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5E Powergamer Cleric= Variant Human?

FrogReaver

Explorer
My comment about being a traditional cleric was about them being an ok fighter thype but they are fairly mediocre at that in 5E due to MAD etc.

At higher levels the difference might be 14 vs 20 in terms of to hit and damage and one less AC over a cleric going strength and wisdom.

That cleric could buff strength I suppose but then you're not buffing wisdom. Wisdom is also buffing spiritual guardians.
If your sole goal is to beat stick things with a cleric then max your str to 20. Take booming/gfb. There is your damage. If that is your goal then it's objectively a better build to grab shileleah and max wisdom instead of str.

-That's not an optimized cleric though. Nor is the idea of using arcane magic to magically attack really the traditional cleric concept.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
Personally if I want a cleric that's decent at melee, my first goal is to dip 2 levels into paladin. I'm going to let my spell slots get pumped into divine smite to do the heavy lifting. That's the basic chasis for me.

My optimization ideas around that would be to take war cleric. Having some Nova Damage potential is really missing on the cleric and this grants it.
I'd make sure to start with 16 str/16 wis and scale up both equally. I'd take heavy armor master at level 1 to hit the desired stats.

By level 7 I would be cleric 5 paladin 2. I think this looks pretty impressive.

One major reason I dislike shileleah for this particular setup is that you can't cast it and a real spell the same turn. The spell must be a bonus action. Thus, I couldn't spirit guardians then on my next turn attack bonus action attack (potentially using divine smite on both).
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
It will scale via cleric levels or gfb.

I'm a big fan of cleric that don't melee, just wondering how to make them half decent at melee. Your build plus shillagh;).
That's the point, it does not scale via cleric level. It never scales. Meanwhile Primal Savagery scales up to 4d10 and thorn whip scaled up to 4d6 with a 30 foot reach and the ability to move a foe (and neither requires your hand to be full with a stick all the time). Shillelagh will never scale and will always be stuck at a max of 1d8+stat, which is already outclassed at level 5 by Primal Savagery.

If you're adding a cantrip like Booming Blade or Green Flame Blade, that's still outmatched by a warhammer because the warhammer has the same damage but doesn't require a bonus action to cast a cantrip, and doesn't require you to give away your position due to the V, S, and M components of Shillelagh, and doesn't eat up one of your cantrip slots. Also, a warhammer with shield is way cooler looking than a...big stick with a shield. And you're more likely to find a magic warhammer based on the random magic item charts than a magic big stick :)
 

Zardnaar

Explorer
Clerics get extra dice if damage at 8 and 14. Or ability score to cantrips damage. 3d8+wisdom lvl 14 potentially another 1d4+wisdom via PAM. How's that 4d10 damage working out?

And when do cantrips hit 4 dice if damage lvl 17? More interested in damage below ten.
 
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Mistwell

Adventurer
Clerics get extra dice if damage at 8 and 14.
What does this sentence even mean? If you mean divine smite, Forge Clerics get that as well, AND they get Searing Smite. And at 6th level they get +1 to AC (and resistance to fire). And the get better domain spells, like Heat Metal.

I'm telling yah, a Hill Dwarf Forge Cleric is a better build than your Variant Human Nature Cleric.
 
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Zardnaar

Explorer
What does this sentence even mean? If you mean divine smite, Forge Clerics get that as well, AND they get Searing Smite. And at 6th level they get +1 to AC (and resistance to fire). And the get better domain spells, like Heat Metal.

I'm telling yah, a Hill Dwarf Forge Cleric is a better build than your Variant Human Nature Cleric.
Extra dice of damage. Your hill dwarf misses the bonus feat.

Your forge cleric can be a human, same stats that matter, moves faster, and knows more cantrips and moves faster.

Plus 1 AC ( heavy armor) and a few more hp the Dwarf does have. Plus the other Dwarf things that do not matter to much.

Assuming both clerics are forge clerics. 14 Dex is a bit more useful than 14 strength assuming you are not starting with 13 str (Dwarf has 14 str, 16 Wis, 15 con?). The human would have 16 Wis 14 Dex/con.

The magic initiate cleric can also take primal fury in case you come across fire resistant stuff which is fairly common. One advantage of other types of clerics that deal different types of damage.

As I said you will notice it more as you level. Where are you putting your ASIs as your Dwarf? By level 8 the magic initiate cleric has 20 wisdom. The Nature cleric can take pole arm master instead and deal 2d8+5 and 1d4+5 untyped damage.

Arcana cleric does roughly the same. The Druid spell I would pick with the magic initiate feat would be absorb elements.

Death cleric gets some nice smiting as well, hmmn I think I'll take magic initiate.

Not claiming my builds are the best cleric builds in the game but all else being equal (same domain etc) it seems better than the other options unless you don't want to melee anyway or prefer a different feat like healer. For a beat down cleric it seems the best option all of the time.

Not that beat down is the best cleric option.
 
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Ashrym

Explorer
I'd be far more likely to take HAM, Resilient Con, or even Heavily Armored (freeing up DEX build points) than Magic Initiate for Shillelagh going variant human. My idea of a traditional cleric is sturdy enough for the front line while providing magical support.

The difference in accuracy and damage on a single attack class isn't significant enough to warrant the feat assuming I don't cap STR anyway.

If I were taking PAM then I would take that as the bonus feat. Arguing a 10th level and lower game that spends two out of three feats / ASI's for Magic Initiate and PAM leaving 1 ASI for WIS. Taking PAM as the bonus feat gives the ASI for WIS and one for STR to make for the better 10th level build.

Shillelagh is useless if the character cannot pump WIS due to a lack of ASI's spent on feats.
 

Zardnaar

Explorer
I'd be far more likely to take HAM, Resilient Con, or even Heavily Armored (freeing up DEX build points) than Magic Initiate for Shillelagh going variant human. My idea of a traditional cleric is sturdy enough for the front line while providing magical support.

The difference in accuracy and damage on a single attack class isn't significant enough to warrant the feat assuming I don't cap STR anyway.

If I were taking PAM then I would take that as the bonus feat. Arguing a 10th level and lower game that spends two out of three feats / ASI's for Magic Initiate and PAM leaving 1 ASI for WIS. Taking PAM as the bonus feat gives the ASI for WIS and one for STR to make for the better 10th level build.

Shillelagh is useless if the character cannot pump WIS due to a lack of ASI's spent on feats.
Only the nature cleric would take PAM, they can get shillagh for free.

Arcana can get green flame blade for free. The other clerics might take PAM level 12.


Even taking two feats and having 18 wisdom is still better than beat down cleric with 20 wisdom or 18 wisdom and 16 strength IMHO. Or HAM feat. You'll still have +1 to hit and damage plus an extra attack for 1d4+4.
 

gyor

Adventurer
The best way to build a more traditional cleric is Paladin 3/Divine Soul Sorcerer 17 with Ritual Caster: Cleric.

Divine Smite, Heavy Armour, Martial Weapons, Fighting Style, Channel Divinity, Twinned Booming Blade, 9th level spells, Haste, Spirit Guardians, Conjure Celestial, Spiritual Weapon, Wish (as your "miracle"), Commune as ritual, ect...
 

Zardnaar

Explorer
Cha based classes are to easy to min max due to Paladin's, Hexblades, Warlocks etc. Let's face it you can build an entire party of charisma based characters and they will be decent to great level 1 to 20.
 
The Traditional Cleric:

  • Stood at the back of the party, to be an armored rear guard and keep an eye on the Thief.
  • Used most of his spells for healing.
  • Maced the occasional orc.
  • Wished he had ranged weapons, anything better than a thrown hammer would be lovely.
  • Turned Undead, saving the party's bacon in encounters with way too many undead for the party to handle any other way - which was every encounter with Undead.
  • On rare, rare, occasions, collected a Girdle of Giant Strength, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, and Hammer of Thunderbolts and really gave the fighter a run for his money.
* Levelled slower than snot and cried while the Thief was nearly double his level.
 

Zardnaar

Explorer
Clerics leveled the second fastest after thief.

Beaten at certain levels by Druid perhaps. Only time I saw a thief twice ahead in levels was via optional rules such as 1gp=2xp or new player joining established party at low levels. Maybe level 2 MU, 4 thief if the wizard missed a handful of xp or the thief went out of their way to acquire more.
 
Clerics leveled the second fastest after thief.

Beaten at certain levels by Druid perhaps. Only time I saw a thief twice ahead in levels was via optional rules such as 1gp=2xp or new player joining established party at low levels. Maybe level 2 MU, 4 thief if the wizard missed a handful of xp or the thief went out of their way to acquire more.
Hrm, seems you are correct. My bad, I don't know wtf I was thinking. Been a while, I guess. (The double thing was intended to be a bit of exaggeration; but still).
 

Zardnaar

Explorer
It normally means the thief is a level or two ahead. But they could get more with variant rules or using their initiative to acquire gp independently.

More HD is also useful in OSR games due to spell effects being tied to HD.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The Traditional Cleric:

  • Stood at the back of the party, to be an armored rear guard and keep an eye on the Thief.
  • Used most of his spells for healing.
  • Maced the occasional orc.
  • Wished he had ranged weapons, anything better than a thrown hammer would be lovely.
  • Turned Undead, saving the party's bacon in encounters with way too many undead for the party to handle any other way - which was every encounter with Undead.
  • On rare, rare, occasions, collected a Girdle of Giant Strength, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, and Hammer of Thunderbolts and really gave the fighter a run for his money.
And managed to be REQUIRED anyway. probably due to function 2

It normally means the thief is a level or two ahead.
And still was pretty much the most useless character in the party.
 

UngeheuerLich

Adventurer
Cha based classes are to easy to min max due to Paladin's, Hexblades, Warlocks etc. Let's face it you can build an entire party of charisma based characters and they will be decent to great level 1 to 20.
Unless you have to open a stuck door. Then everything you do is waiting till someone opens it...
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
And managed to be REQUIRED anyway. probably due to function 2
Sure, we didn't call 'em Band-aids because they organized benefit concerts. But turning also made the cleric obligatory - modules, for instance, assumed you'd have one, so undead encounters were scaled approriately.


And still was pretty much the most useless character in the party.
Nonsense: Thieves were a very important food source for mimics, a vital part of the earseeker lifecycle, and the only thing keeping the makers of sling bullets in business.
 

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