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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Yakmala's Avatar

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    Default Best support for a party of Clerics?

    I've got a weekend one-shot coming up, character level 4, and three other players have all declared they are playing various flavors of Clerics (Arcane, Order & Life).

    What would you pick to best support a party of all Clerics? Part of me thinks it would be funny to go with the flow and bring a Cleric as well, but I'm more inclined to fill the gaps Clerics don't cover. A party face is an obvious choice, but so is some sort of melee, as healing is obviously not going to be an issue.

    Thoughts?

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RogueJK's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Any of those Clerics could be decent frontliners, especially Arcana.

    I'd lean towards a Moderately Armored Celestial Tomelock Generalist with Book of Ancient Secrets. Party face, ranged/melee attack switch-hitter, and utility rituals. (Plus it fits the theme... You're just a different form of priest.)

    Or maybe something like a Rogue with CHA as a secondary stat and the Ritual Caster Wizard feat. Face, skill monkey, ranged/melee striker, and utility rituals. Works well with Order's ability to generate off turn sneak attacks.
    Last edited by RogueJK; 2023-12-06 at 03:18 PM.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Either a sorcerer or warlock. Level 4 clerics aren't bringing in a lot of AOE, but will be able to withstand being on the frontline.

    As much as I'm not a fan of sorcerers, I think it'd be the better choice, just given the dynamic that the clerics won't be requesting short rests unless they're burning through their CDs (which could be a possibility, but you'd know better than me).

    As for subclass, suit to taste. (Not being a fan, I gravitate to Draconic as they provide what I feel are the best features outside of casting. YMMV.)
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Either a blaster or a melee damagehose (hexadin or some version of GWM).

    Clerics do everything, but they are merely competent damage dealers. I think that's gonna be the best complement to a party of clerics.

    Hexadin doesn't fully come online till 7 (though they are perfectly playable before that). A GWM barb though will crank out damage from the get-go.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    You have plenty of tankiness, but need damage. Let them be the front line, go Gloom Stalker, maybe with XBE.

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    Spamalot in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Throw in Trickery to be your trap guy

    (The playtest version is much stronger if you're able to try that)
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    You absolutely should be a cleric too, maybe War or Light. Or at least someone pretending to be a cleric, like a paladin, favored sorc or celestial lock.
    Last edited by Kane0; 2023-12-06 at 11:01 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    I always like having a Rogue in the party when I play an Order Domain Cleric. The Order Domain's ability to grant an ally an attack can be used to get an off-turn Sneak Attack.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    For just a one-shot, why not have some fun with a Knowlege Cleric? Sure, a trickster cleric might help with stealth checks, but knowledge gets you expertise in 2/4 of the knowledge skills plus you can get proficiency in thieves tools if you really need it. Sure, you're not bringing too much different to the table, but knowledge is power, and you can always focus on buffs and stack Int instead of Wis.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    I like a Lore Bard for this. Adds lots of skill utility, Bardic Inspiration to stack with all that Bless/Guidance, and Cutting Words to emphasize the edge the party will have almost all the time.

    Plus it could be a fun RP counterpoint for the Arcana cleric. Oh you know stuff? Well so do I, and I am chaaaarming! *proceeds to walk into a trap*

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    You've got Arcana (caster/melee?), Life (Healing) and Order (Support/Control)

    I'd be looking at Tempest or Light cleric for blasting purposes, or possibly Nature (shillelagh, + SCAGtrip via race/feat/etc.) if the Arcana cleric isn't actually all that melee.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Lvl 2 Expert's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Quote Originally Posted by GooeyChewie View Post
    I always like having a Rogue in the party when I play an Order Domain Cleric. The Order Domain's ability to grant an ally an attack can be used to get an off-turn Sneak Attack.
    I second this suggestion. Clerics do basically everything. They don't need support. You can bring a tank, you can bring AoE attacks, you can bring summoned creatures to buff and heal, all good options. But this interaction with the rogue is cool, and the skills a rogue brings to the table can be helpful, both in the social domain and in dungeoneering. So I vote for that. I also might like the mental image of 3 priests traveling with a clear outlaw, who's shooting people from hiding as they are standing there preaching stuff.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2023-12-07 at 04:47 AM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    I'd be tempted to go very counter cleric (maybe bugbear gloomstalker or assasin w/ alert or SS, or flying tiefling hex warlock) or jump into the theme and go all holy rollers (aasimar celestial warlock, or cleric, paladin). I wouldn't worry much about filling a niche - it's a one shot, have fun.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Why not a Psi Warrior Fighter?

    You'd be adding DPS, extra attacks, group mobility and group damage mitigation, plus cool stuff with telekinesis.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2023-12-07 at 10:43 AM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    +1 for another cleric


  16. - Top - End - #16
    Nobody in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Yeah I would definitely build another Cleric. You could opt for a blasty Cleric like Tempest or Light. For a one shot I would NOT bother trying to cover any party weaknesses. Go Cleric all the way!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    I would consider a hexblade. Can act as the party face. I'd probably set up to swap between melee and ranged damage (eldritch blast).

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    I'd make another cleric. Either light to be the blaster, or knowledge to be the knower. Urchin background will get you dungoneering skills.
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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Just gonna throw this out there:

    A Lore Bard is a superb support character. Played on from 1-20. (Or can be built as one).
    Skills, Face, mix of arcane and divine spells, bardic inspiration, Cutting words.

    Tactically:
    Dissonant whispers to get enemies to move.
    Vicious Mockery on low wis enemies to put disadvantage on their next attack
    Cutting words to make an attack miss
    Bardic Inspiration for its various uses/benefits.
    face stuff
    Expertise in two skills.

    nice package, all around.
    If you go vHuman you can get Magic initiate and add Eldritch blast and another cantrip (I'd sugget mind sliver) and also Hex.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2023-12-08 at 10:32 AM.
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  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RogueJK's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    I agree that Lore Bards are fantastic Party Support characters, being one of the best options for a "support character" in D&D overall. However, I'm going to argue against one here:

    A) Much of the Lore Bard's Party Support capabilities are already well covered by 3x Clerics, with plenty of healing and buffing already available.

    B) Clerics are only fair-to-middling damage dealers. Lore Bards are poor damage dealers, and poor in combat in general outside of a few choice spells and Magical Secrets. The party needs more combat/damage capabilities, not less.

    So while a Lore Bard can be an excellent choice to fill the Party Support (big S) role in general in D&D, they are not as great of a choice specifically to (small s) support a party of three Clerics.



    Therefore, I still think a Rogue, or even a big melee bruiser like a GWM Zealot Barbarian, would be a much better option to supplement this trio of Clerics. Or if sticking to the "All Cleric Party" theme, a Light or Tempest Cleric with Ritual Caster Wizard to at least get some better blast and utility spells on the table. (I've reconsidered my initial suggestion of a Celestial Warlock Generalist, since while it would be thematically aligned while covering some of the party's gaps, it still falls into some of the same traps as the Lore Bard with some redundant capabilities and only middling damage output.)
    Last edited by RogueJK; 2023-12-08 at 11:16 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

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    I'm going to throw my hat in the "do iiiiiiiit. Make another cleriiiiiic" camp. Obviously ignore this if you want, but consider: if you play regularly, you'll have the chance to play all of these character ideas that get you excited.
    This will probably be the only time in your life you'll have the chance to play in an All-Cleric party. Just that novelty alone will probably help you remember this game for years to come.

    Since the party's lacking in damage, the subclass I pick would probably be Light.


    Paladin or Rogue to maximize Order Cleric's "you! Attack!" ability.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Githyanki Celestial Pact of the Blade Warlock who fights with a Green Flame Blading Greatsword would be both fun, powerful and useful.

    Plus you can go around announcing yourself as the Emissary of Ysgard.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Wizard. You need an Int-character, Wizard-list is great for making enemies do nothing while Clerics wreck them, you get scouting in the form of familiar, you'll bring great Investigation to the table, and you'll make great use of the massive melee frontline provided by 3 Clerics all with 19ish+ AC for free. On this level, you can use a weapon if you'd like (Sharpshooter Wizard is a thing pre-5) without regard for class so if you wanna be a DPR type, you can go that route (just remember to put a 16 to Dex, which you'd probably want anyways). Bladesinger is still fine as an AC bomb but you can just go Diviner or Evoker or Scribes or Abjurer or whatever just as well, regardless of the role you'd want to take.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RogueJK's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Here's a potentially fun idea, combining multiple schools of thought for this character to make a quasi-Wizard/Rogue/Cleric:

    Variant Human Soulknife Rogue 3/Knowledge Cleric 1
    STR 8
    DEX 15+1
    CON 14
    INT 12
    WIS 13+1
    CHA 10
    Ritual Caster Wizard feat at Level 1
    Racial Skill: Perception
    Rogue Skills: Deception*, Persuasion*, Stealth, Investigation
    Cleric Skills: Religion*, Arcana*
    Background Skills: Insight, plus either History or Nature

    You're the Party Face, INT skill monkey, and scout, all in one, with the ability to add an additional +1d6 to proficient skill checks (which stacks with Guidance). You've got 1st and 2nd level Wizard utility rituals, including a Familiar, along with a little Cleric spellcasting. And you've got up to 2x ranged psychic knife attacks per turn, landing +2d6 Sneak Attack on one of them. Plus you're still technically a Cleric.

    Maybe they're an Indiana Jones-style knowledge seeker, combining arcane magic, divine guidance, and psionic power along with their wits and skill to delve deep into dangerous caves and ruins in search of lost knowledge for the Church.
    Last edited by RogueJK; 2023-12-09 at 07:51 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    You *HAVE* to go cleric. With the God Squad, it's a moral imperative! (All cleric parties are So. Much. Fun. regardless of the D&D version.) Alas, I have no suggestions for which kind of cleric.

    Alternatively, Half-orc Urchin Undying Patron Tome Pact Warlock. Half-orc features and two-handed quarterstaff makes you a poor man's fighter. Urchin background and proficiency in Investigation make you a poor man's thief. Undying patron and proficiency in Religion make you a poor man's cleric. Tome pack and Book of Shadows invocation makes you a poor man's wizard. Flavor the rest of the warlock to taste!
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Kane0's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Quote Originally Posted by thorr-kan View Post
    You *HAVE* to go cleric. With the God Squad, it's a moral imperative! (All cleric parties are So. Much. Fun. regardless of the D&D version.) Alas, I have no suggestions for which kind of cleric.
    Light and Tempest are the blasty ones.
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  27. - Top - End - #27
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Lvl 2 Expert's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    You know what? Yeah, I've come around. Play another cleric. It's too funny. "That oneshot with three clerics" is memorable, but "that oneshot with only clerics" is epic.

    ...Assuming that the weekend oneshot wasn't this weekend...
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2023-12-10 at 02:08 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Nah, stir the pot against the godly. Go either with old-stuff, or smitey stuff.

    So, an old-Firbolg High Charisma Moon Druid (you can do everything they can't, plus some), or a new-Kobold or Tabaxi Paladin.

    Maybe even do it as a Paladin2/Warlock2 mix, just for a laugh. It's all the "divinity" they are not. But the old-ways Druid works fine too.
    Last edited by sambojin; 2023-12-10 at 03:25 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    And be sure to let us know what happens!
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  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Yakmala's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best support for a party of Clerics?

    Quote Originally Posted by thorr-kan View Post
    And be sure to let us know what happens!
    Thanks for all the fantastic suggestions!

    Ultimately, I decided to stick with the theme and made another Cleric, which the party seemed excited about! I wanted to do something a bit out of the ordinary, so I'm going with a Duergar Forge Cleric of Tharmekhûl. I haven't seen a Duergar played at one of my tables in ages, so this will be fun from a background/RP perspective. He'll be a front liner, using the Duergar's Enlarge as his concentration while swinging a Halberd. He picked up PAM at 4, so he'll be using the polearm for his BA rather than Spiritual Weapon. If other party members are getting in trouble, he'll use Sanctuary on them if they're still up, Healing Word if they're down.

    The game is later this week. I'll update after it's complete.
    Last edited by Yakmala; 2023-12-10 at 04:47 PM.

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