Advanced Class Guide Preview: Warpriest

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Illustration by Subroto Bhaumik

Many years ago, back in the days of the Advanced Player's Guide, there were plans to open up the paladin class to characters of any alignment. Unfortunately, the constraints of the class and its many alignment-based abilities made it too much of a challenge to fit in the pages of that book. Fortunately, the Advanced Class Guide gave us the opportunity to revisit the idea in the form of the Warpriest.

Blending together the powers of the fighter and the cleric, the warpriest is a class that allows you to represent the ideals of your deity, but to back them up with cold, hard steel. The class had 6 levels of divine spellcasting, combined with an ability called blessings that work like domains, but grant combat focused abilities. It seemed like a perfect blend, but the first version of the class that we put forth to playtest did not go over very well. The powers and abilities, as initially designed, just did not give the player enough martial ability to get the job done. It had some the spellcasting and some of the combat skill, but the two just did not work well together as initially presented. Fortunately, in round 2 of the playtest, we got it right (or maybe a bit too right). We added an ability called fervor that allows the warpriest to channel energy to heal his allies similar to a paladin's lay on hands, but it also could be spent to cast warpriest spells as a swift action, as long as those spells only targeted the warpriest. We also changed an ability called sacred weapon, which allows the warpriest to designate a weapon (or the favored weapon of his deity) and use that weapon to greater effect, increasing the damage and attack bonus.

Unfortunately, that caused a bit of a problem. The class was a bit too good.

The second round of playtest showed us some really interesting data. Everyone seemed in love with the class, which is certainly good, but our surveys also showed us that the class was now at the top of the power curve. After a number of internal playtests, it became clear that attacking with the full attack bonus of a fighter, combined with swift-casting a number of "buff" spells made the class a juggernaut. Since we really liked how the fervor mechanic worked, the sacred weapon rules had to change. Sacred weapon still increases the damage of weapons and it can still be used to grant special abilities to the weapon, but it no longer increases the attack bonus of the warpriest when using the designated weapon. Just like that, everything seemed to fit.

We also took another look at a wide number of the blessings, bringing them all in line with one another and making them a more seamless part of the class. Take the community blessing for example. The major version of the blessing did not fit really well and was outright useless to a warpriest of Erastil. It got changed to the following.

Fight as One (major): At 10th level, you can rally your allies to fight together. For 1 minute, whenever you make a successful melee or ranged attack against a foe, allies within 10 feet of you gain a +2 insight bonus on attacks of the same type you made against that foe—melee attacks if you made a melee attack, or ranged attacks if you made a ranged attack. If you score a critical hit, this bonus increases to +4 until the start of your next turn.

There are a lot of other exciting changes in the blessings as well, but for those, you will have to wait until the book arrives in stores and at Gencon in mid-August. Come back on Thursday to unleash your inner rage, now improved with magic!

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

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Tags: Igor Grechanyi Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Warpriest
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*On the War Mind blessing:

Risen from the Sands Pregen: Oloch wrote:

War Mind: You can touch an ally to grant it a

tactical advantage for 1 minute. Each round at the start
of its turn, it can select one of the following bonuses: +10 feet to base land speed, +1 dodge bonus to AC, +1 insight bonus on attack rolls, or a +1 luck bonus on saving throws.

I'm wondering: Does the Warpriest count as an ally himself?

* Also, Sacred Weapon damage at level 3 is still 1d6? Like Torbyne posted above, this isn't amazing, and to my mind isn't really functioning for 95% of weapons. Though if it applies to thrown weapons that might be cool...


Ross Byers wrote:

...

The warpriest has several ways to improve his attack. He can cast divine favor or other buff spells, as swirft actions if necessary. He can use Sacred Weapon to give his weapon a bonus to hit and damage. I'm sure there are blessings that let him improve his attack, too.

[emphasis mine]Can you clarify this for me Ross - do you mean in concert with Weapon Focus, or something else I am missing? I thought Sacred Weapon only changed the weapon in question's damage dice:

Risen from the Sands Pregen: Oloch wrote: wrote:


Sacred Weapon (Su) Your deity’s favored weapon
(greatsword) and any weapons designated by selecting them with the Weapon Focus feat are sacred weapons, and deal damage based on your level rather than the weapon type. At 3rd level, a sacred weapon deals 1d6 points of damage. If the weapon normally deals more damage than this, its damage is unchanged. This does not affect any other aspect of the weapon.


So, I figured I'd bring this up now so perhaps we can get some clarification, but everyone keeps talking about using fervor to swift action cast spells. Well, the wording on this particular part of Warpriest actually is written extremely poorly and potentially in a way that RAW does not actually allow that.

Quote:

As a swift action, you can expend one use of fervor to

cast any one warpriest spell you have prepared. You can
target only yourself with this spell, even if it could normally
affect other or multiple targets. Spells cast in this way
ignore somatic components and do not provoke attacks of
opportunity. You do not need to have a free hand to cast a
spell in this way.

As written, it sounds like you're allowed to use the use of fervor as a swift action to cast the spell. As in, you have to spend the swift, use the fervor, then cast the spell using the standard spell cast time with the bonuses that it doesn't provoke, uses no somatics, and doesn't require a free hand. Based on Jason's posts it's obvious what the intent is supposed to be, but the way it is written can very easily be misinterpreted.


That's a good catch, Brotato.


Brotato wrote:

So, I figured I'd bring this up now so perhaps we can get some clarification, but everyone keeps talking about using fervor to swift action cast spells. Well, the wording on this particular part of Warpriest actually is written extremely poorly and potentially in a way that RAW does not actually allow that.

Quote:

As a swift action, you can expend one use of fervor to

cast any one warpriest spell you have prepared. You can
target only yourself with this spell, even if it could normally
affect other or multiple targets. Spells cast in this way
ignore somatic components and do not provoke attacks of
opportunity. You do not need to have a free hand to cast a
spell in this way.
As written, it sounds like you're allowed to use the use of fervor as a swift action to cast the spell. As in, you have to spend the swift, use the fervor, then cast the spell using the standard spell cast time with the bonuses that it doesn't provoke, uses no somatics, and doesn't require a free hand. Based on Jason's posts it's obvious what the intent is supposed to be, but the way it is written can very easily be misinterpreted.

Rearranging the first sentence to "You can expend one use of fervor to cast any one warpriest spell you have prepared as a swift action" makes the problem goes away - this strikes me as a case of "playtest language". Good catch :)


Kudaku wrote:
"You can expend one use of fervor to cast any one warpriest spell you have prepared as a swift action"

This is the exact sentence rewrite I meant to suggest in my original post, but I forgot by the time I was composing it.

Liberty's Edge

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
I'm wondering: Does the Warpriest count as an ally himself?

You always count as your own ally. There've been several explicit rulings to that effect.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
I'm wondering: Does the Warpriest count as an ally himself?
You always count as your own ally. There've been several explicit rulings to that effect.

Deadmanwalking is correct

FAQ answer wrote:


Ally: Do you count as your own ally?

You count as your own ally unless otherwise stated or if doing so would make no sense or be impossible. Thus, "your allies" almost always means the same as "you and your allies."

Link to FAQ answer.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I hope the Warpriest will count as a Cleric for the purposes of feats.

This may sound like a silly question, but is the Sacred Weapon base weapon damage change a constant thing?


blackbloodtroll wrote:
I hope the Warpriest will count as a Cleric for the purposes of feats.

There are cleric-only feats?

blackbloodtroll wrote:
This may sound like a silly question, but is the Sacred Weapon base weapon damage change a constant thing?

As far as I know the sacred weapon base damage change is constant.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kudaku wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
I hope the Warpriest will count as a Cleric for the purposes of feats.
There are cleric-only feats?

One that was cited earlier in this thread is Ironbound Master (Inner Sea Gods, pg 213).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Shisumo wrote:
Kudaku wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
I hope the Warpriest will count as a Cleric for the purposes of feats.
There are cleric-only feats?
One that was cited earlier in this thread is Ironbound Master (Inner Sea Gods, pg 213).

Also, Versatile Channeler.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:

...

The warpriest has several ways to improve his attack. He can cast divine favor or other buff spells, as swirft actions if necessary. He can use Sacred Weapon to give his weapon a bonus to hit and damage. I'm sure there are blessings that let him improve his attack, too.

[emphasis mine]Can you clarify this for me Ross - do you mean in concert with Weapon Focus, or something else I am missing? I thought Sacred Weapon only changed the weapon in question's damage dice:

Maybe I used the wrong ability name. In both versions of the playtest, the Warpriest could add enhancement bonuses to his weapon, much like a paladin's divine bond or a magus's arcane pool.


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I've never really been a big fan of martially focused characters that do not have full BAB. I playtested the War Priest (only at low level) and having full BAB with 1 weapon seemed like just the right balance. I understand the concern of how using Fervor to swift cast spells could become a bit too powerful, so is there a way to limit the impact of Fervor's swift action casting instead? My first thought is to just have this cost double (2 uses of Fervor).

My main concern is that if you are fighting multiple battles and you have used up all your spells (or in a magical suppression area), then how effective is the Warpriest, martially? To me, at it's core it is a martial character with some spellcasting. Removing the full BAB takes away the 1 ability that I thought really made this class playable, by increasing the chance to hit and the iterative attacks.

I have enjoyed playing the class at low level, but if there is a power concern problem that creeps up at higher levels then I certainly agree it needs to be addressed. If there is a different way to balance out this class, then it would be great if it could be looked into.


Kor -

1) Having anything cost double Fervor is a bad idea, IMO. All it does is make it less likely for the Warpriest to use his unique resource. You start with so little of it anyway, and you only get them back once per day.

2) Before, the warpriest could have held the line. Now...I'm not so sure. It all depends on how much they improve the blessings. In any even, a Warpriest without his spells or blessings really should reconsider being in combat at all.

3) It is too late to rebalance anything. The books are printed and are en route to stores.


Ross Byers wrote:


Maybe I used the wrong ability name. In both versions of the playtest, the Warpriest could add enhancement bonuses to his weapon, much like a paladin's divine bond or a magus's arcane pool.

You're right, Ross. Sacred Weapon starts adding those goodies at 4th level, as of the 2nd playtest.


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Kryptik wrote:
Kor - 3) It is too late to rebalance anything. The books are printed and are en route to stores.

hehe, whoops. I guess I should have followed the discussion threads for the playtests a little more closely. This is really disappointing news to me. I have seen many versions of warpriests in the past (prestige classes), and they all lacked on the combat-effectiveness side. When I realized that this warpriest had a full-BAB ability, I said "finally!". When I playtested him, I found him to be fun and balanced to play (we only played up to 3rd level).

I am concerned that unless the party has a core healer in the group, a lot of party members are probably going to rely on the warpriest to fill the "cleric" roll. If the warpriest is blowing his spells and Fervor on healing party members then they will not have the ability to buff themselves with their few spells.

This was the 1 class I was most looking forward to. I did see it much like a paladin for all alignments. When it was not a full-BAB class, I thought "they got the war-priest concept wrong again". Then when I read through it and saw the ability to get full-BAB for 1 weapon, I thought "wow, they nailed!"

This of course is just all "hypothetical" concerns as we have yet to see the final draft. Here's hoping it does all work out.


Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

*On the War Mind blessing:

Risen from the Sands Pregen: Oloch wrote:

War Mind: You can touch an ally to grant it a

tactical advantage for 1 minute. Each round at the start
of its turn, it can select one of the following bonuses: +10 feet to base land speed, +1 dodge bonus to AC, +1 insight bonus on attack rolls, or a +1 luck bonus on saving throws.

I'm wondering: Does the Warpriest count as an ally himself?

* Also, Sacred Weapon damage at level 3 is still 1d6? Like Torbyne posted above, this isn't amazing, and to my mind isn't really functioning for 95% of weapons. Though if it applies to thrown weapons that might be cool...

Yeah, if my alcohol riddled mind recalls correctly (imarmrc for short) sacred weapon doesn't scale beyond 1D8 until level 9. So for a defining class feature it's invisible until then since 1D8 is the starting point for most martial weapons. Unless you are building for a one handed crit build or using obscure weapon choices just so you can see sacred weapon at work.


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The main point of Sacred Weapon damage isn't really to make all weapons better but rather to give the Warpriest the option to use any deity's favored weapon, even when that weapon would otherwise be a poor choice for a class who plans to spend a lot of time making full attacks.

For instance a Warpriest of Irori could use unarmed strikes without limiting himself to a d4 base damage for the rest of the game, a warpriest of Desna can use star knives for an interesting throwing build and so on.

If Sacred Weapon buffed all weapons equally then you're back at square one, where no one wants to be the guy left with whatever's at the bottom of the instrument box.


Well, the Warpriest can have his Focus Weapon be any weapon he is proficient with, not just the deity's favored weapon. In fact, it is sort of mechanically better to *not* have your initial Focus Weapon be the deity's favored weapon. For example, a Warpriest of Iomedae could select Longbow as his initial Focus Weapon, and therefore would be able to use Sacred Weapon with both the longbow and the longsword, since you can use Sacred Weapon without Focus Weapon if it is the deity's weapon.

Hmm, I wonder if I can fit more uses of the word "weapon" in that paragraph.

Anyway, yes, your point stands that Warpriests any god can be viable. And that's something I think (or hope, at least) that we can all agree is objectively good.


Kudaku wrote:

The main point of Sacred Weapon damage isn't really to make all weapons better but rather to give the Warpriest the option to use any deity's favored weapon, even when that weapon would otherwise be a poor choice for a class who plans to spend a lot of time making full attacks.

For instance a Warpriest of Irori could use unarmed strikes without limiting himself to a d4 base damage for the rest of the game, a warpriest of Desna can use star knives for an interesting throwing build and so on.

If Sacred Weapon buffed all weapons equally then you're back at square one, where no one wants to be the guy left with whatever's at the bottom of the instrument box.

But after seeing a huge, useful to everyone ability cut down to a situational ability that may not ever be relevant to a lot of builds (namely any two hander build) and have that called a core aspect of the class is a little disheartening. It'd be cool if it was a choice at first level if it's a boost to hit or damage or something else but a little late now.


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Kryptik wrote:

Well, the Warpriest can have his Focus Weapon be any weapon he is proficient with, not just the deity's favored weapon. In fact, it is sort of mechanically better to *not* have your initial Focus Weapon be the deity's favored weapon. For example, a Warpriest of Iomedae could select Longbow as his initial Focus Weapon, and therefore would be able to use Sacred Weapon with both the longbow and the longsword, since you can use Sacred Weapon without Focus Weapon if it is the deity's weapon.

Anyway, yes, your point stands that Warpriests any god can be viable. And that's something I think (or hope, at least) that we can all agree is objectively good.

Absolutely - the freedom to use Sacred Weapon with more weapons than only the favored class weapon was a bit of a battleground in the original Warpriest thread, actually.

One might even say people were up in arms about it.

Eh? Eh?

...I'll show myself out.


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Kudaku wrote:

Absolutely - the freedom to use Sacred Weapon with more weapons than only the favored class weapon was a bit of a battleground in the original Warpriest thread, actually.

One might even say people were up in arms about it.

Eh? Eh?

...I'll show myself out.

Now, now, Kudaku. Those kinds of jokes are often a double-edge sword.

I think it would be best if we just bury the hatchet.


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Kryptik wrote:
Kudaku wrote:

Absolutely - the freedom to use Sacred Weapon with more weapons than only the favored class weapon was a bit of a battleground in the original Warpriest thread, actually.

One might even say people were up in arms about it.

Eh? Eh?

...I'll show myself out.

Now, now, Kudaku. Those kinds of jokes are often a double-edge sword.

I think it would be best if we just bury the hatchet.

Maybe we should hammer out some rules about using our rapier wit, instead of just flailing around


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Alright, let's spearhead this project before we get a barrage of questions, and hope it doesn't get axed.


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All these pun slingers are giving me a headache.

Spoiler:
I lied. Terrible puns are the highest form of humor.


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Yeah, they've really clubbed us over the head with these puns. It's enough to make one see daggers.

Liberty's Edge

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It spears that puns are the true ultimate weapon of the Warpriest.


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That's an understandable reaction after running the gauntlet of puns. Don't worry though, I'll get these saps whipped into shape in no time.


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We must excerscythe caution with these puns.


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I think this horse is whipped, boys, even a mere clubbing could bring it down. We've hammered the point home enough, it might be time to quit.


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Although, at this rate I might need to hire...some additional staff.

*puts on sunglasses*


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I think it flailed in agony as it died. We should mourn it until the morning star rises.


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God you guys keep doing these puns going, how do you pilum on like that?


Blah, you crazy cats, don't make me pull the garden hose!


sorry to break the trend but, Warpriest question. SO i start out with two levels of Card Magus for deadly dealer and maybe two world magic for brand or something so i have unending spell strike with thrown cards. (probably go with rapid shot for more cards at some point) and then switch over to Warpriest for the rest to pump cards up to flying dump trucks of pain. Would that be Weapon Focus: Cards or Dart since they function as darts when used as a weapon? (just thought of this too, go with Tiefling for a spell like ability to keep Arcane Strike scaling with level)


As a side note, i seem to be in the minority being disappointed with Sacred Weapon, but i am trying to get onboard with this and looking at cards, darts and daggers with more scrutiny now.


Torbyne wrote:
sorry to break the trend but, Warpriest question. SO i start out with two levels of Card Magus for deadly dealer and maybe two world magic for brand or something so i have unending spell strike with thrown cards. (probably go with rapid shot for more cards at some point) and then switch over to Warpriest for the rest to pump cards up to flying dump trucks of pain. Would that be Weapon Focus: Cards or Dart since they function as darts when used as a weapon? (just thought of this too, go with Tiefling for a spell like ability to keep Arcane Strike scaling with level)

I couldn't find Card Magus anywhere, but personally I'd rule that you would get the attack bonus from WF: Dart with cards based on the first sentence of Deadly Dealer.

Torbyne wrote:
As a side note, i seem to be in the minority being disappointed with Sacred Weapon, but i am trying to get onboard with this and looking at cards, darts and daggers with more scrutiny now.

For what it's worth I think there are quite a few people (including me) who were a little disappointed in the change, but if changing the WP from pseudo-full BAB to 3/4th BAB freed up the design space to improve and fix its other shortcomings (MAD syndrome, underwhelming Fervor healing, sacred weapon duration issues, unable to qualify for combat feats etc) then I believe that it was a change for the better.

Still holding out hope on the unique spell list or another way to poach certain spells from the paladin/inquisitor/ranger though :)


Its the card caster archetype from the harrow handbook splat book. cool stuff actually. Get to be Gambit or Setzer :)


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christos gurd wrote:
God you guys keep doing these puns going, how do you pilum on like that?

I don't really have a ranseur for that.


Kudaku wrote:


I couldn't find Card Magus anywhere, but personally I'd rule that you would get the attack bonus from WF: Dart with cards based on the first sentence of Deadly Dealer.

Cartomancer(Witch), Card Caster(Magus), and other archetypes that interact with the deck were added in The Harrow Handbook last month.


...Huh.

Even without focusing on cards, the Card Caster is awesome because there's now a ranged focused Magus.

It's like an Arcane Archer, from level 1. Or a poor man's Spellslinger.

And Cartomancer gets Reach Spell on all her spells for free. Which is pretty cool.

I like those, flavor and mechanics for both seem pretty solid. May make a Gypsy Fortuneteller style Witch with the Cartomancer at some point.


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"Many years ago, back in the days of the Advanced Player's Guide, there were plans to open up the paladin class to characters of any alignment. Unfortunately, the constraints of the class and its many alignment-based abilities made it too much of a challenge to fit in the pages of that book. Fortunately, the Advanced Class Guide gave us the opportunity to revisit the idea in the form of the Warpriest."

Then why didn't you? Since before Pathfinder even started we've been waiting for exactly that, yet all you did was open up the Paladin to one additional alignment, its complete polar opposite, and then, much later, we get a class called the Warpriest, the perfect vehicle for a full-BAB, divine-power wielding, non-nature-y warrior class if there ever was one, and what is it? Non-full-BAB, more spellcasting than we asked for, can't even qualify for his feats on time.

Sigh. When is the Advanced Advanced Class Guide coming out? I'm still trying to be hopeful. Does the Warpriest get a full-BAB archetype? When do we finally get to play what we want to play?


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Tectorman wrote:
Sigh. When is the Advanced Advanced Class Guide coming out? I'm still trying to be hopeful. Does the Warpriest get a full-BAB archetype? When do we finally get to play what we want to play?

Amazon has it list as coming out September 2, 2014. Though by this point all the text for it is pretty much st in stone. We have a list of all the Archetypes for ACG. But all we know is just their names, not what classes they're for or what they do. Well, we know the class for a few of them because Operion released the art he was commissioned to do for some of them. Also we know Flying Blade=Swashbuckler, Spiritualist=Investigator, and Divine Commander=Warpriest from the image urls in the class previews.


The art for the Grave Warden and Spellstorm is pretty sweet.

Please tell me that image means the Grave Warden gets a Mutagen or something, because that's what it looks like.


And a warpriest who trades sacred weapon for a scaling by level mount! :D


The more i try to give the Warpriest a chance, more i learn about the inquisitor and find he incredible better at everything by the sole ability of adding judgments to divine power for a wooping +32 hit bonus at level 20 before any stats, feats and magical weapons.

Sorry WP, you need full bab to compete :(

Sczarni

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Pfft to the naysayers. The Warpriest will still allow me to finally make a decent Simon Belmont themed, whip toting PC and that's all I could ask for.


Comparing to the inquisitor is totally unfair, he is by far the strongest class in the current playset after summoner and shroedinger wizard, with both the highest to hit and static damage bonus of any class, as much skill points as a bard and very few madness thanks to his wis to anything approach. O, and btw he also has 6 level spellcasting with heals, but that's just filler.


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Wizard/Sorc/Oracle have the most potential for broken right now, then Clerics, Druids, Summoners, only then could come the Inquisitor (although I honestly think archetyped Magus ranks higher). Inquisitor is fine as a baseline especially when they are filling a very similar niche mechanically.

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