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This is my first well planned RPG session; that's why I'm a little overwhelmed.

I need some help with building a functioning Oracle. Our game is using custom rules, including randomly assigned special feats.

Mine is

Whenever you deal damage with a conjured weapon you can give the equivalent of that damage as temporary hit points to a party member or friendly NPC within 50ft. These temporary hit points disappear after 1 minute.

Plus:

  • bonus feat every odd level
  • every flaw is one bonus feat (max 2 flaws)
  • 1 drawback = 2 traits

This was my first draft character plan:

My goal is to increase my damage to enemies with my conjured weapon so I can utilize the custom feat I was given. What I'm scared are scenarios where we are attacked by surprise. In those cases, I waste a whole turn where I can't attack. Plus my teammates also need my buffs to fight with ease and confidence.

I don't have a solid insight on what spells will prove useful in the long run, nor I am convinced about the feats or what way I should go.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In order to answer your question, we need to know which game this is for. Is this some edition of D&D? \$\endgroup\$ – Snoof Sep 16 '18 at 12:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ My goal is to know would it be better to utilize and focus purely on doing damage to enemies with my conjured weapon, to utilize the custom feat i where given. What I'm scared are scenarios where we are attacked by surprise. That is because i waste a whole turn where i cant attack. + my teammates also need my buffs to fight with ease and confidence. Summary i need some good spell recommendations, i can still change my feats if needed to utilize my build and how to approach fights. This is my first well planned D&D session thats why I'm a little overwhelmed. Thank You in advance \$\endgroup\$ – Andrew the oracle Sep 16 '18 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for clearing that up. As you can see, your further clarification was edited into the question by SevenSidedDie; for future reference, when you are offering clarifying details in response to a comment, please edit that information into the question. Comments eventually go away. (I just deleted mine since what was unclear is now in the question). I expect one of our pathfinder experts will be along soon to offer an answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Sep 16 '18 at 19:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ For future reference, Pathfinder and D&D are two separate things. D&D is sometimes used as a stand-in name for tabletop rpg's because of how well known it is, but this site handles all tabletop RPG's and specifying a correct one is important. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Sep 16 '18 at 20:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ It may be wise to ask the GM for clarification on that ability. If the extent of the ability really is Whenever you deal damage with a conjured weapon you can give the equivalent of that damage as temporary hit points to a party member or friendly NPC then that's a little weird. That oracle could, for example, contribute by staying home and constantly poking the ground with a conjured weapon, cycling through the PCs, granting them temporary hp. (The temp hp wouldn't stack, but so what? New batch every few turns. Awesome.) The GM may want to word that up a little. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 17 '18 at 3:27
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This seems like a reasonably solid build for a Pathfinder Metal Oracle. Here's one way to increase both readiness and damage output.

Battlefield scene: Pike and shot formation sees off a cavalry charge

You said your primary concern is maximizing damage output, and also that you are concerned about surprise attacks and over-reliance on buffing. Things I don't see, which directly address your primary concerns are a reach weapon and the Combat Reflexes feat. Combine these with tactical positioning and get both your martial and spell abilities into action on Round One. My experience shows that this approach will roughly double your damage output through level 9. Maybe this is already your plan, but you don't say so. This would be one way to take this character concept to the next level (pun intended).

Combat Reflexes (Combat) You can make additional attacks of opportunity.

Benefit: You may make a number of additional attacks of opportunity per round equal to your Dexterity bonus. With this feat, you may also make attacks of opportunity while flat-footed.

Normal: A character without this feat can make only one attack of opportunity per round and can’t make attacks of opportunity while flat-footed.

Basically, you cast spells with your Standard Action and inflict damage with AoOs. This works surprisingly well in Pathfinder. This historical battlefield combat style is called 'pike-and-shot' and dominated European battlefields for several centuries. This build first became prevalent with Reach Clerics, but the principle of improved action economy also benefits Oracles.

The Combat Reflexes feat is doubly important,because it both gives you iterative AoOs and also lets you take AoOs before your first action, which is especially important in ambush situations.

Pike and Shotte infantry unit

Here's an example of how this approach might play out in Pathfinder combat:

Two orcs are rushing a PC who wields a long spear. The PC has the Combat Reflexes feat and a 12 DEX. The orcs are both 20' away when the PC wins initiative. What are some of her options?

Option A - PC rushes the orcs and attacks. She takes one attack from 10'. Both orcs 5' step and attack. She rolled one attack, while the orcs got two.

Option B - PC holds her ground, readies an action to attack the first foe to come within reach, and ends her turn. Both orcs run up to her and attack. Her readied action goes off first, giving her an attack against the first orc. It survives and keeps coming. She gets an AoO against that same orc, possibly killing it before it attacks. The other orc runs up, and she gets another AoO. She rolls three attacks, versus only one or two from the orcs.

See how that works?

Advanced trick: Move away! Say two orcs have closed on our doughty PC,intent on slaying her. It's her turn again. What are some options?

A. She 5' steps away and attacks an orc. On their turn they close and attack. She's trading one attack for two until she can kill one.

B. She moves away, giving each orc an AoO. For her Standard Action she readies an action to attack the first foe to come within reach. If the orcs rush her she gets her readied attack, and another AoO versus each orc as it approaches. She trades three attacks for their 4 attacks, unless she manages to kill one. Not great, but better than option A.

C. She uses Acrobatics to tumble 15' away. Probably it will work but, worst case, the orcs might get an AoO. She's now wounded, so she decides to cast Cure Light Wounds on herself. She can cast safely, as no foes are close. The orcs rush and attack. She gets an AoO against each. She's now trading her one spell and her two attacks for two attacks from the orcs.

Surviving Pike and Shot unit late in a battle

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a solid plan. After solid research i did use a Naginata (martial, 1d8 dmg, x4 crit, with reach). Found out that a metal oracle is basically a beast if has enough time to empower his weapon with spells. The only problem though with Combat Reflexes (Combat), is that i have only 10 DEX so +0 bonus. So i wonder would Cleave(combat feat "after a successful attack strike a target near your first target) and other feats that improve Cleave(untill you hit, strike another target) wont be better than buying equipment to improve my DEX and using combat reflexes. \$\endgroup\$ – Andrew the oracle Jan 6 at 16:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Cleave is a trap. Reason is that you can only Cleave on a Standard Action, never on a full attack. At low levels Cleave can slightly increase your effectiveness. Once your BAB is at least 4+ then you have to CHOOSE to EITHER cleave OR full attack. The deep Cleave line all faces the same problem. Every PC gets one AoO. Depending on your campaign it might be practical to raise your DEX to 12. I've known a few low-dex PCs who took Combat Reflexes in order to AoO if they lose initiative, but I don't think that's worth it. \$\endgroup\$ – Luckbender Jan 8 at 3:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ Luckbender it went all well till the GM discovered that an enemy can use a 5ft step to get close to me. The combat reflexes is now useless, unless in a battle scenario. I can't find any rule a reach weapon can stop a 5ft step while coming at you. \$\endgroup\$ – Andrew the oracle Mar 25 at 19:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andrew the Oracle. Enemies can't get inside your reach bubble with a 5' step from 15', only from 10'. If you willingly move to 10' and attack them then, yes, they can 5' step and attack you. This sounds like a learning curve thing, for both you and your GM. Hope you both figured it out. Here's a Youtube Video that nicely explains AoOs and the 5' step. youtube.com/watch?v=tXaPnXxhMnU \$\endgroup\$ – Luckbender Apr 12 at 9:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andrew the Oracle: Never give foes the opportunity to 5' step in on you! If that's occurring then you're not following my suggested approach. Never stop moving when a foe is within 10'. Always leave the foe at least 15' away. This makes the 5' step useless for getting at you. Combat Reflexes feat is only ever useful when facing multiple opponents, as everyone gets one AoO per round. \$\endgroup\$ – Luckbender Apr 13 at 17:54

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