Core 3.5 healing cleric

16 posts / 0 new
Last post

Hello everyone,


I am fairly new to DnD world (but not afraid to explore) and I am starting to play with few of my friends this weekend. They all have decent experience in playing DnD so they'll be able to keep me up to date on anything that I missed in regards to rules and stuff.


What I am looking for is a suggestion for a good healing cleric 3.5 (core - no aditional "expansions" -or how is it called? - such as Complete Divine).


Any general tips on feats/skills? Or any good builds around? Was thinking of taking Healing and Sun domain (Pelor)... Is that viable? Any recomandations on what else to take to be better healer or any other tips on domains that will get the job done? 


Thanks!

before anyone has to explain it completely again, read this guide: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

To sum it up: healer is not a needed partyrole in a DnD group. clerics have much better possibilities to help their group. Healing is a nice secondary benefit you get from your class. But you should nearly never focus on it.

A good start for getting a good cleric is looking here: brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.p...
or mor generally for a good start, give this link a try: brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.p...
What he means is that in general "killing monsters faster" is a better strategy than "healing the damage the monsters are causing".

One spell might kill the monster, while healing a fellow player just means that the monster can hit him again next round.

You might also want to look at Druid.

Any Cleric is a good enough healer. Just the ability to spontanously convert a spell you have into a healing spell is enough. Any spell you have left is always a potential healing spell. (unless you're an evil cleric, but I'm assuming not) You don't really need to invest in it beyond that.

You want to invest in either making your spells better, a certain kind of spells better, or making your character better at fighting but with somewhat weaker spells.

If you want to go and hit then focus on feats, items and spells that make you hit better.
Or if you want to stand back and have the spells do the work, then focus on the spells, maybe a specific kind of spells, like Monster Summoning.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

People have already linked to both parts of the answer to that question, but I'll reiterate their importance.

First, Healing Is Not Essential To 3.5. (At least, not in combat, in the vast majority of circumstances). If you can remove a foe from battle one round earlier by attacking him (through weapons or magic - and this doesn't necessarily mean killing him if you pick the right spells (Sor/Wiz list there, but it'll set the tone for what you're looking for)), then you effectively "healed" the party of any damage or condition that the enemy would have done  on his next round. Since enemy damage goes up much faster than the strength of your healing spells, this method actually prevents MORE overall damage than simply being a curebot.

Subnote: If you do have to heal, heal wisely. That's what that first guide will provide (although it's missing Panacea, a 4th level spell that's a miniature Heal in most non-HP respects and can really save your bacon). Things you should consider removing are massive action-economy effects (i.e. if you're not capable of taking down the monster and the only guy who is is currently stunned, remove the stun before his turn), by and large - so conditions like stun, daze, nausea, higher levels of fear, and so on. Things you should more or less ignore in battle are hit points - there are situations where saving someone's life would work, but these will be rare except at the lowest levels. 

As for WHY HP recovery in battle gets stale very early on, there's two sides to that. The first was already mentioned: incoming damage scales faster than your healing spells. The second is that allied HP also scales faster than your healing spells. Here's that demonstrated, for every core healing spell out there being used to heal a standard DMG-statted NPC fighter at every level. (This should also show you why the Healing domain sucks - you can cast almost all of those spells spontaneously anyway, and all its granted power does is it lets you hit their caps one level early (this will only matter if you're in a severely low-level, level-limited game, and even then it's of marginal benefit).



Second, Clerics Have Better Things To Do, typically filed under "I Kick Ass For My God." What you can do here is almost unlimited, and we really need some more guidance than that to help. At the bare minimum, we need your starting level. 

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

That said, having healing out of combat can be very useful. In fact, at low levels you may indeed need to pack some healing spells for this. Well, actually, you can convert prepared spells to Cures, because you're a Cleric (assuming you're Good or Neutral, of course).

Also, healing is kinda lame. The real men go off and fight and you just patch up their wounds? Wus! Wink

And actually, even healing in combat can be handy (especially at low levels again, and unlucky roll can leave an ally bleeding on the floor who mightn't normally be. If that was just a freak accident, getting him back to 1+ hp might not be bad, since he can probably stay there. It's only when their damage is outpacing your healing... well, better to try and kill them and lower that damage). However, again, it's situational, and again, you can convert spontaneously. That makes you be able to play a real character and still be able to heal decently when necessary.

Personally, I much prefer Magic and Darkness (probably why Set (I think) has so many followers). Knowledge is nice, but I'm not sure I'd want it as one of my two for a non-Cloistered Cleric. In fact, if your "Core" is not "SRD" then no Darkness either, but there are better things IMO than Healing.
like tempest allready said, for effective help we need some information from you:

- books avaible(you said core, does that mean DMG/PHB/MM1? because i also met some people, calling DMG2 and PHB2 also core)
- starting level
- intended playstyle(cause, as the post above showed, healing is not a needed role). Typical roles for a cleric would be meleemonster, group protector or buffer. But there are other possibilities too
- any preferences you have. Like: "i want to play a dwarf for overmanly beard awesomeness"
- any houserules (most importantly, how you determine your abilityscores(point buy or rolled or anything else?) and if you roll, what are yours?)

For the buffer/group support I assume you want to play, a generally good feat would be craft wondrous item and craft arms and armors. Another would be extend spell, for long buff durations, but on the other hand, rod of extends are cheap.
As someone who's played clerics before, the party only ever demanded healing from be between combats. The way I combated this was to use Divine Metamagic to Persist Vigor as per that cheese to give them all fast healing. Even something as "small" as that without exploits to grab more Turning uses to feed that feat was enough to dodge being a heal-bot, and that freed up the cleric to do anything else they actually could do.

Now, there's a LOT more you can do with using Divine Metamagic to Persist spells but even just that Persisted Vigor is enough to fulfill your "duties" as party healer. Doing that lets you be more free to explore the rest of the Cleric spell lists which are full of buffs and other juicy tidbits, heal non-hit point based injuries/damage/debuffs, or to exploit your ability to hit people in the face on the front lines. I've never had a DM get angry at Persisted buffs when they are applied to the rest of the party; since it brings the entire party's performance up, you never outshine them in combat. I tended to think of that party role as being a walking magic item myself...

Universal Advice/Goodies:
Divine Metamagic: Use Turn attempts equal to 1+spell level increase to apply a chosen metamagic feat to a spell. Complete Divine pg. 80
Persistent Spell [Metamagic]: Spell with fixed or personal range's duration becomes 24 hours. Adds 6 levels to the spell. Requires Extend Spell. Complete Arcane pg. 81
Vigor (and related spells): Imparts Fast Healing X onto a target. X varies based on the level of spell used. Spell Compendium pg. 229
Belt, Monks: Add Wis+1 to your AC as a monk (and other abilities). Great for exploiting that ridiculous Wis you'll want. Dungeon Master's guide pg. 248
Divine Power: Your Base Attack Bonus becomes equal to your character level, you gain a +6 enhancement bonus to strength and 1 temporary hit point per caster level. Players Handbook pg. 224
Cloistered Cleric
variant class: Gains Lore, expanded skill list, additional skill points, Knowledge domain, and an expanded spell list. In exchange CC's suffer reduced Hit Dice of a d6, a poor Base Attack bonus, and proficiency in only Light Armor. Good for use with a Monk's Belt and Divine Power especially if Persisted. Unearthed Arcana pg. 50
A) He already said Core only (even specifying no ComDiv).
B) You forgot Righteous Might, also in the PHB.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
(This should also show you why the Healing domain sucks - you can cast almost all of those spells spontaneously anyway, and all its granted power does is it lets you hit their caps one level early (this will only matter if you're in a severely low-level, level-limited game, and even then it's of marginal benefit).

I kind of like Healing for use with the spontaneous domain casting alternative class feature, simply because it means you no longer have a need to prepare even heal just in case you need it (sadly, panacea doesn't appear to be on any official domain list of which I'm aware).

But it's pretty darn bad as a standard domain option, especially since it doesn't even give any spell level advantages.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Spontaneous heal is cool.

A Dread Necro with Shape Soulmeld: Lifebond Vestments can also heal pretty cheaply (i.e. for free, with one feat); retrain later (completely irrelevant to the discussion, but hey). In Core, a Bard or Rogue with a Wand of CLW is probably your best bet. Not much good at L1, since you can't afford those things, but by L2-3 the Rogue should be healing, the Cleric fighting, and the Fighter springing traps.
Spontaneous heal is cool.

A Dread Necro with Shape Soulmeld: Lifebond Vestments can also heal pretty cheaply (i.e. for free, with one feat); retrain later (completely irrelevant to the discussion, but hey). In Core, a Bard or Rogue with a Wand of CLW is probably your best bet. Not much good at L1, since you can't afford those things, but by L2-3 the Rogue should be healing, the Cleric fighting, and the Fighter springing traps.


If you want noncore healing stamina, Draconic Aura: Vigor is probably a better choice. Gives everyone near you who's under 50% of their max HP Fast Healing 1, at no action cost for you, and that amount scales with your HD if you're of the dragonblood subtype. Won't top anyone up, but even at half HP they've got a decent chance of surviving a surprise encounter - and it does lighten the load of out-of-combat healing effects.

I concur with you about core healing in principle, though - a wand of CLW is so good at out of combat healing that it remains a viable (though not the best) choice even in an all-books-allowed environment. Whoever's triggering it doesn't matter so long as they can trigger it reliably - early on (level 2-3, for instance) you might be better off letting the bards, clerics, druids, paladins, or rangers use it, since the rogue would have something like +8ish or so UMD, which isn't enough to consistently trigger the wand without wasting charges (DC 20), and if the rogue ever rolls a 1 on that check (and UMD isn't one of those skills you can take 10 on as a rogue, at least before level 10), then he can't use the wand for the rest of the day, which is a liability.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

I largely prefer Lesser Vigor to CLW for a party healer wand.
Doesn't everyone who's not limited to Core only? Wink

Draconic Aura is pretty cool, but at low HP, 1/2 may not be enough. Still, it can save you a lot of cash.

And yeah, Bards can use CLW no bother, so that might be better. But then, you might well have a Cleric or Druid instead of a Fighter, and they can be the healer as well.

It is useful to be able to refresh someone below 0, though. At -ve hp, they can't contribute. Your CLW might mean they can continue to shoot/buff from a safe distance, which in a fight expected to last could be far more useful than saving your one action. Healing in combat is just situational, and not what a lot of people think. That doesn't mean it should never be done, but it should be done judiciously.
... umm ... a Wilder with Recharge is Core.  That's good healing.



so says CPsi.

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

It's Core if you think of the SRD as Core, but the strict definition is PHB, DMG and MM... no XPH.
It's Core if you think of the SRD as Core, but the strict definition is PHB, DMG and MM... no XPH.

This is all true.  "Core" really means the big three and that's all.

Note that the Illithid is a "core" monster but it doesn't show up in the SRD.  A number of other things are "core" but not part of the OGL and because of that shouldn't be in the SRD.