Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Published Work

For the past few months, my focus has primarily been on publishing work with third party publishers. If you are interested in my work, here is my credit list under the name Jeff Gomez.

Published

AuthorGregor’s Portrait (Adventure, 2k wrd), Avalon Games, 4/26/2015

Contributing Author, Call to Arms: 10 Foot Pole (Items & Fluff, 1k wrd), 3/29/2015

Editor, Infinite Futures 2.0 (Alternate Pathfinder Ruleset/Setting, 100k wrd), Avalon Games, 3/1/2015

Author, Ruins of Gilead (Adventure, 15k wrd), Adventure a Week, 2/23/2015

Author, Jacob’s Tower, Levels 1-13 (Adventure, 93k wrd), Zenith Games, 1/21/2015

Author, Monster Hunter’s Guide to Vampires (Adventures/Sourcebook, 15k wrd), Avalon Games, 1/18/2015

In Production

Author, The God of Blackstone Peak (Adventure, 12k wrd), Expeditious Retreat Press, In Production

Author, Call to Arms: Powders and Dust (Items & Fluff, 12k wrd), Fat Goblin Games, In Production

Author, Paris in the 20th Century (Setting, 11k wrd), Avalon Games, In Production

Author, Dragons Are Above My Pay Grade (Adventure, 10k wrd), Purple Duck Games, In Production

Author, A Tale of Two War Camps (Adventure, 6k wrd), Louis Porter Jr. Design, In Production

Author, Sage (Character Class, 5k wrd), Little Red Goblin Games, In Production

Contributing Author, Foes of Porphyra: Giants (NPC, 5k wrd), Purple Duck Games, In Production

Contributing Author, Winged Cavalry (Character Class, 2k wrd), Flaming Crab Games, In Production

Contributing Author, Shattered Skies Campaign Setting (Culture, 1.5k wrd), Wayward Rogues, In Production

Editor, Heroes Wear Masks, Mission Books 1-6 (Adventure, 140k wrd), Avalon Games, In Production

If you have an interesting product that you would like me to work on, I'd be happy to hear it.  Shot me an e-mail at zenithgames.blog@gmail.com

Thursday, April 2, 2015

10 Ways to Speed up Gameplay


1: Use Notes - Index Cards, a Tablet, or Computer

There are a lot of rules for any roleplaying game, and flipping through books is the number one reason sessions grind to a halt.  Use notes and index cards, to track monster and NPC stats, relevant rules and mechanics, and any other important information.  I personally use a laptop for all my GMing.  Not only can I quickly look through my notes, but I can very easily search online rules databases for the grappling rules.

Bonus Points: Get a responsible player with a tablet or smart phone to be on rules duty, ready to look up anything.


2: Divide GM Duties

As a GM, you are the bottle neck.  While the players simply need to keep track of their own characters, you need to keep track of all NPCs, enemies, plot, weather, and cycles of the moon.  To make your life easier, distribute some of your duties to your players, especially during combat.  After writing initiative on an easy to see location, have another responsible player track and manage it.  Make it the responsibility of the victim or instigator to track per round effects such as Sleep, Hideous Laughter, or rising water.  If a rules determination is needed, assign it to another player and move the session forward (if possible) while waiting for an answer.

Bonus Points:  After initiative is rolled, have the players switch seating order to reflect initiative.


3: Roll To-Hit and Damage together

This is a classic, and often under appreciated rule:  Roll your to-hit and damage at the same time.  Most people will first roll you save the five seconds or so it takes to pick up and roll your damage dice.  Lets say Barbar the Barbarian is attacking at +10 for 2d6+8 damage.  Barbar would roll a d20 and 2d6 all at once, only calculating his damage if the d20 was a hit.

Bonus Points:  Have separate little piles of dice on the table for each of your attacks, ready to be rolled at a moment's notice.  For example, a rogue might have two piles - one for attacks with sneak attack and one without.


4:  Prepare 3 Random Encounters and 10 Random NPCs
Note:  Drawn directly from the 10 Tips for New GMs, which has a few other time saving tips

Have a list of random encounters and NPCs ready before the game.  These do not need to be fully developed - they are just something to quickly draw on when put on the spot.  Sketch up two or three encounters that your players are likely to stumble into, be it a fight with a gang, an assassin come to kill a PC, or a random fight with an owlbear in the woods.  Get the statblocks of each of these enemies and a general gimmick for the battleground (on rooftops, plenty of trees, overlooking a cliff...).  This way you will be able to quickly and seamlessly move the game forward.

Similarly, generate a list of about 10 NPC names and choose one distinguishing feature about each (missing left hand, persistent cough, drunk).  Next time you are put on the spot for a random NPC, you have something to pull from. The heroes want to go to a shop?  The shopkeep is the first NPC on the list.  The guards come to arrest the PCs?  The captain is the next NPC.  By having a simple list of names and attributes, you can make your players believe that they are in a real world inhabited by real people.  If you respond quickly enough, you can even make them think you have planned for every contingency!

Bonus points:  Prepare one shop, one tavern, and one guard in detail, as your heroes are likely to encounter one of these each session.


5: Use advancement track, drop XP.

I have never been a fan of XP.  It decreases roleplaying, rewards grinding, and takes away from immersion.  And now, there is another reason to hate it!  Using XP slows down gameplay, both during  distribution and calculation.  If you are using an adventure path, simply follow the advancement track and advance your players as the adventure path suggests.  If you are playing a home-brew, advance the party every couple sessions as you see fit.

Bonus Points: If you absolutely need to use XP, distribute all XP at the end of or between sessions.


6: Don't use a GMPC

Unless it is crucial to the plot, don't use an NPC in the PC's party.  The party may not have a healer, a tank, or any ability to detect traps - that's fine, its part of what makes the party what it is.  Don't get rid of that by rounding out the party.  A GMPC just takes away from the "screen time" of the PC's, and is one more thing for you to track as a GM.  It will slow down gameplay without adding anything to it.

Bonus Points: When an NPC is traveling with the party, make sure that he is either useless in combat or incapacitated and unable to contribute.


7: Buy items and level up in between sessions

There are a host of "administrative" tasks that should be taken care of in-between sessions.  Never level up mid-session, as that will bring game-play to a screeching halt.  Even worse, the quicker players will be left with nothing to do while the slower players work.  Instead, have players level up between sessions.  Additionally, unless you value the role-playing aspect of it, have players purchase items between sessions.

If a player comes to a session without having leveled up or purchased items, start the session anyway.  He plays with what he has, and next time he'll be ready.

Bonus Points:  Encourage role-play between sessions through e-mail, internet forums, or a wiki.


8:  Ensure Players Know their Combat Actions Ahead of Time

Hesitation during combat is perhaps the number one killer of game time.  Players should be experts on their characters without having to look anything up.  Make sure that they are thinking about their actions ahead of time, and are aware of their turn in the initiative order.

How to encourage this?  First, make sure that they have all of the information they need to play.  If they have power attack, make sure they have their attacks calculated with and without the feat.  If they summon monsters, make sure they have the stat blocks in front of them.

Second, and most important, delay them if they are not ready on their turn. It may seem harsh at first, but it will do wonders for your game.  If a player does not immediately declare his actions at the start of his turn, say "I'm going to delay you unless you say what you are doing."  Give him another 20 seconds or so, then move him out the the initiative order and let the next person know it is his turn.  The slow player re-enters the initiative order when he declares his actions.

Bonus Points: As the GM, make sure you are ready for your turn too!  Before the session, read every enemy's stat block and determine some basic strategies.  Fall back on those if you have to think for more than 10 seconds on your turn.


9:  Keep Side Conversations to a Minimum

You are going to have to decide early on what kind of game you want to run.  Are you okay with side conversations and a more social feel, or do you want to make sure game time is game time?  If you want to stop side conversations, the best way to do that is to directly engage the distracted players and move the session forward.  If Jack and Jill are discussing the results of the Super Bowl, have the king address their characters directly: "You still have not answered my question.  Are you ready to embark on this epic quest?"  Players get distracted because they are not interested, and the best way to keep them interested is to directly engage them.  Keep the session focused, and your players will learn to stay focused.

Bonus Points:  If you are doing longer sessions, you may want to add in a break or two.  Judge your players and act accordingly.


10: Start on Time

The last rule is fairly simple.  If your sessions start at 6pm, then the action begins at 6pm.  Don't wait for late players, they will simply miss out.  After a few sessions, players will learn to arrive on time.

Bonus Points:  If you don't want to be such a stickler, order food, chat and perform any other non-game duties at the start of sessions.  That way you can be ready to go by the time everybody arrives.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Human Diversion's Guide to the Caster-Centric Arcane Archer

The Human Diversion’s Guide to the Caster-Centric Arcane Archer


Way back in 3.5 when Living Greyhawk was all the rage, I would often marvel at the high level wizards who went for the Archmage prestige class as fast as possible. They were able to dish out tons of damage that most creatures couldn’t resist (*cough sonic cough*) and were usually the most effective characters at the table. I had started a grey elf wizard as a ray specialist but was already too far along to take the proper feats to play an Archmage. One day someone pointed out that no one played Arcane Archers, most likely because the prerequisites were just too cost prohibitive to get mediocre abilities and if you went the traditional route - heavy on fighter or ranger - you couldn’t make good use of the Arcane Archer’s 2nd level ability:


At 2nd level, an arcane archer gains the ability to place an area spell upon an arrow. When the arrow is fired, the spell's area is centered where the arrow lands, even if the spell could normally be centered only on the caster. This ability allows the archer to use the bow's range rather than the spell's range. A spell cast in this way uses its standard casting time and the arcane archer can fire the arrow as part of the casting. The arrow must be fired during the round that the casting is completed or the spell is wasted. If the arrow misses, the spell is wasted.


The part about using the arrow’s range for an area spell even if the spell could normally be centered only on the caster got me thinking, “what area spells would this be useful for?” Area damage spells generally don’t need an arrow’s range, but what spells are out there that can normally be only cast on the caster? While going through the spell compendium I noticed one of the first ones (alphabetically) that had an area and was target: self - Antimagic Field.


It suddenly dawned on me that I had a near-unbeatable way to take out high level casters. Get a caster high enough to cast Antimagic Field, give that caster 2 levels of Arcane Archer, and then shoot an antimagic field imbued arrow at a bad guy. As long as the arrow hits, he’s getting a spell with no SR and no save being cast “on” him and suddenly he can’t cast any spells or spell-like abilities, use any magic items, have his magic items function, receive healing, etc.


So how does one go about creating a caster-centric Arcane Archer? The prerequisites are:
Base Attack Bonus: +6.
Spells: Ability to cast 1st-level arcane spells.


The Base Attack Bonus is the biggest stumbling block. You’re going to need to be a 12th level arcane caster to get that. Since the goal is to shoot Antimagic Fields at people, that works out just fine since you need to be an 11th or 12th level caster just to cast 6th level arcane spells.


I will be using Treatmonk's color coding for convenience and coherence with the other guides
RED will be used for options that should be avoided
ORANGE will denote options that should be approached with an open mind.
GREEN will represent good options, which in certain situations may be the best
BLUE will represent options that will be regarded as "The best" most of the time. These are usual safe bets and you will be glad you have them


Race
What races work best for this extremely focused build? It used to be that you had no choice, you had to be an Elf or Half-Elf. I’m guessing someone connected with the rules decided not enough people were playing Arcane Archers and dropped the racial requirement, so now any race can be one.


Dwarf - If you’re approaching arcane archer as a wizard, this isn’t a horrible choice, but it’s not even close to the best one. The bonus to con is nice, but the bonus to wis is all but wasted. If you’re approaching arcane archer as a sorcerer, this is a clear-cut RED ranking.
Elf - The best choice, hands-down, for both a wizard or sorcerer-based AA. For a wizard the bonus to dex and int just happen to be your 2 most needed abilities. The bow proficiency helps as well by giving you an extra feat to play with. For a sorcerer the +dex and weapon feat make it closer, but still better than Half-Elf, Human, Gnome, and Halfling.
Gnome - This gets a green if you’re going with a sorcerer-based AA as the bump to charisma is obviously big, +2 to con never hurts, and being small means you get a +1 to hit. If you’re going for a wizard-based AA, I’m going to rank it an orange - just not enough going for it compared to Elf.
Half Elf - Half-Elves are a good choice but only if your campaign or DM lets you take the Ancestral Arms alternate racial trait and you use it to take a bow proficiency. You can and should apply the +2 stat bonus to int, as eventually you’re much more of a caster than an archer. Half Elves are pretty much equal to humans for both wizard and sorcerer-based AAs.
Half Orc - Half-Orcs are not a good choice for AA. About the only thing they have going for them is the +2 to any stat, and they don’t have the Half-Elf’s alternate racial trait to take bow proficiency and the human’s extra feat.
Halfling - As far as wizard-based AA’s, Halflings are in pretty much the same boat as Half Orcs, having the extra dexterity and the +1 hit for being small as the only things going for them. If you’re going to make a sorcerer-based AA the +cha isn’t bad, and brings them up to an orange rating
Human - Humans are about as good as Half-Elves for both AA builds, with the +2 to any stat and a bonus feat to spend weapon proficiency on.


Attributes
Your primary casting stat will be where you put most of your attribute credit, int if you’re a wizard and cha if you’re a sorcerer. Your second highest stat should be dexterity, as it has the dual purpose of giving you both AC and +hit on ranged attacks. Con should be third for the hit points and fort save. Str is a distant 4th, the only caveat being if you have lower than 10 you’ll take a penalty on bow damage, but we’re not aiming for bow damage here so it’s not a big deal. Wisdom and your other non-casting mental stat are your dump stats, put them as low as you’re willing to go for an RP’er.


Skills
Arcane Archer only gets 4 class skills, but one of them is useful as it’s not normally a class skill for wizard or sorcerer.


Perception - The best of the four, and one of the best skills in the game. It lets you notice all sorts of stuff (traps, ambushes, stuff that’s far away, etc) and not noticing stuff can do bad things like not being able to act in the surprise round, fall into the pit trap, not see the assassin about to stab you from behind, etc.
Ride - Unless for some strange reason you have a mount-flavored game or you’ve got feats to burn and have created a mounted arcane archer, this is a pretty much useless skill for you. In addition, a majority of combat encounters are built in places where mounts for medium creatures just can’t go, so that makes this a doubly useless skill for our build.
Stealth - Not a bad skill, but often the arcane caster has ways of making themselves undetectable anyway. Still, there always seems to be a situation where the party as a whole needs to sneak and it’s nice to not be the weakest link.
Survival - Again, not a bad skill, but usually there’s someone else in the party making the survival checks for the group as a whole. For most mundane uses of the skill there are magical ways of avoiding the hazard (severe weather, foraging, etc). If your party has no one who can follow tracks it might be worth it to drop a point or two in here just for that purpose.


Of course nothing is stopping you from plopping your precious skill points into things you’ve been building up all along as an arcane caster - spellcraft, knowledge: arcana, and use magic device.


Preferred Spells
Burning Hands - 1st level spell, but useful still
Grease - use the area version of grease at your bow’s range
Magic Circle - Have a party member dominated? Fire a magic circle at them (or at their square!)
Crushing Despair - hit someone with an arrow and have the bad guys behind them hit with the cone of crushing despair!
Detonate - unique in that the effect happens 1 round after you cast the spell
Dragon’s Breath - use that 30’ cone without having to be in melee range
Obsidian Flow - One of my favorites, deals damage and makes difficult terrain, now at the range of your bowshot rather than close
Shout/Greater Shout - As with Dragon’s Breath, useful in that you can use your bow’s range rather than having to get into melee
Waves of Fatigue - make people fatigued from long range
Tar Pool - Like Obsidian Flow, but better


Other Stuff (Feats, Equipment, Class Role, etc)
Once you’ve gotten to the level to make this happen, you should consider taking arcane archer only up to 4th level, as 5th level will not give you a spellcasting class. Levels beyond 5 for this class will really only give you phase arrow (not a bad trick) and hail of arrows, although if you went the sorcerer route, arrow of death could potentially be a really nasty trick, but you wouldn’t get that until epic levels anyway (level 22 for our build).


Any feat that helps a ray-based wizard should be considered useful here, including Spell Penetration, Reach Spell, Arcane Blast, and Elven Accuracy (if you went elf). General metamagic feats aren’t bad either - Empower spell and Maximize spell are nice, Preferred spell might be worth it if only to swap out spells when you need an extra Anti-Magic Field to fire.


Equipment should be as per building a wizard as well with the exception of anything that improves your attacks with a bow, so both flavors of bracers of archery are good. Boots of speed are nice if you need to maneuver a bit, and a belt of physical might is good, (obviously focusing on Dex > Con > Str). When I get a wizard up to 9th or 10th level I almost always try to acquire a ring of counterspells to put in a feeblemind or disintegrate - both of those spells can really ruin an arcane caster’s day.


Finally remember above all else, that even though you are a decent archer you are still an arcane caster above all else - the archery is just a way for you to deliver spells at a distance that you would normally be able to only cast from your square or on yourself.


Final Note

One of the stumbling blocks of this specific build is that a lot of GMs really don’t know how to adjudicate the imbue arrow class feature. I had one GM say that the bad guy could pull the arrow out and the antimagic field was still stuck to the arrow. I had another say that if the arrow hit a bad guy it technically never “landed” and therefore the spell never went off. If you’re going to use this in a home game, ask the GM first. If you’re going to use it in an organized setting like PFS, it might be wise to get a consensus of your local GMs and/or Venture Captains.

Note: I did not write this guide. This guide was in the owner's trash, to be deleted. It is saved here to prevent that. If you are the owner please make a comment or send me an e-mail if you would like to re-host it.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Axe's Guide to Finding Divinity (Pathfinder Society Clerics)

IMPORTANT NOTE FROM ZENITH GAMES:  This guide went defunct in late 2013 and stopped working.  Shawn Perry retrieved from the web-archiving Way Back machine.  We'll host it here until Axe decides to host it again or contact us.

Axe’s Guide to Finding Divinity 
(Pathfinder Society Clerics)
9/7/2010 v0.85
Inspired by Treantmonk’s pathfinder guides, and I am using his coloring coding for ease of readability. As a note I have only played Pathfinder as part of society play so am writing the guide under the assumption that you are playing society as well. Most of this will apply to most games anyway.

Part 1: The Casting Cleric

Color Coding the Guide:
In this guide I will be Color Coding your various options to provide my opinion on each of these options. 
Red: Warning.  This is a poor option and should be avoided
Orange: This is an OK option.  I'm not recommending it, but it's not bad
Green: I recommend this option.  It is a strong choice
BlueA must have.  Your best possible option

Role:
As I see it the Cleric is always capable of providing a significant amount of healing / debuff removal. The question is how do you want to contribute to the demise of the monsters, the two real options are to cast spells at the monsters or swing a weapon at them No matter which you pick you’ll still be perfectly capable of providing healing to the group as needed. This Part of the guide will be for the casting cleric. Expect to see the melee cleric in part 2 and the spell list in part 3.
Race:
Human: + Wis is good, an extra skill point is nice and one can always find use for an extra feat. Personally I think it’s trumped by Half-Elf but being able to max out a second or third skill isn’t bad
Half-Elf: Wis is just as good here as it is for humans. You also get +2 perception, lowlight vision, skill focus & a +2 bonus against enchantments which you’ll already have a very good save against. Consider putting your skill focus into perception and taking a trait to get it in class for another +3 to be the party’s perception monkey. Don’t forget low-light as well.
Half Orc: + Wis is still good, and Orc-Ferocity is arguably best served on a cleric. Darkvision is generally even better than low-light although the +2 intim is mostly wasted.
Dwarf: +Wis/+Con/-Cha Amazing Stat array although the –Cha hurts a little as channel energy is really good now. Their slow speed is mostly a non-issue since they aren’t further slowed by armor. Defensive Training, Stability and Stone Cunning are all abilities that do things as well
Halfling: +Dex/+Cha/-Str :  No bonus to Wisdom, at least the penalty stat is to one you can skip. A perception bonus salvages a little out of this race along with the bonus to all saves. Beware of the slow speed though.
Gnome: +Con/+Cha/-STR : No bonus to wisdom although +Con is a welcome. The slow speed is problematic and most of their racial bonuses are quite unexciting although lowlight, +AC against Giants and + Perception are still of some value.
Elf: +Int/+Dex/-Con: Yuck. At least the spell pen will be useful later when you’re fighting outsiders. Low light and perception are not enough to make up for the terrible stat bonuses. If Elf flavor is important to you just play a half-elf in touch with your elf side some more.
Stats
Highest Stat:  Wisdom
Str: 7 You’re not hitting things, you’re wearing medium or heavy armor so will be encumbered anyway. Note that penalties from encumbrance and armor do not stack so don’t worry about it too much.
Dex: 8-12 It’s quite easy to get your AC looking good, especially if you’re going the full plate route, no need to go above 12 though.
Con:  12-14 Hitpoints are always useful. I’m a little reluctant to go as low as 12 but you’ll have a good AC and the ability to heal yourself in a pinch.
Int: 7 Spending 4 points to bring your Int up to 10 nets you 1 skill point a level. Just not worth it. Kinda a shame that you’ll always suck at knowledge: Religion but that’s the price of piety.
Wis:  16-18 This is your casting stat, it gives you bonus spells, sets your spell DCs, gives you additional uses of your domain abilities, increases perception and will saves, max it at all opportunities
Cha:  12-16 Channel energy is quite good now, much more globally useful than the old turn undead. Still not nearly as important as Wisdom though.
20 point buy options:
Str 7 / Dex 8 / Con 13 / Int 7 / Wis 18 / Cha 16 – The extreme – You’re good at casing spells, your cha is good and your con is decent, you can only carry about ten pounds of stuff after your armor and shield though, also watch out for pits. Make sure to take diplomacy to capitalize on your high charisma.
Str 7 / Dex 13 / Con 16 / Int 7 / Wis 17 / Cha 12 – The Tank – Your AC and HP are good, your cha and wisdom suffer a bit though. Make sure to make good use of your talents by putting yourself into harms way as often as possible.
Str 10 / Dex 10 / Con 12 / Int 10 / Wis 17 / Cha 14  – The balance – An array for players scared of single digit stats

Channel Energy
Channel Positive Channel Negative
I think the healing provided by Channel Positive is quite good. By the time you get to third level you’re casting close to a fifth level spell (cure light wounds mass) ~5 times a day in addition to all your spell casting. The damage you put out gets a save and it’s a lot more work to exclude your allies from the damage than it is to exclude your enemies from the healing. I do however like channel negative for the melee cleric so I’ll be talking about that a bit more in part 2.

Deities & Domains:
In Pathfinder society play clerics of the pantheon are not allowed so only certain domain combinations are allowed. Here you will find ratings for each of the deities then for each of the domains.

Deities:
Abadar LN Earth, Law, Nobility, Protection, Travel
Asmodeus LE Evil, Fire, Law, Magic, Trickery
Calistria CN Chaos, CharmKnowledge, Luck, Trickery 
Cayden Cailean CG Chaos, Charm, Good, Strength, Travel
Desna CG Chaos, Good, Liberation, Luck, Travel
Erastil LG Animal, Community, Good, Law, Plant
Gorum CN Chaos, Destruction, Glory, Strength, War
Gozreh N Air, Animal, Plant, Water, Weather
Iomedae LG GloryGood, Law, Sun, War
Irori LN Healing, Knowledge, Law, Rune, Strength
Lamashtu CE Chaos, Evil, Madness, Strength, Trickery
Nethys N Destruction, Knowledge, Magic, Protection, Rune
Norgorber NE Charm, Death, Evil, Knowledge, Trickery
Pharasma N Death, Healing, Knowledge, Repose, Water
Rovagug CE Chaos, Destruction, Evil, War, Weather
Sarenrae LG Fire, Glory, Good, Healing, Sun
Shelyn NG Air, Charm, Good, Luck, Protection
Torag LG Artifice, Earth, Good, Law, Protection
Urgathoa NE Death, Evil, Magic, Strength, War
Zon-Kuthon LE DarknessDeath, Destruction, Evil, Law

Domains:
Spell ratings are a little different than the rest of the guide. Since having a useful spell at every level is nice I’ll be giving a color to each spell level in each domain.
Blue: Useful spells not on the cleric list
Green: Spells on the cleric list you’re interested in casting
Orange: Unexciting, but situationally useful at least
Red: You’re not going to cast this

Air:
The abilities are fairly useless and I’m not a fan of obscuring mist but the spell list gets quite good later and wind wall is an early entry at level 2
Lightning Arc: This requires an attack roll, you don’t make those and the damage scales really poorly anyway.

Electricity Resistance (lvl 6): Free resistance is nice even if it’s small

Domain Spells: 123456
Animal
:
The animal companion is quite powerful but won’t do anything for you until the animal companion at 4 and the low level spells are useless so make sure to get a second domain with low level spells you want to cast.
Free Knowledge: Nature in class still uses Int right?

Speak with Animals: Even if the animals can understand you they are still too stupid to use diplomacy on. 

Animal Companion (lvl 4): This is even better than the ranger ability since you have access to the full druid list. When you do get this take the Boon Companion feat at 5 to power up your companion to full druid strength.

Domain Spells: 123456

Artifice
:
This domain does nothing for you, don’t take it.
Artificer's Touch: Mending would be useful if 0 level spells weren’t already at will. Also gives you an anti construct attack that you’ll never use.

Dancing Weapon (lvl 8): Gives your weapon the dancing ability, completely useless for casting clerics, really good for battle clerics

Domain Spells 123456

Chaos:
If the average opponents were lawful instead of evil this domain might actually be worth taking, as is pass.

Touch
 of Chaos: This requires you hit an enemy with a melee attack, no thanks.

Chaos Blade (lvl 8): A very useful power for a battle cleric if and only if you are fighting lawful opponents.

Domain Spells: 123456
Charm:
If you want to be the party face supplement your diplomacy with the magic from this domain. Be aware that Heroism at level 4 is a very late entry and charm monster is late at 5. At least the higher saving throw difficulty on charm monster is worth something.

Dazing Touch: Touch somebody to make them lose their next action. It would be useful if your attack bonus wasn’t so low.

Charming Smile (lvl8): Swift action charm person with a short duration. Useful for getting information from NPCs, remember to charm first to bring to friendly and then diplomacy to bring up to helpful, just beware the short duration. 

Domain Spells: 123456
Community
:
Alright condition removal, spells are mostly buffs that you’d take anyway, pretty boring domain overall but makes you better at healing and buffing.

Calming Touch: It heals some nonlethal damage and removes sickened, fatigued and shaken, seems pretty useful actually.

Unity: Well, the most common Area spells have reflex saves and there is unlikely to be anybody in the party worse than you. It will occasionally be useful for things like frightful presence 
Domain Spells: 123456
Darkness
:
Normally clerics don’t get Blindness/Deafness until level 3 while the darkness clerics get blindness as a level 2 spell instead. Spells like deeper darkness likely make most of your party very unhappy and your summon monster only gets shadows. As a note the Shadows are not normally available to summon monster but are the right CR for a summon of that level.

Blind Fight: This feat does nothing for you.

Touch of Darkness: Alright debuff, makes everybody blurry to the target, too bad you can’t touch the broad side of a barn door.

Eyes of Darkness: Since darkness only blocks line of sight and not line of effect the ability to ignore it isn’t very exciting.

Domain Spells: 123456
Death
:
While you can eventually heal yourself with negative energy your allies will still suffer, If you are going to make your party suffer by channeling negative energy this domain rewards you at level 8 at least. Note that in PFS play the undead you animate/create disappear at end of the adventure taking your onyxs with them

Bleeding Touch: Melee attack for some crappy bleed damage, as useless as the rest of the blasts.

Death's Embrace: Now negative energy heals you, too bad your allies will still suffer.

Domain Spells: 123456
Destruction:
Abilities range from useless to detrimental. The spell list is bad for you and includes such “gems” as a late entry suboptimal bard blast 

Destructive Smite: Non-action bonus to melee damage, the damage isn’t too big though.

Destructive Aura(lvl 8): Everybody takes more damage, too bad this is bad for the PCs since killing a PC with extra damage is much worse than not killing a monster from less damage.
Domain Spells: 123456
Earth:
Several good druid spells round out a strong list. If you happen to have a sling user in the party and are fighting undead make sure to give them some magic stones. Note that Stoneskin is a very late entry at 6.

Acid Dart: At least acid is a strong damage type, too bad this ability is just as bad as the rest of the blasts.

Acid Resistance(lvl 6): Free resists are always handy.

Domain Spells: 123456

Evil:
Must be evil to take, not an option in PFS play.

Fire:
This domain helps your offense immensely with good fire spells at almost every level. Produce Flame at level 2 is the only real loser, note that Fire Shield is a late entry at 5.

Fire Bolt: Here’s that crappy blast again
 Fire Resistance(lvl 6): Once again a free resist is useful, fire doubly so.

Domain Spells: 123456
Glory:
Great domain for social interactions, some of the spells are better suited for battle clerics but it helps you beat up undead at least, overall it’s not bad

+2 channel save DC for undead: Makes channeling at undead slightly better

Touch of Glory: This buff is great for social situations and UMD checks. You get a lot of them every day so don’t be shy.

Divine Presence(lvl 8): Mass Sanctuary with a high DC hmmm. If you’re willing to delay and the monsters aren’t you can wait to activate this until you’re in between the other players and the monsters to give all the monsters a hard save or effectively lose their turn.

Domain Spells: 123456

Good:
Nothing new on the spell list but at least you might cast most of them anyway.

Touch of Good: Well it’s worse than glory for social situations and the bonus isn’t big enough to be worth using in combat most of the time. It is useful for other skill based challenges such as finding and disarming traps though

Holy Lance(lvl 8): This would be really nice if you were a battle cleric or if it’s usable on an ally’s weapons.

Domain Spells: 123456

Healing:
For a cleric who wants to be good at healing but insists on channel negative energy this domain gets good, otherwise pass. At least Healer’s Blessing comes at lvl 6 instead of 8. Spell ratings assume that you  channel positive otherwise spells 1-4 become green.

Rebuke Death: Some crappy healing for an unconscious target, is that really all this does?
Healer's Blessing(lvl 6): This would be amazing if your ability to channel positive energy wasn’t so good.

Domain Spells: 123456

Knowledge
:
If you get a lot of value out of divinations bump this up to green otherwise the spell list is really unexciting.

All Knowledge Skills as Class Skills: This is supposed to do something, right?

Lore Keeper: Spending a standard action in combat trying to touch an enemy to make a knowledge check, at least the ability uses wisdom instead of intelligence.

Remote Viewing(lvl 6): Look what’s behind every door before you open it? This ability is quite useful and available at lvl 6

Domain Spells: 123456
Law:
Very similar to the good domain except your powers are anti-chaos instead of anti-evil and your first level power is even worse.

Touch of Law: Spending a standard action to let somebody take 11 just doesn’t seem very exciting to me.

Staff of Order(lvl 8): Pretty sure Anarchic is significantly worse than holy.

Domain Spells: 123456
Liberation:
While I prefer dealing with condition removal via scrolls, memorizing spells like remove fear and remove paralysis isn’t the end of the world. The abilities are what really makes this domain good though.

Liberation: On demand Freedom of Movement, sign me up!

Freedom’s Call (lvl 8): Make your allies immune to the following conditions on demand: confused, grappled, frightened, panicked, paralyzed,
pinned, and shaken. Why does this domain get two cool abilities?

Domain Spells: 123456

Luck:
The spell list takes awhile to get going but the abilities are quite strong.

Bit of Luck: Let somebody roll all d20s twice for a round. It’s useful for out of combat skill checks and even has some use in combat when you expect somebody to be making a lot of roles in one round.

Good Fortune (lvl 6): A free reroll can help prevent disaster.

Domain Spells123456

Madness: 
Your spell list is hit and miss but you’ve got a couple gems, while your abilities are both quite strong.

Vision of Madness: Use it out of combat to help an ally with a skill check or in combat against a foe where saves and skills don’t matter. For a cleric that can touch the enemy you’ve got one of the best short duration debuffs in the game.

Aura of Madness (lvl 8): On demand enemies-only confusion aura with a high save as a non action. Hard to get better than this.

Domain Spells: 123456


Magic:
It gives you an alright ranged attack but you’ll have to spend money on a weapon to keep it useful as you level up. The spell list is pretty bad with the only good spot being the early entry (for a cleric) of Anti-Magic field which would otherwise be uncastable by PFS Clerics.

Hand of the Acolyte: Well it uses wisdom instead of dex. If you do have this remember to get a light shield and hold your 2 handed weapon in your shield hand.

Dispelling Touch(lvl 8): Dispel magic, single target only as a touch attack, too many restrictions severely limits the value.

Domain Spells: 123456

Nobility:
Your spell list is unexciting and your abilities are mediocre

Inspiring Word: Usable for a non-scaling bonus outside of combat or a small bonus to an ally right before kicking in the door.

Leadership(lvl 8): Persuasive isn’t super exciting but at least it does something

Domain Spells: 123456
Plant
:
Gives you access to some good druid spells and gives you some crappy ability take this and the animal domain if you want to pretend to be a druid.

Wooden Fist: A few rounds per day you can make unarmed attacks that do lethal damage, yuck.

Bramble Armor (lvl 6): Well it’s a non-action that does something. Too bad it’s not much

Domain Spells: 123456
Protection:
Reasonable spell list, although they are all cleric spells, the abilities, ignoring Resistant Touch, are useful as well

Free Resistance Bonus: Saves you a cloak slot and some cash

Resistant Touch: Well you can lend it to the rogue who’s disarming a trap, or you could just not write this ability down and you wouldn’t really be missing anything.
.Aura of Protection(lvl 8): Unlikely to give your allies much AC but the free energy resist is nice.

Domain Spells: 123456

Repose:
The eighth level ability is strong but it’s not good enough to save this domain.

Gentle Rest: The debuff is pretty good against undead, too bad you can’t touch them at all.

Ward Against Death(lvl 8): On demand mass old school deathward. It’s not enough to get this domain above red though.

Domain Spells123456

Rune:
Explosive Runes is a late entry at 4 and is only rated above orange for its humor value. That said this domain still sucks.

Scribe Scroll: No replacement for this in PFS, too bad a free feat would have been nice.

Blast Rune: Well at least you don’t have to make an attack roll, too bad you have to get a monster to step into a specific square.

Spell Rune(lvl 8): Well you can attach spells to your Blast Rune, that’s pretty cool, same restrictions as before though.

Domain Spells: 123456
Strength
:
Enlarge Person is a very strong 1st level spell to get. Stoneskin is a very late entry at sixth level though. 
Strength Surge: It’s just like Touch of Glory from the Good domain except it applies to STR based rolls only.

Might of the Gods: Well you can use it to climb out of a pit at least.

Domain Spells: 123456
Sun:
Die undead die! If you want to destroy undead combine this with the Glory domain and really smash them.

Sun's Blessing: Well you’re really good at blowing up undead with your channel positive energy at least.

Nimbus of Light(lvl 8): On Demand Daylight that auto damages undead and dispels all darkness effects regardless of level and doesn’t take an action? While some adventures it won’t do anything those with undead or darkness effects it’s going to be quite good.

Domain Spells123456
Travel:
Good abilities and a great spell list almost push this domain up to blue.
+10 move speed: Full of win, easy to miss as it’s hidden in the flavor paragraph.

Agile Feet: Ignoring difficult terrain can be useful, too bad you have to decide the round before you need it.

Dimensional Hop: Wow! Move action teleport that can bring allies with you as well. Make sure to bring the two-weapon fighters into melee so they can make full-attacks.

Domain Spells: 123456

Trickery:
Useful abilities and some good wizard illusions plus confusion make this domain a strong choice.
Class Skills: Well you could take bluff instead of diplomacy as your social skill, not too excited by this.

Copycat: Spending a move action for a single mirror image seems quite strong to me.

Master's Illusion(lvl 8): On demand sixth level wizard illusion that doesn’t require an action? The only thing that keeps this from being completely broken is the short duration.

Domain Spells: 123456
War
:
Unexciting spell list plus unexciting abilities is a pass.

Battle Rage: It’s a crappy damage buff that requires touch and a standard action 

Weapon Master(lvl 8): For a handful of rounds every day you get a free combat feat

Domain Spells: 123456
Water
:
This should have been called the fog domain. Has a couple late entry blasts that don’t do much for this domain.

Icicle: Cold damage crappy ranged attack, just as bad as the rest of them.

Cold Resistance(lvl 8): Cold is a pretty good choice for free resistance.

Domain Spells: 123456
Weather:
It starts out just like the water domain but gets some descent storm blasts instead. Be aware that Sleet Storm and Control Winds are late entries.

Storm Burst: Another ranged touch attack with crappy damage. Additionally this one does subdual damage but comes with a free -2 to hit.

Lightning Lord: Like Call Lightning but you can call down multiple bolts at once.

Domain Spells123456

Skills:
Knowledge Religon: While one might think this is necessary for a cleric the problem is you’ll never be very good at it.
Perception: Even if you don’t get this in class your high wisdom and potential racial bonus will make this quite high.
Sense Motive: Similar to perception, probably not quite as useful but one of the few wisdom based skills and it’s a class skill
Profession:  While making the day job roll is a lot of fun even if you managed to get an average of 50gp a roll you’d only have earned 1650gp by the time you got to twelfth level. If you can’t stand to miss out on the fun of rolling put a point in it if you must.
Heal: Helps you deal with poisons / diseases without using up spell slots.
Diplomacy: It’s a class skill with a stat you have above 10 that does things. Seems like a reasonable pick to me.
Feats:
Selective Channeling | Want to be able to heal your party members in combat without refreshing the bad guys too? Pretty much necessary to make your healing work in combat.
Toughness | Extra hit points are always good
Boon Companion | If you took the animal domain this feat is golden, otherwise it does nothing.
Skill Focus: Perception | Maxing perception can be quite useful, take alertness instead if you’re also going for sense motive.
Improved Initiative | +4 initiative is good on anybody

Armor Proficiency, Heavy | The only thing it does is give you a bonus to hit. Considering you don’t make attack rolls it seems like a bad feat to me. If you want to make ranged touch attacks you’ll probably have enough dex to make this unexciting.

Alignment/Elemental Channel | Way too specialized to come up often enough to make it worth it.

Extra Channel | If you find yourself running out of channels regularly you could grab it, mostly a pass.

Fleet | +5 to your move speed can be a big improvement considering how awful your mobility is. However the slightly higher move speed may not be worth a feat.

Combat Casting | I find the 5ft step + a high AC is good enough to ignore defensive casting most of the time. If it’s an issue for you consider this feat

Metamagic Feats | You’re never going to have access to enough spell levels to these good. Consider metamagic rods for any metamagic feats you might want.


Equipment:
Section still under construction
2 PA Wands:
Cure Light Wounds: Everybody should have one of these, especially those big dumb fighters who take all the damage. Nevertheless it could suck to get caught without one so probably best to buy your own.
Comprehend Languages: Ever since I bought one of these I have used a charge every adventure to read a clue in some regional language. While not necessary, it’s handy
Bless: Not very exciting but gives you something to do every combat at low levels when your spells per day are very limited.

Armor:
Full Plate: who cares if you’re not proficient with it? You’re going to be heavily encumbered and not making attack rolls. If this bothers you or if you want to be able to hit with your ranged attacks take heavy armor proficiency. 
Heavy Shield: hey look you can now flank and your AC went up by two.
Buckler: Well you get one less AC than the heavy shield but in return you can actually use metamagic rods or staves and even at lower levels helps you juggle a wand. Slightly better than a light shield as you will have access to both hands for things like climbing.

Weapon, anything, just don’t bother.

Wondrous Items:

Headband of Wisdom: Wisdom is your most important stat, use this to increase your wisdom.
Belt of Constitution: Constitution is the only physical stat you care about

Cloak of Resistance: Resistance bonus to saves is always useful, may want to hold off for awhile if you’re frequently casting Protection from Evil on yourself.

Phylactery of Positive Channeling: +2d6 to your positive channeling sounds really good, too bad it uses the same slot as your Headband of Wisdom

Eyes of the Eagle: +5 Perception is good stuff