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I've been playing in a campaign as an Oracle of the Lore Mystery for a few months. I've saved my party's hide a few times now as the only healer, but as the party gets stronger they need healing less and less, and I'm beginning to see that I'm not really an effective character for anything. This is likely because I'm pretty sure I botched my ability scores.

STR: 12 DEX: 13 CON: 11 INT: 15 WIS: 15 CHA: 20

I'm a level four now, and the more I try to help the party when they don't need healing the more I mess up and just waste turns, to the point where I actually left a combat to check on a door in the other room we hadn't tried yet because I could do absolutely nothing to help the party. We were fighting dire rats. DIRE RATS! Is there anything I can to do to make my character helpful to my party? Any spells I should try and get? Could I double class into anything that could make use of my ability scores? Essentially, what do I need to do to be better.

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Welcome to the site! This question appears to be kind of broad. If you're looking for how to be more useful in combat, try the answers here: rpg.stackexchange.com/q/20207/4089 As far as optimization goes, you might try this thread: rpg.stackexchange.com/q/7764/4089 –  LitheOhm Jan 15 '13 at 23:44
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I would add to the below answer that summoning is often underestimated. It is especially good starting at Summon Monster III, and you have to remember that every hit on a summoned monster is a hit that one of the other character is not taking (and you don't have to heal summoned monsters). As counter-intuitive, I would suggest reading at least the first part of Treantmonk's Guide to Wizard, which has great insight on how to maximize spellcasting potential (changed the way I played my cleric :) ) –  Cristol.GdM Jan 16 '13 at 0:23
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In terms of being a useful "pacifist" take a look at Milo's perspectives here. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jan 16 '13 at 11:36
    
What spells do you have, what is your Oracle downside? I doubt the problem is your ability scores. –  C. Ross Jan 16 '13 at 20:03

2 Answers 2

... it just didn't do much for my self esteem that I have yet to physically harm a single living thing since the beginning of our campaign.

Come on, you're an Oracle of Lore ! Be proud of what you are ! Just because you don't hit stuff doesn't mean you're useless, as has already been extensively said.

Now, for an actual answer: Jacob has already said plenty, but if your GM is OK with it, I'd negociate a little rearrangement of stats. Unless you're intent on moving loads, you could redirect 1 point from 12 STR to get 12 CON instead. If you're set on getting in the middle of the melee, the little extra HP can make you a passable secondary tank (and a small boost to your Fort save is always welcome).

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With sidestep secret, the Dex bonus to AC is irrelevant as it is overridden by Cha. Better to bump Con, though I'd leave the stats as-is. –  Jacob Proffitt Jan 16 '13 at 16:31
    
Indeed, I'd somehow skipped Sidestep Secret's description of the replacement of Dex by Cha (would've been slightly OP the way I'd read it anyway). –  Nigralbus Jan 16 '13 at 17:36

Having played a Lore Oracle, I can sympathize with you, at least to an extent. I wouldn't say you've botched anything, at least from what you've said above. I think that you're making a classic (though very common) error by using combat as your sole determinant of value to a party, though. A Lore Oracle has a lot of abilities that are geared toward non-combat planning and exploration. You didn't indicate what revelations you had selected, but you can see how the class is focused on information gathering by things like Automatic Writing and Think On It. These can be very valuable traits, though they take some planning and party accommodation to leverage to their full potential—yeah, taking an hour time-out before kicking in the next door (Automatic Writing) may not always be possible, but there are times when getting a free preview from the DM's notes for what's ahead can be extremely useful.

And don't forget that Oracles can wear medium armor and wield simple weapons, so if you find your healing skills aren't being used, then don't be afraid to mix it up in combat. You're no fighter, but you can stand the heat and help keep the bad guys away from the squishy arcane casters while you're at it. I found that with Sidestep Secret and a shield I could pile on as much AC as any of our front-line fighters. Add Mobility as a feat and you're even pretty good at getting around to flank positions for your rogue.

Oracles are a support class—a force multiplier for the other classes. You don't get the high visibility of some of the other classes, but played well, you can help make your team extremely effective. Plus, you have some excellent RP opportunities with your curse and mystery class abilities... :)

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Thanks. I actually took sidestep secret, Brain Drain, and whirlwind lesson (I took the extra revelation feat). I do have an AC of 20, and can still manage running around 30 feet per round. I know I can be helpful, it just didn't do much for my self esteem that I have yet to physically harm a single living thing since the beginning of our campaign. But thank you very much for the positive reinforcement. I'm still wondering if I should try and go for buffs instead of self defense spells or mix the two. –  Naftil Zyklon Jan 16 '13 at 0:19
    
@NaftilZyklon Whether you physically harm anything is clearly not how you should be measuring your success as a lore oracle. You're not playing a Fighter - forget about that expectation, it doesn't apply here and you're clearly not doing yourself any favours by evaluating yourself by it. –  Jonathan Hobbs Jan 16 '13 at 12:03
    
I wouldn't worry about self defense at all. It's the wrong mindset for the class. Oracles are made for soaking up damage (between healing and decent AC), so much better to think about how to neutralize enemies or buff friends. Personally, I found the Command line of spells extremely useful. Nothing like a spell with a will save to take out front-line enemy fighters... –  Jacob Proffitt Jan 16 '13 at 16:29

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