Mega-Cleric(3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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Introduction[edit]

No one ever appreciates the cleric, and most of the time you're too busy healing party members to contribute much to the battle. No longer! Show your buddies what it means to be an envoy of the gods, and bring down some righteous fury on your foes!

References[edit]

Player's Handbook, Unearthed Arcana, The Complete Divine, The Complete Champion, The Book of Exalted Deeds, Spell Compendium

Game Rule Components[edit]

Use the rules in Unearthed Arcana pg 64-65 to make your cleric a spontaneous caster. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. Start with Time and War domains. You'll gain Sun later.

Items[edit]

Anything that increases Wis or Con, and the best weapons and armor you can get your hands on.

Progression[edit]

Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): Roll 4d6 and keep the top 3 as normal. I got 16, 16, 14, 13, 13, 12. Put your highest scores into Wis and Con, after that is Cha, and Str, and after that, it doesn't really matter. Just make sure you have at least 13 for Str. I assigned my rolls like this: Str 13, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 14. Wisdom is your most important ability, so put all, or at least most of your upgrades into it.

Race (Templates): I recommend Human, but you could possibly be a Dwarf, if you don't mind the penalty to Cha, which powers several of your abilities.

Starting Racial Traits: One bonus feat and four bonus skill points at 1st level, with one bonus skill point at every level after.

ECL Class/HD/LA Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Features
Special
Fort Ref Will
1st Cleric (d8) 1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Extra Turning, Law Devotion, Weapon Focus(Longsword) from your War domain Turn Undead Caster Level 1, Turn Undead Level 1, put skill points into Knowledge (Religion), Heal, and Diplomacy
2nd Cleric (d8) 2 +1 +3 +0 +3 Caster Level 2, Turn Undead Level 2
3rd Cleric (d8) 3 +2 +3 +1 +3 Servant of the Heavens Caster Level 3, Turn Undead Level 3
4th Cleric (d8) 4 +3 +4 +1 +4 Caster Level 4, Turn Undead Level 4, Have at least 7 ranks into Knowledge(Religion)
5th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 1 +4 +6 +1 +6 Trade in Time and Sun domain powers for Power Attack and something else. I recommend Improved Sunder Get access to a new domain (choose Sun) Caster Level 4, Turn Undead Level 5
6th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 2 +5 +7 +1 +7 Holy Warrior. Diehard as a bonus feat Smite Caster Level 5, Turn Undead Level 6
7th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 3 +6 +7 +2 +7 Channel Spell, Divine Bulwark Caster Level 6, Turn Undead Level 7
8th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 4 +7 +8 +2 +8 Fist of the Gods, Rapid Spontaneous Casting Caster Level 6, Turn Undead Level 8
9th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 5 +8 +8 +2 +8 Rapid Metamagic Holy Warrior, War Caster Caster Level 7, Turn Undead Level 9. Be sure you have 5 ranks in Heal, and 9 in Knowledge(Religion).
10th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 5, Radiant Servant of Pelor (d6) 1 +8 +10 +2 +10 Extra Greater Turning, Radiance Caster Level 8, Turn Undead Level 10. Be sure to have 5 ranks into Diplomacy
11th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 5, Radiant Servant of Pelor (d6) 1, Fist of Raziel (d10) 1 +9 +12 +2 +10 Magic Circle, Smite Evil 1/day (Good) Caster Level 8, Turn Undead Level 10 (remains at 10 hereafter)
12th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 5, Radiant Servant of Pelor (d6) 1, Fist of Raziel (d10) 2 +10 +13 +2 +10 Maximize Spell Caster Level 9
13th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 5, Radiant Servant of Pelor (d6) 1, Fist of Raziel (d10) 3 +11 +13 +3 +11 Smite Evil 2/day (Confirming) Caster Level 10
14th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 5, Radiant Servant of Pelor (d6) 1, Fist of Raziel (d10) 4 +12 +14 +3 +11 Sanctify Martial Strike as a bonus feat Caster Level 11
15th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 5, Radiant Servant of Pelor (d6) 1, Fist of Raziel (d10) 5 +13 +14 +3 +11 Quicken Spell Smite Evil 3/day (Holy) Caster Level 12
16th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 5, Radiant Servant of Pelor (d6) 1, Fist of Raziel (d10) 6 +14 +15 +4 +12 Sunder Evil Item Caster Level 13
17th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 5, Radiant Servant of Pelor (d6) 1, Fist of Raziel (d10) 7 +15 +15 +4 +12 Smite Evil 4/day (Fiend Smite) Caster Level 14
18th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 5, Radiant Servant of Pelor (d6) 1, Fist of Raziel (d10) 8 +16 +16 +4 +13 Twin Spell Caster Level 15
19th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 5, Radiant Servant of Pelor (d6) 1, Fist of Raziel (d10) 9 +17 +16 +5 +14 Smite Evil 5/day (Chain) Caster Level 16
20th Cleric (d8) 4, Ordained Champion (d8) 5, Radiant Servant of Pelor (d6) 1, Fist of Raziel (d10) 10 +18 +17 +5 +14 Holy Martial Strike Caster Level 17

Class Features[edit]

Ordained Champion Smite: Gained at level 6. Allows you to give up a Turn Undead use as a swift action in order to make your next melee attack a smite. Gain a bonus on you attack roll equal to your Cha mod, and a bonus on damage equal to your Turn Undead Level. Smiting in this way is not limited by alignment. You can attempt to smite any foe.

Channel Spell: Gained at level 7. Spend a move action to cast a spell into your weapon. The next time you strike a foe with it in melee, (assuming it's within 8 hours), the spell goes off against that foe. Even if it's an area spell, it only affects that one foe. They are still allowed a saving throw, if the spell permits one.

Divine Bulwark: Gained at level 7. Spend a swift action and give up a spell slot to gain DR (1+the spell's level)/chaotic for a number of rounds equal to your Ordained Champion level.

Fist of the Gods: gained at level 8. Spend a swift action and give up a spell slot to gain a bonus on melee damage rolls equal to 1+ the spell's level for a number of rounds equal to your Ordained Champion level.

Rapid Spontaneous Casting: Gained at level 8. Any War domain spell that you cast spontaneously (which is all of them, since you're a spontaneous caster), requires only a swift action if it normally takes a standard action. It requires a standard action if it normally takes a full-round action. Finally, War domain spells modified with metamagic feats take only their normal time to cast.

Holy Warrior: Gained at level 9. Use a swift action and give up a Turn Undead use to make it so you use Wis, rather than Str for melee attack and damage rolls for the next 5 rounds.

War Caster: Gained at level 9. +2 bonus on your caster level when casting War domain spells.

Extra Greater Turning: Gained at level 10. A number of times per day equal to your Cha mod +3, you can make a Greater Turning check, which functions as a Turn Undead use, except it destroys any undead that it would normally turn.

Radiance: Gained at level 10. Any spells you cast with the Light descriptor double their areas of illumination, and are counted as one spell level higher for all purposes, including if it can dispel a given darkness spell.

Magic Circle: Gained at level 11. You are constantly surrounded by a Magic Circle Against Evil with a Caster Level equal to your class levels.

Fist of Raziel Smite: Gained at level 11. 1/day you can make a smite attack with a bonus on attack rolls equal to your Cha mod, and a bonus on damage rolls equal to your Fist of Raziel class level. You gain extra smite uses each day, and extra power for those smites, as noted above.

Good: Your smites are considered good aligned for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

Confirming: You automatically confirm all your critical hits, even if your weapon has special effects related to critical hits.

Holy: You deal an extra 2d6 damage against evil foes. This bonus damage does not stack with the damage caused by the Holy weapon special ability, or the Sanctify Martial Strike feat.

Fiend Smite: When you smite an evil outsider or undead, you deal +2d8 damage, rather than +2d6. If you have the Exalted Smite feat, this damage is still doubled.

Chain: Whenever you smite evil, bolts of holy energy fly away and strike up to 5 foes within 30 ft. These bolts deal 2d6 damage, or 2d8 if the foes are evil outsiders or undead. Foes targeted this way can make a Reflex save DC 15 + your Cha mod for half damage.

Sunder Evil Item: Gained at level 16. Whenever you strike an evil object, or an evil construct, you deal double damage. This bonus doesn't stack with the benefits of the Great Sunder feat.

Holy Martial Strike: Gained at level 20. Any weapon you wield is treated as having the Holy special ability.

Feats[edit]

(To save you the headache of having to look them all up)

Extra Turning: Gain +4 turn undead uses.

Law Devotion: 1/day as a swift action, you gain a +3 Divine to either your attack rolls or your AC. At the beginning of your turn, you can reallocate the bonus, if you want. This effect lasts for 1 minute. This bonus increases to +5 at level 10, and +7 at level 15. You can give up three turn undead uses to get another use of this ability.

Servant of the Heavens: 1/day, when performing an act of good, you can get a +1 bonus on any roll or check.

Holy Warrior: Get a bonus on all melee damage rolls equal to the highest level War domain spell you could cast at the moment (minimum 4th level).

Diehard: You remain conscious at -1 through -9, though you can only take a standard or a movement action.

Rapid Metamagic: You can apply metamagic feats to spells without increasing their casting time.

Maximize Spell: All variable, numeric effects of the spell are increased to their maximum potential. A maximized spell uses a slot three levels higher than the spell's actual level.

Sanctify Martial Strike: When you wield a specific type of weapon (chosen when you take this feat), you deal an additional 1 damage to evil creatures, or 1d4 to evil outsiders or undead. Your attacks are considered good aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Quicken Spell: A quickened spell is cast as a free action, though you can only cast one quickened spell each round. A quickened spell uses a slot four levels higher than the spell's actual level.

Twin Spell: The twinned spell takes effect twice, as if you had cast it twice. Each effect happens simultaneously, on the same target, and with the same choices. each effect must be saved against and/or dispelled separately. A twinned spell uses a slot four levels higher than the spell's actual level.

Highlights[edit]

Up until level 4, you're just another cleric. Once you start taking levels in Ordained Champion, however, your martial abilities are going to skyrocket. Ordained Champion Smite, Fist of the Gods, and Holy Warrior (the feat) will more than make up for your moderately low Str score, Divine Bulwark will keep you well protected, and once you get Holy Warrior at level 9, you'll be able to take full advantage of your increasingly high Wis score. Swift actions are your best friends right now. Either turn on one of your power-ups, or fill the battle area with magic weapons, thanks to Rapid Spontaneous Casting. At higher levels, switch to flame strike. When you're not frying things with spells, take advantage of your increased B.A.B. and Power Attack with your weapon held in both hands.

Since many of your abilities are based on turning undead, take one level in Radiant Servant of Pelor. You shouldn't have trouble convincing your DM to let you substitute Greater Turning uses for regular Turn uses to fuel your Champion abilities.

Once you get going on Fist of Raziel, take the Extra Smiting feat a few times, and reserve your Turn Undead uses for Law Devotion and Holy Warrior. Use Rapid Spontaneous Casting on your War domain spells combined with your Metamagic feats to blast enemies, and then the rest of your turn can be spent healing allies or engaging in melee as the situation requires. Once you get level 6 spells, Contingency will become your best friend. Use it with either Heal or Revivify to make sure you and your allies stay alive. As soon as you get level 7 spells, get in the habit of casting Fortunate Fate (Spell Compendium pg 99), on yourself and your allies before a battle. Combined with Contingency, it makes your party all but invincible. Finally, Time Stop can be incredibly useful, allowing you time to turn on all of your power ups and cast enhancement spells.

Munchkin-Size Me[edit]

Once you hit epic level, keep taking levels in Fist of Raziel. Use the Epic level Cleric chart, except with the higher HD, or, if you can convince your DM to let you, use the Paladin's epic chart, replacing extra remove disease uses with extra smites per day. Either way, your first epic feat should, obviously, be Epic Spellcasting. Stick to your roots, and develop something that powers you, and the rest of the party up. Good options include a Life seed contingent resurrection, Fortify seed divine bonus on attack and damage rolls, or Energy seed that makes your sword deal tons of energy damage to anyone touching it (get a ring of immunity, so you don't get fried as well). After that, get Improved Metamagic three times, allowing you to cast twinned, quickened, maximized Fire Storms with only level 8 slots. Taking Multispell a few times will send your spell damage through the roof, especially if you take Enhance Spell. If you want to focus on spells, also consider taking Improved Spell Capacity, Energy Substitution followed by Energy Admixture, and/or Purify Spell. If melee is more your style, then take Epic Weapon Focus, Epic Prowess, and/or Great Smiting. Extra Smiting, a feat in the Complete Warrior, gives you two extra Smite uses each day, and you could probably convince your DM to let you come up with an epic version that gives three or four extra uses instead. Whichever path you decide to focus on, make sure you keep your Wis, Con, and Cha high. Taking the Great Wisdom/Constitution/Charisma feats will help you a lot with that.

If you ever become a deity, take Divine Spellcasting right away. The higher spell slots will do wonders for not only your spell damage, but also for your Ordained Champion abilities. Divine Shield will make killing you even more impossible, and Divine Paladin will quadruple your smiting damage. Take both, if you can (Divine Paladin requires 20 levels in paladin, but 20 levels in Fist of Raziel should do just fine instead).

Side Notes[edit]

Your character will have to worship both Heironeous and Pelor, as well as swear his loyalty Raziel, to make this build work, but since all three of them are allies, it's not that much of a stretch. When I used this build, I decided that my cleric actually worshipped the ideals of justice and mercy, and so, even though he didn't technically worship Heironeous or Pelor, or Raziel, for that matter, he followed their teachings because they were three of the greatest champions of justice and mercy in the multiverse. (Hence why I could take the Time domain, even though none of them offer it). If your DM shoots that idea down, take the Healing domain instead, and go find magic items that add Contingency and Time Stop to your list of spells known. The only real strain is that Radiant Servant requires you to be neutral good, while Fist of Raziel requires you to be lawful good. You could say that Pelor granted you some of his power as a favor to Heironeous, or that your character is borderline between lawful and neutral good, and so could be counted as both. Whatever you come up with, be sure to check with your DM. If he insists that you can't do it, trade out your level in Radiant Servant for a level in Cleric, or another prestige class that increases your caster level.

Finally, and this should go without saying, be sure to learn healing spells each level. Unlike a normal cleric, you can't cast them unless you bothered to learn them first.

Limitations[edit]

Assuming you get the okay to use this build as shown above, your biggest limitation will be running out of things. Whether it be turn undead uses, smites, or spells, losing any of them will be a blow. Try to balance out how you use them, and buy equipment that covers your weaknesses. If you get caught in a long fight, try to gauge how much power is really necessary, and stay within those limits. After all, dealing +40 damage per melee attack is nice, but against a group of kobolds, it's just overkill.

DM Counters[edit]

Characters built this way can be remarkably hard to kill. Even without magical items, this character would average about 160 hp, and require 300 more damage to get through Contingency with Heal and Fortunate Fate. Granted, that was kind of the point of this build, but if you don't feel like dropping a mountain on the cleric every time you want him to die, just shoot him with Dispel magic, or an Antimagic Field. Also, since this class is likely to have horrible Reflex saves, pit traps or an Earthquake spell can make his day unpleasant in a hurry. Throwing undead at him can be amusing. Should he use his turn undead uses to try and turn the oncoming hoard, or power himself up in order to face it?

Also, since much of this class is devoted to fighting evil, neutral enemies, such as a guardian stone golem, can be a real pain for the cleric to handle. None of his spells will work, his Fist of Raziel smites will be useless, and using Ordained Champion smites will blow through his daily turn undead uses like nobody's business. A second golem that activates once the first one goes down will just make him want to cry.

Miscellaneous[edit]

Roleplaying: Just because your character is Neutral/Lawful Good doesn't mean you have to be the same as every other character with that alignment. You could be a zealot who won't heal anyone who worships a deity other than Pelor or Heironeous. You could make a habit of smiting everything you come across, just on the off chance that it's evil. Your character be a gung-ho blabber mouth who frequently messes up the rogue's schemes; "Don't worry my sneaky friend, I shall distract this hoard of stupid goblins while you sneak around behind them!" (Shouted in front of said hoard). Find something that works for you, and have fun with it.


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