Cloistered cleric woes


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i don't think an argument is meant to be either enjoyable or not enjoyable. an argument simply is a stated fact/pov.

You used something for a comparison that uses none of the strengths for one of the paths and used something that uses all of the strengths of the other path.

that's simply fraudulent.

take it as you want, but having an extra +2 ac in exchange for 3-4 less spells per day, at level 1, is not that big of a deal, they are balanced fine between them exactly because focus spells, in the early levels that you only have very few spell slots, are much more important than later on when you have more normal spells to spam.

you may disagree with this, and that's your right, don't make a Cloistered if you don't like them, i won't press further.


SuperBidi wrote:
totoro wrote:
I'll give you that Fire Ray is a better choice than the ones shroudb said were so awesome. At least you keep your distance and can use the spell in a fight. Down side is you get to throw it once per fight and it really isn't any better than a warpriest using a weapon.

Of course it is, it's based on Wisdom, not Strength. So you can completely ignore one attribute, which is a big advantage.

The warpriest needs Wisdom, Strength, Charisma, Constitution and a bit of Dexterity. It's a lot, so, at low level, you'll be a lame duck. To compensate for that, he has more abilities at first level, just to be playable. At high level, as you can increase 4 ability scores, he'll be able to go to 18 in all important attributes, that's why Cloistered gets more things in the late game.

Look at the suggested build provided by OP. That build is better than cloistered, which is kind of the point. I think the best warpriest is built with 18 STR, 12 DEX, 16 CHA. The other attributes just don't matter much, but INT is the obvious dump-stat. With an 18 STR you are doing more damage with just as good attack bonus as a cloistered with [pick a damage-dealing spell]. And you can do it at will. Your healing works just fine. Throw in Magic Weapon (or find a magic weapon) and you'll out-perform the cloistered by any reasonable metric until 7th level.

Meanwhile, at 5th level, if I were just going for optimum, I'd probably bump STR, WIS, CON, CHA. Breastplate is good enough so DEX 14 is plenty and INT doesn't matter, though equipment choices and the like may make DEX instead of one of the others a decent choice. The difference between +1 hit point at 1st level and +2 hit points at 1st level is minor. You don't need to go nuts with the CON. It's nice for almost any class to bump it later as long as it's below 18. However, because a warpriest really only has one dump stat (INT), you probably don't want to take the flaw option.

A cloistered can do one thing better than a warpriest. Divine Font. You can heal better because you can take the healing domain for free, plus get healing hands. A cloistered can also take the flaw for better effect (dumping both STR and INT to get WIS and CHA both to 18 so at 10th level, both can be 20, which is somewhat interesting and helps the cloistered pull away from the front-loaded warpriest to realize its presumed role as white wizard).

Counter-intuitively, the cloistered is probably better dumping WIS in favor of STR and getting a reach weapon to be effective in the early game. However, that might be harmful later when WIS starts to matter. On the other hand, if you take a champion dedication you can pick up some full plate armor and you never have to worry about DEX again. Also counter-intuitively, although derisively mocked by someone else on this thread as suboptimal, at least at 1st level, a cloistered with 14 STR, 18 DEX, 10 CON, 10 INT, 10 WIS, and 16 CHA outperforms cloistereds who choose to throw firebolts... by throwing darts. One of the things I like about pf2e is you can build your attributes in so many different ways and still be viable. In pf1e you could not make a viable 10 WIS cleric.


shroudb wrote:

i don't think an argument is meant to be either enjoyable or not enjoyable. an argument simply is a stated fact/pov.

You used something for a comparison that uses none of the strengths for one of the paths and used something that uses all of the strengths of the other path.

that's simply fraudulent.

take it as you want, but having an extra +2 ac in exchange for 3-4 less spells per day, at level 1, is not that big of a deal, they are balanced fine between them exactly because focus spells, in the early levels that you only have very few spell slots, are much more important than later on when you have more normal spells to spam.

you may disagree with this, and that's your right, don't make a Cloistered if you don't like them, i won't press further.

I apologize. I sometimes get irrationally annoyed with people on forums when they are just stating their opinions. It was a dick move and I wish I could delete my post. Anyway, I'll engage.

The OP build dumped WIS essentially in favor of STR, so there is no difference in spell count between cloistered and warpriest (CHA is 16 in both cases). IMO, there are two good cleric spells: heal and magic weapon. Because heal is actually good, I agree that a build that chooses lower CHA is choosing suboptimally. So the difference at level 1, assuming the cloistered takes something other than the healing domain and the warpriest has high STR, is the warpriest gets +2 AC (+4 if they spend an action to raise shield), +2 fortitude, and treats a simple weapon like a martial by adding to its damage (which is only relevant for a subset of the deity selections). The spell the cloistered gets in exchange, if damaging, is pretty close to what you get for attacking with a weapon as long as you have good STR (or good DEX if you want to throw darts); of course, you can attack with weapons all day long. The spell the cloistered gets in exchange, if not damaging and not healing, is, well, put it this way: if the spell granted only the +2 AC as a free action 1/encounter, you'd be crazy not to take it; it's twice what you could get from Mage Armor at 1st level. And +2 AC is just one of the things you get for being a warpriest.


You can't actually get Str 18 on Warpriest at 1st, Str 16 is the max as it isn't their class score.


Edge93 wrote:
You can't actually get Str 18 on Warpriest at 1st, Str 16 is the max as it isn't their class score.

You can dump 2 stats to bring one up in character creation. No stat lower than 8 I believe.


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Dragorine wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
You can't actually get Str 18 on Warpriest at 1st, Str 16 is the max as it isn't their class score.
You can dump 2 stats to bring one up in character creation. No stat lower than 8 I believe.

But also no stat higher than 12 at the ancestry stage which is where the 2 flaws for a boost comes in.


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The divine spell list is great at level 1. Especially with an focused spell attribute. Sanctuary is great for a cloistered cleric. Ventriloquism is a very usable spell in PF2, with a duration of 10 minutes. Bless is a great option. Harm can be a nasty option with action economy utility at close range and the ability to dish some AoE with careful party placement. At higher levels Bane can be a great spell for debuffing mobs of lower level monsters. Clerics don’t have spell books and thus Spells like air bubble require no commitment, but have incredible utility when needed.


totoro wrote:
You should double down on healing (healing hands and healing domain) as a white wizard if you want to be able to do something better than anyone else.

I have to say, at low level neither of those options are very exciting or IMO useful: using a focus spell and a use of your font to heal 2 more hp... Instead of using a focus power, I'd rather heal everyone in 30' instead of healing 1d10+9 vs 1d8+8: getting 1 hp/focus point is really bad to me because how often are you going to need multiple heals a a single person at 1st when healing 1d8+8?

IMO, an attack like fire ray is much more useful: it might not do the damage of a overspecialized fighter but it shouldn't be. I have to say I fundamentally disagree that an attack is useless if it even does a single point of damage less than an optimized martial.


pixierose wrote:
Dragorine wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
You can't actually get Str 18 on Warpriest at 1st, Str 16 is the max as it isn't their class score.
You can dump 2 stats to bring one up in character creation. No stat lower than 8 I believe.
But also no stat higher than 12 at the ancestry stage which is where the 2 flaws for a boost comes in.

Ah so it seems. This is a bit sad. Makes me want Wild Druids to be able to choose str as a key stat even more.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

Removed a few posts. Lets try to avoid sniping at and attacking eachother in this thread please.


Unicore wrote:
The divine spell list is great at level 1. Especially with an focused spell attribute. Sanctuary is great for a cloistered cleric. Ventriloquism is a very usable spell in PF2, with a duration of 10 minutes. Bless is a great option. Harm can be a nasty option with action economy utility at close range and the ability to dish some AoE with careful party placement. At higher levels Bane can be a great spell for debuffing mobs of lower level monsters. Clerics don’t have spell books and thus Spells like air bubble require no commitment, but have incredible utility when needed.

Lol. We're talking about 1st level and front-loaded warpriests relative to cloistereds. Those spells are a waste of time. When you have spell slots to burn, which comes online around 5th level, you can start making use of air bubble and ventriloquism. It's a game, though, so as long as I know my players are taking spells like that, I can always weaken the encounters a bit. As GM, I don't powergame; I'm just kicking the tires here. Those spell choices will make you useful in the same way the hireling who tends the mule could in theory step up and roll a 20 with a crossbow, saving the day. I'm more interested in the stuff that happens regularly. In any case, the comparison here is not between the divine spell list and awesomeness; it's between the cloistered cleric and the warpriest. The warpriest is just as "great" as the cloistered with air bubble and bless; he's just going to have more important things to do than to cast those spells unless someone else in the party is handling the heavy lifting.


graystone wrote:
totoro wrote:
You should double down on healing (healing hands and healing domain) as a white wizard if you want to be able to do something better than anyone else.

I have to say, at low level neither of those options are very exciting or IMO useful: using a focus spell and a use of your font to heal 2 more hp... Instead of using a focus power, I'd rather heal everyone in 30' instead of healing 1d10+9 vs 1d8+8: getting 1 hp/focus point is really bad to me because how often are you going to need multiple heals a a single person at 1st when healing 1d8+8?

IMO, an attack like fire ray is much more useful: it might not do the damage of a overspecialized fighter but it shouldn't be. I have to say I fundamentally disagree that an attack is useless if it even does a single point of damage less than an optimized martial.

We're comparing whether a warpriest is front-loaded compared to a cloistered. The warpriest can also do the fire ray but it's not good enough to waste a spell slot on, even if he can do it once per encounter. In that sense, because the warpriest can throw a javelin for equivalent effect as the cloistered can shoot a fire ray, the warpriest is still front-loaded. In other words, if you want that fire ray to be good in the early game, you build a cloistered because relative to what you can do, it's pretty good. And maybe that's fun for you, which is just fine.

Healing is what matters for a cleric. You don't have to go 18 CHA (with flaws, of course) or even 16 CHA, but 10 CHA is weakening the strongest built-in class feature. Warpriests and cloistereds have equal access to this feature. Cloistereds can just make better use of it because they can get an extra feat that makes it slightly better. I'm not arguing it's more exciting than a ray of fire or as fun as sanctuary; I'm simply making the point that a cloistered can be better than a warpriest in that one thing, but really nothing else of any consequence. That you think that is boring is just one reason more why the warpriest is front-loaded.

At 7th level, the cloistered gets a few more ways to distinguish themselves from warpriests, primarily through relatively improved spell attacks. That goes away at 11th level and comes back at 15th. Thus, finally, at 15th level, the cloistered gets and keeps the better spell attacks. That means the warpriest is front-loaded.


totoro wrote:
The warpriest can also do the fire ray

IF they take the feat the cloistered gets for free... See in the quote, you're telling me what a 'white wizard' should do, not talking about front-loading on a warpriest. I don't find their healing meaningfully diminished by not tossing away a domain on that healing focus power until I can reasonably expect to cast multiple heals on one target multiple times a day: It's sure not something I'd take at 1st as the fire ray is much more useful at that level.

totoro wrote:
I'm not arguing it's more exciting than a ray of fire or as fun as sanctuary

Neither am I as I didn't think about excitement at all, just usefulness.


Colette Brunel wrote:

I am thinking that the cloistered cleric has trouble compared to a warpriest from 1st through 6th, and from 13th onwards. The cloistered cleric's 1st-level package is Domain Initiate as a bonus feat. That is it, something that a human could pick up with Natural Ambition at 1st level anyway. (Never mind that the bulk of 1st-level domain powers are very narrow and situational anyway.) The cloistered cleric has to take Armor Proficiency if they do not want to be terribly fragile; they also need to invest in both Wisdom for spells and Charisma for channels.

The warpriest, on the other hand, has a very loaded package right at 1st level, which helps a huge degree with survivability. Medium armor and Shield Block are a huge step up from plain old unarmored proficiency.

The cloistered cleric's main benefit is improved proficiency with spellcasting, but the divine spell list is mostly support-oriented anyway, so spell attack rolls and DCs matter less. Still, it is at least nice that a cloistered cleric has improved spellcasting at 7th, which can help with cantrips and the like.

But then we come to 13th level, and the cleric is one of the many classes that gets corralled back into their baseline armor. Unless they happened to arrange their ability scores in such a way as to hit Dexterity 18 by 10th level (which is going to cut into their Charisma from 1st through 9th level), they might have AC problems by 13th.

Champ archetype. Bam. Fixed if you want to melee and it fits the theme. They will have good CHA for divine font and good str if they want heavy armor. So the ability score requirements dont matter. Plus you can get the reaction that reduces the damage an ally within 15 feet takes to be an even better protector once you hit level 6. I would go Shelyn to get proficiency in a reach weapon (goes to expert later). I would nab healing touch too.

If you don't want to be a frontliner, this doesnt really matter anyways. Just go something like Sarenrae to get Fire Ray and blast away from range. Be a human, get adapted cantrip and nab electric arc. You will be great.

So many ways to build a cleric. Cloistered Cleric is actually mechanically better than War Priest in my estimation. So many options. Spend more times looking at the rules and ways to build characters, complain less and you will see the options you have.


Data Lore wrote:
Champ archetype. Bam. Fixed

This, of course, assumes you're good and/or you have a deity can normally take champions.


graystone wrote:
Data Lore wrote:
Champ archetype. Bam. Fixed
This, of course, assumes you're good and/or you have a deity can normally take champions.

True. I'm willing to bet neutral and evil champs are forth coming though. Possibly in that Gods/faith book thats hitting in a few months.

That being said, having the Cloistered Cleric, the caster Cleric option, have limited frontline melee optimization options in core is probably intended and not exactly a problem, IMHO.

But, hey, the option IS there.


graystone wrote:
Data Lore wrote:
Champ archetype. Bam. Fixed
This, of course, assumes you're good and/or you have a deity can normally take champions.

You could pick Cayden and get drunk all the time. Also if it's just for proficiency, there's nothing stopping us from stopping the worshipping and keeping the armor training. Rebel knight and all that.


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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
graystone wrote:
Data Lore wrote:
Champ archetype. Bam. Fixed
This, of course, assumes you're good and/or you have a deity can normally take champions.
You could pick Cayden and get drunk all the time. Also if it's just for proficiency, there's nothing stopping us from stopping the worshipping and keeping the armor training. Rebel knight and all that.

The thing is you're already worshiping an existing god to be a cleric: I think they'd frown on said cleric stopping worship and isn't likely to keep giving spells to them. ;) So a cloistered cleric without spells and full armor IS possible, i think I'd just go fighter...


graystone wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
graystone wrote:
Data Lore wrote:
Champ archetype. Bam. Fixed
This, of course, assumes you're good and/or you have a deity can normally take champions.
You could pick Cayden and get drunk all the time. Also if it's just for proficiency, there's nothing stopping us from stopping the worshipping and keeping the armor training. Rebel knight and all that.
The thing is you're already worshiping an existing god to be a cleric: I think they'd frown on said cleric stopping worship and isn't likely to keep giving spells to them. ;) So a cloistered cleric without spells and full armor IS possible, i think I'd just go fighter...

American Gods taught me that it's just mean to worship one >:(


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I think there is a general misread on the cloistered cleric if your main goal is to be a tanky healbot then warpriest is the path for you. But you are still only getting an 18 in wisdom at level 1, and only managing 16s in STR and CHA with significant dumping somewhere else. A cloistered cleric with an 18 WIS and a 16 CHA is a caster through and through, much better MC into another caster role for more spells than trying to be adequate in Melee combat. The divine spell list has great options, but if your goal is to be a healer first and foremost, you aren’t really looking to explore it. That is fine. The war priest is very good at healing and almost keeping up secondary martial prowess. If that is what you are going for with a cleric it is your best option.

But With a high Cha and battle medicine, a cloistered cleric can heal all day and keep spell slots open for taking advantage of that 18 Wis. with thrown weapons requiring an action to draw and being a point behind in attack and damage, divine cantrips are a better ranged attack option by far.


Cantrips scale faster too, likely due to their 2 action use.

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