Creating a Cleric of Ketephys


I've decided that, for my first character, I'd like to make a Cleric of Ketephys the Hunter, elven god of the moonlit forest. I've been reading through my copy of Faiths of Golarion, and it talks a lot about the focus of his official priests on both magic and archery, so I'd like some assistance with building a longbow using half-elf Cleric, if anyone has any ideas for that.

I need to say, we aren't working with Elephant in the Room, so we do have feat taxes. I don't know if that will significantly impact this build concept, but if it does, I might be more interested in a purely magic-focused Cleric (if that makes sense in terms of Ketephys lore), a longbow Warpriest, or maybe even a Lunar Oracle who works outside of the official church.

If anyone has any thoughts or ideas they could share, please do :)

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You may not get a lot of constructive comments on this. Archery in Pathfinder is very powerful but also very feet intensive. But also, cleric spell casting scales up pretty fast on its own. The result is that you pour a lot of your resources into archery just to find you do little else than cast spells every round of combat, making your investment into archery feel bad.

If archery is important to you and you don’t need to be full cleric, warpriests are pretty good archers. It should give you similar flavor, but with mechanics to let you take advantage of some of both.

UnarcaneElection has pointed out the Hinterlander prestige class as a solid option for a cleric archer. There are two approaches, one with more spells, the other with more archery:

Cleric 5/Hinterlander 10/Cleric 5
Ranger 2/Cleric 3/Hinterlander 10/Cleric 5

He lays out the 2nd approach in this post.

I think my heart is starting to get set on Cleric right now (I spent $50 on the Core Rulebook for 1e about 10 years ago trying to get my friends at middle school into TTRPG's, so I feel like I ought to use a class from it), and the GM has said they aren't doing homebrew rules about requirements, so I can't go with Hinterlander unless I choose Erastil.

Is there any way to justify a Ketephys Cleric who doesn't use his longbow much, if at all? The lore says that people who choose to enter Ketephys's church get a bow as soon as they are initiated, and that more experienced priests are actually the ones who tend to train elven communities in archery.

It's not that you can't make a decent archer who's a cleric. It just isn't super satisfying for most people.

You might try using the separatist archetype to get the eagle domain from druids. Really, with a hawk familiar, the eagle domain fits Ketephys pretty well.

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Darkmoon250 wrote:
Is there any way to justify a Ketephys Cleric who doesn't use his longbow much, if at all? The lore says that people who choose to enter Ketephys's church get a bow as soon as they are initiated, and that more experienced priests are actually the ones who tend to train elven communities in archery.

In my own home games there are as many types of worshipper philosophies as there are Domains and allowed alignments. Ketephys for example allows NG, CG, and CN alignments with the Animal, Chaos, Good, Plant and Weather domains. Ok, well, think about the kinds of mindsets those would yield.

Take a CG cleric of Animal and Chaos. They believe in the underlying good inherent in all free beings but acknowledge that the universe is driven by random chance, not divine fate. They also revere the ability of animals to adapt to change while still remaining true to themselves. This sect of the faith might embrace hunting with a longbow to honor predatory animals and to weed out the sick or the weak. They might also perpetuate a hunter's culture pursuing the enemies of the faith.

On the other hand, imagine a CN cleric with the Weather domain and Moon subdomain. This is a capricious, somewhat selfish worshipper who also sees the randomness in the universe but more importantly they revere the primal powers external to the existence of plants and animals. They might feel at the whim of these natural forces and their worship is more appeasement than reverence. For them they have no need for a bow; their god provides them spells to create water and purify the leavings of scavengers or victims of the elements. Instead the raw power their wisdom affords them is more potent than any arrow could ever be.

Each deity might have an orthodoxy along with mystery cults, monastic sects, pagan traditions or modernized interpretations that create any number of worshippers. A group of urban half-elves, mostly thieves, wastrels and outcasts of the city looking to preserve and foster the minute greenswards in an unnatural landscape would worship Ketephys a lot differently than a high elven priest born with a bow in her hand. Still others like a cult led by a trio of huldra fey who venerate the eldritch woodlands and whisper that their god, Ketephys, is one of the beings who allows the First World to bleed into the Prime for his amusement might hold moonlit revels in his honor but in practice might look more like druids than clerics.

Point is; its YOUR character. Play them however you want, and justify it in any way you need to.

The Exchange

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I mean you could always say that for you "taking up the bow" is a symbolic gesture and that your talents lie in complementing those who are true masters of ranged combat. Ketephys is a god of God of forestry, hunting, and the moon, which doesn't necessarily demand being great at archery. No one expects every cleric of Gozreh to spend feats on trident combat.

Mechanically there just isn't a great way to make a cleric archer. Inquisitors, yes. Warpriests, definitely.

I found some suggestions about archer Clerics in Tark's Big Holy Book in the Guide to the Guides. Is that guide still reliable, or would it be considered out of date?

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I would trade Multitalented for Blended View, just because Darkvision is nice to have [especially on a ranged character]. And probably use the Animal Domain, simply because it's available.

1. Point Blank Shot
3. Precise Shot
5. Boon Companion
7. Rapid Shot
9. Manyshot
11. Divine Interference

You have an Animal Companion to help contribute, so you don't HAVE to be the world's best archer... in fact, you could probably delay Rapid Shot/Manyshot in favor of something like Extend Spell or whatever.

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Ketephys & wiki

hmmm... I did run a garuda aasimar cleric of Erastil with a bow in PFS to level 10. Got a Roc companion. It was okay as I knew I was doing 'party support' but you do have to choose either primary caster with a bow OR an archer with some casting. My preference is competent wizards.

I'd agree that archery is good but feat intensive. The character also needs a close combat option when he can't maintain range.
The lower BAB lowers your rate of fire.

My choices were (Aurëon Morinehtar) cleric with a bow;
Chnl Pos.
Dom: Feather, Community.
T1 Deft Dodger, T2 Rice Runner.
F1 Point-blank Shot.
F3 Precise Shot.
A4 +1 Wis.
F5 Rapid Shot.
F7 Reach MM (Cure Light Wounds at range).
A8 +1 Wis (20).
F9 Deadly Aim.
(F11 Many Shot.)
Wpn Focus(Bow) and Imp Precise Shot were options.

Wpns: cold iron mw cestus, mithral mw morningstar, greenwood mw comp longbow (+3 Str) adaptive +2 enhc with fortifying stone.
Armr: mithral mw chain shirt +3 enhc. A) Ring Prot +1, B) darkwood mw Hvy wood shield +2 enhc.
Item: Circlet +2 Wis +2 Cha, aegis of recovery, cloak +3, belt +2 Str +2 Dex, Gloves first aid, ring prot +1. Handy Haversack, mw comp longbow +3 Str{backup}, arrows: silver[3], cld iron[25] w wpn blanches, (4) PoPwr First, (1)PoPwr Second, dusty rose prism ioun stone cracked, tourmaline sphere ioun stone, etc.

If I were to do archer with casting it would be an archer build with a dip into wizard(diviner)1 or (conjurer)2{for dimensional slide} & T:Magical Knack.

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