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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I wonder if they addressed the crits of the sacred weapon? If I recall, there were a number of people wanting to play a dual-kukri build while dealing greatsword damage but kukri crits, or even Falcata.


Tels wrote:
I wonder if they addressed the crits of the sacred weapon? If I recall, there were a number of people wanting to play a dual-kukri build while dealing greatsword damage but kukri crits, or even Falcata.

Sacred Weapon does not modify the threat range or critical multiplier.

EDIT: In the playtest.


Scavion wrote:
Tels wrote:
I wonder if they addressed the crits of the sacred weapon? If I recall, there were a number of people wanting to play a dual-kukri build while dealing greatsword damage but kukri crits, or even Falcata.
Sacred Weapon does not modify the threat range or critical multiplier.

Oh I know, but it was the whole 'kukri dealing greatsword damage' aspect that people were loving. Jason even held vote on how it would be handled in the Warpriest thread because it kept cropping up so much.


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Another scantily-clad female illustration and a nerfed class. Yawn.


God, I really don't want this class to be lesser than Inquisitor. My Ragequisitor could do SOOO much damage with a +5 Furious Courageous greatsword that had greater bane on it. I'd LOVE to be able to come close to that with this class, or at least have damage output plus staying power. There's gotta be SOME fighter class benefits in there.


Zhangar wrote:

Any word on whether warpriest is getting a unique spell list?

I'd assume so, but never hurts to ask.

And yeah, sacred weapon getting scaled back somewhat makes sense.

We already know from the an older preview thread that Shaman will be getting a unique Cleric/Druid/Witch spell list as well new spells tailored to that class. I think it's a fairly safe assumption that Warpriest custom list as well instead of just the 6/9 Cleric list.


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As people mentioned before, they tried so hard to not make it a fighter better than a fighter that they made a fighter and cleric worse than a cleric.

With 3/4 bab, a combat oriented cleric will outscale this class in combat as soon as level 5 and will only increase the gap every level.

Complete combat oriented classes need or full bab or a reliable way to keep the accuracy as high as full bab (inquisitor judgment, bard inspire courage, magus touch spells).

Even finding the damage scale the "unique" feel of the class, i would trade it completely for full bab in order to just allow the class to do its job. Monks were always bashed for many reasons, and one of them were their bad accuracy to make good use of their unarmed damage increase, now the warpriest will have to keep buffing itself just to have the same accuracy as a monk.

I give the classe 2 weeks until people realize they are just playing a very bad cleric and change for a battle oriented cleric for increased power and versatility.

Sorry, bad move and bad thinking.


I also support the change to reduce the BAB of the Warpriest to 3/4. The scaling damage is a big boost - pseudo full BAB along with everything else seemed to be too much.

Warpriests still have spells for buffs which they can use as swift actions and the ability to enhance their weapon for a few (rounds or minutes) per day. I'm sure the class will do just fine and this change leaves the Paladin with it's own clear niche, which I like.


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Remove the damage scale, let it have full bab with favored weapon. Or this class will go strait to tier 6 with the monk.


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WHOA! WE GOT A PROFESSIONAL THEORY CRAFTER! HIDE YO CLASS! HIDE YO ARCHETYPES!


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RafaelBraga wrote:
Remove the damage scale, let it have full bab with favored weapon. Or this class will go strait to tier 6 with the monk.

As much as I like the damage scaling, I agree. I still want to see all the Blessings, but I doubt they will make up for this.


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RafaelBraga wrote:
Remove the damage scale, let it have full bab with favored weapon. Or this class will go strait to tier 6 with the monk.

Yeah... no, see it's still got 6th level casting, fervor healing and blessings. I'm guessing the Warpriest will end up either a high Tier 5, or low Tier 4 as a class.


Well, before I can say anything, I'd like to wait and see. My hope is that they allow the class level to count as BAB for fear prereqs like they do with Monk and certain feats. Probably won't do it, but hey. That, and the changes mentioned already elsewhere.

Edit: I also hope they changed around the capstone abilities. Transformation for ten rounds isn't really that great an ability.


Major_Blackhart wrote:
Well, before I can say anything, I'd like to wait and see. My hope is that they allow the class level to count as BAB for fear prereqs like they do with Monk and certain feats. Probably won't do it, but hey. That, and the changes mentioned already elsewhere.

Monk level doesn't count for BAB on feat prerequisites...


On some feats it does. One I can think of is Horn of the Criosphinx.
http://archivesofnethys.com/FeatDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Horn%20of%20the%20Cri osphinx


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A crusader cleric has the same BaB, combat feats, and can cast more spells per day and can cast 9th level spells. They even get a domain.

Is what the Warpriest gets over the Crusader Cleric worth the trade?


I think he ment for feats like some styles that you can have a monk level instead of the bab requirement.

Anyway, i think that we had a class that had a role in the party as diferent from the cleric as the magus was from the wizard. Now it feels like a bad cleric.

Even blessings wont make up for bad accuracy. It if wasnt that big deal, monks would be ahead from other melees in every tier list, and we know how it ended.


Right now? Damage scaling. That's about it.

Shadow Lodge

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Which was really the one thing I hoped the ditched. I know it's someone's pet little new mechanic, but it's just a bad idea as we can see in the Brass Knuckle Monk threads.


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Suma3da wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Any word on whether warpriest is getting a unique spell list?

I'd assume so, but never hurts to ask.

And yeah, sacred weapon getting scaled back somewhat makes sense.

We already know from the an older preview thread that Shaman will be getting a unique Cleric/Druid/Witch spell list as well new spells tailored to that class. I think it's a fairly safe assumption that Warpriest custom list as well instead of just the 6/9 Cleric list.

In light of the removal of the full BA from Sacred weapon....I'm really hoping they DON'T get a unique spell list...unless it's to add Paladine only spells to their spell list.

Leave the restricted spell list to the inquisitor....


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All of these people acting like they know completely what the final Warpriest is going to be like. Come on, guys. At least wait until the book comes out.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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DM Beckett wrote:
Which was really the one thing I hoped the ditched.

Agreed. I'd have preferred they keep the BAB, drop the scaling, and allow them to use their Warpriest level as their BAB to qualify for combat feats. Doesn't matter that my dagger does 2d6 if the only way I'm gonna hit with it is novaing through my spells to keep my to-hit up.


Welcome new monk with spells :P


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So quick to dismiss that which they haven't seen...


It will be hilarious if this class turns out to be Druid-level in power even with the nerfs.


MagusJanus wrote:
It will be hilarious glorious if this class turns out to be Druid-level in power even with the nerfs.

:)


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For some context, people were saying that the APG nerfed the Summoner into uselessness, compared to the beta.

Yea.

The Summoner.


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Its not a dismissal. It is fear that this class, which I wanted more than any other out of this book, will be reduced to just being a worse cleric.

From what we know right now, the Warpriest could go either way. Its just that before today, it was pointing firmly in the "Despite Blessings sucking, this class is still incredibly fun and very strong" instead of the "if they change some other stuff, this class might still come out as really good."

I am not condemning this class to badness. I am just saying its status is now questionable, depending on what other changes have been made. It was not questionable before and that is where my fear comes from.


There is nothing wrong with voicing concerns about a class based on extant data.


The thing is the summoner was always based on the abilities, so you can change around.

The warpriest is based on his combat abilities.

Unless they make a blessing "all your attacks are touch attacks until the end of the round" they will have a bad combat cleric, and if they do, 100% of the warpriest will have the same blessing, so the problem persists.

If the warpriest with 3/4 bab wouldnt have problem hitting, then the full attack flurrying monk wouldnt either, and time had told that the monk do have problems.

And just to add to the cake, the blessing remade and previewed just make even more important for the warpriest to be a reliable hitter than a damage dealer.

Bad move to leave the damage scaling instead of the full bab.


I still wish they changed that name, never liked warpriest.

Silver Crusade

The warpriest still has swift action spells, so it will still be quite good. So much of this game is an action economy arms race.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Some of the lost oomph might be made up if fervor is easier to get or regain.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Cheapy wrote:

For some context, people were saying that the APG nerfed the Summoner into uselessness, compared to the beta.

Yea.

The Summoner.

Fixed the link.


Shisumo wrote:
Some of the lost oomph might be made up if fervor is easier to get or regain.

I agree. The least I would expect is to let warpriests regain fervor after an 8 hour rest instead of having it be per day.


The problem is that now he will NEED to buff up just to do his job as good as a fighter. So he will burn up spells very quickly to be a normal fighter who burnt nothing.

A cleric(crusader) would to the same, and also as swift at high levels and be better at everything.

A normal cleric would be even better if your build is not feat intensive.
(a normal two handed weapon, power attack, furious focus and set for awesomeness).

At lv20 fighter have base 24(with easy 26) to hit, slayer 25, ranger 20 to 30, magus 15 with lot of touch attacks or even 20(myrmidarch with gloves) unbuffed, warpriest now have 15, buffing to 26, inquisitor have 31 with single buff(divine power plus swift judgment), bard/archeologist have 19 or 20 with inspire courage/luck and can buff for much more.

A simple cleric would buff to 26(divine power) and have a LOT more spells at their disposal, winning the warpriest at every single area.

Someone failed a lot!


RafaelBraga wrote:
Unless they make a blessing "all your attacks are touch attacks until the end of the round" they will have a bad combat cleric

How... When did combat clerics started having trouble hitting?


they do not, thats the point. The combat cleric can buff up better, for more, and still have a lot more spells slots for other things :)


Can they whip up swift-action buffs from day one?


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Nope, nor the warpriest can from "day one" ;)


Fine, from day two. And that's ignoring Blessings (withholding judgement on those until the actual book comes out), Fighter Proficiencies and free WF.


I get most of this with a crusader :P

And more spells.

And more powerful spells.

And more anything worth :P

The Warpriest was a unique blend before, now he is just a worse fighter when fighting and a worse cleric when fighting, casting, healing or anything.

The blessings will not do magic, and the one just changed showed that reliable hitting(full bab) would be better than anything else.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Justin Sane wrote:
Fine, from day two. And that's ignoring Blessings (withholding judgement on those until the actual book comes out), Fighter Proficiencies and free WF.

And unlike clerics they can access material weapons beyond their deities favoured weapon from day one.


RafaelBraga wrote:
I get most of this with a crusader :P
After level two, how many rounds of buffing would your Crusader need?
zergtitan wrote:

Look I think the important thing to use in comparisons may not be its parent classes, but the purpose and reason for the class.

While this class is hybrid of cleric and fighter, it should really be compared to its true counterpart the paladin.

Let the Paladin Vs. Warpriest discussion begin.

Tricky. Paladin is more fighty, Warpriest is more casty. I figure they're both in the same ballpark, overall.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Look I think the important thing to use in comparisons may not be its parent classes, but the purpose and reason for the class.

While this class is hybrid of cleric and fighter, it should really be compared to its true counterpart the paladin.

Let the Paladin Vs. Warpriest discussion begin.

Dark Archive

RafaelBraga wrote:

The problem is that now he will NEED to buff up just to do his job as good as a fighter. So he will burn up spells very quickly to be a normal fighter who burnt nothing.

A cleric(crusader) would to the same, and also as swift at high levels and be better at everything.

A normal cleric would be even better if your build is not feat intensive.
(a normal two handed weapon, power attack, furious focus and set for awesomeness).

At lv20 fighter have base 24(with easy 26) to hit, slayer 25, ranger 20 to 30, magus 15 with lot of touch attacks or even 20(myrmidarch with gloves) unbuffed, warpriest now have 15, buffing to 26, inquisitor have 31 with single buff(divine power plus swift judgment), bard/archeologist have 19 or 20 with inspire courage/luck and can buff for much more.

A simple cleric would buff to 26(divine power) and have a LOT more spells at their disposal, winning the warpriest at every single area.

Someone failed a lot!

The Warpriest is suppose to be a mix of classes. So comparing it to a fighter that is the same all the time is not the best idea along with comparing to a cleric. A war priest of the same level as a cleric will buff faster and deal a lot more damage then the cleric. A paladin is not going to be as effective as a fighter can be all the time, that will be the same way with the war priest, fighter, or cleric there are situations that will be better for each class.

I personally like them taking away the full BAB for weapons on the war priest. It does balance them to other classes. imo


why i would compare a gimped cleric to a paladin?!

Paladin have abilities and unique defenses that make that class unique.

Warpriest have worse cleric abilities, just it.

And my cleric would need 1 round of buffing at low levels... nothing at high levels. And a lot more spells to select from.

Do not forget that swift actions also cost actions.

To activate the armor, weapon and buff 1 spell with fervor would cost 3 actions. The cleric would get 1 hour/level armor or weapon bonus at level 5, 1 cast each, lasting the entire dungeon/encounter setting. When the warpriest reach this ability at level 7, the cleric would just divine power to humiliate the warpriest, and the progression continues...


zergtitan wrote:
Justin Sane wrote:
Fine, from day two. And that's ignoring Blessings (withholding judgement on those until the actual book comes out), Fighter Proficiencies and free WF.
And unlike clerics they can access material weapons beyond their deities favoured weapon from day one.

A *insert class with martial weapon proficiency* 1/Cleric 19 would have better casting and access to weapons/armor.

The whole point of this book was to reduce multiclassing by making it unnecessary. If a multiclass still does a ACG classes Schick better, then it is a problem.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I just reviewed the Warpriest from the round 2 PDF and I gotta say, it has a lot more to offer than just than increasing the attack bonus.

I did like the increased attack bonus feature but the change hardly breaks an interesting and useful class. Especially considering that we don't know what the full final class looks and plays like.


the problem is that whatever you do with the warpriest, your do better with just a cleric, except for very specific things. The magus is much more diverse from a wizard, so they ocupy diferent roles and dont need to be compared with one another, but when they made the warpriest 3/4 BAB, he went down from a reliable combatant to a caster dependent combatant, exact as a cleric.

Since the cleric has access to more spells and faster, the cleric just stomp the warpriest.

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