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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Liberty's Edge

Suma3da wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The Song of the Fallen summoning a bunch of useless low-level barbarians at levels where they become extremely outscaled defeats the purpose of having them there in the first place. At best, they serve as cannonfodder. At worst, you're shorting yourself of a valuable selling item. That's not counting how it takes 10 performance rounds just to get them summmoned!.
Except for the name, the new Song of the Fallen isn't anything like the old Archetype Skald's version.

Yeah. To quote the new version:

Paizo wrote:
Song of the Fallen (Su): At 14th level, a skald can temporarily revive dead allies to continue fighting, with the same limitations as raise dead. The skald selects a dead ally within 60 feet and expends 1 round of raging song to bring that ally back to life. The revived ally is alive but staggered. Each round, the skald may expend another 1 round of raging song to keep that ally alive for another round. The ally automatically dies if the skald ends this performance or is interrupted. The skald may revive multiple allies with this ability (either at the same time or over successive rounds) but must expend 1 round of raging song per revived ally per round to maintain the effect.

And Versatile Performance is one of the best skill-based Class Features in the game. Especially for the Skald, who loses some skill points as compared to the Bard. Uncanny Dodge is mediocre...but it was some examples of stuff they got, not an exhaustive list.


zergtitan wrote:

tomorrow a new Iconic shall appear. Who will it be?

*please be the Arcainist, Skald, or Slayer*

Based on the, "Come back on Thursday to unleash your inner rage, now improved with magic!" teaser at the end of the blog, I'm guessing Bloodrager. Not a class I'm most looking forward to, but I was enjoying my old Rage Prophet before she got killed.

I want to see what the did with Hunter the most simply because to me it was the most lackluster in the playtest. I get that they were trying to bridge the gap between Druids and Rangers, but Hunter completely failed to establish it's own identity in my heart.

Dark Archive

zergtitan wrote:

tomorrow a new Iconic shall appear. Who will it be?

*please be the Arcainist, Skald, or Slayer*

My Vote goes for Slayer or Arcanist!


Cyrad wrote:

I always felt like the warpriest had too many superfluous abilities.

1) Blessings are a neat idea, but most of them are terrible and only work for melee warpriests. I'm glad they're getting buffed, but I'm not sure how much.

2) Fervor's healing scales horribly and its usage is based on Charisma. Gish classes already suffer from MAD, but relying on TWO mental stats is insane. You will only use Fervor for the swift action spell usage because of the limited amount of times you can use it.

3) Channel energy's healing scales as bad as fervor and consumes two uses of fervor. You'll probably never use channel energy.

4) Sacred weapon's extra bonus abilities feel like a worse version of the magus's arcane pool. Worse scaling and only works for rounds instead of a minute. I'm fairly certain the list of abilities will expand, but I feel like this doesn't really add much to the class. If they wanted sacred weapon to get bonus abilities, I would have preferred a list of unique on-hit abilities based on god domains, which would have allowed the designers to remove those lame "your melee attacks do 1d4 energy damage) blessings. Perhaps it could use up a use of blessing to do so rather than be measured in rounds.

5) I actually have no problem with bonus feats. It opens up more combat options that were intentionally denied from other divine classes.

6) Sacred armor seems like an interesting premise, but it honestly feels like filler. I doubt any warpriest will remember to actually use this ability, especially when they already have to keep track of spell slots, fervor uses, blessing uses, and number of sacred weapon rounds expended. Yowza, that's a lot of bookkeeping!

I expect the warpriest will get tidied up, especially if full BAB sacred weapon will get cut. However, if these abilities go mostly unchanged, the warpriest will essentially be a bad cleric that wishes he was a paladin.

A lot (maybe even all) of this post was how I felt during the playtest, but put into much better words. With all the other things I had to worry about, sacred weapon's round per level buff was not something I was concerned with often. If it, sacred armor, channeling energy, and healing were all removed but the pseudo full-BaB were kept, I would not really mind. Having a butt ton of sub-par options does not make a good class.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Honestly, I'd have ditched the channel energy, as it felt too much like a paladin (it already has fervor, a variation of lay on hands). Will just have to wait and see.

Unfortunately, for every warlock we sometimes get a hexblade. :c


Well, maybe some of the archetypes are more specialized and allow for better full on combat options while sacrificing something like channeling energy.


Major_Blackhart wrote:
Well, maybe some of the archetypes are more specialized and allow for better full on combat options while sacrificing something like channeling energy.

On something name the Warpriest, you'd expect the less-combaty option to be the archetype. Though I do hope you are right.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Suma3da wrote:
zergtitan wrote:

tomorrow a new Iconic shall appear. Who will it be?

*please be the Arcainist, Skald, or Slayer*

Based on the, "Come back on Thursday to unleash your inner rage, now improved with magic!" teaser at the end of the blog, I'm guessing Bloodrager. Not a class I'm most looking forward to, but I was enjoying my old Rage Prophet before she got killed.

I want to see what the did with Hunter the most simply because to me it was the most lackluster in the playtest. I get that they were trying to bridge the gap between Druids and Rangers, but Hunter completely failed to establish it's own identity in my heart.

Oh yeah, your right. Now we get to learn about that Shoanti fellow from the front cover (maybe).


Major_Blackhart wrote:
Well, maybe some of the archetypes are more specialized and allow for better full on combat options while sacrificing something like channeling energy.

Because that is a totally balanced swap, let's hope they let you do it!! I should write an archetype of the wizard that lets you trade away school specialization and in exchange it gives you a free slot of each spell level!!! Awesome!!


I'm wondering who does more damage at this point regarding the Bloodrager: Two Handed Fighter or Blood Rager. Two handed fighter is the archetype I measure all damage against.


I would certainly hope the THF, over the course of the day.


Dekalinder wrote:
Major_Blackhart wrote:
Well, maybe some of the archetypes are more specialized and allow for better full on combat options while sacrificing something like channeling energy.
Because that is a totally balanced swap, let's hope they let you do it!! I should write an archetype of the wizard that lets you trade away school specialization and in exchange it gives you a free slot of each spell level!!! Awesome!!

I was responding to a post that responded to me. My first post is 2 posts up from the post you quoted. It includes "If it, sacred armor, channeling energy, and self-healing were all removed but the pseudo full-BaB were kept, I would not really mind."

Of course getting a huge attack bonus trading out channel energy is not a fair trade. Please don't make assumptions about my opinion like that.


Cheapy wrote:
I would certainly hope the THF, over the course of the day.

I think I've done something wrong with my calculations, but apparently no. Even if the THF has the Orc Bloodline in full thru eldritch heritage. A raging Abyssal Bloodrager with the right feat combination per swing does 83+4D8+2D6(Vicious) vs 75+4D8+2D6(Vicious), outpacing the THF by a mere 8 points using a large impacting dwarven waraxe with the vicious quality. When NOT raging however, that damage is nil, because you take out the rage bonuses, the morale bonuses, the con bonus to damage etc, so it drops down to something incredibly weak. THF is still more reliable in damage because can do it constantly, while still having feats to spare actually, but the Bloodrager can really lay down the hurt in need to moments. Who am I kidding. It's 8 points at the cost of how many feats? A lot, and a lot of rounds of rage per swing. THF is still better and more economical.

Anyway, enough about that. Back to the Warpriest.

@#&* the Warpriest!!!!


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What is it with women in Golarion armoring their limbs but not their vitals?


Atarlost wrote:
What is it with women in Golarion armoring their limbs but not their vitals?

Hey man, if you don't cover major arteries like the femoral artery you could easily get cut and bleed out. Never mind the fact that you leave the organ that pumps blood into the femoral artery completely open!

In all seriousness though, I agree. I am actually a big fan of the way armor looks. Even if its just basic leather armor.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

25 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey there Folks,

As someone here pointed out, I have been out sick with a cold for the past couple of days and did not respond to this thread (or any other for the purpose). Now that I am back, I want to address a few concerns.

1. When it came to this class, we enhanced a number of its abilities (namely blessings and fervor), but that combined with the sacred weapon ability made it just a bit too good. A lot of our play test feedback was pointing in that direction already and we just could not see a way for that to be lessened by giving the class more benefits, so we decided we needed to scale something back. In the end, the enhanced weapon damage seemed like a more unique and interesting ability that the increased BAB.

2. Its clear to me now that I perhaps should have spent a bit more time in the blog pointing out some of the cool factors... so I will just say this. The word "Charisma" appears precisely zero times in the Warpriest now. 0.

3. Folks need to calm it down a bit. Preview blogs are supposed to tease you and leave you wanting to see more. They are not definitive. I realize that this had a bit of bad news in it, but I think you will find that some of the other enhancements have made the class fun and allow it to sit in its own framework (as opposed to stepping all over the fighter, cleric, or paladin). Not everyone will agree, but a preview is not really the place to make grand pronouncements based on only 1 or 2 data points.

Thanks everybody, keep it civil.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


IT NO LONGER NEEDS CHARISMA? THIS IS GLORIOUS NEWS!!!


Thank you for commenting, Jason.

At the risk of pressing too hard, is there anything to address replenishing fervor within the adventuring day? My warpriest (who I have had great fun with nonetheless) goes through fervor like water through a racehorse.


Kryptik wrote:

Thank you for commenting, Jason.

At the risk of pressing too hard, is there anything to address replenishing fervor within the adventuring day? My warpriest (who I have had great fun with nonetheless) goes through fervor like water through a racehorse.

A simple yes or no will suffice to avoid spoilers.

Silver Crusade

Thanks, Jason!

:-)


Glad to hear some good news. As I have said earlier, I will reserve my judgement. I am still incredibly skeptical about these buffs to Blessings and other goodies making it worth it. Only time will tell.


Thanks for the update Jason - hope you're feeling better.

I have a Halfling Paladin concept that absolutely must see the light of day at some point. Hearing that the Warpriest went away from Charisma and that the goal is to have it sit on it's own framework makes me confident that my old concept(s) won't be invalidated.

I'm sure there will be plenty of new character concepts that the Warpriest will fit perfectly - scythe wielding champion of Zon-Kuthon, anyone?


In my mind there were better options for balance than ditching Charisma. Charisma is thematic enough I'd want to find a way to make it work. Warpriest has become something very odd... a fighter-cleric who is reliant on a limited weapon selection, isn't charismatic, and isn't very accurate.


RJGrady wrote:
In my mind there were better options for balance than ditching Charisma. Charisma is thematic enough I'd want to find a way to make it work. Warpriest has become something very odd... a fighter-cleric who is reliant on a limited weapon selection, isn't charismatic, and isn't very accurate.

I would contest that the Warpriest class should be more reliant on Wisdom than Charisma because it's roots are in the Cleric class, which is more Wisdom centric than Charisma focused. I expect that most people will like this idea and the few that don't will probably warm up to it relatively quickly. One of the biggest complaints during the playtest was how MAD the class was. Sure, it's still MAD, but less so now. It also helps move the class away from the Paladin, which is a plus in my book.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I will just say this. The word "Charisma" appears precisely zero times in the Warpriest now. 0.

Now THAT is a teaser!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
RJGrady wrote:
In my mind there were better options for balance than ditching Charisma. Charisma is thematic enough I'd want to find a way to make it work. Warpriest has become something very odd... a fighter-cleric who is reliant on a limited weapon selection, isn't charismatic, and isn't very accurate.

I dunno, Fighters dumping Charisma is a bit iconic at this point and representing that half of their Class Heritage seems a god call. Also, Warpriests caring more about kicking ass than making friends seems solid thematically. And, as MechE_ mentions, it helps differentiate them from Paladins. That's good, too.

All in all, I'm very pleased with this news. I'll likely never personally play a Warpriest (not enough skills, not nearly enough skills), but I have high hopes and expectations for its effectiveness.


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The blessing spoiled just made the BAB nerf even worse. So i am really not seeing how the blessings will make up for the low bab since the only blessing we know for sure(the one spoiled) is completely dependent on the BAB to do something in first place!

If sacred armor, weapon buff, and buffed blessings made the WP too good with full bab, you should just remove the other options, NOT the BAB. The spell buffs are supose to make the warpriest equal to a fighter weapon training, armor training and weapon mastery, you get some more versatility by having spells you can change around, the fighter wins on other area by not having to activate anything to be a fighter.

Now, as a 3/4 bab you will compete with the cleric. And you will only win on the combat feat area, but many combat clerics, specially 2 handed, dont need a lot of combat feats to be effective...

Then youre left with worse spellcasting, delayed access to good buffs, same hp,save,bab,skill than a common cleric.

So the question remais, why not build a cleric and customize it with combat feats from the very start?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

So the question remains why don't we wait to see what the actual class looks like before crying about the collapsing sky?


Thanks, Jason for posting!
Awesome news, ...
you getting better and the charisma thing.

Pour yourself a good single malt!


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there Folks,

As someone here pointed out, I have been out sick with a cold for the past couple of days and did not respond to this thread (or any other for the purpose). Now that I am back, I want to address a few concerns.

1. When it came to this class, we enhanced a number of its abilities (namely blessings and fervor), but that combined with the sacred weapon ability made it just a bit too good. A lot of our play test feedback was pointing in that direction already and we just could not see a way for that to be lessened by giving the class more benefits, so we decided we needed to scale something back. In the end, the enhanced weapon damage seemed like a more unique and interesting ability that the increased BAB.

2. Its clear to me now that I perhaps should have spent a bit more time in the blog pointing out some of the cool factors... so I will just say this. The word "Charisma" appears precisely zero times in the Warpriest now. 0.

3. Folks need to calm it down a bit. Preview blogs are supposed to tease you and leave you wanting to see more. They are not definitive. I realize that this had a bit of bad news in it, but I think you will find that some of the other enhancements have made the class fun and allow it to sit in its own framework (as opposed to stepping all over the fighter, cleric, or paladin). Not everyone will agree, but a preview is not really the place to make grand pronouncements based on only 1 or 2 data points.

Thanks everybody, keep it civil.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Thanks for the update, Jason! Really appreciate it. :)

I didn't mean to come across as "too gloomy" earlier, I don't necessarily think the WP needs "pseudo-full BAB" to be a good class. That said, when the original post read "changing [the warpriest] to 3/4th BAB progression made everything fit" and "we fixed blessings!" without giving any other teasers it made me a little nervous that the class got the fuzzy end of the lollypop, so to say.

The revised WP was chock full of great changes based on the comment thread and I'm really happy to see that you continue to take the playtest feedback into consideration :)

Get better soon and be careful with that drowsy cough mix!

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Because you will be wearing heavy armor, can swift-cast spells, and your bonus feats use your level as your BAB and allow you to qualify for fighter only feats...

Oops.. was that another spoiler. My apologies.. the illness, it must still be affecting me.

Jason

(but this will be the end of my added spoilers.. for the rest you will have to wait and see)

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

I'm quite excited about the Warpriest; the BAB loss hurts, but is understandable. The fact that Charisma is no longer a necessary stat for class features is a pleasant upswing, though (and glad my Warpriest has yet to be played as level 2 so I can alter a couple of things). EDIT: And the bonus feats using level as BAB makes me happy. Level 6 Vital Strike on the way!

Everything else... I'll just have to wait and see; hope the Risen from the Sands module has some other cool info in there, too.


I was really bummed when i read the preview but still cant wait to see it in print, especially if there is a bonded mount archetype available. Though sacred weapon wont really do much for most Warpriest concepts i have had until they get to the 1D10+ mark now.

I know its too late but what about something that lets Sacred Weapon damage count as divine and bypass DR for a few rounds? That would have been sweet, eh? Or choose an alignment type that matches your own and your dieties and your sacred weapons always count as that alignment for bypassing DR? Maybe some feats planned for the book will add some use to Sacred Weapon for someone who isnt using a 1D4.


I'm even moooore exciiiiiiited for thiiiiiiiss claaaaasss.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Because you will be wearing heavy armor, can swift-cast spells, and your bonus feats use your level as your BAB and allow you to qualify for fighter only feats...

Oops.. was that another spoiler. My apologies.. the illness, it must still be affecting me.

Jason

(but this will be the end of my added spoilers.. for the rest you will have to wait and see)

I'm speechless. :D


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havoc xiii wrote:
So the question remains why don't we wait to see what the actual class looks like before crying about the collapsing sky?

I will answer you with a quote from myself.

Adam B. 135 wrote:
Rathendar wrote:
Anyone seen my umbrella? It would appear that the sky is falling...
Because evidence is incapable of being used to imply something bad will happen later? People are right to post their concerns if they feel concerned. Please don't marginalize them like that.

What is up with you guys and saying that people cannot express their worries on a forum meant to allow the Paizo community to communicate with eachother and Paizo. You don't see me going around telling people who are excited about the Swashbuckler's release to "Hold up! Stop that fun train! You should not celebrate that class because it is not out yet. What if it gets released completely underpowered?"


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Because you will be wearing heavy armor, can swift-cast spells, and your bonus feats use your level as your BAB and allow you to qualify for fighter only feats...

Oops.. was that another spoiler. My apologies.. the illness, it must still be affecting me.

Jason

This class is quickly sliding back up my list of "most anticipated class in the ACG"! =D =D

If the class also gets four skill ranks and poaches some spells off the paladin/inquisitor list I'll wait for the ACG in a tent outside my post office!


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Because you will be wearing heavy armor, can swift-cast spells, and your bonus feats use your level as your BAB and allow you to qualify for fighter only feats...

Oops.. was that another spoiler. My apologies.. the illness, it must still be affecting me.

Jason

(but this will be the end of my added spoilers.. for the rest you will have to wait and see)

Ooh! Now that is some good news!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Because you will be wearing heavy armor, can swift-cast spells, and your bonus feats use your level as your BAB and allow you to qualify for fighter only feats...

Oops.. was that another spoiler. My apologies.. the illness, it must still be affecting me.

Jason

(but this will be the end of my added spoilers.. for the rest you will have to wait and see)

I know you need your rest and all but; whatever spoiler inducing bug you have, you need to get into the office and start coughing on people ASAP! :)

Or just get better and continue making awesome things, either/or.


Well. I feel a little better now.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm wondering now if someone from the office contacted him at home and told him he had a fire to put out on the forums...


Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
I'm wondering now if someone from the office contacted him at home and told him he had a fire to put out on the forums...

Considering the explosive growth of this thread because of people like me? That might be the case. I hope it is not though.


Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
I'm wondering now if someone from the office contacted him at home and told him he had a fire to put out on the forums...

I hope not. That would be awful. When you are sick you need your rest. I really hope Paizo isn’t that kind of an employer.


Why not? I would be.


christos gurd wrote:

i seriously wouldn't mind the bab drop if they include

1.count warpriest as fighter levels and bab fro prerequisites
2.either changed fervor to wisdom, or overall increased fervor amounts(thinking at least 4 +charisma+1 for every 4 warpriest levels)
i think maybe even one these could at least make it acceptable if it was implemented. of course who knows what has been added, maybe something even better than these ideas.

now that i know im psychic i must figure out how to use this ability for personal gain :)

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Jason was just at Origins... probably just fought off a bought of the Con Crud.

Took me a few days after GenCon to get over that stuff. I will be better prepared this year!


christos gurd wrote:
christos gurd wrote:

i seriously wouldn't mind the bab drop if they include

1.count warpriest as fighter levels and bab fro prerequisites
2.either changed fervor to wisdom, or overall increased fervor amounts(thinking at least 4 +charisma+1 for every 4 warpriest levels)
i think maybe even one these could at least make it acceptable if it was implemented. of course who knows what has been added, maybe something even better than these ideas.
now that i know im psychic i must figure out how to use this ability for personal gain :)

I guessed the Warpriest Iconic would be a Half-Orc Gorumite months ago and I still haven't figured the personal gain part out...


Was it ever determined if throwing Weapins kept their Sacred Weapon damage when thrown? I know there were some people saying thrown weapons went back to their original damage dice.

Jason, thanks for coming in and clearing some things up. :)


Ok, so now I'm officially back to enjoying this class. Bonus feats access to fighter only feats? Nice. That definitely opens some classes up to critical builds and a few other things. I wonder if one of the archetypes will actually focus on critical strikes like the Holy Vindicator, sacrificing spells to automatically bestow an ailment or extra damage of some sort on an enemy when you make a critical. Would be friggin nice. God, imagine that, Archetypes that are similar to spell casting Two Handed Fighters and Weapon Masters. How friggin awesome would that be?

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