Cloistered cleric woes


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

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.


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Colette Brunel wrote:
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.

For a Warpriest, Domain Initiate can be something of a feat tax (though some domains are nice). For a Cloistered Cleric, it's a freebie which means they can get the other class feats they want at 1st level and still qualify for Advanced Domain later.

Colette Brunel wrote:
The cloistered cleric has to take Armor Proficiency if they do not want to be terribly fragile;

That's a big "IF" here. Recalling your playtest TPK reports, YOUR players probably do, but not everyone's.

Colette Brunel wrote:


they also need to invest in both Wisdom for spells and Charisma for channels.

This is true for Warpriest as well. Luckily, with the new ability score system, characters can raise 3 abilities in parallel if they need to.

Colette Brunel wrote:
the divine spell list is mostly support-oriented anyway, so spell attack rolls and DCs matter less.

It does not matter mechanically how many offensive spells are on the list as long as there is at least a single decent one to use at each level.

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exactly the kind of combatant enemies want to focus-fire down first. How is a cloistered cleric supposed to survive like this?

By relying on the frontliner's reactions, battlefield positioning, and defensive spells and domain powers. Obviously the cloistered cleric needs more protection than Warpriest - that's by design and in the naming. In return, he can better heal those who protect him and assist with the blasting.


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How would a divine or primal sorcerer survive in your games? Those also lack any armor proficiency and have no mage armor. And even less HP then the cleric.

The Cloistered Cleric is fine. If anything, I think they could use a few more caster-oriented feats that don't just deal with Heal/Harm. But I've outlined one an didn't find him lacking.

Sovereign Court

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The essence of the cloistered cleric is that you're the squishy caster. If you don't want to play the squishy caster, don't go for this package. Don't blame it for doing exactly as advertised.

A cloistered cleric needs a cloister. That cloister is the other PCs who block enemies from easily getting to the squishy caster.

I wouldn't use this doctrine in a party where there are no martials with Attack of Opportunity to stop enemies from running at you. PF2 really doesn't encourage character building in isolation. The need to get help from other members of the party is really built into most classes.


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Honestly, I'd probably rather go Divine Sorcerer than Cloistered Cleric. But here's the thing: Why not use the Cloistered Cleric as a chassis to multiclass into a Theurge of some sort, or a Champion if you're good? I don't actually see many feats that are a must for a Cloistered Cleric to be good, so you can spare them to branch out. That might solve some of your woes. If you go for double caster, then just stay in the back and hope no one attacks you... if you go for some martial power (Champion, though Neutral Clerics are out of luck), then you can forget Dex after all.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Supposedly, cloistered clerics are better at support and healing than warpriests. But I am wondering if that is genuinely the case.

Let us say we have a 2nd-level cloistered cleric. For the sake of survival, they are a Versatile Human with General Training, for Armor Proficiency twice, earning medium armor. They have Strength 10, Dexterity 12, Constitution 12, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 18, Charisma 16. Their Charisma lets them toss out a nice, big serving of heal spells throughout the adventuring day. Their offense is on the poorer side, since divine lance can have trouble against neutral enemies, and daze deals limited damage, but that is okay. They are sucking up armor speed penalties and armor check penalties, but that is also okay. If they settled for only light armor, their AC would suffer; if they settled for light armor and diverted points from Charisma into Dexterity, their heal spells would be less frequent.

What kind of spells might they prepare for supporting the party? Some permutation of bless and magic weapon looks nice for tossing out buffs, so those are the selection.

On the other hand, we have a 2nd-level warpriest of, say, Gorum. They are also a Versatile Human, earning Armor Proficiency, for that sweet heavy armor. Splint mail can be nice to have around, giving them 1 more AC than the cloistered cleric. They have Natural Ambition as their ancestry feat, earning Domain Initiate, which the cloistered cleric has as a bonus feat. With Domain Initiate, they gain weapon surge as a focus power, which is, in fact, quite good at the lower levels. They have Strength 16, Dexterity 12, Constitution 12, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 16. Their Charisma likewise lets them toss out a fair few heal spells. They suffer no armor check penalties or armor speed penalties. Their offense is actually fairly good; a greatsword packs a whallop.

For supporting the party, they have some permutation of bless and magic weapon and... wait a minute, this is looking awfully similar to the cloistered cleric. The cloistered cleric's edge lies in spells that have attack rolls or DCs, and that is it, where the warpriest can load up on support and healing spells.

Perhaps this is simply a matter of the warpriest being very front-loaded and thus distinctly better at lower levels?


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If your plan is to wear armor as a cleric, the war priest is definitely the one true build. Sanctuary is a level 1 spell a cleric can use for their whole career that might make attacking them more annoying for the opposition than just having high AC. Especially because it is probably better on a failed save than a crit fail save. ( the monsters will have to decide if they want to possibly waste an action again the next round. A dwarf cleric with decent Con, wis and Cha could be a great companion to a Champion or fighter.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Is it just me or does being "cloistered" not really lend itself to a life as an adventurer?


Colette Brunel wrote:
On the other hand, we have a 2nd-level warpriest of, say, Gorum. They are also a Versatile Human, earning Armor Proficiency, for that sweet heavy armor. Splint mail can be nice to have around, giving them 1 more AC than the cloistered cleric. They have Natural Ambition as their ancestry feat, earning Domain Initiate, which the cloistered cleric has as a bonus feat. With Domain Initiate, they gain weapon surge as a focus power, which is, in fact, quite good at the lower levels. They have Strength 16, Dexterity 12, Constitution 12, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 16. Their Charisma likewise lets them toss out a fair few heal spells. They suffer no armor check penalties or armor speed penalties. Their offense is actually fairly good; a greatsword packs a whallop.

That low Wisdom is totally gonna bite you in the back whenever you try to counteract anything.

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Perhaps this is simply a matter of the warpriest being very front-loaded and thus distinctly better at lower levels?

The warpriest is definitely front-loaded. But more than anything, I think you're VASTLY overestimating the effect of medium armor. The best the Warpriest can get from it is +5 AC (including Dex, before runes), more relaistically +4 at low levels due to low Dex. The cloistered cleric can easily start with dex 14, which is only two less AC than the warpriest got. Yes, he will get hit and crit more often but it's really not a life and death issue most of the time.

And so what if the enemies charge you all the time? Most of them probably have no AoO, so just run to your melee guys. The enemy wastes at least two actions of his next turn with running after you and then your combat guys can all attack him with two or three attacks.

There's more to tactics than casting a spell every round.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Counteracts form only a small part of the divine spell list's offerings. Strength is more important for attacks, and Charisma for heal uses.

Dexterity 12 is not difficult to achieve. A 1st-level human warpriest can have Strength 16, Dexterity 12, Constitution 12, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 16. That is 5 AC, between Dexterity modifier and a breastplate.

You propose a cloistered cleric with Armor Proficiency for light armor. (It is going to get obsoleted at 13th, but let us set that aside for the time.) That is 4 AC, given studded leather or a chain shirt. That is not too bad, though it can be painful if some enemy gets the bright idea to attack the healer. It is going to cut into Charisma, however, which means less heals per day.

Enemies can run past the 2nd-level warpriest, yes, in the same way that enemies can run past the barbarian, monk, ranger, or even rogue. Generally, the idea is to fight alongside a champion and/or a fighter.

You say that there is more to tactics than casting a spell every round. That, if anything, is a statement in favor of a warpriest, who can swing a weapon for raw offense or cast spells for support as the situation demands.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

If you feel that way, cool. Warpriest is there for people like you who discount the importance of a Cleric's save DCs; it lets them trade those out to have the best armor and weapon proficiency of any of the casters.

Other people don't feel that way. If you play a Cleric of Nethys, you're not going to want to lag behind the Wizard in your casting proficiency. You're a divinely empowered servant of the god of magic. And who would want to play a curse-heavy Cleric if Bard was just flat-out better at doing that? Cloistered Cleric is for those people.


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You somehow misinterpreted nearly every single point of my post...

Colette Brunel wrote:
Counteracts form only a small part of the divine spell list's offerings. Strength is more important for attacks, and Charisma for heal uses.

But if someone suffers from a deadly disease tehy WILL turn to the cleric for relieve. It's not an every day occurance, nor do I say it super important. It's just something many players forget when they think "I don't need a high score in my casting attribute if I don't use offensive spells".

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Dexterity 12 is not difficult to achieve. A 1st-level human warpriest can have Strength 16, Dexterity 12, Constitution 12, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 16. That is 5 AC, between Dexterity modifier and a breastplate.

True.

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You propose a cloistered cleric with Armor Proficiency for light armor.

No, I don't. I propose getting your Dex up to 14 if you care about AC that much. Be a halfling or take voluntary flaws. You can also drop Charisma to 14 without crippling your build.

Yes, the latter option would cost you one heal, but again, this is all assuming you desperately WANT a bit more AC, which I totally do NOT deem necessary.

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Enemies can run past the 2nd-level warpriest, yes, in the same way that enemies can run past the barbarian, monk, ranger, or even rogue.

I didn't say that the enemy can't run up to your caster. I said nothing keeps your caster from then running (and pulling the enemy) back to your party's fighters if the enemy does ignore them.

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You say that there is more to tactics than casting a spell every round. That, if anything, is a statement in favor of a warpriest, who can swing a weapon for raw offense or cast spells for support as the situation demands.

This isn't about warpriest vs. cloistered. It's about being flexible and accepting that not attacking or casting for one turn can be a viable strategy if it keeps you out of harms way - and preferable puts the enemy where you want him if he chases after you.

This is true for all characters. An archer ranger might have more AC than a cloistered cleric but he should still not stand still and take hits when the enemy rushes past the front line.


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if you're so worried about Cloistered AC, you can pick up Champion dedication at 2 and expert heavy at 14.

it's 1 level later than the expert medium of Warpriest, but heavy is 1 Ac higher compared to medium to begin with.

Starting with 14 str/14 cha is not difficult, and if you want, you can even push for a 16 in either one of those stats by taking additional flaws

be a human and grab shield block and d10s heal at level 1, and then grab shield ally at 6 from paladin.

you can even pick emblazon for extra Hardness for your shield, if you want even more sturdiness.

Cloistered can esaily pick up an offensive domain and really take advantage of his naturally higher DCs/spell attacks.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Wisdom does have its uses for a warpriest, it is true. I am thinking, however, that Strength and Charisma outweigh Wisdom here.

Halflings do arguably make the best cloistered clerics.

If a cloistered cleric is supposed to be the casting specialist, then it stands to reason that investing in Armor Proficiency in such a way as to maximize Charisma is a good idea, at least before the metaphorical hammer drops at 13th level.

I am not exactly seeing where the warpriest is less flexible than the cloistered cleric. If anything, the warpriest is more flexible.

It is true that some gods are bad at making warpriests.

Champion Dedication is okay, though it has an opportunity cost, taking up Strength and a 2nd-level class feat. It seems about fine for a cloistered cleric, though again, the opportunity cost is not to be discounted.


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Blave wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
On the other hand, we have a 2nd-level warpriest of, say, Gorum. They are also a Versatile Human, earning Armor Proficiency, for that sweet heavy armor. Splint mail can be nice to have around, giving them 1 more AC than the cloistered cleric. They have Natural Ambition as their ancestry feat, earning Domain Initiate, which the cloistered cleric has as a bonus feat. With Domain Initiate, they gain weapon surge as a focus power, which is, in fact, quite good at the lower levels. They have Strength 16, Dexterity 12, Constitution 12, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 16. Their Charisma likewise lets them toss out a fair few heal spells. They suffer no armor check penalties or armor speed penalties. Their offense is actually fairly good; a greatsword packs a whallop.

That low Wisdom is totally gonna bite you in the back whenever you try to counteract anything.

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Perhaps this is simply a matter of the warpriest being very front-loaded and thus distinctly better at lower levels?

The warpriest is definitely front-loaded. But more than anything, I think you're VASTLY overestimating the effect of medium armor. The best the Warpriest can get from it is +5 AC (including Dex, before runes), more relaistically +4 at low levels due to low Dex. The cloistered cleric can easily start with dex 14, which is only two less AC than the warpriest got. Yes, he will get hit and crit more often but it's really not a life and death issue most of the time.

And so what if the enemies charge you all the time? Most of them probably have no AoO, so just run to your melee guys. The enemy wastes at least two actions of his next turn with running after you and then your combat guys can all attack him with two or three attacks.

There's more to tactics than casting a spell every round.

Honestly I would argue the warpriest is still likely to get hit more even with better AC because to do their job they need to maintain close contact with the enemy. The cloistered priest can use their moves to maintain range and not stick around in melee. The way armors and AC work this edition there just is not that much difference AC wise between them it's all within a point or two and once you get to levels high enough for it to matter magic armors come online.


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Here's the thing: in order to take advantage of medium armor effectively you have to dedicate boosts to Strength or suffer some pretty heavy penalties. If a cloistered cleric puts those same boosts into Dexterity they will end up at the same AC value over time. It's difficult to do at first level, but it's also pretty difficult for the war priest. Over time you will end up with the exact same AC.

It's also important to realize the casting proficiency does not just matter when it comes to saves. You use it for anything that utilizes the counteract mechanic including remove curse, remove disease, true seeing, and dispel magic. Your higher caster DC also makes it much harder to dispel the powerful buffs you cast.


Colette Brunel wrote:

Wisdom does have its uses for a warpriest, it is true. I am thinking, however, that Strength and Charisma outweigh Wisdom here.

Halflings do arguably make the best cloistered clerics.

If a cloistered cleric is supposed to be the casting specialist, then it stands to reason that investing in Armor Proficiency in such a way as to maximize Charisma is a good idea, at least before the metaphorical hammer drops at 13th level.

I am not exactly seeing where the warpriest is less flexible than the cloistered cleric. If anything, the warpriest is more flexible.

It is true that some gods are bad at making warpriests.

Champion Dedication is okay, though it has an opportunity cost, taking up Strength and a 2nd-level class feat. It seems about fine for a cloistered cleric, though again, the opportunity cost is not to be discounted.

i'd say that Warpriest has more build options, that's true.

you can go full in the "war" part with maxed strength and Cha and spam smites and use only buffs, or you can build a more balanced stat/feat line and be decent all around.

Either choice though seems to produce a more "balanced" character. Then again, "clerics" usually were always like that.

Cloistered does have that specialist caster vibe though, which means that if you trully want to minmax the caster aspect, it's the only way you can do it.

It takes more effort to fill in the gaps, like all specialised/focused characters, but the end result seems pretty great at what it wants to accomplish.

It does feel like Warpriest is the Default Cleric as we knew it from 2nd edition: good buffs, can hold it's own in melee, heals, etc.

While cloistered is a "new" (not really^^) option if you don't want to play the traditional cleric.


Zaister wrote:
Is it just me or does being "cloistered" not really lend itself to a life as an adventurer?

Wizards do fine.


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Colette Brunel wrote:

Let us say we have a 2nd-level cloistered cleric. They have Wisdom 18.

On the other hand, we have a 2nd-level warpriest of, say, Gorum. They have Wisdom 12.

-3 to all relevant skills. -3 to Will, Perception and most initiative checks. I don't even speak about spellcasting.

Why would you want AC on a cloistered cleric anyway?

In my opinion, your 2 example characters are just not doing the same thing at all besides healing. They can't be compared.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm somewhat confused here. Cloistered Cleric gets Unarmored Defense up to Expert Proficiency, the same as what a Warpriest gets with Medium Armor. Provided that the Cloistered Cleric invests decently into Dexterity this completely negates any benefits that Light or Medium Armor would provide a Warpriest.

It's really more about when certain things come online for each of the classes, and which bonus feats they want to get right out of the gate.

One big thing is that the Cloistered Cleric gets up to Legendary Proficiency on their spellcasting while the Warpriest does not. That can affect their spell attacks and saves so it's a pretty big difference in playstyle.


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Medium armor is so they can invest in STR over DEX and still keep up their AC, not a straight bonus.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Garretmander wrote:
Medium armor is so they can invest in STR over DEX and still keep up their AC, not a straight bonus.

You can have a Cloistered Cleric with 20 in four different stats. Realistically you can top out at 20 Con, Dex, Wisdom, and Charisma with a reasonable number in your other stats and an Apex item to boost another stat either to 18 or to get your Wisdom or Charisma up to 22.

If you're going to be boosting up another stat it would likely be Strength and that's why the melee focused Warpriest is the one that gets Light/Medium Armor Proficiency.

If you're really concerned about things you can always do a Cloistered Cleric with MC Dedication into Champion to be a true soldier of your god.


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Gloom wrote:

I'm somewhat confused here. Cloistered Cleric gets Unarmored Defense up to Expert Proficiency, the same as what a Warpriest gets with Medium Armor. Provided that the Cloistered Cleric invests decently into Dexterity this completely negates any benefits that Light or Medium Armor would provide a Warpriest.

It's really more about when certain things come online for each of the classes, and which bonus feats they want to get right out of the gate.

One big thing is that the Cloistered Cleric gets up to Legendary Proficiency on their spellcasting while the Warpriest does not. That can affect their spell attacks and saves so it's a pretty big difference in playstyle.

This is pretty much correct. And the less you decide you need to spam Heal (because really it's not THAT necessary) the more you can move from Cha to Dex early on anyway.

Cloistered Clerics really are pretty fine off, as is typical most of Collette's... concerns here don't actually play out in practice nearly as badly as they're made to sound.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Here is something to think about: consider a character who is playing in a game from 1st to 6th, and likely is not going to see 7th level. They want to play a cleric.

Why not, then, be a cloistered cleric over a warpriest even if the plan is to never swing a weapon? All the character has to do is focus on Wisdom and Charisma. Their Dexterity does not need to rise above 12, and they do not care too much about the armor check penalty and armor speed penalty from medium armor.


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Colette Brunel wrote:

Here is something to think about: consider a character who is playing in a game from 1st to 6th, and likely is not going to see 7th level. They want to play a cleric.

Why not, then, be a cloistered cleric over a warpriest even if the plan is to never swing a weapon? All the character has to do is focus on Wisdom and Charisma. Their Dexterity does not need to rise above 12, and they do not care too much about the armor check penalty and armor speed penalty from medium armor.

Setting arbitrary limitations on a campaign to proof a point is not going to work. That's like saying "A Barbarian focused on throwing weapons is optimal because he COULD be played in a campaign with nothing but flying archers as enemies". Circumstances can make or break ANY build.

Also, unless I'm reading something wrong, you're atually sugesting that this player should "be a cloistered cleric over a warpriest", which would make him a cloistered cleric and render your whole arguemant moot.

Assuming you meant to say such a character should be a warpriest: Yes, within the limited parameters you set the warpriest would be the "optimal" choice.

Now there's players who don't care about optimal. Or who want to play a non-human but still want to start with a domain at level 1. Or two domains if they are human. Or who want to have all of their deity's domains by end of the campaign (level 6, as you said). Or who do, in fact, care about armor check penalty and speed reduction (not to mention additional bulk) that would come with medium armor.


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Colette Brunel wrote:

Here is something to think about: consider a character who is playing in a game from 1st to 6th, and likely is not going to see 7th level. They want to play a cleric.

Why not, then, be a cloistered cleric over a warpriest even if the plan is to never swing a weapon? All the character has to do is focus on Wisdom and Charisma. Their Dexterity does not need to rise above 12, and they do not care too much about the armor check penalty and armor speed penalty from medium armor.

I think you might have gotten that backwards, but I'm assuming you mean why not be a war priest over a cloistered cleric?

If so, they might be interested in dex related skills, could be planning a thematic multiclass into something else, don't want the aesthetic of wearing armor, or just feels like it doesn't fit into their mental image of what their cleric is about.

If you are talking about all things equivalent, the 'mini-wargaming' version of Pathfinder 2E you are probably correct that War Priest is easier to bring more to the table at levels 1-6.

I've played a level 1 and level 2 cloistered cleric(of Nethys) and brought plenty to the tables that I played at. I had plenty of healing and modest spell damage that I never felt out of the fight, and my knowledge domain actually helped me plenty when it came to nailing most recall knowledge checks.

I think the main thing about 2E is things are on average closer between what is considered optimal and not optimal.


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I don't see how anyone could say cloistered cleric > warpriest. Folks always try to find some difference and point to it as the thing that matters. In play, cloistered cleric < warpriest. If you are willing to take a penalty for a roleplaying choice, take it. If not, your GM might be willing to give you something to make up for the weakness of the choice.

Light and Medium Armor proficiency is not trivial. AC gets tested all the time in play, even if you are not a front-line fighter. The two proficiencies give you the character building flexibility to focus on STR or DEX. Shield block is exceptionally useful. Expert in fortitude doesn't come up all that much, but it's better than not having it. Deadly simplicity is quite valuable if the deity with the simple weapon is what you really want.

The cloistered cleric gets the ability to cast an almost-worthless spell. Healer's blessing, for example, gives you the ability to heal +1 hit point once per ally over the course of the next minute.

Can you play a cloistered cleric effectively? Of course! Is the cloistered cleric better than the warpriest by any reasonable metric? Nope. At a minimum, you the cloistered cleric should pick up deadly simplicity and I think they should get an extra domain. Even though the domain spells suck, taking a suboptimal doctrine has versatility as the reward.


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totoro wrote:
I don't see how anyone could say cloistered cleric > warpriest. Folks always try to find some difference and point to it as the thing that matters. In play, cloistered cleric < warpriest.

Neither is true. Both doctrines are viable.

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Light and Medium Armor proficiency is not trivial.

No it's not. But it's literally just one point of AC more than an unarmored cloistered cleric with good Dex. It's just not a huge difference in the long run. Yes, the warpriest will be ahead by 2 or 3 AC for the first 5-10 levels. But that's not going to kill a cloistered cleric. Otherwise divine and primal sorcerers would be utterly unplayable since they have the same AC and even less HP.

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Shield block is exceptionally useful.

True, but every cleric can use it once per combat. Having played a wizard for one year during the playtest (and never bothering to cast mage armor or mirror image), I found shield block to be simply not important all that often. My GM isn't pulling any punches but I've only dropped unconcious exactly ONCE during the whole year. PF2 is different from th playtest of course, but I don't think the survivability of casters has changed.

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Expert in fortitude doesn't come up all that much, but it's better than not having it.

The same could be said about that free domain power the cloistered cleric gets at 1st level. And it's really not that hard to find one you can use every encounter.

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Deadly simplicity is quite valuable if the deity with the simple weapon is what you really want.

You don't play a cloistered cleric if you put any value on your weapon.

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Healer's blessing, for example, gives you the ability to heal +1 hit point once per ally over the course of the next minute.

It's 1 point per healing spell for one minute, not only once. And it's not limited to the cleric's healing. It could enhance a champion's lay on hands or a monks wholeness of body.


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totoro wrote:

I don't see how anyone could say cloistered cleric > warpriest. Folks always try to find some difference and point to it as the thing that matters. In play, cloistered cleric < warpriest. If you are willing to take a penalty for a roleplaying choice, take it. If not, your GM might be willing to give you something to make up for the weakness of the choice.

Light and Medium Armor proficiency is not trivial. AC gets tested all the time in play, even if you are not a front-line fighter. The two proficiencies give you the character building flexibility to focus on STR or DEX. Shield block is exceptionally useful. Expert in fortitude doesn't come up all that much, but it's better than not having it. Deadly simplicity is quite valuable if the deity with the simple weapon is what you really want.

The cloistered cleric gets the ability to cast an almost-worthless spell. Healer's blessing, for example, gives you the ability to heal +1 hit point once per ally over the course of the next minute.

Can you play a cloistered cleric effectively? Of course! Is the cloistered cleric better than the warpriest by any reasonable metric? Nope. At a minimum, you the cloistered cleric should pick up deadly simplicity and I think they should get an extra domain. Even though the domain spells suck, taking a suboptimal doctrine has versatility as the reward.

because you picked the worst domain in the book doesn't make Cloistered bad, just you biased.

d12/spell level AoE domain, 2d6/spell level single target at every encounter all day, burst for 3x in a battle, charms, illusions, etc are all great.

Cloistered is the "pure caster cleric". It's not the trditional dnd/pf1 "armored cleric that can also wades into melee, but his spells are only for support."

both are viable, and offer different enough playstyles.


Note, a Cloistered Cleric maxes at 16 Dex at 1, so it's actually 2 AC lower because light/medium armor brings it up to a cap of 5, where the dex is only +3 there. At level 10, the cloistered cleric catches up just fine.

And don't that boost to casting. Granted, the Divine spell list seems more defensive than the others, but I'm fairly sure there are enough options in it that the increased DC could be very useful if you go for a more classical "Mage" style.


Edit: Responding to Shroudb.

This is a 1st level character question. All of the things you've mentioned are not relevant.

Also, at 11th level, the spellcasting abilities of a warpriest and cloistered are the same. It isn't until 15th level that the cloistered finally pulls away on the spellcasting front (+2 to DCs) for good. Until that time, the warpriest is better. After that time, I will grant you the cloistered cleric is the better spellcaster and fulfills the promise of the doctrine, which it fails to fulfill until then. Wishful thinking doesn't make it so.


james014Aura wrote:

Note, a Cloistered Cleric maxes at 16 Dex at 1, so it's actually 2 AC lower because light/medium armor brings it up to a cap of 5, where the dex is only +3 there. At level 10, the cloistered cleric catches up just fine.

And don't that boost to casting. Granted, the Divine spell list seems more defensive than the others, but I'm fairly sure there are enough options in it that the increased DC could be very useful if you go for a more classical "Mage" style.

I agree cloistered cleric catches up. The premise of the thread is that the warpriest is front-loaded and for all practical purposes better than the cloistered. I don't think the cloistered catches up until 15th level, but YMMV.


It's a fair choice to have 16 Dex or 16 cha, they are both very valuable. The divine spell list has great offensive spells, but other than calm emotions they are all only effective against fiends/undead. Even with 12 cha you still have 2 heals more than the sorcerer.


totoro wrote:

Edit: Responding to Shroudb.

This is a 1st level character question. All of the things you've mentioned are not relevant.

Also, at 11th level, the spellcasting abilities of a warpriest and cloistered are the same. It isn't until 15th level that the cloistered finally pulls away on the spellcasting front (+2 to DCs) for good. Until that time, the warpriest is better. After that time, I will grant you the cloistered cleric is the better spellcaster and fulfills the promise of the doctrine, which it fails to fulfill until then. Wishful thinking doesn't make it so.

sure, WHY would you pick up +1 healing per spell at first level as opposed to 1d12 aoe damage or aoe fascination, or any other worthwhile Domain.

I mean, at 1st level, one is at the very least "1 action deal 2 actions worth of damage" the other is literally... heal 1-2 hp.

Healing domain is extremely niche and only works in very specific team comps that somehow want to spam 3-4+ healing spells in 1 minute. That's certainly not your everyday occurence, and certainly NOT the "best domain" you can pick. It's actually one of the very worst for an average party.

there's no wishful thinking here, he IS the superior caster, and at level 1 he loses 2 Ac for a spell/encounter. That's more than a fair trade. Actually, regarding some domains, it's actually a WIN for the cloistered.


totoro wrote:
james014Aura wrote:

Note, a Cloistered Cleric maxes at 16 Dex at 1, so it's actually 2 AC lower because light/medium armor brings it up to a cap of 5, where the dex is only +3 there. At level 10, the cloistered cleric catches up just fine.

And don't that boost to casting. Granted, the Divine spell list seems more defensive than the others, but I'm fairly sure there are enough options in it that the increased DC could be very useful if you go for a more classical "Mage" style.

I agree cloistered cleric catches up. The premise of the thread is that the warpriest is front-loaded and for all practical purposes better than the cloistered. I don't think the cloistered catches up until 15th level, but YMMV.

cloistered is expert if spell attacks and dc at 7th and then war priest only catches up at 11th... That and the cloistered is always going to be a focus point ahead unless we're talking spending 3 extra feats on Domain Initiate.

As for domain, you can take an attack domain: take Fire Ray[2 action, 60', spell attack, 2d6/level fire damage]. That's not a bad attack at all and something they can cast up to 3 time in a fight if they get 2 more feats.


If you play a spell-based cleric:
Light and Medium Armor Proficiency is meh. Expert in Fortitude saves is nice but nothing incredible. Deadly Simplicity is useless. Shield Block is meh.

On the other side, Domain Initiate is nice but nothing incredible.

Well, Warpriest's better, he's got more meh things :D


shroudb wrote:
totoro wrote:

Edit: Responding to Shroudb.

This is a 1st level character question. All of the things you've mentioned are not relevant.

Also, at 11th level, the spellcasting abilities of a warpriest and cloistered are the same. It isn't until 15th level that the cloistered finally pulls away on the spellcasting front (+2 to DCs) for good. Until that time, the warpriest is better. After that time, I will grant you the cloistered cleric is the better spellcaster and fulfills the promise of the doctrine, which it fails to fulfill until then. Wishful thinking doesn't make it so.

sure, WHY would you pick up +1 healing per spell at first level as opposed to 1d12 aoe damage or aoe fascination, or any other worthwhile Domain.

I mean, at 1st level, one is at the very least "1 action deal 2 actions worth of damage" the other is literally... heal 1-2 hp.

Healing domain is extremely niche and only works in very specific team comps that somehow want to spam 3-4+ healing spells in 1 minute. That's certainly not your everyday occurence, and certainly NOT the "best domain" you can pick. It's actually one of the very worst for an average party.

there's no wishful thinking here, he IS the superior caster, and at level 1 he loses 2 Ac for a spell/encounter. That's more than a fair trade. Actually, regarding some domains, it's actually a WIN for the cloistered.

If you think my choice was suboptimal fine. It was one of the choices presented.

Also, I think your choice of Cry of Destruction for a cloistered cleric is far less useful than you think. It's essentially burning hands, which is a harder spell to position for a squishy than a tank. Plus, 1d12 only after inflicting damage with a strike or spell... what attack are you pairing that with? Cry of Havoc takes 2 actions and heal takes one only as a touch. You moving in to touch? One action to move. That means you have to move into range and stay there for your big flourish. Divine Lance is 2 actions, too. You have to spend a turn to position and another turn to use the spell and then only if you hit with your other attack. Good luck.

Fascinated won't last long and ceases if you are hostile. Very situational.

You still serious about this?

I'll give you this: He's a better caster because he gets one more spell. Still a bad choice at 1st level, though.


graystone wrote:
totoro wrote:
james014Aura wrote:

Note, a Cloistered Cleric maxes at 16 Dex at 1, so it's actually 2 AC lower because light/medium armor brings it up to a cap of 5, where the dex is only +3 there. At level 10, the cloistered cleric catches up just fine.

And don't that boost to casting. Granted, the Divine spell list seems more defensive than the others, but I'm fairly sure there are enough options in it that the increased DC could be very useful if you go for a more classical "Mage" style.

I agree cloistered cleric catches up. The premise of the thread is that the warpriest is front-loaded and for all practical purposes better than the cloistered. I don't think the cloistered catches up until 15th level, but YMMV.

cloistered is expert if spell attacks and dc at 7th and then war priest only catches up at 11th... That and the cloistered is always going to be a focus point ahead unless we're talking spending 3 extra feats on Domain Initiate.

As for domain, you can take an attack domain: take Fire Ray[2 action, 60', spell attack, 2d6/level fire damage]. That's not a bad attack at all and something they can cast up to 3 time in a fight if they get 2 more feats.

I said YMMV. You think 7th? Fine. Cloistered catches up at 7th, they trade places at 11th, then catches up again at 15th.

There's always another domain that is better than that other one I just talked about. Every single time. 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.

I still think if you're going to go white wizard you should focus on the healing domain. That's what you'll do well; healing's really all you'll do better than anyone else in the early game.


totoro wrote:
Cloistered catches up at 7th, they trade places at 11th, then catches up again at 15th.

Clostered doesn't catch up, they pass warpriest in casting [+2 profociency]. They do it again at 19th.

totoro wrote:
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.

It's easy enough to get another focus point even at 1st, so you could use it twice in a fight. As to "it really isn't any better than a warpriest using a weapon", Is it? You're doing more than a warpriests ranged options [assuming he's a melee] and the spell deals persistent damage on a crit. It also auto-heightens, something your off weapons doesn't.

totoro wrote:
I still think if you're going to go white wizard you should focus on the healing domain. That's what you'll do well; healing's really all you'll do better than anyone else in the early game.

It's simple and easy to take both fire and healing at 1st: healings focus spell isn't for combat anyway, so why not take a combat one too? It doesn't have to be either or.


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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.


totoro wrote:
shroudb wrote:
totoro wrote:

Edit: Responding to Shroudb.

This is a 1st level character question. All of the things you've mentioned are not relevant.

Also, at 11th level, the spellcasting abilities of a warpriest and cloistered are the same. It isn't until 15th level that the cloistered finally pulls away on the spellcasting front (+2 to DCs) for good. Until that time, the warpriest is better. After that time, I will grant you the cloistered cleric is the better spellcaster and fulfills the promise of the doctrine, which it fails to fulfill until then. Wishful thinking doesn't make it so.

sure, WHY would you pick up +1 healing per spell at first level as opposed to 1d12 aoe damage or aoe fascination, or any other worthwhile Domain.

I mean, at 1st level, one is at the very least "1 action deal 2 actions worth of damage" the other is literally... heal 1-2 hp.

Healing domain is extremely niche and only works in very specific team comps that somehow want to spam 3-4+ healing spells in 1 minute. That's certainly not your everyday occurence, and certainly NOT the "best domain" you can pick. It's actually one of the very worst for an average party.

there's no wishful thinking here, he IS the superior caster, and at level 1 he loses 2 Ac for a spell/encounter. That's more than a fair trade. Actually, regarding some domains, it's actually a WIN for the cloistered.

If you think my choice was suboptimal fine. It was one of the choices presented.

Also, I think your choice of Cry of Destruction for a cloistered cleric is far less useful than you think. It's essentially burning hands, which is a harder spell to position for a squishy than a tank. Plus, 1d12 only after inflicting damage with a strike or spell... what attack are you pairing that with? Cry of Havoc takes 2 actions and heal takes one only as a touch. You moving in to touch? One action to move. That means you have to move into range and stay there for your big flourish. Divine Lance is 2 actions, too. You have...

"using one presented" doesn't say much as i can compare Warpriest using darts as his weapon of choice.

Ofc you'll compare equivalent options, that's a good weapon vs a good focus power.

And if you're so enamored with healing one, then pick up both.

i listed some examples, maybe in your group they don't work, you can always fall back to Fire ray that is much easier to fire for just slightly less gain.

Again:

it's one free spell PER ENCOUNTER, so it could be 3-4 extra spells per day easily, vs 2 to AC.

Both are equally good. One (warpriest) is more versatile but shines nowhere, the other is more specialized and shines in spellcasting. Pick your poison.

Liberty's Edge

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Garretmander wrote:
Medium armor is so they can invest in STR over DEX and still keep up their AC, not a straight bonus.

why would you want to put str on most cloistered clerics? i would htink one would wan to play them as wizards and never willingly get into melee


My wife's cloistered cleric went with a 16 dex and a 12 cha. Perhaps this is sub-optimal but we do have a druid and a bard for back up healing and battle medicine available.


jimthegray wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
Medium armor is so they can invest in STR over DEX and still keep up their AC, not a straight bonus.
why would you want to put str on most cloistered clerics? i would htink one would wan to play them as wizards and never willingly get into melee

In that post I was referring to warpriest clerics being able to invest in STR instead of DEX, not cloistered clerics. Sorry if that was unclear.


graystone wrote:
totoro wrote:
Cloistered catches up at 7th, they trade places at 11th, then catches up again at 15th.

Clostered doesn't catch up, they pass warpriest in casting [+2 profociency]. They do it again at 19th.

totoro wrote:
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.

It's easy enough to get another focus point even at 1st, so you could use it twice in a fight. As to "it really isn't any better than a warpriest using a weapon", Is it? You're doing more than a warpriests ranged options [assuming he's a melee] and the spell deals persistent damage on a crit. It also auto-heightens, something your off weapons doesn't.

totoro wrote:
I still think if you're going to go white wizard you should focus on the healing domain. That's what you'll do well; healing's really all you'll do better than anyone else in the early game.
It's simple and easy to take both fire and healing at 1st: healings focus spell isn't for combat anyway, so why not take a combat one too? It doesn't have to be either or.

I enjoy arguing with you, so I don't mean to just shut down one of your points. However, the proficiency thing is a red herring. We are discussing whether the warpriest is front-loaded. The cloistered cleric and the warpriest have the exact same proficiency bonus for 10 of the 14 first levels of the class. At the pinnacle of the front-load (levels 1-6) in particular, the proficiency bonus is identical.

The spell you chose isn't a worthless spell any more than most spells are worthless. It isn't any good, though. The only spell worth a crap other than heal that a warpriest can cast is magic weapon. He's going to out-perform the cloistered cleric with every attack (theoretically up to 30 in a round, though practically it will be many fewer). That's compared to a 2-action spell to do less damage. Yes, it is at a range. Also yes, it is at best comparable to what a warpriest can do. I'm being diplomatic here; I think it is almost always going to be worse.

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. That was my only real point. Clerics are only a good class because of the divine font. Take that away and they are awful, as should be expected because it is such a significant part of the class. A warpriest can do it just as good as a cloistered if the cloistered doesn't double-down. That makes the warpriest more impactful in almost every scenario than the cloistered because of the front-loading.


shroudb wrote:
totoro wrote:
shroudb wrote:
totoro wrote:

Edit: Responding to Shroudb.

This is a 1st level character question. All of the things you've mentioned are not relevant.

Also, at 11th level, the spellcasting abilities of a warpriest and cloistered are the same. It isn't until 15th level that the cloistered finally pulls away on the spellcasting front (+2 to DCs) for good. Until that time, the warpriest is better. After that time, I will grant you the cloistered cleric is the better spellcaster and fulfills the promise of the doctrine, which it fails to fulfill until then. Wishful thinking doesn't make it so.

sure, WHY would you pick up +1 healing per spell at first level as opposed to 1d12 aoe damage or aoe fascination, or any other worthwhile Domain.

I mean, at 1st level, one is at the very least "1 action deal 2 actions worth of damage" the other is literally... heal 1-2 hp.

Healing domain is extremely niche and only works in very specific team comps that somehow want to spam 3-4+ healing spells in 1 minute. That's certainly not your everyday occurence, and certainly NOT the "best domain" you can pick. It's actually one of the very worst for an average party.

there's no wishful thinking here, he IS the superior caster, and at level 1 he loses 2 Ac for a spell/encounter. That's more than a fair trade. Actually, regarding some domains, it's actually a WIN for the cloistered.

If you think my choice was suboptimal fine. It was one of the choices presented.

Also, I think your choice of Cry of Destruction for a cloistered cleric is far less useful than you think. It's essentially burning hands, which is a harder spell to position for a squishy than a tank. Plus, 1d12 only after inflicting damage with a strike or spell... what attack are you pairing that with? Cry of Havoc takes 2 actions and heal takes one only as a touch. You moving in to touch? One action to move. That means you have to move into range and stay there for your big flourish. Divine Lance is 2

...

I'm sorry but I just don't enjoy arguing with you.

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