a wand of cure light wounds will be the equivalent of some spare change you found down the back of a couch. At this stage, there's really no good excuse not to top yourself up after every fight, and your standard actions in combat will be far more useful being spent on fighting instead of healing.

Simply put, the enemy's damage output will almost always exceed your ability to reverse by healing. Ergo, the best method of spending your action that round isn't healing, but doing something that stops the enemy's damage output instead. A battle is won when your enemy's hit points go below zero, so reaching this goal quickly should be your aim.

This doesn't mean that attacking is always the best strategy, but leveraging your own individual character's abilities to aid in reaching this goal will likely support your group far more than spending your limited build resources into improving your ability to make hit points go back up when there's so many cheaper methods of doing this instead.


JDLPF wrote:
Simply put, the enemy's damage output will almost always exceed your ability to reverse by healing.

That's not usually true, if you use all of the abilities available to you. As early as level 3 you have access to shield other to divide damage between you and your most damage prone teammates. This split damage can then be healed simultaneously with a channel, which itself can be used twice in a round if you utilize quick channel.

And those were just the basic options. If you were a life oracle with Life Link and the Fey Foundling feat, then you can make almost all enemy damage irrelevant. If you were a spirit guide oracle with double life, then you could eventually have double life links with double pools of channel, to just make it unfair, but I find that's actually too much healing for most parties.

Silver Crusade

My suggestions will take your character in a different direction than you original intended to go. You my wish to check with your DM about the changes I recommend. This is more due to the type of character you want to make and what type of character you made.

Aasimar
Ancestry Garuda
Typical Alignment CG
Ability Modifiers +2 Dex, +2 Wis
Alternate Skill Modifiers Acrobatics, Fly
Alternate Spell-Like Ability Plumekith gain see invisibility as a spell-like ability.
15 point buy.
Str 10 Dex 16+2=18 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 14+2=16 Cha 8

Cleric (Divine Strategist) Yes you don’t get channeling but over all who cares. 90% of all healing is done with a wand of cure light wounds. You only get one domain with this. I recommend you go with Glory Subdomain Heroism.
Monk 2 (Martial Artist) (No alignment requirement for monk. This is to get you Wis mod to AC and pick up evasion along with two bonus feat’s.)
Traits: Reactionary (You get a +2 Trait bonus to initiative.)
Levels / Feat’s
Cleirc 1 level 1: Weapon Finesses
Monk 1 level 2: Dodge
Cleric 2 level 3: Dervish Dance (Combat) Benefit: When wielding a scimitar with one hand, you can use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on melee attack and damage rolls.
Monk 2 level 4: Combat Reflexes
Cleric 3 level 5: Improved Initiative

At level 3 your character would look something like this.
Initiative +7
AC 18 Touch AC 18 Flat Footed AC 13 (Shield of Faith will add 2 to this, Potion of Mage Armor will add 4)
Scimitar to hit +5 Damage 1D6+4 crit 18-20/X2


Many people have suggested summoning. One of the core reasons for this is because summons are disposable. They disappear after the fight, so no reason to care whether they are taken out or not.

In fact, every hit against your summoned monsters means one hit that is not aimed at the party, and one hit you don't have to heal later. Even weak summons can be great- if you make them annoying enough (flank with a rogue?), the enemy will want to take them out- and if they are weak enough to take out in one hit, then the enemy is more likely to go for that.

Additionally, summoning works well with melee casters. It doesn't directly rely on casting stat, so you can get by with the minimum amount to cast your spells, and focus everything else into melee stats.


So yeah. Lots of advice here. Let try to be useful in OPs shoes.

First, the party is a hot mess. Rogue is a squishy front line fighter that needs flanking to be effective. Or its something not quite as effective. Either way, it isn't going to be the body that blocks enemies from charging the party. At least Rogue produces damage when he hits.

Bard...no idea what the Kitsun Bard is going to do during combat. Sure, first round they start a performance. And then what? Ranged bard, or melee bard? Or useless bard that avoids combat because performance is enough? kitsun makes me think its a ranged bard, but I'd like to be wrong? Maybe. Good chance the bard is planning on being a buffer for the party.

Wizard...lots of options but not going to body block for the party. From what has been said, might be an evoker.

So what this party mainly needs is someone to stand on the front rank and not die. That gets to be you buddy. Aren't you the fortunate one.

Reach is well and good...when you can afford to move around freely. This cleric can't. The rogue needs a reliable flanking partner. Reach means you stop threatening when the opponent steps inside of your reach. So if some orc charges you get an AoO and then you stop threatening when the orc is standing next to you. Now the Rogue can't use you for flanking.

For this party, you are better off using weapon + shield. You'll also need to help the rogue get into position, which puts you out of position to heal the party. You can't even really afford to run off and heal someone that needs it. You leaving position means whatever you were tying up is free to do whatever.

But you still need to be heal focused. If you are doing a proper job of tanking, you'll be the one that needs healing. You probably want to take Combat Casting feat fairly early.

If you can make some changes to your character, I have some recommendations. First, change your race to Ratfolk. While being small and having dex and int as your bonus stats isn't ideal but it gives you the ratfolk Swarming ability. Now you and the rogue can share a square and flank anyone you threaten. This puts you next to the rogue so you can heal him if he gets in trouble. It also gives you a lot more flexibility on positioning.

Stats: Go a bit lower on con, higher on dex. 12 str 14 dex con 14 10 int 14 wis 10 cha would probably be a bit more ideal for what you are doing. Your main goal isn't to do damage, but to not be hurt. Higher dex helps with that.

Traits: Pick up the Focused Mind and Divine Warrior since you'll be in melee a lot.

Feats: Ditch toughness, pick up weapon focus and combat casting. After you hit 6th level talk the other ratfolk into picking up Outflank.

Spell Selection: I'd actually focus on buffing yourself. Not just defenses, but also your offense. If you picked up Divine Warrior a Magic Weapon spell will give you +1 to hit, +2 damage. Divine Favor will grow to be a better spell, but it isn't till you hit 6th level. By then (7th level actually) you'll want to cast Greater Magic Weapon instead because it lasts hours and gives a better bonus.


Meirril wrote:

So yeah. Lots of advice here. Let try to be useful in OPs shoes.

First, the party is a hot mess. Rogue is a squishy front line fighter that needs flanking to be effective. Or its something not quite as effective. Either way, it isn't going to be the body that blocks enemies from charging the party. At least Rogue produces damage when he hits.

Bard...no idea what the Kitsun Bard is going to do during combat. Sure, first round they start a performance. And then what? Ranged bard, or melee bard? Or useless bard that avoids combat because performance is enough? kitsun makes me think its a ranged bard, but I'd like to be wrong? Maybe. Good chance the bard is planning on being a buffer for the party.

Wizard...lots of options but not going to body block for the party. From what has been said, might be an evoker.

So what this party mainly needs is someone to stand on the front rank and not die. That gets to be you buddy. Aren't you the fortunate one.

Reach is well and good...when you can afford to move around freely. This cleric can't. The rogue needs a reliable flanking partner. Reach means you stop threatening when the opponent steps inside of your reach. So if some orc charges you get an AoO and then you stop threatening when the orc is standing next to you. Now the Rogue can't use you for flanking.

For this party, you are better off using weapon + shield. You'll also need to help the rogue get into position, which puts you out of position to heal the party. You can't even really afford to run off and heal someone that needs it. You leaving position means whatever you were tying up is free to do whatever.

But you still need to be heal focused. If you are doing a proper job of tanking, you'll be the one that needs healing. You probably want to take Combat Casting feat fairly early.

If you can make some changes to your character, I have some recommendations. First, change your race to Ratfolk. While being small and having dex and int as your bonus stats isn't ideal but it gives you the...

Thanks a lot for your advice!

I may be allowed to kinda switch around my stats but I won't be able to switch my race entirely, maybe my Aasimar Heritage (it's Archon blooded) and my favoured deity/domains(this will take 1-2 sessions and it will happen with fluff).

Taking these factors into mind, how would you proceed?


Magnathor wrote:

I may be allowed to kinda switch around my stats but I won't be able to switch my race entirely, maybe my Aasimar Heritage (it's Archon blooded) and my favoured deity/domains(this will take 1-2 sessions and it will happen with fluff).

Taking these factors into mind, how would you proceed?

Maybe consider pulling your con down to 14 and wis to 15, then take the 5 points you save and bump dex to 14. The extra +2 AC/Ref/init will be very noticable. The loss of hp/fort/will won't be as noticeable. Especially since you'll invest stat points into wis at level 4 to make it even. After that, look for a wis headband and start dumping any other stat points you get (from level) into strength.

You and the rogue need to work together to make sure you have flanking. Not only does the rogue need it for sneak attack, you need the bonus to make your attacks more reliable. You shouldn't be trying to top DPS but being a competent annoyance in melee will make you a target.

Eventually you might want to consider taking some crit feats. This is a long, long way away. But Sarenre has scimitar as her favored weapon, and it has an excellent crit range. Getting keen on your scimitar and taking Paired Opportunist with the rogue should benefit both of you.

Mainly the same traits and feats I recommended before. Just slightly different tactics.

Domains are fine. Healing will pay out at 8th level, and Glory is fine. Sun is interesting if you expect to face a lot of undead constantly. Fire if you want some spell offense. Honestly, you shouldn't need it. Good is...a bit lackluster.


Meirril wrote:
Magnathor wrote:

I may be allowed to kinda switch around my stats but I won't be able to switch my race entirely, maybe my Aasimar Heritage (it's Archon blooded) and my favoured deity/domains(this will take 1-2 sessions and it will happen with fluff).

Taking these factors into mind, how would you proceed?

Maybe consider pulling your con down to 14 and wis to 15, then take the 5 points you save and bump dex to 14. The extra +2 AC/Ref/init will be very noticable. The loss of hp/fort/will won't be as noticeable. Especially since you'll invest stat points into wis at level 4 to make it even. After that, look for a wis headband and start dumping any other stat points you get (from level) into strength.

You and the rogue need to work together to make sure you have flanking. Not only does the rogue need it for sneak attack, you need the bonus to make your attacks more reliable. You shouldn't be trying to top DPS but being a competent annoyance in melee will make you a target.

Eventually you might want to consider taking some crit feats. This is a long, long way away. But Sarenre has scimitar as her favored weapon, and it has an excellent crit range. Getting keen on your scimitar and taking Paired Opportunist with the rogue should benefit both of you.

Mainly the same traits and feats I recommended before. Just slightly different tactics.

Domains are fine. Healing will pay out at 8th level, and Glory is fine. Sun is interesting if you expect to face a lot of undead constantly. Fire if you want some spell offense. Honestly, you shouldn't need it. Good is...a bit lackluster.

1) I was thinking MAYBE switching to Milani for protection healing domain (could fit in nicely due to us being in a country called TYRANT)

2) Should I take a fighter level? for heavy armor and weapon prof and bonus feat
3) The rogue is going probably arcane trickster (dunno if that helps)
4) Should I switch to Garuda-Blooded (Plumekith) for dex/wis or doesn't really matter?
5) Is guided hand worth it? (along with the prereq feat)
6) I was also thinking quickdraw to draw/sheath weapon easily so I can cast when needed.
7) Thank you again!


1) I'm not in love with protection. The resistance bonus conflicts with a cloak of resistance, and you should have a +3 cloak before you hit 10th level. This is one of those bonuses that is really great at low level but you outgrow it.

I'm actually more of a fan of Liberation. Being able to use Freedom of Movement at will for even a short duration will save you a lot of headache. At 8th level you gain an ability to suppress a lot of conditions within 30'. The bonus spells aren't great, but the powers are fantastic.

But I like Sarenrae for her favored weapon. Morningstar is not bad. If you do go this route, I'd forget about crit fishing.

2) Honestly I'm against dips. You want to be a good caster, and taking dips makes you a bad caster. Casting classes should only take dips if they are desperate to get something. You can just spend 1 feat to get heavy armor, and you do not want a tower shield.

3) That probably means the rogue will want to do ranged touch. I hope the rogue has some idea on how to hide. But that also makes me think you'll be alone on the front line, so maybe you won't need to even think about team feats. So yay?

4) Unless you plan on pushing dex above your other stats, it won't matter. Well...actually that might give you 1 more point to spend on a stat. So you could get a 15 dex, 15 wis and 14s for con and str. Too bad there isn't a str/wis option. With you considering heavy armor picking up dex anymore than +2 is a waste. You'd be better off pushing con.

5) Only if you want to build the character around it. That means starting off with the feat, which is easier for you since you stared at 3rd level. Stats would be 10 str, 12 dex, 16 con, 10 int, 18 wis, 8 cha. That totally sets you up to do heavy armor later, but the weight will be a problem. You're melee and spell DCs will be good at +4. Also there is no question what stat you are trying to pump, it will always be wis.

Still, I think this makes your character a little one dimensional. But the extra +2 to hit and damage is great. It is probably worth doing. But it also means no combat casting till later. Tough decision.

6) You might consider a Sanctified Shield. Not only can you raise your AC 1, but the shield can be used as a holy symbol so your shield arm is now free for casting purposes. Sanctified weapon is good too, but a bit more expensive. When you start looking at magic weapons, you can add the reliquary enchantment for 250gp to make them into holy symbols as well.

In general, if you can spend a reasonable amount of gold instead of using a feat, always spend the gold. Feats are valuable.


Meirril wrote:

1) I'm not in love with protection. The resistance bonus conflicts with a cloak of resistance, and you should have a +3 cloak before you hit 10th level. This is one of those bonuses that is really great at low level but you outgrow it.

I'm actually more of a fan of Liberation. Being able to use Freedom of Movement at will for even a short duration will save you a lot of headache. At 8th level you gain an ability to suppress a lot of conditions within 30'. The bonus spells aren't great, but the powers are fantastic.

But I like Sarenrae for her favored weapon. Morningstar is not bad. If you do go this route, I'd forget about crit fishing.

2) Honestly I'm against dips. You want to be a good caster, and taking dips makes you a bad caster. Casting classes should only take dips if they are desperate to get something. You can just spend 1 feat to get heavy armor, and you do not want a tower shield.

3) That probably means the rogue will want to do ranged touch. I hope the rogue has some idea on how to hide. But that also makes me think you'll be alone on the front line, so maybe you won't need to even think about team feats. So yay?

4) Unless you plan on pushing dex above your other stats, it won't matter. Well...actually that might give you 1 more point to spend on a stat. So you could get a 15 dex, 15 wis and 14s for con and str. Too bad there isn't a str/wis option. With you considering heavy armor picking up dex anymore than +2 is a waste. You'd be better off pushing con.

5) Only if you want to build the character around it. That means starting off with the feat, which is easier for you since you stared at 3rd level. Stats would be 10 str, 12 dex, 16 con, 10 int, 18 wis, 8 cha. That totally sets you up to do heavy armor later, but the weight will be a problem. You're melee and spell DCs will be good at +4. Also there is no question what stat you are trying to pump, it will always be wis.

Still, I think this makes your...

I think you are confusing guided hand. It's attack roll with wisdom


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Personally, I like Channel Energy. It's not amazing, sure, but it isn't as worthless as people make it out to be. You don't need people 100% topped up all the time, you just need them healthy enough to mess with action plan of the enemy.
Stupid example: Say an enemy/boss hits for 50% of total HP each turn. After two hits, someone is going down. If you heal for 25% of HP each turn, you effectively bought that person one extra turn to deal with the threat. And it's even better with multiple enemies who focus on spreading out damage rather than piling on one teammate, as those are smaller cuts better healed with a Channel.
Yes, I agree that casting a spell to prevent that damage from happening in the first place is better, but sometimes you don't have that spell on hand, or you're conserving/out of spells. Having those Channels as a plan B is really helpful. Selective Channel is a must, though. Try getting your CHA to 13 or 14.

Personally, I think you over-invested in Constitution, those points are better spent elsewhere. I'd go with (pre-racials, keeping Archon):
STR
DEX
CON 12
INT 10
WIS 14
CHA 14

STR and DEX open to fill in as you please, with 3 point-buy to spare. If you drop CHA to 13, that's 5 point-buy to spare. I'd personally put some in DEX, as that helps your AC, but heavy armour can do the same. STR is nice for carrying capacity, but as a support Cleric that isn't planning to attack much, meh.


Magnathor wrote:
4. Channel energy is essential for infight healing but infight healing isn't essential ergo channel energy isn't essential?

Short answer, yes. Long answer, if you want to play a character dedicated to (normal*) infight healing, there's basically no way around Channel Energy with the mentioned support feats (and the necklace). There are situation where a cure spell or Channel Energy without feat support is a smart action, but those are rare enough that you don't want to focus your character on.

In Pathfinder, the healing job is mostly outfight hp healing and condition removal. Wands (partys usually pool money to pay for them) handle the former (and the Wizard is better at it than you), and the ability to handle the latter is build into your spellcasting (divine prepared full casting). In Pathfinder, a healer is the cleanup crew - you should rarely need or want to clean the stage while the play is running.

*) What Melkiador described is also possible, using the Life Oracle's Life Link ability and/or the Shield Other spell, in combination with a Paladin's Lay on Hands (or the Pei Zin Practitioner archetype's almost identical ability), but that's a completely different playstyle - your active healing is mainly on yourself, the rest is basically passive.

Melkiador wrote:
If you were a life oracle with Life Link and the Fey Foundling feat, then you can make almost all enemy damage irrelevant.

Life Link is 5 damage per round, how does that make "almost all enemy damage irrelevant"?

Meirril wrote:
So if some orc charges you get an AoO and then you stop threatening when the orc is standing next to you. Now the Rogue can't use you for flanking.

Unless the Rogue delays to take his turn after the Cleric.


The life link and fey foundling thing is because it is additive with the healing options you are already doing. You shouldn’t look at healing options in a vacuum. It’s more about setting a bar that won’t be surpassed.


Derklord wrote:
Magnathor wrote:
4. Channel energy is essential for infight healing but infight healing isn't essential ergo channel energy isn't essential?

Short answer, yes. Long answer, if you want to play a character dedicated to (normal*) infight healing, there's basically no way around Channel Energy with the mentioned support feats (and the necklace). There are situation where a cure spell or Channel Energy without feat support is a smart action, but those are rare enough that you don't want to focus your character on.

In Pathfinder, the healing job is mostly outfight hp healing and condition removal. Wands (partys usually pool money to pay for them) handle the former (and the Wizard is better at it than you), and the ability to handle the latter is build into your spellcasting (divine prepared full casting). In Pathfinder, a healer is the cleanup crew - you should rarely need or want to clean the stage while the play is running.

*) What Melkiador described is also possible, using the Life Oracle's Life Link ability and/or the Shield Other spell, in combination with a Paladin's Lay on Hands (or the Pei Zin Practitioner archetype's almost identical ability), but that's a completely different playstyle - your active healing is mainly on yourself, the rest is basically passive.

Melkiador wrote:
If you were a life oracle with Life Link and the Fey Foundling feat, then you can make almost all enemy damage irrelevant.

Life Link is 5 damage per round, how does that make "almost all enemy damage irrelevant"?

Meirril wrote:
So if some orc charges you get an AoO and then you stop threatening when the orc is standing next to you. Now the Rogue can't use you for flanking.
Unless the Rogue delays to take his turn after the Cleric.

How about that divine scion level 10 bonus?

"At 10th level, a divine scion becomes a true scion of her deity. The amount of healing she gains from her domain specialization doubles."

Dark Archive

Melkiador wrote:
As early as level 3 you have access to shield other to divide damage between you and your most damage prone teammates. This split damage can then be healed simultaneously with a channel, which itself can be used twice in a round if you utilize quick channel.

I found this to be amazingly effective when combined with A) a decent Con, B) Favored Class bonuses into hit points, and C) the Toughness feat. I had good hit points, and kept shield other on the party 'tank' (a ranger) as much as possible (only dropping it when the two of us were taking a lot of AoE and it was doubly-punitive to be effectively getting hit twice with each effect).

It really satisfied the optimizer in me to channel-heal after combats and effectively get twice the healing (since we'd shared his damage taken) out of it.

Keeping within 30 ft. of the person at all times can require some finagling, however...


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A metamagic reach lesser rod is 3000g and changes shield other to medium range. Which is usually more than enough.


Magnathor wrote:

How about that divine scion level 10 bonus?

"At 10th level, a divine scion becomes a true scion of her deity. The amount of healing she gains from her domain specialization doubles."

What about that? That's self healing, and not much at that, I don't exactly see what that has anything to do with the topic of a healer. It's toom little healing* to make Shield Other work.

I'm not exactly sure what you're really asking, though - could you remove what you're not referring to from the quote next time?

*) Even if we presume that the prestige class levels stack with Cleric levels for the domain, which it doesn't RAW, at the level you can get it (16th level), with your stats, even without a con belt, we're talking about ~140HP, the total daily healing you can get from Domain Specialization/True Scion is 72.


Derklord wrote:
Magnathor wrote:

How about that divine scion level 10 bonus?

"At 10th level, a divine scion becomes a true scion of her deity. The amount of healing she gains from her domain specialization doubles."

What about that? That's self healing, and not much at that, I don't exactly see what that has anything to do with the topic of a healer. It's toom little healing* to make Shield Other work.

I'm not exactly sure what you're really asking, though - could you remove what you're not referring to from the quote next time?

*) Even if we presume that the prestige class levels stack with Cleric levels for the domain, which it doesn't RAW, at the level you can get it (16th level), with your stats, even without a con belt, we're talking about ~140HP, the total daily healing you can get from Domain Specialization/True Scion is 72.

Wait a minute, "At 10th level, a divine scion becomes a true scion of her deity. The amount of healing she gains from her domain specialization doubles." Isn't that synergizing with the 50% healing bonus from Heal domain to get a 100% bonus healing? or am I getting something wrong?


Magnathor wrote:
Derklord wrote:
Magnathor wrote:

How about that divine scion level 10 bonus?

"At 10th level, a divine scion becomes a true scion of her deity. The amount of healing she gains from her domain specialization doubles."

What about that? That's self healing, and not much at that, I don't exactly see what that has anything to do with the topic of a healer. It's toom little healing* to make Shield Other work.

I'm not exactly sure what you're really asking, though - could you remove what you're not referring to from the quote next time?

*) Even if we presume that the prestige class levels stack with Cleric levels for the domain, which it doesn't RAW, at the level you can get it (16th level), with your stats, even without a con belt, we're talking about ~140HP, the total daily healing you can get from Domain Specialization/True Scion is 72.

Wait a minute, "At 10th level, a divine scion becomes a true scion of her deity. The amount of healing she gains from her domain specialization doubles." Isn't that synergizing with the 50% healing bonus from Heal domain to get a 100% bonus healing? or am I getting something wrong?

no, it doubles the bit of healing you get from the Divine Scion Domain Specialization class feature.


Lelomenia wrote:
no, it doubles the bit of healing you get from the Divine Scion Domain Specialization class feature.

uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh...


Divine Scion Domain Specialization class feature wrote:
Every time a divine scion casts a domain spell from her specialized domain, she heals damage equal to twice the spell’s level.

this.


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Check out The Forge of Combat: Thoughts on victory and how the group achieves it.
followed by Fueling the Forge: Breaking down Combat Tactics in Pathfinder

For healing, read Tactics 101 (Triage), as it talks all about when to heal and when not to heal in combat.

My suggestion is to cast 1 or 2 spells at the start of battle, and melee the rest of the battle. The spells to use? Bless (1st), Prayer (3rd), Blessing of Fervor (4th), Hunter’s Blessing (5th).

While Blessing of Fervor overlaps with Haste, they all stack with each other, and with the bardic inspiration. For 3rd level, Bless is a great candidate.

/cevah


Dotting, for the great wisdom imparted here.


Cevah wrote:

Check out The Forge of Combat: Thoughts on victory and how the group achieves it.

followed by Fueling the Forge: Breaking down Combat Tactics in Pathfinder

For healing, read Tactics 101 (Triage), as it talks all about when to heal and when not to heal in combat.

/cevah

That's quite some info! Thanks!

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