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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default [Pathfinder] Cleric Core Spell Guide?

    My wife is playing a Cleric in Pathfinder Society, just turning 5th level and now the number of spells has expanded to the point that she'd like to find some kind of guide that sorts out the wheat from the chaff in all of the options she has.

    I'd pointed her to some of the 3.5 optimization guides, but after looking them over they really aren't much of a help. Those guides focus on the whole corpus of 3.5 material and the end result is that very little core material is left. Looking over the spell guides they are pretty much all spells from splat books, which don't apply to Pathfinder Society which is mainly core spells.

    So, is there anything out there that breaks down the core spells? Ideally it wouldn't just say what is good and what is bad, but also give a bit of strategy in how to use them. Such as sequences, combos, etc.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Gloucester, England

    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Cleric Core Spell Guide?


    Don't know much about an actual guide, but make sure she has Stabilise, Light and Guidance orisons. Guidance should be used on every check outside combat if possible.

    As for the rest, it depends on your feats, traits, domains & party makeup - you won't need bless if there's a Bard in the party, for instance. PFS missions also skew spell choice. (Endure Elements in hot areas, etc).

    My suggestions would be:

    1) Magic Weapon, Prot vs Evil, Shield of Faith [Bonus Bless]
    2) Spiritual Wpn, Bear's Endurance (for fighters) [Bonus Lssr Restoration]
    3) Magic Circle vs Evil [Bonus - 2nd Magic Circle vs Evil]

    Paul H
    PS Good to see another PFS player on the boards - my main char's choices are simpler. He's a Druid - buff the vicious doggie!
    Last edited by Paul H; 2010-03-03 at 11:04 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Colossus in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Cleric Core Spell Guide?

    I should have some small guide lying around somewhere, though written for 3.5 (not that much really changed outside Orisons). Ah, here we go:

    Level 1
    Cause Fear: Nice Will Save-or-Lose as long as the HD limit isn't a problem; unfortunately single-target. Close range.
    Command: Nice Will Save-or-Suck. Again, though, single-target. Close range.

    Level 2
    Hold Person: Humanoid SoL. Handy. Medium range.
    Shatter: Destroy weapons, armor, etc. Nice combination with Dispels and such. Close range.
    Silence: Caster Will SoL, or no-save effect if you have some control effects to prevent opponent from leaving the covered area. Also, nice readied action to screw spellcasting. Long range (!!) multi-target.
    Sound Burst: Meh damage, with Fort-or-Stun. If you have someone to CDG the stunned guy, it's alright. The damage isn't the reason to pick it. Close range multi-target.
    Spiritual Weapon: It's a decent damage spell, especially since Cleric BAB is pretty good; it'll keep attacking for effectively the entire combat and it takes only a move action to redirect.

    Level 3
    Bestow Curse: Will SoS. Clerics have lots of these. Good for debuffing Planar Bound creatures or such. Touch range.
    Blindness/Deafness: Blindness is an excellent debuff. Fort SoS basically. Medium range.
    Dispel Magic: Magic is very powerful, so ability to stop magic is absolutely incredible. Disable Fighter's gear, remove buffbots buffs, save your allies from variety of SoLs, infinitely powerful. Medium range multi-target.
    Invisibility Purge: Well, not really offense, but still. 5'/level range.
    Searing Light: Deals crap damage to living or slightly less crap damage to undead. Yuck. Medium range ray.

    Level 4
    Dimensional Anchor: Well, only way you'll ever kill those outsiders. Medium range.
    Dismissal: Basically amounts to a limited Will SoD. Close range. It's nice 'cause you can make it notably harder than normal spell of yours to resist by using stuff the target hates with the spell.
    Poison: Fort Save-or-BeHurtBad. Meh. Touch range. Yuck.

    Level 5
    Greater Command: Multitarget Command that lasts until they make a save. Pretty useful, if high level. Close range, 30' between victims, mind-affecting.
    Plane Shift: Everyone knows of the spells transportation capabilities, but as long as your target cannot Plane Shift, sending someone to say...Positive Energy Plane is a very good way of killing people. Basically a Will SoD with Touch Range.
    Slay Living: Fort SoD with some consolation damage. Touch.
    Symbol of Pain: Symbols are fun. Paint a bunch of 'em on some item, reveal it and watch opposition roll saves. Rubber balls are pretty nice, for example. Your armor is a good place too. This one is practically a SoS.
    Symbol of Sleep: See above. Nice little slumberparty here. Though Mind-Affecting begins to be a problem on these levels.

    Level 6
    Banishment: Like Dismissal, except stronger.
    Blade Barrier: Meh, it's a solid battlefield morphing ability that's also Ref-or-Take-Some-Damage. Not bad. Medium range.
    Greater Dispel Magic: See Dispel Magic.
    Harm: Fort or Take Damage. Meh. Fine for e.g. channeling tho. Touch.
    Symbol of Fear: See Symbol of Pain. Basically SoL version. Annoyingly Mind-Affecting.
    Symbol of Persuasion: See Symbol of Pain. Basically SoL version. Annoyingly Mind-Affecting.
    Undeath to Death: Great for killing undead. Medium range 40' bunch.

    Level 7
    Blasphemy/Dictum/Holy Word/Word of Chaos: Boost your caster level and world will tremble. No-save death or at least be screwed depending on your CL. Only SR can save people here (and with your buffed CL, rarely).
    Destruction: Fort SoD. Close range. Nice 10d6 consolation damage.
    Dimensional Lock: Like Dimensional Anchor, except gotta somehow restrict opponent's movement, but it offers no save.
    Symbol of Stunning: See Symbol of Pain, SoL version.
    Symbol of Weakness: See Symbol of Pain, SoS version (most characters can't carry their stuff after that Fort-damage).

    Level 8
    Earthquake: A rather versatile offense spell that can be used to lock down opponents or such depending on terrain. Damage isn't impressive but the conditions it can impose, often without save, are. Also nicely stops activity while it's going. If DM says the save stops the Pinned-condition too, it becomes much worse.
    Fire Storm: Deals a bunch of damage. Meh.
    Symbol of Death: See Symbol of Pain, SoD version.
    Symbol of Insanity: See Symbol of Pain, Will SoD version. Meh at mind-affecting.

    Level 9
    Miracle: It does everything, most without XP cost. Just about the best level 9 spell in the game.
    Gate: Solars are good.
    Implosion: Boom Boom. Kinda expensive, but at least it can kill multiple folks.

    Field Alteration + Ally Generation:
    Level 1
    Obscuring Mist: Nice way to stop annoying targeted spells, archery and such. Gives melee full miss chance thoo. Limits yourself too tho. Personal range.
    Summon Monster I: See the Malconvoker Handbook.

    Level 2
    Darkness: Older version of Darkness. Touch range, can toss the object or such.
    Summon Monster II: See the Malconvoker Handbook.

    Level 3
    Animate Dead: Material components are kinda meh. Eternally usable and faithful underlings are pretty handy though, if you can afford them.
    Daylight: Mostly when dealing with Underdark races, Undead and such. Touch like Darkness.
    Deeper Darkness: Sorta like Darkness. Unfortunately, it's not as Dark as it should be. Fogs >>> Darkness. Touch like Darkness.
    Stone Shape: I don't honestly need to state in how many ways morphing stone can be useful, do I? Touch.
    Summon Monster III: See the Malconvoker Handbook.
    Wind Wall: Pretty nice especially in larger conflicts where large squads of archers are a concern. There are pretty few ways archers can by RAW shoot through this, though you could argue that big enough bows and force projectiles would.

    Level 4
    Control Water: Very nice when water is available for drowning places, killing waterbreathing creatures in shallow waters and such. Just, useful. Long range.
    Giant Vermin: You shouldn't really bother with anything less than Gargantuans, but with CL buffs those are available pretty quickly and particularly Colossal Scorpion is very efficient even against CR 20 challenges as long as the area is thus that they cannot just fly away (you can help with that); they have very high Attack-stats and the poisons are extremely potent.
    Lesser Planar Ally: Solid allies, even if it's expensive to call. Try to call 'em when it falls under the "strongly ties to creature's ethos"; that's free and the XP cost isn't really that major. And Outsiders are pretty darn good allies.
    Summon Monster IV: See the Malconvoker Handbook.

    Level 5
    Insect Plague: Swarms are hardy, but unfortunately not very damaging at this point anymore. The Distraction-function is handy, but beyond that it's not very good. Long range tho.
    Summon Monster V: See the Malconvoker Handbook.
    Wall of Stone: One of Wizard's best battlefield control spells is no worse for Cleric. Isolate enemies, buy time, block entries, make death prisons, whatever. Reflex if used to encase people. Medium range.

    Level 6
    Animate Object: Unfortunately Animated Objects have horrible BAB and such so they don't hit much. The special attacks are somewhat usable tho. Generally best with Permanency. Medium range.
    Antilife Shell: A very strong defensive buff, here because you can morph the battlefield with it. Living creatures simply can't approach the area around you. NO SAVE! 10' radius.
    Create Undead: Some of the undead are very useful. This is an expensive spell, but as the undead can multiply, provided it's not against your alignment, this can be very very handy.
    Planar Ally: See Lesser Planar Ally.
    Summon Monster VI: See the Malconvoker Handbook.

    Level 7
    Control Weather: Slow to cast, but great for demolishing armies, cities and such. Not quite as strong as the 5th level Druid-spell Control Winds, but much more versatile.
    Repulsion: Like Antilife Shell vs. anything, but with Will-save to negate. I don't like it nearly as much.
    Summon Monster VII: See the Malconvoker Handbook.

    Level 8
    Antimagic Field: Magic's good, all that jazz. Also, Initiate of Mystra makes this the most one-sided, unfair spell ever. 10' radius (suggest Widening; see Rules Compendium for relevant stuff regarding rules on this, it always confuses people).
    Create Greater Undead: See Create Undead.
    Summon Monster VIII: See the Malconvoker Handbook.

    Level 9
    Miracle: It does everything, most without XP cost. Just about the best level 9 spell in the game.
    Gate: Solars are good.
    Summon Monster IX: See the Malconvoker Handbook.

    Defense + Buff:
    Level 1
    Bless: Not amazing, but every bonus is a bonus. The more characters, the better.
    Endure Elements: Eh, obvious utility.
    Magic Stone: Handy buff for Sling-users. Note that sling is a solid ranged level 1 weapon for high Str types, being quite light, almost free and adding Str to damage.
    Magic Weapon: Handy buff for anyone. If a bit small.
    Protection from Alignment: Great buff, stops all mind control in addition to solid Deflection/Resistance.
    Sanctuary: Obvious utility, you aren't attacking anyways, so... Also can be used to protect another, who's about to go down.
    Shield of Faith: Touch-spell that grants nice Deflection-bonus to AC.

    Level 2
    Aid: Mostly just Bless with few additional Temp HP. Pretty weak beyond the first levels.
    Align Weapon: Occasionally absolutely crucial with early opponents packing some pesky DRs.
    Bull's Strength & al.: Handy early on.
    Resist Energy: Great vs. casters and energy-based creatures and just environment.

    Level 3
    Magic Circle against Alignment: Like Protection, except area-of-effect and stops summoned creatures and such. Handy. 10' area.
    Magic Vestment: One of the best buffs in the game, allows you to, especially in conjuction with Animated Shields and such, give everyone decent AC. Use with caster level boosters for early +5s all day.
    Meld into Stone: Fine "Invisibility"-substitute that's not trumped by most spells. It's hard to detect your presence without heavy magical scanning.
    Prayer: Short-duration Bless (with Luck-bonus tho) and a penalty to enemies. Meh.
    Protection from Energy: Like Resist Energy except complete immunity to certain threshold. I prefer Resist Energy though sometimes, when taking huge blazing balls of fire, this is better.
    Water Breathing: Too obvious.
    Water Walk: Yeah.

    Level 4
    Air Walk: Obvious. Notably, you still walk so stuff depending on jumping and such should work normally. Nice duration, though not 1h/level. Touch.
    Imbue with Spell Ability: Divine Favor is a nice one, for example. Personal spells in general.
    Greater Magic Weapon: Like Magic Vestment, except for weapons. The nice part is that Clerics can buff their CL like crazy so you'll have +5s in the mid-teens. Close range.
    Spell Immunity: Stuff such as Enervation and such is very solid to protect people from. Touch.

    Level 5
    Disrupting Weapon: Kills undead. Handy in Undead-heavy scenarios. With iteratives, it amounts to a whole ton of SoDs vs. Undead. Touch-range.
    Spell Resistance: 12+CL is a nice amount, without cap, especially for a Cleric. It's Touch so it can be used to ward the entire party and it's nice 10 min/level (if it only were 1 hour/level...).
    True Seeing: Too obvious.

    Level 6
    Mass Bull's Strength & al.: When you have hordes of servants/underlings/whatever, these can be worthwhile. Party will just buy gear.
    Heroes' Feast: Extend it for 24-hour Fear-immunity and Morale-bonus to Hit and Will-saves. One is enough to feed the entire party and then some. Should be staple once you get it given the DCs of the fear auras some creatures have.
    Wind Walk: Kinda like your version of Teleport. Nice travel-spell if actual Teleportation is not available.
    Word of Recall: Solid replication of one function of Teleportation. Nice overall.

    Level 7
    Ethereal Jaunt: Decent escape spell tho only 1 round/level and Personal.
    Refuge: Nice "Oh ****"-Contingency to give to e.g. party Rogue or someone else bound to get into trouble alone.

    Level 8
    Cloak of Chaos/Holy Aura/Shield of Law/Unholy Aura: Decent defensive alignment-buffs, though they unfortunately don't stack with common protective items. There's still the "successful attack requires will-save vs. Confusion" and multi-targeting going on for it tho. Again, very solid if you have unequipped underlings.
    Greater Spell Immunity: Good for the same reason Spell Immunity is good.

    Level 9
    Astral Projection: You pay some for effective immortality, especially combined with Plane Shift. Basically, you create a clone of yourself, for which dying doesn't make any difference. It's great how Plane Shift is a level 5 spell for Clerics. Multitarget.
    Miracle: It does everything, most without XP cost. Just about the best level 9 spell in the game.
    Etherealness: Handy for bypassing places and spying on things and killing ethereal issues and so on. And for staying out. I don't like spending level 9 slots on this tho.
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