Heavens Oracle - Focused


Advice


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I am in a game that has us at 17th level (tail end of a campaign), and was looking at Oracle builds (currently playing a Mystic Theurge in that game, but getting a sensation of spell overload - I don't remember, but I think I'm prepping about 70 or spells a day. It can be maddening trying to manage).

So, we really need the healing (aside from my Theurge, the only other true healing is a Witch and a Paladin, so high level Restoration and "Get out of death" spells are limited).

Trying to make an interesting concept, I was noting the Heavens Oracle (we're limited to Core RPG and APG only), and the Awesome Display power.

If I'm reading everything correctly, then an Oracle with the following build:

Relevant stats:
CHA 32 (18 base +2 human + 4 from leveling + 6 headband + 2 from tome)

Relevant feats:
Spell Focus: Illusion
Greater Spell Focus: Illusion
Spell Penetration
Heighten Spell
(Insert 2 more metamagic feats)
Spell Perfection: Color Spray

Relevant Equipment:
Headband of Charisma +6
Metamagic Rod Lesser - Quicken
Metamagic Rod Lesser - Widen
Metamagic Rod Lesser - Persistent

(I understand that the Heighten effect may cause the spell to count as 9th level for this purpose and therefor would require a Greater Metamagic Rod, in which case I would probably only go with Widen or Persistent)

If I am understanding the numbers correctly, then in theory you could Heighten the Color Spray to 9th level while using a 1st level slot, then the spell's effective stats are:

Save DC: 34 Will = 10 + 9 (spell level) + 11 (ability modifier) + 1 (Spell Focus: Illusion) + 1 (Greater Spell Focus: Illusion) + 2 (Spell Perfection: Color Spray)

HDs affected:
13 HD or less: The creature is unconscious, blinded, and stunned for 2d4 rounds, then blinded and stunned for 1d4 rounds, and then stunned for 1 round. (Only living creatures are knocked unconscious.)

14 or 15 HD: The creature is blinded and stunned for 1d4 rounds, then stunned for 1 round.

16 or more HD: The creature is stunned for 1 round.

All of this coupled with using either the Persistent (forcing two saving throw rolls) or Widen (getting a larger number of targets), but with the number of 1st level spells an Oracle can cast (and not many other uses for slots that low), it seems like it would be a pretty effective crowd control. A human could also take Spell Perfection: Rainbow Pattern, to keep the Save DC incredibly high.

This also feels like it makes the Dweller in the Darkness Revelation more worth it, as the Weird effect (9th level spell) would have a Save DC of 32.

I'm not interested in trying to out damage the Fighter, Inquisitor, and Paladin in our party. We're pretty large for a group:
Fighter
Wizard (Conjuration/Summoning Build)
Paladin
Witch
Inquisitor

My character, the Mystic Theurge, is Cleric 4/Wizard 3/Theurge 10 (I wanted to see what the build was like). I end up handling a lot of the bigger heals (Heal, Breath of Life, Restoration, Greater Restoration), but my arcane side is almost purely buffs at this stage.

I considered going Life Oracle and just make the healing absurdly powerful, but worry that would leave me a bit bored in combat. Maybe not, but still.

I'm open to other builds and suggestions as well.

Thanks!


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I think technically you can apply Heighten with Spell Perfection, but the FAQ says it has no effect (Heighten Heightens by however many spell slots you actually increase; if you apply it and use a 1st, it still counts as a first).


Any healing build that doesn't do it the right way probably will get bored in combat. In-combat healing is generally ineffective anyways- the spells often have touch range, the hp healed is seldom enough, and it removes one player from the action economy of hurting enemies.

Life oracle's life link mitigates that somewhat- you can cast and maintain a life link (or several) at the same time, but some DMs may rule this as "taking ongoing damage while casting".

With your current group, you're going to have a utility/summoning caster, a debuffer, and you- the buffer, preferably. You'll have the ability as an oracle to spam spells that remove conditions, heal party members when needed, and throw around your own stuff when none of that is needed. Your current build (color spray spam) is nice for what it's intended to do, but I wouldn't put all of my eggs into one basket. Color spray is is a mind-affecting illusion with a short range and a limiting area of effect (cone which will catch party members just as often as not). If something's not immune or too high HD to be significantly affected, you might still hit a party member. Other Spell Perfection builds focus on being able to mitigate this or circumvent danger- see the infamous Dazing fireballer with the admixture subschool, which adds crowd control, damage, and choice of element to one spell. There's nothing worse as someone who focuses on Color Spray than running into one of many enemies that are immune to its effects.

You may be better off focusing on other spells (or not taking Spell Perfection) and instead using things like Rainbow Pattern to lead enemies away or similar buffs and helpful effects. All of this is not to say that a color sprayer can't be useful- it'll just require more magical doodads to be useful all of the time.

While it's not optimal, the heavens oracle also gets some good blasty spells. Chain lightning and summoners get along very well, and sunburst is an amazing AoE blinding effect. No matter what you focus on, you're still a 9-level caster in the end. It's hard to truly go wrong.


With a Inquisitor, Paladin and a witch in the party you should be fairly well covered for healing.

Paladins have access to restoration and a fair number of other condition removal spells. They also get mercies that can be used to cover things not on their spell list. The nice thing about mercies is that when a paladin uses lay on hands the target gets the benefit from all the mercies the paladin has.

The witch has both raise dead and resurrection on her spell list so should be able to deal with bringing characters back to life. She also has Heal which will take care of almost all other conditions except negative levels or permanent ability damage, but the paladin as I mentioned does get restoration so can deal with those.

The inquisitor also has a lot of these spells on his spell list. He may not have them as spells know but they are on his list. He does not have spells to raise the dead, but he does have both heal and restoration on his list. The smart thing to do is to get a couple of scrolls with these spells so if one of the other casters are incapacitated he can use a scrolls to bring get them up.

This means that if you play an oracle you don’t need to use all your spells for healing. As an oracle you will get all of the cure spells automatically without having to cut into your spells know. Take the blackened curse to get some blasting spells. Work with the other party members to balance out the rest of the healing. Chose a decent number of offensive spells as well as the basic buff spells the wizard does not have.

Your understanding of heightened spell is wrong. What heightened spell does is allow the spell to be cast in a higher level slot and count as a higher level spell. So in order for it to be counted as a 9th level spell you need to use a 9th level slot. You can use any slot as long as it is higher than the level of the spell. So if you used a 5th level slot to cast color spray it would be considered a 5th level spell . Usually you use heightened spell to increase the DC of the save, or to allow it to bypass defenses that only work on a lower level spell. For example if you used a 4th level slot for color spray it would ignore a lesser globe of invulnerability and the DC for the save would be 3 higher.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:

With a Inquisitor, Paladin and a witch in the party you should be fairly well covered for healing.

Paladins have access to restoration and a fair number of other condition removal spells. They also get mercies that can be used to cover things not on their spell list. The nice thing about mercies is that when a paladin uses lay on hands the target gets the benefit from all the mercies the paladin has.

The witch has both raise dead and resurrection on her spell list so should be able to deal with bringing characters back to life. She also has Heal which will take care of almost all other conditions except negative levels or permanent ability damage, but the paladin as I mentioned does get restoration so can deal with those.

The inquisitor also has a lot of these spells on his spell list. He may not have them as spells know but they are on his list. He does not have spells to raise the dead, but he does have both heal and restoration on his list. The smart thing to do is to get a couple of scrolls with these spells so if one of the other casters are incapacitated he can use a scrolls to bring get them up.

This means that if you play an oracle you don’t need to use all your spells for healing. As an oracle you will get all of the cure spells automatically without having to cut into your spells know. Take the blackened curse to get some blasting spells. Work with the other party members to balance out the rest of the healing. Chose a decent number of offensive spells as well as the basic buff spells the wizard does not have.

Your understanding of heightened spell is wrong. What heightened spell does is allow the spell to be cast in a higher level slot and count as a higher level spell. So in order for it to be counted as a 9th level spell you need to use a 9th level slot. You can use any slot as long as it is higher than the level of the spell. So if you used a 5th level slot to cast color spray it would be considered a 5th level spell . Usually you use heightened spell...

Lelomenia covered what I was thinking about, regarding Heightened Spell - that you could use Spell Perfection to implement Heighten Spell without using higher level slots. From Heighten Spell:

Quote:

Benefit: A heightened spell has a higher spell level than normal (up to a maximum of 9th level). Unlike other metamagic feats, Heighten Spell actually increases the effective level of the spell that it modifies. All effects dependent on spell level (such as saving throw DCs and ability to penetrate a lesser globe of invulnerability) are calculated according to the heightened level.

Level Increase: The heightened spell is as difficult to prepare and cast as a spell of its effective level.

Spell Perfection:

Quote:

Prerequisites: Spellcraft 15 ranks, at least three metamagic feats.

Benefit: Pick one spell which you have the ability to cast. Whenever you cast that spell you may apply any one metamagic feat you have to that spell without affecting its level or casting time, as long as the total modified level of the spell does not use a spell slot above 9th level. In addition, if you have other feats which allow you to apply a set numerical bonus to any aspect of this spell (such as Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, Weapon Focus [ray], and so on), double the bonus granted by that feat when applied to this spell.

That's where I was originally thinking. Trying to find more info about it online has led to more and more people disagreeing on the interpretation if the two can be used together; so honestly I am leaning away from it.

With the books limited to the Core RPG and APG, I am not sure the Oracle will be nearly as effective in our current environment as it would otherwise be (Dungeon crawl that has had us encounter high-level undead, demons and/or devils, constructs, and a lot of campaign-unique creatures). It feels like a lot of the recommendations for Oracles (spell list especially) come from books we're not utilizing. It makes me wonder if Oracle is the best fit for what I'm wanting to do. Save DCs for a lot of the crowd control spells don't seem to keep pace.


faq wrote:
you can't apply Heighten Spell to a spell at no cost: any increase to the effective spell level of the spell must be tracked and paid for by using a higher-level spell slot

by “has no effect” I mean “increases the spell level by zero levels” not “has the massive effect of an 8-level increase”, in case that wasn’t clear.

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