This thread is designed for those posters who insist that the Sacred Weapon class feature of the Warpriest is fundamentally flawed, and needs to be totally rewritten, or at least remove the notion of the Warpriest being forced to use his favored weapon.
(For what it's worth, I'm not one of those persons. I just think we could use a thread for it.)
@ Squirrel Dude: Nice playtest.
This tells me a couple of things: First, that the Warpriest needs better inherent combat abilities. There are a few ways to accomplish this via feats, which could also help cover his ranged weapon deficiency, but for the most part he needs to be a bit more accurate and have a little more damage BEFORE buffing himself.
Secondly, it tells me that Sacred Weapon just isn't a good enough buff, especially at the level you get it. I mean, don't get me wrong: A stacking enhancement bonus is a rare thing, and you probably should've gone with that instead of flaming for the extra accuracy, but when spells are a better use of action economy than a swift action, primary class feature, there's a problem there. Perhaps, since Sacred Weapon is so limited, it should grant double the temporary bonus? Would that have made it more useful?
Actually, that's entirely untrue on a fundamental level. You're correct in saying that the relationship is unequal, and that this should be remedied, but incorrect in claiming that 5>0 is the same as 0>-5, at least when it comes to game mechanics.
Let's say another man has 5 dollars, and I have 0 dollars. This isn't even close to saying that the other man has 0 dollars and I owe my best friend 5 dollars. It's the same relative difference in funds, but the circumstances are totally different. You are assuming that 5 is the baseline for the amount of money a person should have, when instead it is 0, at which point you can improve.
1. The Warpriest chooses which deity he worships. Same principle. If you were to argue that those other classes also get SECONDARY means of getting other bonuses to make them more broadly useful, that'd be a start.
2. That's an opinion. I happen to quite like Sacred Weapon.
That's a fair point, actually. What if we made them level based? Perhaps a scaling bonus that starts small and doesn't provide major bonuses unless you invest heavily in the class? Sounds a bit average, but it wouldn't be too bad.
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Nicos, Shadar Aman, and Scavion seem to have a grasp on actual gameplay that Davor and Ciretose sorely lack.
Which is funny, given the number of battle clerics and combat rogues I've played and built into effective killing machines over the years. You'd think that experience alone would allow me a modicum of wisdom regarding the effectiveness of medium BAB classes, but apparently not.
People seem so hung up on this favored weapon business that they don't seem to really understand viability. The paladin was mentioned earlier, but ya know what, though? I don't think a Warpriest NEEDS to be as combat-oriented as a paladin. Could he use some buffs? Sure. I'd like to see a little more punch in him. But he has way better spells and the ability to more universally aid the party. That to me says that dealing a little less damage on average throughout the game is alright.
Not only that, but we still don't know if the Warpriest qualifies for fighter-only feats. If he does, that's a HUGE boon, given the extra feats he gets. Suddenly access to Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization close the gap of what he's capable of doing relative to most martial classes, and it's something I think we very much need confirmation, or rejection, of.
Regarding fluff: And Gnomes get the stats they get "just because". And Fighters get Bravery "just because". You can argue against existing fluff all you want: it doesn't mean it isn't there, and if you don't like it, you can change it to be whatever you darn well please. However, if this class is one that's built around using the favored weapons of deities effectively (which the devs have stated that it is), then that's what they'll be best with. Sorry if that's something you don't like. I recommend Paladin, Cleric, or Fighter.
@Ciretose: It is, perhaps a little ambitious of me, but I'd like to see weapon modification associated with Blessings less along the lines of Enchantments. Ex.: The Liberation Blessing: Boon - While wielding your deity's favored weapon, you cannot be disarmed, and deal bonus damage equal to 1/2 your Warpriest level to... I dunno, chains and bonds? Something like that. Thoughts?
Except that he has way better spells than the paladin, and is basically equal to him with a single buff spell/blessing. And yeah, he's totally overshadowed by the paladin when he smites... just like EVERY OTHER CLASS IS. >_> He makes up for it by being more versatile and more capable of aiding the entire party.
Well, it's a good thing that Warpriest gets all those bonus feats so he can grab extra stuff at roughly the same time as a full BAB class would.
Yes, weapon bond is solid, but it's limited to uses per day, not a per-round basis. I do, however, think that that's a VERY valid point in regards to the potency the Warpriest should reach. Favored Weapons should get buffed.
Yeah, Smite Evil is great, but it does nothing against non-evil foes, has VERY limited uses per day, and requires that you play a lawful good character to do it. Fine by me, but not a gamebreaker. The Warpriest has an inherently easier time buffing his defenses than most paladins (not including a few archetypes built around it), and still has a MUCH better spell list. Oh, and he can pulse heals to the party, rather than one at a time with Lay on Hands.
And there are plenty of Warpriest blessings that give value roughly similar to cleric domain abilities, and are sometimes actually a bit better in their application and what they provide. Sounds good to me: A Warpriest not using his class features is at least as good as a battle cleric, but with more feats and (likely) better combat applications of his "domains". That about hits the mark of what I'd expect.
Oh, and once again, you're going to have to define "lame". Remember, we're talking about viability, not l33t damage.
Ooo, look, at a majority of levels of normal gameplay that Paladin has +2 to-hit over me! Clearly, I am only dragging the party down! Woe is me, who can draw on spells to damage high armor targets, inflict AoE stuns, and still hit like a truck! If only I could smite evil against a certain percentage of our foes!
/cries in the corner
Also, I can fly.
Please explain how casting Divine Favor, picking up a greatsword, and swinging with Power Attack and Furious Focus is "sucking at combat", because I think the Paladin would like to have a word with you. :P
Actually, that's not quite right. You can't "prove" that his "suggestion hurt[s] diversity and flavor" just like you can't prove that your suggestion doesn't. You can imply that, but you can't prove it.
What you CAN argue is the viability of various suggestions in play. If a Warpriest who decides to sparingly use his class feature is not viable (read: Cannot overcome challenges of a level roughly equivalent to his own with the help of other party members, or otherwise meaningfully contribute), then you might have a point. I have yet to see anyone make it, however.
As it stands, any class can use whatever they darn well please. Just not necessarily viably. If you're going to argue, argue for mechanics, not roleplaying, because anyone can roleplay anything.
Okay. Okay. Just... okay. I need to say this, and the only possible way is for me to do it in caps. I'm not yelling, and I'm not directing it at anyone in particular.
NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO USE YOUR DEITY'S FAVORED WEAPON.
You wanna play a Warpriest of Nethys that uses an Earthbreaker? Sweet! Go for it! You're making a conscious decision to ignore some of your class features, or otherwise minimize them, but everyone does that. Paladin with a Heavy Shield? GOODBYE, LAY ON HANDS. Cleric with a Heavy Shield/Weapon? GOODBYE, SPELLCASTING. Fighter dual-wielding daggers? LOWER DAMAGE.
Nobody is up in arms about this because there are other options that are more effective, and the same goes for the Warpriest. Nobody is forcing you to do anything: You get BONUSES for fighting with your favored weapon, not penalties for everything else. That's why you're proficient with Martial Weapons. Maybe you're a Warpriest of Asmodeus who prefers to use a scythe, but when the chips are down and the good outsiders are coming for him, he's got his mace at the ready. Or maybe you're a devout follower of Ragathiel who prefers to stay at range with a longbow, but knows that when things get up close and personal he's got a bastard sword at the ready all blessed up and ready to go.
These are all valid, usable character ideas that are totally and completely fine. DEAL.
Why does everyone assume that Warpriests will only ever use their favored weapons? I mean... when I play melee characters, I typically carry multiple weapons to overcome the damage reduction of various creatures. Why wouldn't a Warpriest do the same, and why would it be a problem if he did? The point isn't that the Warpriest is shoe-horned into something, but that he's good at a variety of combat situations, and REALLY good with his favored weapon.
Referring to the comparison of the standoff of Gorum vs. Rovagug warpriests, the Rovagug Warpriests might all use greataxes, but Gorum's warriors are more tactical than that. I'd expect some to be wielding Longbows to provide ranged support, Shields to defend themselves and their comrades, and the biggest, baddest dudes in the army to be using the favored weapons.
And guess what? They can! All because you get martial weapon proficiency.
Why does everyone keep saying this when Sacred Weapon EXPLICITLY states that it stacks with any existing bonuses?
I don't say that to sound frustrated with you, but because I feel like I've made that correction about 10 times in the last two days, some of which are in this same thread >_>
Divine spells don't suffer from spell failure. Official consensus on taking fighter-only feats at this point is "Probably, because Brawler can, but we're not sure in this case". I'd say "Yes", but that's just me.
Only suggestion I'm going to make is that I actually REALLY like a lot of the blessing abilities, but dislike a lot of the implementation. I would like to see those weapon enchantments you mentioned added as a PART of revamping blessings to provide more interesting, flavorful options. Just look at the Air blessing: It's a perfect example of the kind of thing they ALL need.
Combine that with style feats and you have someone who is TRULY the master of their favored weapon in most combat situations, which is what the class should be about, boasting unique abilities granted by their divine patrons.
A side note: Warpriest is a combination of Fighter and Cleric. Clerics aren't "healers": They're support-themed spellcasters who can be built to fit a number of roles, including combat builds and even spell strikers (though that's heavily feat and domain dependant).
In that sense, the Warpriest should be more offensively oriented that the cleric, with SOME (but not great) spellcasting, not necessarily healing.
So use your Sacred Weapon, and keep backup weapons that deal different types of damage for when you need them.
Also, Rogues hit fine. They're not AMAZING like fighters or rangers (vs. favored enemies) or paladins (while smiting), but they hit fine. They get flanking bonuses and can pick up bane weapons just like anyone else. I've played a rogue in SO many games, and have never once had a problem hitting.
Davor if Sacred Weapon only functions for your Favored Weapon then the Warpriest has no way of upping his to hit like every other capable melee combatant. Other than pre-buffing.
Then you need to re-read Sacred Weapon, because it explicitly states that it can do the opposite of what you just said.
1) Relying on 4 ability scores is something the Cleric has to struggle with as well, unless he's a dedicated caster. Monks have it harder, but are fine. Str 14, Con 14, Wis 14, Cha 14, racial bonus to Strength, or rearrange the stats a little bit. Not a huge deal.
2) Requiring pre-buffing before battle is an issue, one that SHOULD be remedied by:
3) Sacred Weapon/Armor: In order to make the Warpriest truly awesome, we need this class feature to be better, and the more I think about it, the more I think it needs to be a COMBINATION of Weapon Training and its current implementation: Make the bonus to weapon/damage with the favored weapon fixed, and have special abilities be either fixed OR added via swift action (preferably tied to deity's favored weapon, and/or provided by your blessing).
3.5) Blessings. We REALLY need to look at the Bloodrager for inspiration in this department. Bloodrager has distinctly applicable bonuses granted by its bloodlines, some of which are even new melee abilities, and Warpriest should get the same. What if the Holy blessing had attack ability that dealt additional damage to evil-aligned creatures? Or how about if Artifice domain, rather than requiring an action, gave a flat bonus to damage to objects?
THAT would work well at remedying a majority of the issues the class MAY have atm.
Oh, one more thing:
You don't need to use the favored weapon to be effective You don't need to use the favored weapon to be effective You don't need to use the favored weapon to be effective POWER ATTACK You don't need to use the favored weapon to be effective You don't need to use the favored weapon to be effective...
It's true that Sacred Weapon grants only a +1 bonus, but you'll note in the playtest document that the ability explicitly states that this bonus stacks with any other bonuses on the weapon, meaning that, for the duration, you get that bonus, regardless of other bonuses. The main issue, I see, is that it only stacks to +5, at which point you need to rely on the secondary weapon abilities, which is where I think we need more options, which is where the special abilities granted by deities/blessings would come into play.
So, here's the deal: Blessings, at the moment, are either really cool, or really lackluster, and should do something pertaining to the favored weapon of the wielder in addition to the abilities it provides. For example:
Let's start with the Air blessing. We already have 2 universally applicable abilities (you can use them on anyone). Why not something special for the Warpriest, like "While wielding his deity's favored weapon, the Warpriest can move up to 10' as a swift action." I mean, that's a little nuts, but you can see what I'm going for. Or how about the Darkness blessing: "While wielding his deity's favored weapon, the Warpriest ignores miss chance granted by darkness and low light."
Or, how about, since it's a blessing unique to Desna (the subject of much raging in this thread), Liberation: "While wielding your deity's favored weapon, your weapon returns to your hand immediately after being thrown." That'd allow you to do something cool that no other class can do, and makes you better at your weapon than anyone else, while not stepping on anyone's toes in the damage/effectiveness department.
Also: Fun fact. You don't NEED to build for your deity's favored weapon if you don't want to.
Yeah, you skip out on that weapon enchantment ability, but you still have channeling, you still have 3/4 bab, you still have buffing spells, and you still have full martial proficiency.
You know what you need to perform decently with ANY melee weapon in the game? Power Attack. Seriously, that's it, and as a Warpriest you get the bonus feat for it by 3rd level, assuming you want a melee alternative to your ranged build (i.e., going for a Switch-hitter approach). Divine Favor + Power Attack means I'm hitting very much like a fighter at pretty much every level of the game, minus a few bonus damage feats. I can even take channel smite and, if I've got a neutral or evil deity, get some rocking single-attack hits.
The favored weapon thing is there for flavor and uniqueness, nothing more. You don't need it, so stop acting like you're forced to take it. XD
Adding a special ability based on Domain or Deity choice to the Warpriest would help mitigate some of the penalties of using sub-optimal weapons (not, I didn't say unviable, just sub-optimal), and make players feel more like Warriors when wielding distinctly uncharacteristically warrior weapons.
Adding the Returning weapon property as a weapon enchantment for Desna followers, or maybe increasing starknife damage or crit range would be a great start. Maybe Warpriests of Nethys gain access to a melee-range spell-like ability while wielding a staff, or perhaps a Warpriest of Pharasma can add the Undead-bane quality to her dagger, and daggers ignore damage reduction of undead.
I mean, those are all rudimentary things, but they're distinctly flavorful, and encourage using your deity favored weapon in a way beyond bashing the heads in of things (creating an environment that encourages having multiple weapons, ala Fighter).
The Warpriest could use a little more bite as a warrior beyond spells (a place I think slow-progression weapon training might help, or perhaps the ability to deal flat bonus damage based on your channel energy dice?), and should then REALLY shine while wielding his deity's favored weapon, possibly more-so than most other divine character wielding it, at least in combat-heavy situations.
People keep throwing around the word "Viable" without any context. "Viable" does not mean necessary, and it doesn't mean ideal: It means being able to get the job done.
Are you in a party? Do the need some support and some combat prowess? Don't wanna be sneaky, or hide in the shadows? Wanna have a cool signature weapon? Don't wanna deal with finnicky codes of conduct? Warpriest is there for you.
Viable means "If paired with a party of 2-3 other members, can you overcome a challenge of a difficulty level roughly similar to the party's?" No more, no less, and Warpriest is DEFINITELY viable.
Players may pick a class for reasons other than conceptual issues. For instance, I will never play a cleric, simply because I *hate* prep-casting. I would dearly love for PF to print a character that is a Magus that uses spontaneous casting. Sometimes, a class will just have something mechanical you don't like, so a different option is appreciated.
This. People on forums often forget that there are multiple facets to the game. We think in terms of "Roleplaying" and "Combat", and tend to sift out anything that doesn't fit into those two, broad categories. However, each of those categories is split into multiple subcategories of which it is comprised, and it's there that new classes find a home.
We need to stop saying things like "Oh, this class can do X better" or "This class already fills Y role", because both of those statements have the same fundamental problem: They assume that a single role or ability is being achieved in the manner the player wants it to be.
Let's look at a classic example: The druid. At its most basic level, if you REALLY boiled it down to basics, the druid is nothing but a cleric with the animal domain, wild shaping instead of channel energy, and a slightly altered spell list. If I wanted to, I could make a Cleric that, for all intents and purposes, could pass as a druid. It wouldn't even be difficult. But players can have drastically different experiences playing two very similar classes, because HOW you build a unique character and play him, from both a roleplaying AND mechanical perspective, is important.
You know what my favorite character EVER was? A halfling ranger/rogue with a greatsword that specialized in charging and became a Spherewalker. He was AWESOME. Not because of roleplaying (though that was fun), and not because he was a powerhouse, but because he was fun to play. His abilities were varied, but potent enough to be effective. Now, I COULD have made an equally effective character with different abilities (Heck, straight ranger probably would've worked out just fine), but that wouldn't have been as fun as having a character with the SPECIFIC ability set he had.
Now, if the argument against these new classes was that the EXACT result could be achieved with current classes and multiclassing, I might see the argument against them. However, as the classes bring new ways to an end by combining abilities from a variety of classes into a balanced (read: Viable and not Overshadowing) way, even if those ways exist separately in existing content, then there is going to be a group of players for those classes. Heck, I could see a party with a Cleric, Oracle, Warpriest, and Paladin, all specializing in combat, and all doing it in slightly different ways, that wouldn't be redundant at all.
Hybrid Classes fail to offer new niches, unnecessary reiterate old classes and dilute support for existing classes.
When you say "Concept", what do you mean? The Inquisitor lacks the weapon proficiencies, and so is more confined in his interpretation, and is more dependent on his deity choice. He can't channel, has personal divine bonuses rather than armor augmentation in the form of Judgments, and is more skill-oriented than straight combat-oriented than the Warpriest.
That, to me, sounds like a very different character. If the warpriest risks stepping on ANYONE'S toes, it's probably the Paladin, but now we have a martial divine warrior who can be of any alignment, wield any weapon he wants, and still manage to feel more like a blessed warrior than a devout worshipper.
Now, you could BUILD an Inquisitor who plays much like a warpriest would (and, in fact, I have done it before), but you have to move counter to some of the tools given to you to achieve this result, and the Warpriest does it more easily, and with greater potential diversity thanks to the bonus feats and spontaneous enchantments.
Hybrid Classes fail to offer new niches, unnecessary reiterate old classes and dilute support for existing classes.
I think it's funny that you specifically mentioned Bloodrager, Shaman, and Warpriest, because those were the classes I saw and immediately thought: Man, I need to play one of those RIGHT NOW.
The thing about these classes is that they serve the same purpose as the Magus did: To combine two classes in an interesting way that CAN be emulated (Eldritch Knight), but not as cleanly.
You keep saying there is a place for more martial Clerics, but have you ever built a martial cleric? The synergy is all built around pre- and in-battle buffing, typically require channeling negative energy to have a decent 1-turn hit, and picking a deity with a decent weapon to deal respectable damage.
With Warpriest, not ONLY do I start off with full martial weapon & armor training, I get the ability to magically augment my weapon and armor in relevant ways, get a smattering of blessings which I can use to further augment my abilities, and even better, they STACK with existing enhancements! Oh, and the icing on the cake? Swift actions. Swift actions GALORE! I don't have to spend whole turns buffing: I just decide how I want to use my swift action for that round. Oh, AND I get bonus combat feats, just like the fighter. Eat your HEART out, crusader.
Bloodrager? Oh man: Don't get me started. Yes, you COULD theoretically do this concept with current material. Heck, Dragon Disciple was basically BUILT for it. However, it leaves out a lot of subtleties. What if I want to be an Aberrant-blooded berserker; someone who has glimpsed into the beyond and, every so often, is driven absolutely mad by it? What if I want to be an undead scourge, but without REALLY being undead? What if I just want to rage AND cast spells while continuing to rage without worrying about fatigue or exhaustion? /check & check I even get thematic bloodline barbarian abilities and spells out of the deal.
Shaman is just cool. It really is. You should read it again. It's like witch... and oracle... but only kinda... but not really... but it totally is. It's like if you were an oracle that could pick themed hexes instead of revelations, or if you were a witch that could get cool, individually themed revelations instead of the same old hexes, complete with all the flavor of the outlying community mystic.
In short: These are lots of ideas that were previously more difficult to execute, or required a very carefully built character with a specific goal in mind. Now you can be quite effective at a hybrid concept with less dedicated planning, all from level 1. That's a win in my book.
Don't punish him. It's dirty, but not evil. I'd call it a borderline neutral event that would, over the course of many such events, cause him to shift alignment and therefore lose his powers, but Paladins can act in a way that isn't Lawful Good without losing their powers so long as it doesn't explicitly conflict with their code, which this really doesn't, so... yeah.
There was a 3.5 splat book, can't remember the name, that introduced probably the most overtly broken class I've ever seen. It was intended for Monsters, but players could qualify for it with a simple, permanent Enlarge Person. Instead of granting +1 BAB every level, it granted +2 Strength per level, of a 10 level prestige class.
Also, Factotum/Bard. Ah, so much of EVERYTHING.
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Why does the love have to be erotic?
I mean, don't get me wrong, I kinda get it, but nowhere does it say "erotic love", and most married couples who've been married longer than just a few years will tell you that love isn't about eroticism, it's about your attitude towards each other; what you do for each other. The latter may be erotic on occasion, but it doesn't have to be.
I also think it's interesting how much the Dwarven goddesses are criticized, when there are also strong, independent female goddesses as well: Iomedae, Sarenrae, and Shelyn are all strong, independent bastions of virtue. Why does it matter if the Dwarven goddesses represent a different facet of what we had typically associated with femininity? Because they're good aligned? Remember, good aligned beings are good not because of their beliefs, but because of what they do. Does it say anywhere that these passive deities enforce their ideals on the Dwarven population? Does it say anywhere that Bolka straightens out the gays and forces women to be peaceful burden-bearing property? All it says is that she strengthens and blesses people in their relationships, typically those relationships that adhere with more traditional Dwarven culture. I don't really see the evil in that.
Why don't we just say: "Hey, guys. This game is a group effort. Let's take a session to set some ground rules for character creation, the setting, and how we're gonna play together so that we can all have fun and not worry about a bunch of drama?" Then we could just be nice and friendly about the whole process and not create a hostile situation.
Seems like the easiest solution to me. >_>
Given how typically conservative dwarven society is, I wouldn't be surprised if Bolka's goal is uniting man-dwarf and fem-dwarf in marriage. That's not to say she's homophobic: She certainly wouldn't be opposed to homosexuality, but I've always seen dwarves as being very conservative and fixed on tradition, which leads me to believe that if she is truly a DWARVEN goddess, then she would lean towards being conservative in regards to relationships as well.
Just my 2c.
Well, here's the thing about healing, and specifically Cleric healing:
It's situational. Let's just do a round 1 analysis. Round 1, what does your party do? Ideally, nobody is missing health (you DID buy that wand of cure light wounds, right?), or at least the health missing is minimal. What does a healing specialized cleric do? This first round can be critical in determining the outcome of a fight, and a healing specialized cleric, or a cleric who only heals, brings NOTHING to the first round, or possibly even second, of a fight, unless he purposefully drops himself to the bottom of the initiative table, which is just absolutely crazy.
Already, this is the problem with healing. You can see it in just about any game, tabletop or video, that has a healing mechanic. Unless healing doesn't interfere with normal actions (ala 4th edition/D&D next) or far outpaces damage dealt over X amount of time (healer classes in most video game RPGs), it simply isn't effective outside of very specific situations, such as a last ditch effort to keep a party member from going down.
A damage-oriented cleric can deal respectable damage AND heal the party just as well as a healing cleric. Sure, he can't do it as many times per day, but the difference is so minimal as to be laughable. A spell-oriented cleric can prevent damage before it occurs, making allies harder to hit, and almost impossible to crit barring extra abilities (I'm looking at you, greataxe-wielding cyclops). All of these are better options in the early rounds of combat.
Or, to look at it another way, let's analyze the typical fight: It's usually either against a solo creature, or against a group of creatures. IF the party is fighting a solo creature, action economy will likely prevail in the long run, and the party needs to get a leg up on the competition before it has time to build up steam. Healing gets 0 benefit in the early game, even if it can be a game changer in the end game of a fight. In group fights, the best way to reduce party damage is to either prevent the party from being hit, OR to reduce enemy numbers by focusing fire. Remember, 5 almost dead goblins do just as much damage as 5 healthy goblins.
Basically, if healing is to be useful, you need to be able to react to situations more quickly than normal, either by having readied actions (which are just BEGGING to be wasted), or being able to heal precisely when needed, and for large chunks of health. Something like making all healing spells swift actions would go a long way to making them more popular, and possibly making them heal d8's per level, as opposed to d8...+1.
But then you lose out on spells, and that's a BIG deal, big enough to shy away from it.
Looks like you've got an idea in mind already: Go big with the summoning, give 'em some acid damage to boot, and support the party that way. Seems like a good fit, and you don't need sky-high charisma to make summoning effective as a strategy. Spell-wise, consider options that buff allies or that create difficult terrain for enemies to pass through. If you stick to summoning Earth elementals or flying allies, you can actually bypass a lot of the problems inherent with making terrain difficult.
Anything else is just gravy. Focus on learning a few utility spells that won't be Cha-based (staples, like Fly), and focus gear-wise on increasing your Charisma to decent levels, as well as defenses.
Truth be told, as I said, you seem to know what you're doing, so you probably had a lot of this in mind already, but hopefully I reminded you of something you may have missed. :P
Just a quick note: Theism doesn't equal religion. Religion is a collection of a wide variety of beliefs and cultural practices. Heck, Eastern and Western Christianity can look VERY different, and might only share a few beliefs and customs.
On that front, Atheism obviously wouldn't be considered a religion itself, but there are Atheist religions ( http://firstchurchofatheism.com/ ).