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  #1  
Unread 11th of December, 2011, 00:27
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Pathfinder "Healer"

Pathfinder rules - pretty much anything in the SRD is cool
Birthright Campaign Setting
Level 5
20 point buy

I statted up a character, a healbot, for my tertiary character in a tree arrangement (along with the "samurai" earlier and a monk I made but didn't post because I'm happy with how he turned out). When I got done, it didn't feel right to me, so I'm scrapping it and going back to the drawing board.

It has since been brought to my attention that the Paladin might be a better combat medic since he gets both Lay On Hands and Positive Channeling. Also, for healing purposes, he's got less of a MAD problem (cleric needs Cha to Channel but Wis for spells) and also comes with better proficiencies. On top of that, I'm not interested in the cleric as a caster/buffer/supporter. I just want the best combat healer.

Any advice?
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Unread 11th of December, 2011, 00:46
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Channeling energy costs the paladin 2 of his lay on hands 'uses' though. If your paladin had a 20 in charisma, he'd have 7 uses at 5th level. So he could channel energy thrice and uses lay on hands once.

A cleric with a charisma of 14 would be able to use channel energy five times. And cast additional spells as well. They can spontaneously cast cure spells. With the healing domain they get the rebuke death ability (which isn't great, but an additional healing source).

If you look at the character at 6th level, then the healing domain makes all cure spells count as empowered.

I don't see where the paladin comes anywhere near the clearic as a healbot. Only the swift action lay on hands is superior - for himself as a front line warrior, that is. Not for the rest of the group.

Then there's the oracle of life... but it's inferior to what the cleric can do as well.
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Unread 11th of December, 2011, 00:54
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Makes sense.

Any other build ideas?
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Unread 11th of December, 2011, 01:29
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For a cleric?

... channel energy never stacks so it'd be best to stick to cleric if really going for a healbot.

5th level cleric with the restoration domain (subdomain of healing), and liberation domain (FoM is always nice). Maybe better: merciful healer archetype (only healing domain) which can cast cure spells without drawing AoOs and can remove negative conditions via channeling. Not great, but makes him a better healbot.

Anything else depends on what you want the character to do other than healing.
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Unread 11th of December, 2011, 01:55
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Agh! Clerics only have medium armor! So my build wouldn't have worked anyway. That's awful. I mean, I know clerics were overpowered in 3.5, but that's a bit overkill, no? That's going to be a pretty crappy AC then, since Dex is primary dump stat.

EDIT - Even my monk has a higher AC despite suffering from even worse MAD.

Last edited by Mercutio; 11th of December, 2011 at 02:00.
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Unread 11th of December, 2011, 03:53
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Well then just take the heavy armor proficiency...? It's just one more feat.

Or take the crusader archetype instead of merciful healer. You can take it as a bonus feat at first level then.

Post your build if you want more precise feedback.

Note that your monk will be face to face with the enemy while your cleric doesn't necessarily have to. Healbot, right? Entirely different role.
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Unread 11th of December, 2011, 04:05
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Melee/healbot build:
AC 25 with heavy armor proficiency, full plate +1, heavy shield +1 and cat's grace.

Str 16 (+1 4th)
Dex 10
Con 14
Int 8
Wis 14
Cha 14

Cast bull's strength and cat's grace. Maybe add divine favor.

If you really want a high AC, get a +2 full pate and cast magic vestment on your shield for +2 to AC. Get dodge and/or shield focus.

... hm, maybe do post your build.
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Unread 11th of December, 2011, 05:12
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Cat's Grace appears to not be in the Cleric list anymore. Weird.
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Unread 11th of December, 2011, 15:03
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Actually, I think there is something to be said for a paladin healer. Especially if your group is lacking a tank, or even if they do have a tank. Look at it this way, if you have a high AC and are getting targetted a lot by the baddies then you are cutting down on the amount of healing that needs to be handed out in total. Aside from that if you are taking most of the damage then you can use those lay on hands as free actions in the middle of combat to keep yourself up while not having to sacrifice putting out some offense too. Use Reward of Life and do both!

I have seen both in practice and they both work good. There is no doubt that a cleric can put out more healing than a paladin can. But from my experience most parties don't need a dedicated healer that offers little else to the party. I would recommend diversifying.

Have you ever had the urge to theurge? I have always liked the Celestial bloodline and it meshes well with a theurge that is taking up a healing roll. But you know whats better than that and cuts down on MAD? The Empyreal bloodline. It keeps everything that is shnazzy about Celestial and lets you have a single caster stat. Having some sorcerer spells can compliment your healing a fair amount too. Use some battlefield control type spells to cut down on how much healing is needed, throw out some save or suck spells and prey on weak saves to take tough foes out of combat, or use one of my favorite tactics: spectral hand to deliver your healing spells. Between the hand delivering your cure spells and using your sorcerous healing ray you can plink away at healing mid combat if you have nothing better to do or even bust out some blasting if needed. Hell, do it all while invisible. You can even use summoning or battlefield control while invisible. Know your fighting some firey foes? Use your sorcerer spells for resist energy/protection from energy effects and your cleric spells for healing.

IMO more than 50% of healing is making sure your party avoids as much damage as possible in the first place. Its like GI Joe said: knowing is half the battle. And what better way to prepare than with magic? If you can't prepair for something with magic then you can't prepair for something at all. Or at least thats the philosophy here. Ok, maybe its not for everyone but its just another idea. Before you dismiss it though, take a look at the Theurgy feat.

There are many paths for a healer though. Wanna pick something a little off the wall? Alchemists can actually make competant healers. Take the Chirurgeon Archetype and pick the spontaneous healing, infusion, enhance potion and healing touch discoveries. You get Brew Potions as a bonus feat for free. Make a bunch of cure X wounds potions, enhance them and use them to heal your party.

Brewing potions doesn't cost XP any more, just time and not a lot of that. Take the Master Alchemist feat and Antitoxins, acid and alchemist's fire to your hearts content at breakneck speeds. Don't forget that your specialty in throwing splash weapons doesn't just apply to your bombs. Also take a look at the other alchemy items. Also there is the Leeching Kit and the portable alchemist lab. Don't forget that the heal skill is actually useful in Pathfinder as it allows you to heal hit point damage. Ask your DM if he will allow you to create alchemical healer's kits using your craft skill. While your at it see if he will allow the use of drugs. There are some cool ones and I can see busting out a few vials mid combat. It would be interesting to play a tweaker too. Hell, see if you can get your party addicted to the drugs! lol Its called "job security". I feel now is a good time to point out that gnomes get +2 to craft skills and a +2 to Con (to help on addiction saves) while perhaps the dwarf's +2 to Con and +2 to saves could also be useful.

Anyway, just some ideas there.
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Unread 11th of December, 2011, 23:27
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Huh. I wish I had seen this post last night. I may have to make that tweaker just for the hell of it, because it sounds awesome.

I ended up going with a fairly straight cleric build with Healing and Travel domains.
This is the most recent build (PDF).
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Unread 12th of December, 2011, 03:50
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I found a decent Excel sheet that says it outputs to bbcode--so let's test it out.


DACRE HEMMER
Male human Cleric 5
CG Medium humanoid
Init +2 ; Senses Perception +3

DEFENSE
AC 26, touch 12, flat-footed 25 (+10 armor, +4 shield, +1 dex, +1 deflection)
hp 43 (5d8+15)
Fort +7, Ref +3, Will +8

OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft/x3
Melee +1 Trident +6 1d8+3 20/x2

STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 14
Base Atk +3, Cmb +5Cmd +17

Feats Armor Proficiency (Heavy) (PFCR 118), Combat Casting (PFCR 119), Shield Focus (PFCR 133), Warrior Priest (PFUM 159)

Skills Heal +12, Knowledge (arcana) +4, Knowledge (history) +4, Knowledge (religion) +5, Knowledge (planes) +4, Profession (sailor) +7, Sense Motive +7, Spellcraft +6

Languages Common

SQ Cleric Channel Energy, Rebuke Death, Agile Feet

Combat Gear +1 Trident, Full Plate +1, Heavy Steel Shield +1

Other Gear Magic Items Equipped by Slot, Belt/Waist Slot, Body Slot, Chest/Torso Slot, Eyes/Face Slot, Feet Slot, Hand Slot, Head Slot, Headband Slot, Neck Slot, Ring Slot (RH), Ring of Protection +1, Ring Slot (LH), Shoulder Slot, Cloak of Resistance +1, Wrist/Arm Slot

Class Abilities
• AURA OF NEUTRAL GOOD: A Cleric of Nesirie radiates a powerful aura of Neutral Good. (PFCR 39).
• CLERIC CHANNEL ENERGY: You channel Positive Energy allowing you to either heal the living or harm the undead for 3d6. Affects 30 ft radius from you. Will save DC 15 to halve damage. Standard action. 5 times per day. Does not provoke Attacks of Opportunity. (PFCR 40).
• CLERIC BONUS LANGUAGES: A cleric’s bonus language options include Celestial, Abyssal, and Infernal regardless of race. (PFCR 41).
• CLERIC ORISONS: Pick your 0-level spells. You can cast these at will. (PFCR 41).
• CLERIC SPELLS: The cleric casts divine spells drawn from the Cleric spell list, as listed in PFCR 226-229. The cleric must meditate and pray for an hour each day to regain spells. (PFCR 39-40).
• CLERIC SPONTANEOUS CASTING: A Good cleric can swap prepared spells for spells with ""cure"" in the name. An evil cleric can swap out prepared spells for ""inflict"" spells. A neutral cleric of a neutral god can choose one or the other upon taking the Cleric class. (PFCR 41).
• CLERIC WEAPONS AND ARMOR: All simple weapons, all types of armor, shields (except tower shields), and favored weapon of deity -- Trident. (PFCR 39).
• DOMAIN POWERS: Each of the cleric's chosen domains grants domain powers.
- Rebuke Death (Sp) - Touch heals living creature below 0 hp for 1d4+2. Standard action. 6 times per day. [PFCR 44]
- Agile Feet (Su) - Ignore terrain penalties for 1 round. Swift action. 6 times per day. [PFCR 47]
(PFCR 40-41).
• FORBIDDEN SPELL ALIGNMENT: Spells with the Evil descriptor are forbidden by your alignment and your deity's alignment. Spells with the Lawful descriptor are forbidden by your alignment and your deity's alignment. (PFCR 41, 49).

Traits
• Caretaker (Faith): You gain a +1 trait bonus on Heal checks, and Heal is always a class skill for you. (PFAPG 328)
• Focused Mind (Magic): You gain a +2 bonus on Concentration checks. (PFAPG 329)
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Unread 12th of December, 2011, 05:03
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Well, you certainly have a great AC for level 6 and can tank nicely that way.

You're spending a lot of feats/stuff on buffing your concentration skill. Are you sure you need that? You could spend two feats on more offensive stuff otherwise. Maybe there are some feats that enhance healing as well?

Since you took the travel domain (fly is awesome, agreed), you can ignore difficult terrain and can almost always 5' step away. And if there's someone with reach, well, then just take the chance?

Did you decide not to go with the Restoration subdomain after all?
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Unread 12th of December, 2011, 05:25
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Huh, no, I did go with Restoration. Guess that Excel sheet has a few bugs.

I took the Concentration buffing mostly because I couldn't find any that enhance healing at all. If you know of any, I'm game. Merciful Healer archetype allowed for casting healing without provoking, but it was too restrictive to make up for that, so I dropped it. But I'll be casting in combat frequently, which means concentration checks. I want those to be a non-issue--effectively, I'm using two feats to get what the archetype would have granted. That said, I could drop the Warrior Priest feat as a +14 to cast on the defensive means an auto-success already versus the DC15 to cast on the defensive.

I'm definitely open to feat suggestions. I'm going to trace down the problem with Restoration domain and repost.
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Unread 12th of December, 2011, 05:49
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Note that casting on the defensive actually is really hard in PF:
Cast defensively: DC 15 + double spell level

Edit: Obviously there would have to be good alternative feats. At least for warrior priest (without combat casting you shouldn't even try casting a spell of level 2 or higher on the defensive...)

Edit2: there's extra channel if you really want to be THE healbot.
If you want to invest more on defense, maybe take combat expertise?

Actually, back to the earlier question: What do you want the character to do in combat? What spells do you see him cast?
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Unread 12th of December, 2011, 06:24
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I considered alternative channel with selective channeling. I might do that, but I think the return on investment will drop precipitously after level 6 or so. 3d6 is 10.5 HP average. CLW is already 10.5 average at level 6 as well. That's not even one hit in many combats at that point.

What I want to do in combat is not get hit, heal the people who most need healing, buff the heavy hitters, and provide flanking. Totally a support character. Not usually my style, but it was brought to my attention that of the 5 or 6 players (not sure about one) each with 3 characters, there was, until I started working on my cleric, only 1 healer in the group. Granted, any party will be made up of 6 characters at most, but it is highly unlikely with 2 of 18 characters as healers, that any one party will have a healer.
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Unread 12th of December, 2011, 15:19
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Ugh, personally I just can't get into playing a character that is totally a support character. I don't need to be in the spotlight all the time but being able to do something more than letting the other characters do something is needed IMO. Of course to each their own. I realize others have different tastes. Maybe even though you said its out of the norm for you it will be a fun character.

To me though, I have to agree with Tash. I think the character would get incredibly boring if all he is doing is moving, healing, flanking and occasionally swinging for 1d8+2 damage.

As for the feat choice, I think it is completely overkill to shoot for auto concentration. I mean, I suppose that it could be useful if you were assured that the targets near you had either readied actions lined up to interupt your spell casting (read: not likely), has AoOs left, manages to hit your high AC and does enough damage to make your spell to threaten to interupt your spell and you roll poorly. That combination isn't likely to come up frequently. In fact, it seems so infrequent that I definately wouldn't invest heavily in to ensuring that it won't be a problem if it does.

That being said I think the channel feats are all a great investment. While 10.5 to one target is the same as cure light wounds, channeling can affect far more targets. For out of combat healing channel is great!

You know what the biggest issue for me is though? Its just hard for me to see a straight classed cleric as interesting anymore. Or at least it takes more for it to seem interesting to me at the very least. Not sure why that it is. It just is.
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Unread 13th of December, 2011, 07:46
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Like I said, though, he's the third character of a three-character tree. He's not my primary character, and he's not the one I intend to play the most. That would be the monk. So I'm not worried about him being a total support character. If I thought I could do it well, I'd be a casting focused cleric. But I don't do non-spontaneous casters very well.

Casting after being hit seems to be more of a problem than casting defensively, though, doesn't it? I mean, maybe not, but that was my thought.

Maybe Dodge and Mobility would be better? That way I can provoke the AoO for moving through a threatened square with AC30 and cast with impunity.

Selective Channeling is still an option, and so is extra Channel (those were the feats I first picked before changing them).
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Unread 15th of December, 2011, 08:32
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Well, your right about the casting being interrupted thing. I have even been thinking of changing the DC down by 5 because it seems too hard. In fact, Friday night in my Pathfinder game I had a player that has a wizard with improved counterspell realize that he'd rather not have taken the feat as it seems easier to him to ready to magic missile his target rather than counter the spell as it is nearly as likely he will counter the spell but also will deal a fair amount of damage.

You might have a point about raising your AC or even purposely provoking and then casting after. Although, I suppose an intelligent foe could just not opt to take the first AoO in expectation of you casting but I doubt that would happen often.
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