I realize how broad and subjective the title sounds, but it's the most honest and straight-forward way of asking the question I need answered. About a year and a half ago I joined a Pathfinder group who needed a cleric after the last one left, and decided to make a Dwarven Priest of Grundinnar. I stumbled a bit, but I managed to contribute to the team, thanks to all of my ability mods being at least +2. We even managed to get from level 3 to level 5. However, we took a few months off early this year and I managed to loose my character sheet. Naturally, I had to re-roll using the 4 dice system (like when we started), which is where my problems began.

My new rolls were 15, 16, 13, 10, 9 and 8; considering that I was a Dwarven Cleric, I needed to mitigate the reduction to my Charisma (additional uses of channel energy and domain abilities), so I put the 16, ergo 14, into that. Up into that point, my character had caused some problems with a lack of foresight, so I felt that I needed extra points to keep my Perception and Sense Motive up on top of KnReligion in order to qualify for Quick Healing; 13 went into that. Naturally, I put the 15 into Wisdom and the 10 into Constitution, there was no way that I'd play a character with no health or unable to use their spells. So that left the 9 to go into Dexterity (bumped up to 10 from lvl4) and the 8 to go into Strength.

While this sounds all well and good, Let's take a good look at the rest of my party. First and foremost, there is the Rogue. Human that started with 20 Dexterity and still impressive numbers in his other stats (I never looked at his sheet, but he is usually the big mover in our group). Over the adventure, he had honed his craft and collected a few key items that maximized what he could accomplish with his bow. Right now, he can take constant Called Shots and almost never miss. Then there is the Magus. Her deal is that she has the spell power AND the Brawn to wreak your average shmuck in about 1 to 3 blows. While this is just about how most people play Magus, the guy playing her just recently gained Sacred Geometry with the Quicken and Maximize metamagic feats, enabling her to wreak most creatures our APL with a single cast. And then there's the Bard, a frickin' maniac that replaced our brooding Ninja that fixes as many problems as they make. However, despite the constant messing up, he is just about indispensable with his whip mastery (to help him trip things) and his Bardic Songs buffing everyone.

Now let's get back to me for a moment. I am currently lvl 6, have the Extra Channel, Selective Channel and Quick Channel feats and am a practical cripple compared to my party members and the enemies we face. The ranger hits everything without a problem; I have only landed three hits with my regular war hammer over the last two months, and each of them dealt 1 NON-LETHAL damage. The Magus put an Ettin half in its grave with a single attack; I casted 3 Spiritual Weapons and chipped away at a thug in the streets over seven rounds. And before you say that I still have buffs and debuffs, the Bard outclasses me in buffing and my spell DCs don't exceed 16 while the bad save for something reasonable to be thrown against us is between 3 and 5. It doesn't feel like I'm a very strong spellcaster when most of my spells have a 50% chance to work at best. Nor do I feel solid when a child could suplex me with a CMD of 13.

I know that my build is technically better than a High Fantasy character and spells like Spiritual Weapon, Admonishing Ray and Greater Stunning Barrier do feel good to use, each of these spells have had dubious results when I used them and all of my other spells and abilities are pretty much rendered moot by my other party members (the Bard practically replaces me with his constant purchases of Cure Wound potions, which has happened since he joined). At this point, you could make a wondrous item with 5 uses of cure moderate wounds and that would probably be just as effective as I am. I brought up these issues I had with the DM and he told me to look into ways to increase my Wisdom Mod outside of naturally leveling. Each of the ways I found (Ioun Stones, Headbands and Books) are well outside of my price range considering that the majority of the hordes we find are taken up by singular magic items.

It has honestly become really depressing playing a character that can run as fast as everyone else for 18 seconds, change the spells that almost never hit to deal non-lethal damage, and a 1,000GP extra CL1 Spell Slot. So since it is so difficult to buy better stats or not die in a few rounds despite having 42 health, how can I play this character better?

  • \$\begingroup\$ First question, what is your cleric suppose to do? When you have lots of good stats you can easily fill multiple roles without noticing but when your stats arnt so good you notice the issues. With poor Str and Dex you should not be attacking. If you have poor AC and health do not tank. If the bard is doing your healing and buffing then you dont need to heal or buff. So what does that leave? Well summons but their hard to use and can take a long time at the table. So first pick a role and focus on that. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Nov 11 '16 at 4:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Honestly, the way I see things, I think becoming a tank by getting Reactive Healing and working my way to Improved Stalwart sounds like the one thing I CAN do, but I don't think I'll live long enough to get to the next level. The thing I am really interested in is what options I have at my current level beyond crawling up someone's butt like the steriotypical cleric. \$\endgroup\$ – Areadbhair Nov 11 '16 at 4:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know it's kind of a side point, but just to be clear: when the previous character sheet was lost, it was as if the character in the game suddenly ceased to be? When the campaign began, was everyone made aware that a lost character sheet meant the character's annihilation? Or was the option available to recreate the lost character as best you could? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 11 '16 at 5:39

Even if your group has a bard in it there are many good buffs on the cleric list that should stack with his buffs and help your party.

Then there are spells that still have a partial effect on a successful save, you could aim for those. That way you do at least something with each cast.

Some of the spells I will suggest have limits as to how may learn them but as not every group uses those restriction I'll add them despite that.

  • Light prison allows a save but at your level it targets up to three foes so odds are not every one will save.
  • Pilfering hand uses your CL + wis bonus for a combat maneuver. Use it on prone opponents to disarm them after the bard tripped them.
  • Sacred space enchants a place to debuff evil outsiders inside of it.
  • Sound Burst On a successful save it still deals a little damage. With stunned on a failed save it's a strong debuff
  • Staggering fall As immediate action when cast on a tripped foe it deals damage and on a failed save the foe is staggered and needs a standard action to get up.
  • Weapon of awe Strong buff for a high crit weapon. Is your Magus using a scimitar? He will love this spell. More damage and shaken on a crit, no save.

If you want to tank and the god requirement can be ignored there is one more:

  • Defending bone grants DR5/bludgeoning until it has absorbed 5xCL Damage
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the heads-up on most of those spells! I mean goddamn, this will fix a lot of the issues ive been having. thank you! \$\endgroup\$ – Areadbhair Nov 11 '16 at 13:24

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