Well, I got a chance to play test this class over the long weekend. I'll try to write up a longer summary (with build details) sometime this week, but I wanted to get my basic impressions posted in case I don't have any time to write the rest.
Quick background: I tested this class, at level 5, in Trial of the Beast (book 2 of Carrion Crown). Up until now, I've been playing this character as an Inquisitor, so I'm mostly comparing those two classes. There is also a Cleric in the party, so I got a little bit of comparison there.
My overall conclusion is that while the class isn't exactly bad, I would pretty much never choose to play it when I have the option of an Inquisitor. The Inquisitor can cast most of the same buffs, does a similar amount of base damage, and has similar defenses. The Inquisitor also has more ability to buff itself using Swift Actions, and those Swift buffs apply regardless of the weapon being used. The bosses of the section we played ambushed us in a multi-level room; our buffs had worn off and they had a range advantage on us. I ended up having to use some Standard Actions to buff, and had to use my bow for a significant amount of the encounter. The Inquisitor would have handled these obstacles much more smoothly than the Warpriest did, not least because his dex is higher (didn't need any cha), and so he has a higher attack bonus on his bow to begin with. And just to top things off, the Inquisitor has a lot more skill points than the Warpriest. I lost count of the number of times that one of those missing skills would have been very useful.
I did feel more combat capable than the Cleric, but I think that had almost as much to do with my build as my class. She was built for defense and healing, but she was still dealing reasonable damage.
I also can add my name to the list of people saying this class is too front loaded. Choosing 3 feats at level one is challenging, particularly when you have a +0 BAB and are unlikely to have the int or dex required for some combat feats. I took Improved Initiative because there wasn't much else to fill that slot with. My Inquisitor still had a higher init bonus….
I promised to stop posting in the other Warpriest thread, and I'll stick to that. But it turns out I'm compulsively argumentative, and I'm bored. So here I am again. Sorry.
Of course daggers are viable. They're not optimal, but that's ok. A Warpriest using daggers can be completely effective.
But why would a Warpriest of Pharasma use them? The lore you quoted was pretty clear about the purpose of daggers, and it has nothing to do with combat. Would a Warpriest of Pharasma carry a dagger? Yes, unquestionably. Pharasma would imbue it with holy power, and it would become a +1 Umbilical Cord Bane Dagger. Mothers would weep with joy at the swiftness and cleanliness of its cuts. Babies would become devout priests at its mere touch.
Then the Warpriest would head out to rid the land of a plague of undead, and kill the necromancer leading them. Out of respect for the sanctity of his ceremonial dagger, he wouldn't use it in combat. Instead, he might use a morningstar, or maybe a warhammer. Maybe he'd use a longsword, if he knew there would be no skeletons.
Pharasma would approve of his quest, and be generous in her support. She would bless his armor, strengthening his defenses against the ravening horde. She would grant him spells to bolster his allies and break his foes. Her Divine Radiance would infuse his...wait, is that a morningstar? You know the rules, man, No Dagger, No Divinity. Do better next time.
A Warpriest of Pharasma who actually cares enough to role play his religion the way the lore suggests it be played will never gain the benefits of Sacred Weapon. Doesn't this suggest, even a little bit, that the favored weapon list isn't well suited to this task? That maybe "favored" doesn't always mean "preferred in combat"?
I know this is breaking the promise I just made, but.... +1. This is exactly what I want.
The part about what it's favored for. The text you quoted is extremely explicit that the reasons for Pharasma favoring the dagger have nothing to do with combat. It even specifies that many priests refuse to fight with it and use a different weapon.
And for some reason you still think "favored" means "Fight with this weapon and I will imbue your strikes with my holy power. Fight with anything else, and I will not".
I'm not invested in this argument enough to fight it any further, and I'm pretty sure I've made my point thoroughly enough that the devs will understand where I'm coming from, even if they don't agree. I'm going to stop posting in this thread until I have some playtest information and can contribute beyond the weapon debate.
In some cases, that makes sense, glaives and Shelyn being a good example. But Pharasma? Can you honestly claim with a straight face that the text you quoted suggests that Pharasma would favor her Warpriests fighting with daggers?
I don't want to get into this too far, since fundamentally I agree with you, but Shelyn wields her glaive to remind her worshipers that it is sometimes necessary to fight for the things you love (her brother, in her case). Priests of Shelyn would therefore wield glaives to remind themselves and others of the same thing. Since the message is about fighting, it seems appropriate for Warpriests to use glaives.
Of course, that doesn't mean that Shelyn would stop blessing them if they needed to pull out a hammer and smash some skeletons.
So it's ceremonial, has a bunch of specific uses that aren't "fighting", and some priests actually refuse to fight with it as a matter of faith.
Yeah, Pharasma definitely wants her Warpriests to use a dagger.
EDIT: This is actually the strongest argument against using favored weapons I've seen yet. It's pretty clear proof that the favored weapons list was not made with something like the Warpriest in mind.
Someone who cares enough to read all that backstory in order to properly role play a worshiper of a certain god probably also cares enough to choose an appropriate weapon. Or maybe they'll read the lore, decide there's no compelling reason to use a specific weapon, and make their character differently.
Someone who doesn't care enough to read that isn't suddenly going to make a devout and flavorful Shelynite because the favored weapons table says "glaive".
If it's not more important, then I'll just make a Warpriest of Gorum. Like I said, I can handle taking a feat. Flavor is more important to me, and if I have to eat a feat to make the character I want, I will. What I don't like is that such a feat would unduly put a greater burden on players who care about flavor. You keep saying you want to encourage people to make characters with good flavor, but this feat would do the opposite. The only people who would care enough to be interested in the feat are the people you claim to support.
People will make bad, flavorless backstories whether or not they are using their god's favored weapon. People will make good backstories either way as well. But putting in a barrier that only interferes with people who care about their character concept beyond the damage they deal doesn't seem like a good choice.
Oh, and I understand why Abadar favors the crossbow, but it doesn't feel as strong as Shelyn or Sarenrae's interest in their favored weapons.
And I really don't understand why it specifies light crossbow for Abadar, but doesn't pick and choose with Zohls. It definitely gives the impression that favored weapons weren't chosen as carefully as I would want them to be if they're going to be a central mechanic for a class.
I don't think it's too much either. I do think that it's much more likely to hurt people with interesting character concepts than people who are trying for mechanical optimization. Honestly, I would rather see a Warpriest of Desna with a greatsword and a cool background than a Warpriest of Gorum with a greatsword because greatsword.
What do you think about tying some weapons to Blessing choices? This opens up the flexibility somewhat, while still making sure not every Warpriest has the same weapon.
I am entirely in favor of letting a Warpriest of Shelyn use other weapons, but I'm also in the camp of thinking this is one of the few favored weapons that has a very solid story behind it and makes a very appropriate Warpriest weapon. My playtest character is a Warpriest of Shelyn, and his Glaive is plated with silver and chased with gold. Engravings of rose vines cover the haft. I think it fits the concept pretty well.
If this is meant as a response to me, then I think you might be misunderstanding my point. I don't care about parity between weapons, I care that my Warpriest of Abadar is restricted to a crossbow (a light crossbow, to be specific). If a feat existed that let me use a Warhammer, that would help, but then the guy who just wanted to play a Warpriest with a Warhammer and doesn't care about flavor will be a Warpriest of Gorum. I'm paying a feat because I actually care about my character concept.
I think fundamentally we actually agree here. We both want to see Warpriests using weapons because they are thematically appropriate, rather than because they are mechanically optimal. I don't necessarily want to open things up to using any weapon, but I do want a little more flexibility to make the character I want to make.
As for suggestions, I briefly made one in the main Warpriest thread, and I'll reiterate here. I think the favored weapons list should be rewritten and expanded, or the Warpriest should get to select extra weapon options based on Blessing/Domain choice. If the Law Blessing let me use a Warhammer, or the Death Blessing let me use a Morningstar, I would be totally happy. And if something like that doesn't make it into the final class, I will happily house rule it. Not everyone has that luxury, though.
But complaining is easier than contributing I suppose...
It would be a lot less aggravating to debate with you if you didn't include this sort of thing in your posts. I understand your frustration, but this makes me irritated, which makes it harder for me to contribute in a positive way.
And as a side note: why does Abadar favor the Light Crossbow, while Zohls just favors the Crossbow? This sort of arbitrary inconsistency is why I'm concerned about favored weapons in general.
This is a patch, at best. The worst thing about it is that it's essentially a tax on people who actually care about flavor. If someone honestly just wants the best weapon they can get, flavor be damned, then they can just choose a god that gives them a weapon they like. If they wanted to "choose their deity based on the concept they want to play and what the deity represents", but that deity's favored weapon doesn't match their concept, then they have to take a feat. I don't mind feat taxes, but this one seems to run counter to your professed preference for flavor.
You continue to assert that those of us who are opposed to the focus on favored weapons are more concerned about mechanics than flavor, that we just want to be able to run around with a falchion regardless of deity. This is, whatever you might say, a straw-man. If the update to the class were to make all weapons statistically identical in the hands of a Warpriest, I would still want this changed.
Now, all that said, I like the idea of focusing on flavor-appropriate weapons. I just think the favored weapons list has some serious issues when it's applied in this context. There are a lot of very flavorful characters that can't be made if you are restricted to one weapon per god.
Right, I missed that they weren't tied to gods.
For what it's worth, my point was that in non-Golarion settings, you will have totally different gods, so you can't tie abilities directly to specific gods.
Yeah, this is essentially what I'm thinking. I don't want to clutter the thread up too much, but I'll try to include some more thorough suggestions alongside my playtest feedback, when I post that.
EDIT: I actually hadn't considered tying weapons to Blessings (not sure why not, since it seems obvious now). This would allow a rework of the Favored Weapons list that was actually setting neutral, so people playing in other settings don't always have to come up with additional weapons themselves. It also helps ensure that your weapon is a good fit for your theme.
Heh, I hadn't even noticed you made this thread.
One thing to remember is that the special weapon abilities shouldn't be tied directly to gods, since the rulebook line is setting neutral. If they were tied to domains/blessings, then I think that part of your suggestion would work fine, and potentially be pretty cool. It would require some careful balancing though.
Ross Byers wrote:
Well, that and the fact that a dagger is terrible against undead, which makes it an odd choice for a Warpriest of Pharasma.
The example I keep coming back to in my mind, though, is Abadar. If I made a Warpriest of Abadar, I would want to use a warhammer.
I think the problem I have with the whole Favored Weapon issue is the same problem some people have with the Bloodrager spell list. It's a list that was built before the Warpriest existed, and it doesn't always mesh well with class. Personally, I have no problems with this mechanically. I can make a dagger or a starknife work just fine. My issues are entirely with flavor. There are flavorful and appropriate character concepts that just can't be done with the Warpriest as it stands.
I think I should reiterate that last part as a separate paragraph. I dislike the favored weapon restrictions for flavor reasons only. Not everyone who objects to this is trying to "optimize" their characters, and dismissing the argument on those grounds isn't productive.
I think ciretose's feat suggestion is a reasonable one, though it's not my preferred solution (and until we hear from a dev that something like it might exist, we should probably assume it won't).
After a lot of thought, I've decided that my preferred solution would be to rework the favored weapons list from the ground up. That's unlikely to happen, so I'll just count myself lucky that I don't play PFS, so I can do the work myself.
And so people don't think I'm just here to complain about the weapons, I'll be playtesting the class this weekend. I hope to have some useful (non-weapon) feedback after that.
PS: Most of this wasn't directed at you, Ross. Yours was just a convenient post to reply to.
The Rot Grub wrote:
I don't know, the Core Rulebook feels a lot like a textbook to me. Textbooks are generally meant to accompany a class, and really depend on having a teacher to help you learn the material. Learning directly from a textbook is possible, but can be pretty challenging (believe me, I've tried).
This book reminds me of things like the "Head First" series of books. Unlike a textbook, they're meant to guide you through learning the topic without needing a teacher.
Otherwise, I totally agree with everything you've said here. I actually consider myself a pretty good teacher, but I still plan on getting at least one copy of this. If it turns out to be good, I'll get one for each of my less experienced players.
James Jacobs wrote:
Ha! I guess it's been a while since I read her statblock.
Would you generally prefer questions like that to go in a spoiler tag? I seem to remember you saying at some point that you preferred questions to be free of spoiler tags, but I might be imagining that.
My girlfriend played an Alienist years ago, so that was my first thought. If there's no equivalent in PF, that's probably what I'll go with. :)
James Jacobs wrote:
Barbarian seems feasible too. They also seem like the type to yell that, whether or not it's accurate. The same goes for Alchemists, in my mind.
As for race, I'd suggest Dwarf (con, plus a general affinity for underground things) or Halfling (quick, dodgy, and exuberant).
And to validate my existence in this thread, some questions:
First, do you think the Devilbound template from Bestiary 4 would be a good fit for Ileosa?
Second, new bestiaries expand the list of familiars, animal companions, and playable races, but not the summon monster lists. Is there a specific reason for this?
Third, the Wizard in my Kingmaker campaign has begun building his wizard settlement on Candlemere Island, which means all sorts of Lovecraftian fun for me. The Wizard in question in a conjurer, and I would like to eventually cause his summon spells to go a little bit wrong, and summon some eldritch horrors. Summon Monster normally lets the caster apply the Celestial or Fiendish templates to summoned animals. Is there a good template to use in place of that for aberrant influences? Or perhaps some good creatures to summon instead?
I'm in the camp that doesn't like being tied so tightly to the favored weapon. Apparently this means I don't like flavor, which is a bit confusing. If I didn't like/want flavor, this wouldn't be a problem. I would just choose a god with a good weapon, and that would be that. Problem solved.
My issue isn't that I want the best possible weapon, it's that I want the freedom to choose a god appropriate to my character and still have some options with a weapon. If this isn't meant to be possible, why do Warpriests even have Martial Weapon Proficiency? Proficiency with simple and favored weapons should be sufficient.
I'm also not complaining about things like Warpriests of Desna. I'm totally ok with using starknives (though I think Desna favors starknives because they are stars, not necessarily as a combat weapon). If I made a Warpriest of Shelyn, you bet I would use a glaive. Shelyn's glaive is very important, after all.
But the poor Warpriest of Pharasma (as has already been pointed out a few times) is in real trouble. An undead hunter with a dagger is not going to get very far. And what about a Warpriest of Abadar? I want to run around with a warhammer, delivering Abadar's mighty justice. Does that mean I'm against flavor, just because I don't want to do that using a crossbow? I could play a Paladin, of course, but only if I'm interested in being Good.
I totally understand the rationale for this focus on favored weapons. I also agree that it's one of the few pieces of flavor currently in the class. I still think it's a restriction that is more harmful than helpful for creating cool (and flavorful) characters. I would very much prefer to see this changed to something else.
If it's not going to change, though, at least my Warpriest of Shelyn will still be awesome.
Prince of Knives wrote:
As a Wizard, I already put those points in Cha. It's good for a night on the town. Give me a mechanical incentive to do that, and I might never play anything else.
Adam Daigle wrote:
Interesting question, coming from a Flumph.
It may surprise you, but I totally agree with your feelings on prepared casters. I just like everything else about the Wizard enough to overcome my distaste for Vancian magic. So I share your hopes for a bookworm with spontaneity. That's a big part of why I don't mind the Arcanist sharing some conceptual space with the Wizard.
Or maybe I'll try the recharge magic variant from Unearthed Arcana. I've always wanted to see how that plays.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Which is probably why it feels like a variant of Wizard, since a lot of hackers are essentially software engineers with a specific specialty or talent.
Unlike a lot of people, I think this is awesome. Wizards are my favorite class; I've tried other classes, and none of them are as enjoyable to play (for me) as Wizard. So if the Arcanist ends up being an alternate Wizard, then that doubles the classes I have to choose from!
So I hope Paizo will not become a company where "page-cost-reduction" is more important then good artwork, fleshed out descriptions and well thought game mechanics.
I think the point of avoiding new spell lists is so they have more room for all of those things.
Robert A Matthews wrote:
If this truly is the direction the flavor of this class is heading, I think Use Magic Device should become a class skill for Arcanist.
That might make sense. On the other hand, it doesn't sound like they "use" magic devices so much as "rip them open and drink their Magic Juice".
I wonder if Magic Juice tastes like Gummyberry Juice.
The thing is, this isn't a problem for munchkins. They'll just pick whichever god gives them the weapon they want and be happy with it. For those of us that want to choose a deity that we like, and that matches our character concept, this can be a major limitation.
I understand the fluff reasons for the focus on favored weapons, and I understand the perspective that priests of war focused gods should be better in combat than priests of less martial deities. However, Paladins are able to use whatever weapon they want to, without worrying about how their god feels about it.
I think a lot of my problems with this class come from comparing it to the Paladin (and I don't think I'm the only one). It seems strange that in order to be a combat focused divine caster that can actually pick and choose weapons, I have to be lawful good. It seems strange that if I want full BAB, d10 HD, and divine spells, I have to be lawful good.
When I saw that Warpriests had martial weapon proficiency, I was really excited, because it suggested that they would have the same flexibility as Paladins. Weapon choice has been the biggest problem I've had with my Inquisitor, and I would really love a better option. I can get over the 3/4 BAB, but the focus on favored weapons means I'm not particularly likely to pick this over Inquisitor. I might do it just for variety, but I would rather see this class fill a space that doesn't already have several other options.
Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:
It's official: I'm blind. Thanks.
The thing I wasn't too fond of in the Warpriest was that it feels a bit like they're forced to use their deities favored weapon. So if you want to play a mounted knight to Iomedae, an archer devoted to any deity other than Erastil... The limiting nature of the class is a bit of an immediate turn off for me. At the very least I'd like to see an archetype that allows you to choose your own weapon.
This was my reaction as well. My biggest hope for the Warpriest was that it would let me escape the weapon limitations I had been dealing with on my Inquisitor. Sure, the Warpriest is proficient with all martial weapons, but I lose a significant amount of power by not using my Deity's weapon. I want to play a front line fighter who is a priest of Desna, and it's surprisingly difficult to do well.
As a side note, how do the focus weapon and Sacred weapon abilities work for a Warpriest who doesn't worship a specific god?
So after 5 business days my shipment is still in washington state? Where did you ship it from, china? I thought you guys were in the mid-west somewhere, but even if you were on the west coast it hasnt moved anywhere in a week! I ordered a different game from amazon, on a saturday, it shipped from Wisconsin and was delivered on the next wednesday, what gives? Sorry to vent but next time i am looking at the shipping choices a little closer, and you can be a little clearer that the cheapest option is REALLY SLOW!
Paizo is in Washington State. It sounds like they've had some delays getting things out of the warehouse even after the shipping labels were printed, which is probably why yours hasn't left the state yet. Shipping isn't usually this slow, even for the cheapest option (which is often surprisingly fast, actually).
Every time I've had to contact Paizo's customer service, they've been incredibly fast and helpful. Every time there are problems or delays with subscriptions, they are very good about communicating those issues to us. As much as I want my stuff to get here, I'm definitely not upset at Paizo for the delay.
That said...if my subscriptions aren't here by Saturday, I'm going to go in to withdrawals. I'm talking shakes, cold sweats, hallucinations, the works. I might die. You don't want that on your conscience, do you Paizo?
I just paint right over it and call it done. You might want to wash the mini first to make sure there aren't any oils on the part you're painting, but that's the most work I'm willing to do for a pre-painted mini.
I will certainly give it a shot, and if they're willing to replace it I'll update here. I got a full set, though, so I'm not incredibly motivated to get one more.
Just opened my case, and I'm pretty happy. I've got Shattered Star and RotRL minis to compare with, and in general these are of similar quality. There were a few messy paint jobs (King Irovetti actually looks terrible), but the same was true with my last case. A little touch up will take care of most of them. If I didn't have paints and brushes, they would probably bother me more.
Most of the minis are excellent. The Fire Demon actually looks even better than the pictures. So does the Greater Death Demon. The orcs all look great, especially when I put them in a group.
There are a few minis I was kind of disappointed in:
The Akatas are a great sculpt, but they appear to only have one paint step on the body. It's just a solid blue. This doesn't seem to be a result of sloppiness; all four of mine are the same. I can improve them, but as it is they look kind of silly.
The Snow Leopard is kind of a failure overall. The sculpt is poorly proportioned (head size to body size is kittenish) and the paint is kind of a dull grey. The tail is kind of small, which is unfortunate for an animal with a tail as impressive as a snow leopard's. If I really need snow leopards in a campaign, I'll probably end up using the Droogami mini from Reaper, which is excellent.
The Scourge Hellknight is a perfectly good sculpt, but I agree with the excellent author above me that they are very low contrast. They look kind of flat and dusty, and they just don't impress me at all.
I was also missing one miniature from a booster pack, and a kobold broke off it's base when it was pulled out. There were no other breakages.
My only other disappointment is that I only got two moon beasts. I need something like 6....
I think this is a really good way of looking at Ghenshau's philosophy.
Personally, I like to refer to him as The Empyreal Lord of "Ah %#@$ it, let's have a drink".
captain yesterday wrote:
Oh, i see that is disappointing, i don't play online games, never have, never will. still should be an awesome trip:)
The good news is that The Emerald Spire will be available for everyone, not just backers of the Kickstarter. So you can get your megadungeon fix without having to play any online games.
James Jacobs wrote:
Awesome! I've got Wake of the Watcher and Into the Nightmare Rift. I'll definitely consider Carrion Hill.
Huh, I hadn't even noticed that difference. Could you not just store them as a separate modifier in the same way you would store the modifiers from a building? As long as the total modifiers from that kind of events was stored, you could still recalculate from scratch.
James Jacobs wrote:
Good stuff, thanks! I'm definitely planning on saving the dungeon for later. Once the players eventually figure out what's going on and want to remove the evil from the island for good, then they can find the dungeon and destroy whatever creature/artifact is allowing Yog-Sothoth to influence minds in the area.
Is a spawn of Yog-Sothoth (or of other Old Gods) statted up somewhere, or is that something I would need to build myself?
I'd love to have this situation in one of my games.
Yeah, I'm pretty excited about it. If you're struck with any more bouts of inspiration/madness, don't hesitate to share.
So I'm running a Kingmaker campaign, and we're a good portion of the way through book two. My wizard player took one look at Candlemere (from a safe distance) and declared that he was going to build himself a tower there. Once the island has been cleared of threats, he plans to build a city there, with a Caster's Tower and various academic and magical institutions.
This is, of course, an amazing opportunity to play with some Old God influence. The obvious ideas are things like a Yog-Sothoth themed dungeon hidden under the city, or a cult event similar to the cult of Gyronna. Before I do that, though, I'd like to start with something more subtle and insidious. If you were GMing this; what would you do? The player is a pretty good sport, so ideas requiring his active involvement are fair game.
The Ultimate Campaign version of the rules (which isn't super different but does add a few things) can be found on the PRD here. If you're interested in making a version that works with those rules, that should give you everything you need.
Nicolas Logue wrote:
And some of us like when you go there. My players still cringe and shudder when they remember Hook Mountain. I would love to read the original version some day.... :P
C Shepard wrote:
I've never dealt with these rules myself, so I'm just passing on what Paizo tells us.
Because, as noted earlier in this thread, it is a violation of the agreement with the credit card companies. Some companies are willing to ignore this restriction; Paizo is not.
I had three but I find that it only happens when I am careless. How you take them out of the packaging has a lot to do with breakage. And they will all be easy to fix.
This was my experience with Shattered Star. I only had one figure broken before I opened the case. I broke two more pulling them out roughly. They'll fix right up with a bit of super glue.
I would play this.