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Quark's thoughts on the Cleric

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Quark

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Great Adventurer
Great Adventurer
I'm just realising that I know next to nothing about the cleric. Or at least, what their various options are. I think it's time to fix that and gather my thoughts.

My first impression is that it is almost a staggeringly boring class. More so than even the wizard. You get... channel energy. And a total of 4 usually unexciting abilities that are totally done with by level 8 at the latest. That's it. I seriously have no idea why you wouldn't just multiclass if you can keep your spell progression just so you're not stupidly boring. But we'll see.



The Basics:

You've got 3/4 BAB and good fort and will saves. You get medium armour, simple weapons, and another random weapon depending on your god. You can certainly hold your own in physical combat, but you might be dependant on god or racial traits to actually get any weapons that are decent. Your skills are pathetic. Urgh.

You've got fast full 9th level casting, which is always strong, but dependant on your spell list. You get some bonus spells per day based on your domain, but no choice in the matter. 

You get 2 domains, which will be discussed in more detail later. These are the entirety of your fun stuff.

You get channel energy, which is 1d6/2 levels of healing/hurting. Great at low levels, but only continues being okay if you variant channel negative as far as I can tell.



Domains

The entirety of your class features that you care about even slightly. Pick carefully. You will, of course, be strongly limited by your deity, unless your DM just lets you pick and chose.
Bold names indicate the cream of the crops, italics are good and just normal is bland. The various subdomains are indented and kept with the original, but rated on the same scale as everything else (although with a strong bias towards the base domain)

Air Domain: Shoot weak lightning and get electricity resistance. Domain spells are unremarkable except perhaps for an early access wind wall.
    Cloud Subdomain: Lose electricity resistance and make a cloud that auto deafens and does small electricity damage. The deafening makes this actually not too bad, but since it only lasts while they're in there it may not work very well.
    Wind Subdomain: Lose weak lightning in exchange for a bull rush in a line. While this is a much better power, it's still not very useful.

Animal Domain: Knowledge nature as a class skill, speak with animals and get an animal companion. So, why aren't you a druid? Spells are unremarkable except perhaps early access to animal shapes (which as it turns out is an awesome spell). Still, an animal companion, while not as strong as others, is still a good class feature (and you get it very early compared to other domains!).
     Feather Subdomain: Also get fly as a class skill and fly better. Lose speak with animals for bonus to perception. Domain spells are more practical, but not as good.
     Fur Subdomain: Lost speak with animals to get a swift action speed boost. Spells are okay. More practical than the base domain anyway.

Artifice Domain: Tiny damage to objects and constructs and can give a weapon the dancing property temporarily. Spells are usually slightly delayed wizard conjuration/creation spells. I'm not particularly impressed by this.
     Construct subdomain: Very early access animate objects in place of dancing. Spells are also slightly better, including limited wish. Definitely better than the base.
     Industry subdomain: Knowledge local as a class skill. Lose dancing for hardness boost, overcoming hardness and bonus vs getting tired. Spells aren't remarkable, but maybe slightly worse. About the same as base.
     Toil Subdomain: Lose dancing for aura that makes people do the same thing over and over again. Spells are okay. I like this because the ability is so hilarious.
     Trap Subdomain: Lose dancing for an ability to make a trap quickly. Spells are okay, but not fabulous. I'd pass on this, but it can get you slightly earlier access to greater glyph of warding (although much shorter duration)

Chaos Domain: Force a creature to reroll all d20s and take the worst and give anarchic to a weapon. Spells are very anti-law for the most part. Law/Chaos conflicts are uncommon, so you may find this doesn't work well. The reroll is very nice though.
    Azata Subdomain: Lose forced reroll for variety of bonuses on up to 6 creatures. Bonuses are nice, but they last very little time. Spells are a little more practical.
    Demodand Subdomain: Lose forced reroll for ability to stop maybe divine casters casting. Spells are worse.
    Demon Subdomain: Swift action bonus to melee attack and damage rolls in place of forced rerolls. Arguably better, but spells are definitely worse.
    Entropy Subdomain: Replace anarchic for ability that... reduces duration of spells slightly? Spells are slightly better. Since you will probably never use either of them, I'd call this a good trade.
    Protean Subdomain: Aura that is arguably stupidly pointless; creatures must save or do anything but what they want (so you just fail the save and try to do something else). Spells are slightly worse.
    Revelry Subdomain: Automatically extends any spells that give morale effects instead of anarchic. Spells are nice. This actually is quite good now.
    Riot Subdomain: Knowledge local as class skill. Replace anarchic for making it slightly harder to concentrate. Spells are slightly improved. It's better than baseline at least.
   Whimsy Subdomain: Effectively a mass hideous laughter for a round instead of anarchic. Spells are about the same. Skipable.

Charm Domain: Daze weak enemies with a touch and swift action very short duration charm person. Gets most of the enchantment (Charm) spells you'd expect. Certainly reasonable.
    Love Subdomain: Maybe stop an attack in place of dazing. Potentially better once spells start getting extra nasty, but the daze is still good. Spells are worse.
    Lust: Make a creature try to please you in place of charm. Very much better. Spells are maybe better.

Community: Terrible heal and get maybe better defence against AoEs. Spells are not especially good. Don't bother.
    Cooperation: Spells are better (including the very snazzy Coordinated Effort), and can give things teamwork feats in place of heal. A good upgrade, but not enough to make up for the rest of the terrible basic abilities.
   Education: Knowledge local as a class skill. Spells are mostly better. Replaces saves thing with immediate action rerolls for the party. Again, it's nice, but suffers from the original being terrible.
   Family: Spells are about the same. Touch a creature to transfer a condition from it to you in place of the terrible heal. Hilarious in that if you're immune to, say, mind affecting, it kills it. But yes, terrible.
   Home: AMAZING defence in a specific place in place of save thing. Spells are okay. This is actually almost worth taking.

Darkness Domain: Make a creature sometimes miss for a while and see through any darkness. Blind-fight as a bonus feat, which is awesome. Spells blind things, make darkness, or the very pleasant shadow conjuration/evocation spells. Definitely one of the better domains.
   Loss: Lose see in darkness for ability to make people forget things while they're near you. Sadly doesn't work with casters well. Spells are great though, and possibly even an upgrade.
   Moon: Deal okay damage (or HUGE damage vs lycanthropes) in place of see in darkness. Spells are worse. Stick with the base.
   Night: Replace slight miss chance with short invisibility in shadows. Spells are about the same. Nothing special compared to base.

Death Domain: Tiny ongoing damage and heal from channeled negative energy. Clerics make great undead makers supposedly, so this can be nice. Shame it's not a wider variety of negative energy. Unsurprisingly, you get lots of necromancy and killing spells. Mostly they're fairly decent.
    Murder: Don't heal from negative, but cause bleed on a crit. Oh good. Spells are about the same. Sort of blah.
    Plague: Knowledge local as a class skill. Instead of healing from Negative, can touch something to maybe make a disease progress faster. Spells are worse. Skip.
   Psychopomp: Don't heal from negative, but slightly earlier give weapons ghost touch as a swift action. Notably this removes (most) of the evil spells, and they're actually reasonable replacements.
   Undead: Instead of ongoing damage, make something temporarily count as undead for healing purposes. Spells are an upgrade, so if you're being a necromancer it's probably worth it.

Destruction Domain: Slight damage boost on melee attack and aura to make crits auto confirm/deal more damage. Higher level spells start getting good, but mostly this is terrible.
   Catastrophe: Lose the aura for some kind of variable, not very good storm. Spells are better at low levels but loses some of the nicer ones.
   Hatred: Spells are slightly better. Make things not consider other things allies with the aura instead of other effects. Oh good. I guess it's a slight upgrade?
   Rage: Lose aura for a barbarian's rage, including rage powers. Spells are not so good. Of course, on a full caster, raging isn't the best idea... On the other hand, if you are being in melee, this is amazing.
   Torture: On any attack, can make it non-lethal and intimidate in place of slight damage boost. Spells are maybe better, so it's a better choice than the others.

Earth Domain: Basically the Air domain, but acid. Yay...
   Caves: Be very good underground and can climb in place of acid resist. If you're being underground regularly, this is amazing. The climb and darkvision, combined with duration make this nice anyway. Spells are an upgrade.
   Metal: Spells are an upgrade. Replace little acid damage with basically adamantine fists as a swift action. Great for breaking stuff, but still unremarkable.
   Radiation: Maybe sicken things in place of tiny acid damage. Spells are rubbish. Skip.

Evil Domain: Maybe sicken creatures with a touch and give weapons Unholy. Spells are very anti-good. Obviously, this is going to be at its best with a villain since it will all be relevant and useful.
   Cannibalism: Spells are worse. Instead of maybe sickening things, eat dead things to gain temporary bonuses vs things of the same type. Not worth it.
   Corruption: Instead of Unholy, sicken things briefly. Spells are a slight improvement. I wouldn't care especially.
   Daemon: Standard action fascination instead of unholy. Spells are worse. Terrible! Next.
   Demodand: See Chaos.
   Demon: See Chaos
   Devil: Spells get more mind-controlly. Sickened becomes save penalty, but at least it doesn't allow a save, so it's maybe better. Base is probably still better.
   Fear: Surprise, you get fear spells instead of the helpful protection spells. Unholy lets you get temp HP when you hit a scared thing instead. Unimpressive.
   Kyton: Spells are about the same. Unholy becomes a very nice Blessing of Fervour as an immediate action if you can make the (hard) concentration check. Probably worth it.
   Plague: See Death.

Fire Domain: Like the Air and Earth Domains, but fire. Yay... Fire's a common damage type, so this cuts both ways, and much more so than the others.
   Arson: Lose terrible fire bolt for fire in a line instead (but slightly less damage and more restricted). Spells are notably better.
   Ash: Nifty little wall in place of fire resist, so despite its quality it's less useful than it would be for other, similar domains. Spells are great, but higher level.
   Smoke: Spells are probably worse. Fire bolt instead becomes a little smoke cloud that gives a small penalty to attack rolls with no save. Better power, but definitely not worth it.

Glory Domain: Save DC vs your channel increased by 2 (if you're hurting undead). Give large bonus to charisma checks. Aura of Mass sanctuary. Spells seem pretty good. The bonus to charisma based checks is INCREDIBLY good.
   Heroism: Replace sanctuary with heroism, as the spell. Your spells are... Heroism and Greater Heroism! Surprise! Seriously though, this is now one of the best ones.
   Honour: Spells are blah, and it replaces the charisma boost (which is honestly why you'd take this) with a reroll vs charms and compulsions. Not impressive.

Good Domain: Give friend bonus on attack, saves and skills for 1 round. Give a weapon holy. As a PC, you'll usually benefit from this, and its spells, but they are sort of boring.
   Agathion: Lose holy for magic circle vs evil. Or you could stick with the base one and just keep that as a domain spell. 
   Archon: Make aura as standard action to make foes take -2 attacks, saves and AC. Pleasant, but the spells suck.
   Azata: See chaos.
   Friendship: Give a friend limited telepathy for a minute. Spells do the same thing, but they replace the less good spells, so it's all fine.
   Redemption: Replace holy with aura that swaps good and evil for negative alignment based effects. Spells are worse.

Healing Domain: Heal dying creatures a tiny amount and all your heals are empowered. Your spells, surprise surprise, are all healing spells. It's very practical. Although it's always worth remembering that wands of cure light wounds are what you'll usually use. I would let it work with heal as well, which would be great, but it's not as written. If so, this sort of sucks.
    Restoration: Remove minor conditions instead of the terrible heal. You lose breath of life as a domain spell, but otherwise you get all the helpful spells for removing conditions. Worthwhile trade.
    Resurrection: Instead of empowered heals, can touch something to temporarily bring it back to life. Your domains spells are terrible because they all have expensive components. On the other hand, I think you can breath of life it after it dies again, in which case this is incredible. However, playing it safe, no. So it's terrible.

Knowledge Domain: All knowledges are class skills. Touch something to probably know a lot about a creature. This can be very valuable, so it's a shame it's touch. At will clairvoyance/clairaudience as a spell like, but for a fraction of normal duration. Your spells are all divinations. Clerics already have some very good divinations, so there's not a lot of need for this, but it can still be useful.
   Aeon: Can't see things, but can be immune to crits and a probably-redundant-by-now AC boost. Spells are okay though.
   Education: See Community. This works rather better with this domain.
   Espionage: Keep a disguise more easily in place of knowing about monsters. Got good spells, but it's a shame it loses that first ability.
   Memory: Replace knowing about monsters with an ability to reroll knowledge checks with a bonus, which is probably actually better. Spells are better. Probably worth taking it over base.
  Thoughts: Rather than clairvoyance/audience, mass read thoughts. Very nice. Spells are good too.

Law Domain: Touch a creature to let it take 11 on any save, attack roll or skill check for 1 round, and give axiomatic to a weapon. See Chaos. That first one particularly sucks though.
  Archon: See Good. Slightly better because it gets rid of a less useful ability.
  Devil: See Evil. Debatably better.
  Inevitable: Command as spell in place of touch, which is excellent at lower levels. Sadly the spells are less impressive.
  Judgement: If you were hurt by a creature last round, CL+1 on spells that specifically target it instead of the touch. Spells better. It's a great option here.
  Kyton: See evil. It was good there, and it's good here too.
  Legislation: Knowledge local as class skill. Sort of forbid action with punishments in place of terrible touch. Spells sort of better. Not very good still.
  Loyalty: Touch a creature to give it +4 vs enchantment and fear for an hour in place of other touch. Spells better. Actually quite good.
  Slavery: Short duration dominate person, but they can resist (taking 2 Con damage and stagger) in place of axiomatic. Spells slightly better, so it's okay.
  Tyranny: No save greater command on a hit in place of axiomatic. Spells aren't as good, but wow, that ability.

Liberation: Temporary freedom of movement as necessary and can supress a variety of conditions in an aura. Phew, this is great. Spells aren't so great, but with an ability like that, who cares?
   Freedom: Replace freedom of movement with touch to reroll vs ongoing conditions. Has some comic implications, but nowhere near as good. Spells are slightly better though.
  Revolution: Spells are worse. Reroll diplomacy or intimidate checks in place of aura. Don't take it.

Luck: Touch something to roll all d20s twice and take the best for 1 round. immediate action rerolls. Very good spell list and abilities (although the first one you should really just be a witch instead).
   Curse: Cause a creature to take -2 vs your spells in place of touch, which is definitely better. Spells are worse though, so take your pick. I think it's worth it.
   Fate: Spells are worse; your immediate action rerolls no longer require an action and can affect other creatures in exchange for being slightly delayed. Trade is definitely worth it.
   Imagination: Better spells, but you swap the rerolls for a fascination aura. Those rerolls are the whole reason you'd even take this domain, so nah.

Madness: Multipurpose buff/debuff, as you see fit, which is very strong at later levels (Eg lv 20, -10 to saves and attacks but +10 skills for 3 rounds, no save). Aura of confusion. Spells are quite good. That first ability is powerful for its intense versatility.
   Insanity: Spells are better, but the great touch is a +4 boost vs mind-affecting and immunity to confusion for a minute. While that's good, the first one is better.
   Nightmare: Touch instead removes fear immunity briefly and gives a penalty vs fear. Great if you can throw in something like a phantasmal killer? Not very good, but the spells are sort of better.

Magic: Throw a melee weapon at range and dispel with a touch. Spells suck at lower levels but it nabs some big ones later. Not especially good.
   Arcane: Boost power of arcane spells instead of weapon throw. Spells are better. Your wizardy friends would like this.
   Divine: When you cast on yourself, swift action to give +2 to attacks or skills until end of next turn to all allies. Spells not great, and neither is this.



Nobility: The Leadership feat and very short term heroism. Leadership is a very, very good feat. So good it's usually banned. Spells aren't very remarkable. This is a very obvious choice if leadership isn't banned though.
    Aristocracy: Lose heroism for passive bonus to charisma skills vs your own subtype. Spells are about the same. Passives are nice, even if it's not a very strong one (unless you're human)
    Leadership: Heroism instead gives bonuses to a steadily increasing number of people, but isn't as good. However, you get access to the extremely good spell Brilliant Inspiration, which makes this well worth it.
    Martyr: Lose leadership for an immediate action transfer damage to yourself from a friend. Spells do the same thing, but you're not losing much if this is what you're going for.

Plant: Extra damage with fists and when things hit you. Spells are unremarkable. Not the greatest by any stretch.
   Decay: Spells are better. Have an aura that does tiny damage and strength penalty in place of hurting things that hit you. Probably an upgrade.
   Growth: Get bigger in place of hitting things with fists. Spells compliment that. Could see this working well combined with Rage subdomain. Okay, I suppose.

Protection: Slowly increasing resistance bonus to saves. Actually competitive with a cloak, so you can have fun things instead. Can give that to a friend temporarily and get an aura that gives deflection bonus to AC (redundant) and resistance vs all elements. Spells are all relatively good protection ones.
   Defence: Better spells. Can't give bonus away, but give an aura that gives +2 deflection bonus instead. It's great at lower levels, and probably better than the basic one anyway.
   Fortifications: Knowledge local as class skills. Give temporary partial cover in place of giving resistance. Spells are worse.
   Purity: Spells are worse. In place of your aura give saving throws against all effects currently on. Nice, but no thanks.
   Solitude: Immediate action lose resistance to impart same bonus as penalty on thing attacking. Useless. Spells rubbish, too.

Repose: Stagger things with a touch. Death Ward aura. Most of the spells are just okay. Very strong anti-undead, which can be extremely valuable and bound to turn up.
  Ancestors: Spells are worse. No save speak with dead, which probably isn't as good as the aura.
  Psychopomp: See Death. Spells are maybe better, but ghost touch is probably less useful than a deathward aura.
   Souls: Don't stagger, but deal more damage to incorporeal. Stagger is honestly probably better. Spells are maybe not as good.

Rune: Scribe Scroll as a feat. Useless shortlived trap thing that ultimately you can drop spells in (and then it starts being maybe okay). Spells are good... but not the sort of thing that you want every day. (also expensive) You would only ever take this for the feat, which is probably still worth it.
   Language: You move your trap as a swift action instead of putting spells in. Spells are about the same but a little on the dull side. Skipable.
   Legislation: Here we go. Trap thing instead becomes a command not to do something, and if it does, it triggers. The main value in this of course is that you can dump your spells in it, meaning you can do something like 'don't cast spells', and when it does... BOOM. Make that concentration check. Spells are much better. See also Law.
   Wards: Can't put spells in trap, but things hurt by trap can't hit you. Spells are slightly better. I personally prefer the original, but I can see the benefits of both.

Scalykind: Weak damage that also fascinates and serpent animal companion. slightly stronger than the animal one, but less variety. Spells are good, but sadly have limits.
   Dragon: Lose companion in exchange for a not especially good breath weapon. Spells are maybe a little bit better. Stick to basic.
  Saurian: Animal companion is instead a dinosaur. Gain two nice spells but lose one of the better ones. Well, at least a dinosaur is a good choice of companion
  Venom: Get a weak, but effective to put on poison. Spells are good. I'd go so far as to say it's actually good.

Strength: Give bonus to strength based checks, but none of the good ones (i.e. combat) except for 1 round. Spells are okay wizard exclusives.
   Competition: Swift action boost to athletics based skill checks. Slightly better spells. Better for you, but not friends.
   Ferocity: Spells about the same. Deal more damage with melee attacks. Probably worthwhile.
   Fist: Basically Ferocity but longer duration for fists only. Spells about the same.
   Resolve: Give friends temp hp. Spells slightly better. Easily the best domain of this lot.

Sun: Channel to hurt undead very well and can make unsupressable light (bar anti-magic field). Spells are good and strong vs undead. Possibly stronger in practice than glory as a channeler.
   Day: Spells not as good. Don't make light but can let a creature rest for a day in 10 minutes!? Doesn't let them reprepare spells, but should let a barbarian regain rage &c., which is possibly worth it.
   Light: Spells about the same. Can't channel as well in exchange for maybe blinding a bunch of creatures. Don't bother.
   Revelation: Spells about the same. Perception is a class skill and bonus vs disguise or finding things (i.e. basically all perception) in exchange for channel power. Perception is good, especially if you don't care about channel.

Travel Domain: 10 ft. speed boost. Ignore difficult terrain. move action small teleport. Most of the spells are useful. Definitely one of the best.
   Exploration: See through most barriers but can't ignore difficult terrain. Spells about the same. I actually prefer this to the base.
   Trade: Sometime bonus to social skills instead of mobility. Spells are worse. It's debatably worth the trade.

Trickery: Bluff, disguise and stealth are class skills. 50% miss chance as move action and early access (but atrocious duration) veil. Useful combinations of spells. Certainly not a bad choice.
   Ambush: Swift action concealment vs distant foes compared to just generally. Slightly better spells. Depends on your useage, but typically worse than baseline.
   Deception: Spells are better. Instead of miss chance, can not-really teleport when missed. Not especially good.
   Espionage: See Knowledge. Just as poor a choice.
   Greed: Instead of miss chance, steal spells when they're cast. It's tough, but oh-so-satisfying. Also potentially a fabulous defence. Spells aren't so good, but that power is great.
   Innuendo: Remove miss chance for no penalties for retrying failed social checks. Spells are underwhelming. Skip.
   Thievery: Instead of veil, reroll sleight of hand and Disable Device checks. Spells are better. A superior option to the baseline.

Void: +2 vs mind affecting and can add a confusion effect to spells. Access to the actually good calling spells (notably lesser planar binding 2 levels early), and spells are actually all-up good. Very nice domain.
   Dark Tapestry: Lose save bonus to give one summon/day the advanced template. Spells are boring, but about the same power. Obviously this makes it one of the best summoning powers barring summoner.
   Isolation: Remove confusion for difficult terrain and unhelpfulness aura. Yay? Spells are more generally useful, but they do replace the very nice higher level planar bindings.
  Stars: Access to more spontaneous spells, although they aren't relevant until higher levels. Better, they're actually quite good spells, and they heal you slightly. Because of that, it's not terribly good at lower levels, but if you're expecting a longer game...

War: Give bonus to melee damage and swift action gain a combat feat (changeable each time you use it). Spells are uninspiring. The combat feat is nifty, if you don't dip brawler, and is definitely the highlight here.
  Blood: Don't get feat, give weapon wounding. Spells are slightly worse. Losing your main good thing is bad, so skip.
  Duels: Remove damage increase for personal slight AC boost and feint increase. Get some interesting and maybe okay spells. Slightly better than base.
  Tactics: Give a friend reroll on initiative in place of damage boost. Spells are maybe slightly weaker. I feel this is a worthwhile trade.

Water: Just like fire, earth and air, all the way back up the top, except it's cold.
  Flotsam: Lose cold resist for pulling random junk out of water. Useful, but you lose nice spells and cold resist is actually good.
  Flowing: Spells are very different, but about the same usefulness. Lose little cold damage for calm emotions thing. Very blah.
  Ice: better spells, even if they come on later. Turn to ice instead of cold resist, which is possibly better at lower levels? Make sure to have fire resist though, because that hurts. Not bad though.
  Oceans: Push or pull a creature instead of cold damage. Spells about the same. More useful?
  Rivers: Speed boost instead of cold damage. Spells about the same. Probably the best one of this lot.

Weather: Useless damage thing and a sort of cool bunch of weak lightning bolts. Spells are just average. Uninspiring.
  Seasons: Short duration endure elements to replace weak damage thing, which is actually sort of useful for the levels endure elements is. Spells are a little better. Definitely better than baseline.
  Storms: Lose lightning thing for making it hard to approach you? Spells are quite good. Not thrilling though.



Archetypes

There are more archetypes than I was expecting for a boring class. Curiously, a lot of them are also very good, and good to the extent that I had a hard time limiting lots of them to italics. Typically you can expect to lose a domain, but the replacements are usually much better than whatever your second domain would have been anyway. Same rating as the domains.

Appeaser: You're basically the link from evil to good. You get no domains or slots in exchange for taking Cha damage to temporarily get access to them. While accessed, you can spontaneously cast any of the domain spells. Must be non-good, but you get positive energy anyway. No good or evil spells. So basically, you're pretending to be an oracle, but worse. Much worse. This is terrible.

Asmodean Advocate: Have only the trickery domain. Viper familiar that upgrades to imp. Great bonuses to bluff and diplomacy. Obviously if you're going for trickery anyway this is a good choice, or even if you're going to do talking. However, it's very niche.

Cardinal: Reduced BAB and only light armour. One domain and can't spontaneously swap spells. Get more class skills and 4 more skill ranks per level. Obviously this is better if you don't channel positive or otherwise aren't expected to heal at the drop of a hat, but so many more skill ranks is very, very tempting.

Cloistered Cleric: Reduced weapon and armour proficiency and spells (!). 2 more skill ranks per level, one domain only. Scribe scroll feat and large bonus on all knowledge checks. While these are nice, the spell loss is very harsh on a class that already has very few spells. You could get away with just taking the rune domain instead and going normal.

Crusader: Lose a domain and spell slot of each level. Get some bonus feats that aren't especially good and can 'easily' make mass versions of spells. This is, frankly, not even close to worthwhile. Losing spell slots on a cleric is terrible.

Demonic Apostle: Drow Only. Only one bad domain, a steadily more powerful familiar and endless channel negative? It's not very remarkable.

Mendevian Priest/Devilbane Priest: Lose a domain. Heavy armour proficiency. Bonus to ID demon stuff. 2 feats from a limited, but acceptable collection. Not too shabby at all for losing a domain.

Varisian Pilgrim/Devout Pilgrim: must pick from a selection of domains (but quite good ones); if your god doesn't give it to you lose a domain. Use domain abilities on friends as if they were you. Lose an 8th level domain power of your choice for a terrible luck based bonus. This is great if you have access to one of those domains, but otherwise you're really losing out.

Divine Strategist: Only one domain and no channels. Make everyone good at initiative and always act in the surprise round. Help other casters beat SR and concentrate (get swift aid!). Int to AoOs and attacks while flanking (and also readied actions). Given most domains and deities and the general uselessness of channels, this is almost always a good choice.

Ecclesitheurge: Basically no weapons or armour. Slightly reduced Channel. Can shuffle domain spells around. Can make holy symbol into magic item. If you want to keep all your domains, this is seeming like easily the best archetype so far.

Evangelist: Lose a domain and some channel for the ones you care about bardic Performance. Spontanous casting instead nets you a selection of enchantment spells. This is an awesome trade, but be aware that you'll need to actually prepare healing if you do that.

Fiendish Vessel: Tiefling Only. One domain has to be devil, daemon or demon. Channel heals evil and hurts good at the same time. Free early access improved familiar. This is all. That is, literally no downside (other than needing to be evil) for quite a lot of upside.

Forgemaster: Dwarf only. Artifice domain only. Channel is a variety of magical effects for weapons/armour, none of which are very good, bonuses for targeting weapons or armour, and craft magic arms and armour as a feat. Very blah.

Herald Caller: Lose a domain and medium armour. Summon monsters very well. I'd have to say that it's a worthwhile trade if you're summoning stuff, which it does, conveniently, let you do well. Combine with Dark Tapestry Subdomain for laughs.

Hidden Priest: Lose a 1st level and 8th level domain power of your choice for harder to identify spells. On the bright side, if you want this (for some reason), most of the domains will have something you don't care about to swap for, but it doesn't mean it's any good at all.

Iron Priest: Different class skills. Channel hits constructs but not undead. Can spontaneously cast Make whole. This is very blah.

Mericful Healer: Healing domain only. Mercies on your channel. Channel heals slightly better. This isn't a great domain, but if you insist on being a bandaid and only a bandaid, then it's fine.

Roaming Exorcist: More skills. Lose a domain and medium armour. Bonuses vs cursed things and possessed/incorporeal creatures. Not very good.

Scroll Scholar: Bonus to a knowledge in exchange for a 1st level domain power. Spell likes that eventually become constant (Including Identify?) in exchange for 1 channel energy. Lose a 4th level slot for immediate action +5 to things. This is a very good trade-off that happily stacks with basically everything, and while it's sad for a little bit around levels 8-11 to miss a spell slot, you'll love that in future. I don't see why you'd ever not take this, since most 1st level powers really suck.

Separatist: You lose proficiency with your deity's weapon and can pick any domain for a 2nd domain (but it's slightly weaker). What a huge loss, a poor weapon for any domain you want. Compatible with many archetypes, and improves flexibility a lot (most gods, for balance sake, don't have all the good ones).

Theologian: One domain, but its abilities are 2 levels higher. Pick domain spells to be permanently modified by a metamagic (doesn't modify level). More domain spell preps. Obviously this will depend on your domain, but this can be extremely powerful.

Undead Lord: Permanent undead friend for free. Only Death/Undead domain. 2 bonus feats, and lots of extra healing for undead. You'll be evil, of course, but happily by as early as level 5 you'll be good to go. If you yourself are undead, then super mega bonuses.




Variant Channeling

To an extent, this should go with your domains, but it's a fairly large selection. If you don't especially care about your domains then this may be better anyway. If you're unfamiliar with this, basically you halve the power of your channel to provide other benefits/penalties. +1/-1 increasing by 1 every 5 levels. It has different effects depending on whether you heal or harm with it, too. They're quite short, so rather than replicate them, I'll judge the heal/harm effects. Obviously the harm effects are best for negative energy and the heal for positive, and they are rated based on that. A lot of the time you'll need something like quick channel to really get benefits from the heal bonus, because otherwise the effect isn't strong enough to merit.
If, as seems to be the case, the domain doesn't exist, probably the way to go is to consider your deity.  Also a lot of the time the basic channel is just outright better.


Air heal harm: Harm is okay, but not very good at all, and heal is outright terrible.

Ale heal harm: This... isn't a domain. But the harm is AMAZING. Heal isn't too bad, either, especially if you suffer a lot from poison.

Art heal harm: heal isn't very good. harm doesn't apply to many things.

Battle heal harm: Oh good, tiny damage changes for nearly no time. Terrible.

Bravery heal harm: Save reroll can be great, if it's necessary, but often you're hit by it too or it's not a large penalty, so in practice it's not so useful. But maybe worth italics since it's one of the better heal effects.

Cities heal harm: The penalties and benefits are terrible.

Contracts heal harm: heal's useless, but penalty vs compulsions can be nice and fight ending. It's still not good enough to be worth italics.

Darkness heal harm: The heal effect's nice, but too short to ever be useful. Harm can provide very strong benefits (but make sure you allow for this). works well with positive energy, that harm.

Death heal harm: heal effect lasts long enough to be useful for once, but the harm is sort of useless.

Destruction heal harm: Oh good, useless bonuses and more damage to generic stuff for tiny duration. Yay.

Disease heal harm: Removing ability damage from a lot of people is AMAZING. A sickened rider on the channel is one of the better and more reliable penalties.

Dreams heal harm: Both are terrible because sleep just isn't much of an issue past the first level or two.

Earth heal harm: DR is pleasant, and making so much difficult terrain can be incredible (but get everyone featherstep slippers). It's actually something that works with positive, too (it just doesn't hurt things)

Envy heal harm: heal is so rarely applicable even its duration isn't enough to save it. Harm is funny, but might often fail just because there are no applicable targets (but it's a good effect otherwise)

Farming heal harm: Since it doesn't actually cure fatigue, heal is useless. harm is also useless.

Fate heal harm: Doesn't last long enough to be useful or just useless.

Fire heal harm: Both useless.

Forge heal harm: Both useless.

Freedom heal harm: Harm is nice in that it both counters haste and stops fighters from full attacking, but heal sucks.

Hunting heal harm: Both useless.

Justice heal harm: Both useless.

Knowledge heal harm: Harm's funny, but since it can't ever actually knock stuff out, it's much less useful.

Luck heal harm: Penalties aren't big enough to merit using, but this is the only harm straight penalty that's worth using since it's EVERYTHING.

Madness heal harm: Confusion on your channel is great! heal sucks though.

Magic heal harm: This bonus is AWESOME at higher levels when SR starts becoming a huge issue. The harm effect needs to have a fairly high DC to be much of a threat.

Monsters heal harm: It's worth noting here that the heal effect is very strong for NPCs, but otherwise this is terrible.

Murder heal harm: Oh good, tiny bleed damage. Ignore.

Nature heal harm: Maybe harm is okay in a wilderness one? Still very bad for both.

Pain heal harm: Harm sickens, which is okay, but eventually becomes nausea, which is great. heal is useless.

Poison heal harm: Harm effect is nice, but it's not strong enough to merit its use. Also delay poison is a very good spell.

Protection heal harm: Oh good, tiny bonuses/penalties to AC for nearly no time. Yay.

Revenge heal harm: Heal's just normal, and harm is a useless effect.

Rulership heal harm: Daze is a very strong effect to give, and hits almost everything. The bonus is a particularly useful social buff.

Ocean heal harm: more useless effects.

Secrets heal harm: useless

Self-perfection heal harm: harm is useless, but heal is flexible enough you can probably do stuff with it.

Slavery heal harm: Combine with chained barbarian for rage cycle on heal, but otherwise this is useless. harm is useless.

Strategy heal harm: The multipurpose nature of the heal makes it pleasant, but harm sucks.

Sun heal harm: Comically, heal has no duration for its effects, so permanent lighting? harm is only good for positive and anti-undead.

Trickery heal harm: both useless.

Undeath heal harm: I mean, if you're undead, this just means you're a stupidly good healer for you and your zombie friends. Heal is just normal.

Weapons heal harm: Staggeringly bad.

Weather heal harm: On the bright side you can hurt anything with positive energy? Both are still useless.



Top Spells

Obviously as a primary caster, spells are going to be a strong consideration for you. I'm just going to go through and pick out the particularly good ones. Of course, since you have access to all of them, making decisions can be harder. Sometimes it's worth leaving some slots open to prepare extra ones since you've got a lot available, but these are the sorts that are usually useful.

0th level
Detect Magic Because it's a magic heavy game
Light It's so good it should be an actual spell
Stabilise Stop someone bleeding to death. Sometimes, you're just out of actual spells.
Create Water This is stupid to have at will, but effective

1st level
Shield of Faith Good scaling AC boost
Infernal Healing Your best and most reliable healing spell (but use out of combat). Also you may not have this.
Diagnose Disease Since it's not usually obvious when someone's been diseased, this can save your skin.
Cause Fear Your most effective way of removing someone from a fight at this sort of level.
Cure Light Wounds Basic healing spell. It's usually best to get a wand of this when you can, but it's still practical.
Inflict Light Wounds Your only damage spell of this level. It's not very good, but notable for that.

2nd level
Aid One target gets some temp hp and bonuses on attacks. Most notable for the temp hp that stack with false life.
Ancestral Communion: Bonus to knowledge checks and can basically take 20 on them. This is stupidly, stupidly good.
Lesser Animate Dead: Small money to buy a single 'friend' permanently.
Burst of Radiance: Blind creatures in an area and hurt them if they're evil.
Delay Poison: Immunity to poison. This is a spell you should always include in your buff list.
Defending Bone: DR5/bludgeoning for ages. Cheap, long lasting and applies to a lot of things.
Hold Person Paralyses a person, letting someone coup de grace them.
Lesser Restoration Remove ability damage, which is always useful
Admonishing ray Large nonlethal damage

3rd level
Animate Dead Get lots of stronger 'friends'. Notable in that you get this earlier than wizards.
Bestow Curse Strong, multipurpose weakening spell.
Beacon of Luck Give (usually) stacking bonus to saves to everyone or a reroll on a save
Deadly Juggernaut Get stronger for each foe you kill. Notably, when you get this, killing anything counts.
Dispel Magic: Multipurpose antimagic spell. You'll almost always have a use for this.
Find Fault: Oracle only, but here for combining the lists. Fairly powerful divination vs monsters.
Invisibility Purge: Removes all that pesky invisibility near you.
Remove Blindness/Deafness: Does what it says on the can. Blinding is a huge pain, and only gets more common from here.
Remove Disease: This is so bad, but it's necessary if you use unchained disease. Often you can do better with just lesser restoration.
Magic circle against alignment Bonuses vs that alignment to friends around you. Good to have up!

4th level
Blessing of Fervour Provide a variety of useful effects
Freedom of movement Long lasting immunity to movement stopping effects.
Neutralise Poison Sort of redundant because of delay poison, but if you're using unchained poison this becomes very, very useful. Otherwise it's fairly bad.
Restoration Remove ability drain and negative levels. Very important!
Holy Smite: reasonable Area Damage to evil creatures and blind them. Similar spells for other alignments.

5th level
Communal Air Walk First way to get everyone reliably flying
Boneshatter Powerful single target damage spell
Breath of Life Bring people back to life if they just died
Cleanse Heals a small amount and removes most negative conditions. Improved on slightly by heal, but this covers most of your needs.
Commune Expensive but accurate simple answers to questions
Flame Strike Large area effect damage that can bypass immunity
Raise Dead Bring dead people back to life
Spell Resistance Resist ~50% of spells
True Seeing See through illusions, which is important for fighters needing to hit casters.

6th level
Cold Ice Strike Swift action high damage spell
Greater Dispel Magic Get rid of many magical effects
Harm Deal massive damage on touch, but it can't kill things
Heal Heal massive damage and remove most negative effects. Mostly for the heal, since cleanse works perfectly well.

7th level
Holy Word: Does horrible things to many non-good creatures weaker than you and can dismiss any non-good outsiders. Similar spells exist for other alignments.
Destruction Deal massive damage at close range and destroy remains
Waves of ecstasy Stun and stagger creatures in a cone, and definite success for at least one rund.
Resurrection Bring someone back to life, even if just a tiny bit of them remains.

8th level
Euphoric Tranquility Creature treats everything as its friend with no save unless attacked
Nine Lives Long duration spell with a variety of useful effects, ranging from extra saves, condition removal and healing.
Stormbolts Large area and damage combined with stun

9th level
Mass Heal Heal lots of people for lots and remove negative conditions.
Miracle Do basically anything for free.
Overwhelming Presence Make many creatures helpless and possibly do Wisdom Drain.
True Resurrection Bring anyone back to life, even if their body has been destroyed



And so, there we are! I do have to say, the cleric list is quite bad, so definitely check your domain spells. It's also worth mentioning that you are very flexible since you know all of your spells, so it can be worth leaving a slot open where you can so you can get that perfect spell in. I would strongly recommend that you take some sort of archetype because the base cleric is dreadful. Nearly every single archetype is stronger. Depending on your choice of domains/archetype, you should also prestige class out so you aren't horrifically boring, since many domains don't give you interesting powers/poorly scaling powers.

Oracles, it is worth mentioning, would be very capable of fulfilling this same spellcasting role, but better. There are very few 'necessary' spells, and since some of them can fail very easily (*cough* remove disease *cough* it's usually important to have multiple castings, which your average cleric won't.

I'm not sure which class I'll do next, but I'm looking at vigilante.


_________________
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Alice 'the Watcher' Crivens - Watching you, wherever you go, whatever you do, never blinking, always smiling. Changeling Mesmerist 1
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