Cloistered Cleric - What am I missing?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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Looking over the new cleric rules, it seems to me like the Cloistered Cleric is a bit underpowered. They give up all armor proficiencies, and get delayed improvements to weapon proficiencies, and in return they just get...a domain at first level? A war priest at first level potentially gets two feats (shield block and deadly simplicity) while the cloistered cleric just gets one (the aforementioned 'free' domain). I love the idea of a pure, unarmored casting cleric, but it seems like an objectively worse option to me here. I suspect I must be overlooking something, since it made it through the play test like this. What am I missing?


Don't have the books yet but from what I hear, the warpriest has quite a bit slower casting proficiency progression, maxing out at master while the cloistered cleric goes up to legendary.


So I don't know the exact details, as I haven't read cleric very thoroughly, but I do remember their Focus spells being bomb.

Do War priests never get Domains? And are focus spells tied to domain? If that's the case, I think I'm ok with it. Because Boy Howdy, those cleric Focus spells.


The domain is great if you're planning for a focus spell build, and you trade delayed/lesser weapon proficiency for faster/advanced spell proficiency. Your DCs are higher when casting offensively than the war priest. You're basically a divine wizard, falling in between it and the Bard (which is behind the Warpriest) on the magical power -> martial power spectrum among caster classes.

What I don't know yet is whether the focus powers, bonus deity spells, and divine spell list support that enough to make it a great idea. I'm sure it's perfectly workable, though.

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I don't have the book, but we did see the text of Cloistered Cleric. Where does it say it gives up armor? Because I'm not seeing it. Are all the armor Proficiencies only under Warpriest? Because that isn't consistent with what others who have the book have been saying.

As for the rest, it sounds like the Warpriest gets slightly better 1st level stuff inasmuch as they get two Feats to the Cloistered Cleric's one...but one of theirs is only useful with a shield, and another is only useful with a Simple weapon. Those are pretty conditional.

At later levels, we know that Warpriests get better Weapon Proficiency, but Cloistered Clerics get better spell Proficiency to compensate. I don't think that's worse, just different.


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From the Feats perspective, yes, Cloistered Clerics give up a fair bit, especially since they'd need to take 3 General feats and a Class Feat to catch up while Warpriests just need to take a Class Feat and they are caught up.

But Blave is right, it's more about the proficiencies the doctrines give.

Do you want your cleric to be a spiritual wizard? Go cloistered. Do you want your cleric to be more like a PF1 cleric, more of a hybrid? Go Warpriest.

Noting that Cloistered is going to be top notch as a spellcaster, but Warpriest, while capable of both, won't be as good a caster as a wizard, nor as good a combatant as a fighter. As is appropriate, the hybrid approach is master of none (well... I guess master is a technical term in this game, and Warpriest does get some Master proficiencies...)

And as a side note, yes, Warpriests absolutely can take a domain.


So Warpriest giving up domain at 1st level requiring buying it and also losing out on +2 to spell dc from which Lengendary gives Cloistered. Doesn't seem like much of loss.

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Losing Legendary proficiency is also losing about a 10% shift for enemies to go from a Success to Failure against a spell, or from Failure to Critical Failure. Personally, considering how much I've seen people focus on eking out every possible bonus to Save DCs before, and that's also used for spell attack rolls... I think it's probably a fair trade. I mean, if you're not aiming for melee, you can always boost Dex and get a pretty comparable AC, from what I'm seeing.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I don't have the book, but we did see the text of Cloistered Cleric. Where does it say it gives up armor? Because I'm not seeing it. Are all the armor Proficiencies only under Warpriest? Because that isn't consistent with what others who have the book have been saying.

Mark said on Saturday's stream that the Cloistered Cleric does not have any armor proficiency.

I believe it's arranged so that the Cleric has no armor proficiency by default, and Warpriest grants some.

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tqomins wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I don't have the book, but we did see the text of Cloistered Cleric. Where does it say it gives up armor? Because I'm not seeing it. Are all the armor Proficiencies only under Warpriest? Because that isn't consistent with what others who have the book have been saying.

Mark said on Saturday's stream that the Cloistered Cleric does not have any armor proficiency.

I believe it's arranged so that the Cleric has no armor proficiency by default, and Warpriest grants some.

That is correct. They get (surprisingly good) proficiency in light and medium armor. On the other hand, it also doesn't improve beyond that point, so... I suppose that works.


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It's most likely that they don't have armor proficiency so it makes easier to make more paths for the Cleric.


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In terms of pure number of things the Warpriest definitely comes out ahead, but the stuff the Warpriest gets that the Cloistered Cleric doesn't don't really matter to the CC in the first place and Warpriest is never gonna be able to buy up that lost spell proficiency.


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As a side note, I think the Warpriest is also going to be significantly more MAD than the Cloistered Cleric.

In order to Do Their Stuff, the Cloistered Cleric needs primarily Wisdom and secondarily Charisma (for channels, or whatever it's called these days). But the Warpriest will also need Strength and/or Dexterity in order to fight effectively, and will likely be the target of more damage so they'll also want a decent Constitution.

Sure, MAD isn't as big a deal as it once was because of the rather generous stat system, but it's still a thing. Assuming the Cloistered Cleric is consistently one proficiency level ahead of the Warpriest, the actual spell attack/save DC difference will likely be more like 3-4, not 2.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

I don't have the book, but we did see the text of Cloistered Cleric. Where does it say it gives up armor? Because I'm not seeing it. Are all the armor Proficiencies only under Warpriest? Because that isn't consistent with what others who have the book have been saying.

As for the rest, it sounds like the Warpriest gets slightly better 1st level stuff inasmuch as they get two Feats to the Cloistered Cleric's one...but one of theirs is only useful with a shield, and another is only useful with a Simple weapon. Those are pretty conditional.

At later levels, we know that Warpriests get better Weapon Proficiency, but Cloistered Clerics get better spell Proficiency to compensate. I don't think that's worse, just different.

Cleric by default only gets expert in unarmored. Warpriest changes that.


Do keep in mind the Warpriest is very unlikely to care about their spell DCs. Is there a reason that they can't just have low Wisdom?


Staffan Johansson wrote:

As a side note, I think the Warpriest is also going to be significantly more MAD than the Cloistered Cleric.

Depends what the Warpriest wants to do, if it uses the clerics spells only for healing, buffing and utility then Wisdom can be pretty much low to be honest and 18STR/16CHA/12CON/12DEX/10/10 as human would be great, to do damage just use Channel Smite.

Another aproach is 16STR/16WIS/14CHA/12DEX/10/10 that makes spells better while having a good amount of charisma.

This is assuming that Warpriest can chose to have STR for the main class stat instead of wisdom, I don't have the book to know for sure.


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Kyrone wrote:
It's most likely that they don't have armor proficiency so it makes easier to make more paths for the Cleric.

Such as an Inquisitor.


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Cyouni wrote:
Cleric by default only gets expert in unarmored. Warpriest changes that.

Oh, that's totally fine then. Expert Unarmored will get them through the first few levels without *too* much trouble I'd think.

With a 14 Dex you'll have AC 17 [=10+2dex+5prof], and a lvl-1 Fighter will only have an 18 [=10+5armor/Dex+3prof]


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tqomins wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Cleric by default only gets expert in unarmored. Warpriest changes that.

Oh, that's totally fine then. Expert Unarmored will get them through the first few levels without *too* much trouble I'd think.

With a 14 Dex you'll have the same AC 17 as a lvl-1 Fighter.

I doubt they start at Expert unarmored. I'm pretty sure only the Monk starts at Expert.


So for armor, a CC is slightly better off than a Wizard?


Stone Dog wrote:
So for armor, a CC is slightly better off than a Wizard?

Will have the same AC because Wizard gets expert unarmored as well at some point, but it's a little more bulkier because Cleric is a d8 HP class.

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CC only gets trained in unarmored baseline. They get Expert at level 13, as I recall.

Liberty's Edge

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Ah! No armor for Cloistered Cleric is interesting, and makes Warpriest more compelling at 1st. I think the later advantages of Cloistered Cleric are good, but I'd need to actually look at them before commenting further.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ah! No armor for Cloistered Cleric is interesting, and makes Warpriest more compelling at 1st. I think the later advantages of Cloistered Cleric are good, but I'd need to actually look at them before commenting further.

I guess a Human could pick up Light Armor Proficiency as a General Feat, and then retrain that into... Toughness or something when Expert Unarmored comes online.

Cloistered Cleric seems like a good base for people to use when recreating P1 Cleric archetypes that traded away Medium Armor. For Instance, an Evangelist Cleric could just be a CC with Bard dedication. Shame that Inspire Courage only comes online at 8th level, but until then you've got Bless.


Both clerics still gain their 10th level spells though, am I right?


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Spell progression is always the same, so: yes


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First World Bard wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ah! No armor for Cloistered Cleric is interesting, and makes Warpriest more compelling at 1st. I think the later advantages of Cloistered Cleric are good, but I'd need to actually look at them before commenting further.

I guess a Human could pick up Light Armor Proficiency as a General Feat, and then retrain that into... Toughness or something when Expert Unarmored comes online.

Cloistered Cleric seems like a good base for people to use when recreating P1 Cleric archetypes that traded away Medium Armor. For Instance, an Evangelist Cleric could just be a CC with Bard dedication. Shame that Inspire Courage only comes online at 8th level, but until then you've got Bless.

There is a single Armor Proficiency feat that can be taken multiple times for proficiency with heavier armor, so a character who is not naturally proficient with any sort of armor can become proficient with heavy armor for three feats.

Champion Dedication gets you all armor proficiencies for one feat.

Somebody elsewhere mentioned that Rogue Dedication gets you proficiency with light armor (and thus is a better deal than the initial Armor Proficiency feat), but I have not yet confirmed that in my own copy of the book.


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David knott 242 wrote:
Somebody elsewhere mentioned that Rogue Dedication gets you proficiency with light armor (and thus is a better deal than the initial Armor Proficiency feat), but I have not yet confirmed that in my own copy of the book.

No need to check the book. We've already seen all of the multiclass archetypes, and the Rogue multiclass does indeed grant training in light armor.


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David knott 242 wrote:


Somebody elsewhere mentioned that Rogue Dedication gets you proficiency with light armor (and thus is a better deal than the initial Armor Proficiency feat), but I have not yet confirmed that in my own copy of the book.

I wouldn't say better. Yes the feat gets you more stuff, but thats because it is a Class Feat, which while more numerous are more build defining than General Feats and thus you would expect to get more out of it. Silo is super important


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What I meant is that the Rogue Dedication feat on its own grants more benefits, albeit at a higher cost if you were planning on taking some other dedication feat.


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tqomins wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Somebody elsewhere mentioned that Rogue Dedication gets you proficiency with light armor (and thus is a better deal than the initial Armor Proficiency feat), but I have not yet confirmed that in my own copy of the book.
No need to check the book. We've already seen all of the multiclass archetypes, and the Rogue multiclass does indeed grant training in light armor.

*makes notes for rebuilding my gnome multiclassed rogue/cleric of Desna who starting falling behind pretty quickly in P1e*


What Proficiency in weapons and armor do both doctrines end at.


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Spellcasters usually don't get beyond Expert (at 13th level) with whatever armor they are initially trained in (including unarmored defense), and I do remember that being the case with clerics. I don't recall the exact weapon proficiency progressions.


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Joana wrote:
tqomins wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Somebody elsewhere mentioned that Rogue Dedication gets you proficiency with light armor (and thus is a better deal than the initial Armor Proficiency feat), but I have not yet confirmed that in my own copy of the book.
No need to check the book. We've already seen all of the multiclass archetypes, and the Rogue multiclass does indeed grant training in light armor.
*makes notes for rebuilding my gnome multiclassed rogue/cleric of Desna who starting falling behind pretty quickly in P1e*

I've actually got that one of those (well, human, but otherwise true) who just converted last night. Since she wanted to stick with the starknife and light armor anyway, cloistered was the obvious pick for improved spell DCs.

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Reziburno25 wrote:
What Proficiency in weapons and armor do both doctrines end at.

We know that Cloistered Clerics wind up Expert in their deity's Favored Weapon and in Unarmored (at 11th and 13th levels respectively).

We know Warpriests get Expert in weapons earlier, but the rest is still ambiguous. I think someone mentioned them getting Master in weapons but never going above Trained in armor, but I can't remember where and certainly don't have the book to check.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Reziburno25 wrote:
What Proficiency in weapons and armor do both doctrines end at.

We know that Cloistered Clerics wind up Expert in their deity's Favored Weapon and in Unarmored (at 11th and 13th levels respectively).

We know Warpriests get Expert in weapons earlier, but the rest is still ambiguous. I think someone mentioned them getting Master in weapons but never going above Trained in armor, but I can't remember where and certainly don't have the book to check.

Looks like Warpriests get expert in their deity's weapon at 7th, plus weapon crit specialization effect, but never get master.

As for armor, they get expert in light and medium at 13th.

Also, at 15th, they get master proficiency in Fort saves, and treat a success as a critical success.


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First World Bard wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ah! No armor for Cloistered Cleric is interesting, and makes Warpriest more compelling at 1st. I think the later advantages of Cloistered Cleric are good, but I'd need to actually look at them before commenting further.
I guess a Human could pick up Light Armor Proficiency as a General Feat, and then retrain that into... Toughness or something when Expert Unarmored comes online.

This is going to depend on your Dex. If you haven't maxed your Dex out, light armor at trained could be as good as unarmored at expert, and there might be a reason you want the armor (like a specific magical armor).


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wilderbeast wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Reziburno25 wrote:
What Proficiency in weapons and armor do both doctrines end at.

We know that Cloistered Clerics wind up Expert in their deity's Favored Weapon and in Unarmored (at 11th and 13th levels respectively).

We know Warpriests get Expert in weapons earlier, but the rest is still ambiguous. I think someone mentioned them getting Master in weapons but never going above Trained in armor, but I can't remember where and certainly don't have the book to check.

Looks like Warpriests get expert in their deity's weapon at 7th, plus weapon crit specialization effect, but never get master.

As for armor, they get expert in light and medium at 13th.

Also, at 15th, they get master proficiency in Fort saves, and treat a success as a critical success.

The fact that a Warpriest of Iomadae can't fight quite as well as a Paladin of Iomadae does not seem to be a problem. The warpriest has other ways to compensate for the slight difference in proficiency.

I don't want a path for a wizard to be legendary with a weapon, legendary with unarmored defense and legendary at spell casting.

My reading of the classes is they seem to be well balanced.

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