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Piercing the Heavens: N. Jolly's guide to the Pathfinder Warpriest


Advice

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DM Beckett wrote:
Apsu doesn't <normally> grant spells to non-Dragon worshipers.

Really? Because PathfinderWiki says that

Church of Apsu wrote:
Few dragons practice divine magic, preferring to leave that to their humanoid allies.


Any idea if a Support Warpriest works as an Archer?

Being the sole Healer, Support and Remove Conditions guy in a party


I don't think warpriest really works as a support class.

Shadow Lodge

I agree. It can, but not very effectively. It's too geared towards being a selfish divine caster. So, in the sense of self buffing and killing enemies before they have too much chance to inflict those conditions it works. But it doesn't really do too well as a white mage type. They just don't have the spell capacity to do both effectively, and having a much slower progression, they just will not keep up.

However, from what I'm gathering from his or her other thread, that's the class they seem to want to play, and there is nothing wrong with that.


what do you mean by support for the party?
cause sure they can use wands for healing and can remove conditions pretty well.

and yeah, archery works really well for them, the have the feats to get everything quickly and wand use and condition removal doesn't require any feats or stat to be certain values. SO you're able to go full damage WP and provide the HP healing and status removal after fights


Well, "Healer" is not an in-combat role, and "Remove Conditions guy" is not an in-combat role, either.

Warpriest has CLW on his spell list, so he's ready made to be healer (although I kinda doubt "sole Healer" is true, because that would mean no Sorcerer, Wizard, Cleric, Druid, Bard, Paladin, Ranger, Alchemist, Inquisitor, Oracle, Summoner, Witch, Magus, Arcanist, Shaman, Skald, Hunter, Occultist, or Spiritualist in the party). Since infight healing isn't a thing normally (only very few options are worth it, none of which have "cure" in their name), wand usage is all it takes to be a healer. Warpriest has spontaneous casting of cure spells to convert unused spell slots into healing at the end of the day, too.

Even a cleric won't have all the removal things prepared, so that get's normally done out of combat, too. Sure, the spell levels are delayed, but that should still be doable. Such a warpriest should carry a few scrolls with the usual removal spells, though.

So what does a supporter do? And do you actually need one? It depends on the party and enemies if spells like Prayer are worth losing a full attack.


Well, supports are oriented on improving party members capabilities.
I meant something like having the remove spells and being able to use a wand to heal people.

If necessary a Breath of Life, but it comes so late that I don´t think it´s possible at all.

I´m torned between Warpriest and Inquisitor and on paper both seem good.


Derklord wrote:
(although I kinda doubt "sole Healer" is true, because that would mean no Sorcerer, Wizard, Cleric, Druid, Bard, Paladin, Ranger, Alchemist, Inquisitor, Oracle, Summoner, Witch, Magus, Arcanist, Shaman, Skald, Hunter, Occultist, or Spiritualist in the party)

Don't forget bloodragers!

Shadow Lodge

Breath of Life might be even more difficult to pull off with an Archer, whose strengths play towards staying back and staying in place. One thing that really needs to be kept in mind with Breath of Life is that you literally have to be within one move action of the dying character for it to work.

From a scroll, you have to be a 5ft step away.

In general, I don't see the Warpriest as being all that Party Buff friendly. They mainly focus on self only buffing. Group Buffs work with Fervor, BUT they only affect the Warpriest.

What this means is you will need to make a conscious effort to divide your pretty limited pool of spells into three categories:
1.) Self Buffs
2.) Party Buffs
3.) Status Removals

You will also probably be relying a lot on scrolls and wands, and I highly encourage you to get the party to pay for those for you, or at least contribute.

Focus on Blessings that will benefit the party rather than focus on yourself. And, when you can, go for Feats that help the party when you can. Perhaps something like Dazzling Display (which I believe is melee only, so I just mean something similar), that can debuff enemies, (which is similar to buffing the party) or I think it was Opportunistic Shot, which grants the next melee attack against the target a free +4.


Avoron wrote:
Don't forget bloodragers!

Dammit! Why isn't that tagged in my spreadhseet?

@Letric: Do you actually want to play a supporter? Neither Warpriest or Inquisitor are made for that. If you merely feel that such a character was a necessity, fret not - Warpriest is fine for emergency support (especially if you carry scrolls), and more is really not necessary (although I can't speak for your GM's style, of course).


One nice option for emergency status removal on a warpriest is the self-perfection variant channeling. Using warpriest channeling to heal is so inefficient that you won't even notice the reduced dice, and the ability to temporarily suppress any conditions in the game from your whole party could be absolutely life-saving in an emergency.


If you're wanting to provide combat support, healing, and status removal then an evangelist cleric with the heroism domain is really good at buffing, and having access to the spells the fastest.

WP and Inq are both selfish classes, they have great self buffs so they can attack more than casting buff spells.

But however you go, the plan for archery is at most 1 round spent buffing and then full attacking every round you can.


Aura of Doom and Archon's Aura are swift-action party support, at least.

Iroran Sacred Fist can refill everyone's Ki... but only if they have Ki.


DM Beckett wrote:
Apsu doesn't <normally> grant spells to non-Dragon worshipers.

As of one of the more recent divine books, they retconned that; likely after realizing that their Bahamut stand-in actually appealed to people but was unchoosable because he didn't grant humanoids magic.


Chess Pwn wrote:

If you're wanting to provide combat support, healing, and status removal then an evangelist cleric with the heroism domain is really good at buffing, and having access to the spells the fastest.

WP and Inq are both selfish classes, they have great self buffs so they can attack more than casting buff spells.

But however you go, the plan for archery is at most 1 round spent buffing and then full attacking every round you can.

Is there a middle term between Support and Archer? Straight cleric is a good idea, but I fall on the "choose the most op option".

Everyone knows full casters are just broken, and eventually my spells will be more important than my Archery, so using a bow becomes irrelevant.

Shadow Lodge

That's a lot less true with the Archer Cleric. Part of the problem with the Cleric at higher levels is that casting spells is generally better than taking the typical Standard Action Attack. But, with Archery, Full Attacking is a lot easier to pull off a lot more frequently, since you generally do not have to move around the battlefield too much like you do with melee.


Letric wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

If you're wanting to provide combat support, healing, and status removal then an evangelist cleric with the heroism domain is really good at buffing, and having access to the spells the fastest.

WP and Inq are both selfish classes, they have great self buffs so they can attack more than casting buff spells.

But however you go, the plan for archery is at most 1 round spent buffing and then full attacking every round you can.

Is there a middle term between Support and Archer? Straight cleric is a good idea, but I fall on the "choose the most op option".

Everyone knows full casters are just broken, and eventually my spells will be more important than my Archery, so using a bow becomes irrelevant.

Save most of your spells for out of combat. No one tells you how to run your character.

And which spells would you be casting? At which level do you see your spells being so good you can't consider full attacking? Are those spells still so good when your WIS is the minimum needed to cast all your spells so save DC's aren't high?

I think spells come in 4 types. Direct damage, DC inducing, control with no DCs, and support which includes healing.

The first three aren't what your character does, and the last one should be done usually only on the first round and in emergencies.

Like I don't see why you're convinced that a cleric loses the choice to attack as it gets more spells.


Especially if your Cleric has a low Wisdom his spells won't normally be super powerful in Combat situations anyhow. Unless they are things that separate the battlefield and are thus actually synergistic with your combat style.

Also long term buffs like greater magic weapon or heroism will also help you out considerably.


Chess Pwn wrote:


Save most of your spells for out of combat. No one tells you how to run your character.
And which spells would you be casting? At which level do you see your spells being so good you can't consider full attacking? Are those spells still so good when your WIS is the minimum needed to cast all your spells so save DC's aren't high?

I think spells come in 4 types. Direct damage, DC inducing, control with no DCs, and support which includes healing.

The first three aren't what your character does, and the last one should be done usually only on the first round and in emergencies.

Like I don't see why you're convinced that a cleric loses the choice to attack as it gets more spells.

You make a very good point Chess. I was thinking more along the lines of a Protection from Evil or maybe casting Shield of Faith on an ally.

Warpriest is indeed a selfish class, but I'm gonna start analyzing a Cleric Archer.
I wanted to avoid full casters because many think they're op, but I'm usually the guy running Divine characters, so it's the best choice for me.
Also I didn't want to go melee


With the spells you listed those should be done before a fight starts if possible. Get a decent level, pick up an extend rod, and your shield of faith lasts 12 minutes at lv6, that's long enough to cast at the entrance and have up for the time you're fighting.

Now cleric's archery is worse than a WP or Inq doing archery. But the clerics archery is still fine, + the benefits of giving more support and earlier spell access. So it's up to what you prefer.

Scarab Sages

We've got an Iron Gods game coming up (no spoilers please!), and I've been toying with the idea of a Warpriest of Brigh who embraces all the new technologies he can find. In particular, I really like the idea of walking around with a chainsaw like the guy on the cover of the second book.

That got me to wonder — would a chainsaw actually be that one way to make a Vital Strike build work? From what I've heard, it's got a beautiful 3d6 base damage, which I could conceivably raise one or even two steps with Enlarge Person/Divine Power and maybe UMD/Lead Blades or something like it. Add in Furious Focus, and I should be able to hit consistently and painfully as a standard action. I should also be able to crit a lot. With the difficulty of hitting with iteratives as a 3/4 class, I wonder whether I might actually come out ahead with Vital Strike and Improved Vital Strike. Note that I can get those feats at 6th and 12th level via bonus feats, so they work at a Fighter-level progression while my iteratives lag behind. I could always do full attacks if the odds are in my favor (such as with Haste against a low-AC enemy).

I'm not sure whether per-hit damage bonuses, as from a Holy weapon, wouldn't still end up favoring full attacks... but if this worked out, it would make my Warpriest play fundamentally different from any conventional frontliner, which would be awesome to try out.

(BTW, in case it's relevant: We're experienced players, but far away from what the DPS optimization cracks do. We still consider Barbarians to do be respectable damage dealers, for instance. ;o)


"Tank
Pros: With heavy armor, divine casting, and self healing, you can survive a lot. Throw in things like endurance and diehard and there’s little you can’t withstand. Once you toss in a shield and invest in your defenses (with swift action defensive cast buffs), you’ll basically be a shield wall that can’t be stopped, which means you can attend to those not so tanky.
Cons: All this investment in your defenses will cut your offensive power quite a lot. Even more so if you go sword and board, so while it won’t increase your AC, I’d probably go dual shield style here."

Many people, including myself, find dual shield for be cheezy.

But I am liking your guide, which was much needed.


WP is definitely one of the best classes to go with a Vital strike build with.

this is for a t-rex animal companion

me wrote:

If you're curious about total DPR use a DPR calculator to see which does more. But on average I'd guess that the 2 attacks is more because of the big bonuses you get on your attack.

quick example.
you're lv9. Your T-Rex has bab 6 and say str 26 with weapon focus(bite)
that gives you an attack routine of +15/+10 for 2d6+16 or vital for +15 for 4d6+16
against an AC of 25, average AC for a CR 11 the full attack does 20.53 DPR and the vital does 17.33, and none vital standard attack does 13.28

so in this rough sketch against a HIGH AC opponent full attacking is more DPR. Vital strike is adding 4 damage when you need to move and not charge.

If you make them have effective bigger to do 3d6 per bite DPR is 23.65 on full attack, 21.37 on vital, and 15.3 for standard. The bigger base damage does a lot to help vital close the gap to a full attack.

Now remember, if you have haste on as well then the full attack blows vital out of the water, which makes building for vital less good if haste is often available.

So to me a big question is, do you think you'll be reaching high enough levels to be having a third attack and how often is haste?

Odds are, vital strike is never better, but I personally am running in PFS a vital striker and I've seen a lv12 WP doing vital strike, and both have done well as far as I can tell.


Warpriest is also a pretty good candidate for Gorum's Swordsmanship + Felling Smash + Greater Trip, since they've got the feats to pull it off.

Scarab Sages

Arright, lemme try something out here. My Warpriest is level 9 and has BAB 6, Str 18 + 2 level + 2 enhancement = 22, +1 Weapon Focus, and a +2 Chainsword boosted to +2 Holy with Sacred Weapon, and Divine Favor for +3. Assuming Power Attack and Furious Focus cancel each other out, that's a 6+6+1+4+3 = +20 to hit for damage of 4d6+9+6+4+2d6+3 = 43 damage, or DPR of roughly 16/20 * 43 = 34.4 on the first hit, disregarding crits.

With one iterative, the routine would go +20/+13 without the benefit of Furious Focus on the second hit, so roughly 53.8. With Vital Strike instead, I'm getting 45.6, so it loses out on the iterative, even without Haste. That's a pretty massive boost over the non-VS single attack, though, which still should come up fairly often.

If we remove the Holy part (maybe no time to buff twice, or the target is not evil), I'm getting 27.2 base, 38.4 with VS, and 42.5. Not such a big difference anymore. Note that VS will improve by 4d6 at 12th level, while iteratives will only increase at 16th again. Furious focus will also gain somewhat in significance as the PA penalty increases.

But I did assume a 4d6 damage die there; it will look less glorious with 3d6. Still, I'm getting the impression that Vital Strike will at least be significant in transitional rounds on the battlefield. I could even try to increase the number of non-full attack rounds by casting Grace and moving away after attacking to avoid the retaliation... but that would presumably upset teammates expecting me to flank. Hmmm... this might need some playtesting. ;o)


Well, at 9th level, Boots of Speed are easily affordable, and Vital Strike simply can't compete with Haste effects. VS can still be useful on a Warpriest as a pseudo-pounce, of course.

DPR for 3d6 with sacred weapon (+2 holy): 39.9 single attack, 64.3 full attack, 49.4 Vital Strike, 110.9 full attack with Haste.
DPR for 3d6 without sacred weapon: 28.1 single attack, 43.8 full attack, 36.5 Vital Strike, 77.2 full attack with Haste.

I don't know much about Iron Gods, but dual wielding laser torches might be the best way anyway.

Scarab Sages

Has anybody thought through a Cha-focused Divine Champion with starknives? Maybe with a dip into Swashbuckler and Adept Dodger to open up TWF?


Why Divine Champion?

Personally, I'm still waiting for the charisma based spontaneous casting Warpriest archetype (akin to Eldritch Scion).

Scarab Sages

Derklord wrote:
Why Divine Champion?

D'oh, I meant Champion of the Faith. At least they get to use their Charisma for smiting.

Quote:
Personally, I'm still waiting for the charisma based spontaneous casting Warpriest archetype (akin to Eldritch Scion).

That would be pretty cool, and would certainly work best with the starknife feat.

I figure Oracle would also work pretty well with starknives, especially the Nature and Lore mysteries who can get Cha to AC. Unlike the Warpriest, though, it might have some trouble getting significant damage out of a starknife.


Just tossing this idea of a warpriest of Urgathoa wielding the scythe which is the favored weapon. This is up to level 12. I am torn on using the Arsenal Chaplain archetype as I frankly find channeling next to useless on warpriests and this character build is all about massive scythe melee. I will most likely go Arsenal Chaplain to get the free Quicken Blessing feat at level 7.

Warpriest: Weapon Focus (Scythe)
Human: Weapon of the Chosen
1) Improved Weapon of the Chosen
3) Greater Weapon of the Chosen
3 Bonus) Power Attack
5) Furious Focus
6 Bonus Feat) Vital Strike
6 Bonus Feat (FCB x6)) Improved Vital Strike
7) Potion Glutton or Divine Fighting Technique (Urgathoa's Hunger)
9) Improved Critical
9 Bonus) Furious Focus
11) Cornugon Smash
12 Bonus) Critical Focus
12 Bonus (FCB x6)) Impaling Critical

OR

Warpriest: Weapon focus (Scythe)
Race: Half Orc take Sacred Tattoo, Fate's Favored and Ancestral Weapon
1) Weapon of the Chosen
3) Improved Weapon of Chosen
3 Bonus) Power Attack
5) Greater Weapon of the Chosen
6 Bonus Feat) Vital Strike
6 Bonus Feat) FCB X 6 = Improved Vital Strike
7) Furious Focus
9) Potion Glutton or Divine Fighting Technique (Urgathoa's Hunger)
9 Bonus) Improved Critical
11) Cornugon Smash
12 Bonus) Critical Focus
12 Bonus) (FXB x 6) Impaling Critical

Thoughts?

Scarab Sages

The builds both look pretty good to me. You have Furious Focus listed twice on the Human build, which is why it doesn't seem like you have more feats going that route.

For me, now that the Lucky Horseshoe exists, I find it much less necessary to take Half-Orc primarily as a means to get Sacred Tattoo. In the short tern Sacred Tattoo does give you a higher save at low levels. In the long run, it's just saving you 6,800 gold (or 3,400 with crafting) to buy the spotless item. Since I tend to like feat intensive builds, I find going Human for the extra feat more worthwhile.

EDIT: Also, what's letting you take Improved Vital Strike early? Doesn't it have a BAB+11 requirement? Have you looked at Devastating Strike, since you're going heavily down the Vital Strike path?


Ferious Thune wrote:

The builds both look pretty good to me. You have Furious Focus listed twice on the Human build, which is why it doesn't seem like you have more feats going that route.

For me, now that the Lucky Horseshoe exists, I find it much less necessary to take Half-Orc primarily as a means to get Sacred Tattoo. In the short tern Sacred Tattoo does give you a higher save at low levels. In the long run, it's just saving you 6,800 gold (or 3,400 with crafting) to buy the spotless item. Since I tend to like feat intensive builds, I find going Human for the extra feat more worthwhile.

EDIT: Also, what's letting you take Improved Vital Strike early? Doesn't it have a BAB+11 requirement? Have you looked at Devastating Strike, since you're going heavily down the Vital Strike path?

Divine Favor. Devastating Strike is a good option if you wanted to take that over Potion Glutton or Divine Fighting Technique.

Scarab Sages

Divine Favor the spell? That doesn't do anything to affect your BAB.

For your Warpriest Bonus Feats, you can treat your BAB as your level, but not for other feats. That should mean the earliest you can take Improved Vital Strike is 12th level.

Also, you have to use your bonus feat at 9th for Improved Critical, because you don't qualify for the +8 BAB requirement on your regular feat. That's a little problematic for also taking Devastating Strike.

My suggestions would be to take Weapon Specialization where you have Improved Vital Strike now (assuming the FCB feat qualifies you to take fighter feats).

Take Divine Fighting Technique at 7.

Take Cornugon Smash at 9.

Take Devastating Strike at 11.

Take Improved Vital Strike at 12 instead of Impailing Critical.

Note: Your current build doesn't qualify for Impailing Critical, because you don't have Weapon Specialization.


Catharsis wrote:
D'oh, I meant Champion of the Faith. At least they get to use their Charisma for smiting.

Not really - the charisma bonus on attack rolls wouldn't stack with Desna's Shooting Star.

Scarab Sages

Derklord wrote:
Catharsis wrote:
D'oh, I meant Champion of the Faith. At least they get to use their Charisma for smiting.
Not really - the charisma bonus on attack rolls wouldn't stack with Desna's Shooting Star.

Why not? One of them is "applying an ability to the attack" whereas the other is a bonus from a different ability...


It's both charisma bonus to attack rolls. DSS: "You can add your Charisma bonus to attack rolls", Smite: "the champion of the faith adds his Charisma bonus (if any) to his attack rolls".

"An ability bonus, such as "Strength bonus", is considered to be the same source for the purpose of bonuses from the same source not stacking."

Scarab Sages

Derklord wrote:

It's both charisma bonus to attack rolls. DSS: "You can add your Charisma bonus to attack rolls", Smite: "the champion of the faith adds his Charisma bonus (if any) to his attack rolls".

"An ability bonus, such as "Strength bonus", is considered to be the same source for the purpose of bonuses from the same source not stacking."

D'oh! A pity. Well, I guess it would work with the default Warpriest, but there'd be no Cha synergy, so going Dex would be better (unless one wanted to Face).

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