Hey guys, so I have this cool problem where I create (what I think are) awesome character concepts for roleplay, but my ignorance of the rules prevents me from making the characters awesome in practice. I'm not worried about min-maxing, but I'm super worried about being somewhat useless and finding my very cool character to be somewhat boring to play.
I am playing in a Ruins of Azlant campaign. It is my first game. I've played fifth edition D&D before. My character is "Dio," a play on a name for Gemini. He is an Oracle of Pharasma who basically was reincarnated by a powerful psychopomp, or perhaps Pharasma herself. He appeared in the catacombs of a church in white burial robes. He doesn't age, and he looks about eight.
He is sort of an outcast in Pharasmin society; he is an Oracle of the Mystery of Time (following Pharasma's dominion over Fate, which is waning since the "death" of Aroden). His mastery over Time as Fate is an important part of his character.
My idea is that this child wandered hapless until eventually he began to have "prophetic visions" about his past life in dreams. He saw his body being burned in a public execution and tried to save his past-self, but his past fate was already sealed. When he awoke, his hands were burned to a near skeletal cinder. Understanding Pharasma's message to him (escaping Her judgment is a fool's errand), he accepted this Curse as a badge of honor and so began his career as a Pharasmin Oracle.
Though it isn't necessary, this Oracle is very much obedient to the ideals of Pharasma. His career has primarily been spent proseltyzing for Pharasmin doctrines. He has wandered for decades now, founding hospitals for the newly born and the soon to die, caretaking for graveyards, and apprenticing for several clerics. His several novitiates into clerical life ended poorly as he focused on the prophetic aspects of Pharasma's portfolio in his beliefs, something that the regional priesthoods where he's tried to integrate have discouraged.
The way he presents himself isn't exactly the most settling thing. He speaks scarcely, often in riddles and poetry. I have began to write his Pharasmin codex complete with riddles and prophecy and poetry and rituals. Needless to say, a hyper-intelligent prophet-child dressed in burial robes is pretty damn terrifying, even if he is as neutral as his deity.
His adventure to Azlant began with prophetic dreams foretelling his fate across the ocean in the skeleton of the seat of power that was buried by the heavens. His closest companion, a musketeer that was raised as an orphan in one of the establishments that he worked with, also began to receive a beckoning across the sea (though, little do they know, it is actually her hag mother calling her to transformation, not a psychopomp).
It is his intent to build a theocratic settlement, using Talamdor's facilities and a nasty Perform: Oratory check to build himself a following in the meantime.
As for his character growth, I have a path down either insanity or greatness narrowed out. As he grows in prophetic power, he will begin to take on an alter ego, loosely based on the character Kindred from League of Legends. Talking to himself, speak in two voices representing two personas (a Lion and a Lamb, representing acceptance of death and its inevitability) more unsettling references to himself as a reaper-esque vehicle of one's fated death. The is already sort of manifesting, kind of. Most of the PCs for whatever reason take his lead, and when it comes to matters of life and death, I have in the past done a secret roll to determine whether it is someone/something's "time" or not. Very wild and arbitrary, but it adds a sort of layer of "divine will" and auspicious signs into the mix. The DM digs my character and is throwing me all kinds of whippoorwills and black roses and other signs of Pharasma's favor.
The character may seem outlandish to many of you, and in a game where my fellow players are mostly aristocratic mercenaries, you might very well be right. But I think it is a cool character, but I'm really worried about the fact that my unfamiliarity of Pathfinder and the ... REALLY vast set of options all interacting may downplay the whole harbinger of the inevitability of death.
The DM has given us all newbies until level 5 to change anything about our character that we might not like as if it has been created that way. He has also ruled (if I want to) that I don't *have* to take the negatives for child or even the oracle version of that. Because of how I have it set up now (he's a dual cursed burning hands/child oracle) I am as of right now running the child oracle curse.
The problems I'm running into is that he's essentially useless without his spells. The combats so far have been long and rests have been far and few between. I have a dagger (because I want to take Deific Obedience when I can, mostly because it seems like the thing to do) but I'm just awful at anything to do with melee. By the way, he's a human, and that doesn't really matter to me other than the fact that I could get Extra Revelation for free. That could change, his race isn't an important part of the theme.
TL;DR, I need some tricks on how to make a Pharasmin Oracle of Time a true harbinger of fate and death in the long term without sacrificing my theme too much. I've considered prestige classes, multiclassing, changing my curses, even played with changing classes, and what it all comes down to is I don't know enough about this game to understand what is good or bad, so all of the options overwhelm me. I come basically equipped only with my idea of what makes my idea appealing to me.
My party consists of:
Changeling Musketeer (Gunslinger)
Catfolk Bard (no idea what this bard is doing)
Gillman sea witch
My magic items:
A +1 chain shirt
And a brochet top that doubles my movement speed
On the one hand you want the character to look/act like a harbinger of death more as he gains levels, on the other your GM is running sufficiently long days that you're running out of spells as an oracle and you don't have a non-spell backup plan. OK.
Oracle, time mystery, dual-cursed blackened/child curses. That last is 3rd party so at least some 3rd party material must be acceptable in your game. If you could let me know the boundaries that'd probably be helpful.
Some spells can take up more than one rounds actions, e.g. touch of blindness works for one attack/caster level. This would help make your spells last longer. Summon monster spells would also help both by adding bodies to your parties' limited front line, and with the harbinger image; get the summon neutral monster feat and you can summon some real harbingers of death. If you want to really get into summoning then the augment summoning feat will help a lot.
If you get the misfortune and/or fortune revelations of the dual-cursed archetype you should have something important to do in any combat. Even if you're otherwise hopeless in melee then the aid another action may be useful. You could put a trait into making that better - adopted to get helpful (halfling version), or just being a halfling so you can take helpful directly makes the bonus +4, if that wouldn't interfere with your concept.
Cool character backstory! Very creative with lots of potential.
avr covered all the same things I'd suggest. You chose a PC with zero physical combat ability so now you must rely 100% of magic. My suggestions are:
1. Use Summon Monster spells starting around 3rd or 5th level. No feats or other investment required. There's even a guide. avr's suggestions are good.
2. Use the Misfortune and Fortune revelations generously. Misfortune is best used in two sitations: 1. A foe threatens a critical hit 2. An ally rolls a 1 on something important. Perhaps inform your GM that your PC will ALWAYS BY DEFAULT use Misfortune whenever a foe roll a natural 20 to hit.
3. Use Aid Another appropriately. This may not work well for you, because you still have to hit AC10 to make it work.
4. Use long-lasting spells, such as Bless, when practical.
5. Save your fire blasts for when they are really needed and efficient. Always target three or more foes.
So if you can reskin yourself as a Gnome, you pick up some benefits...+1 to AC and attacks, and you could take the Pyromaniac alternate racial trait. Would give you Produce Flame level/day, meaning you can throw fireballs (which shouldn't count as a weapon attack roll) for okay damage several times during combat, and you'd also get +1 to caster level of any fire spell.
If you advance the blackened curse, at level 5 you get Flaming Sphere and Scorching Ray (if you don't sink your class points into your alternate FCB, in which case it's level 4), which would add good versatility. I also agree that Misfortune and Fortune are super valuable as well. If the Witch is using Slumber (which he/she should), Misfortune triggers rerolls on the save, which makes the two of you potent allies.