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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RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

This blog is tagged 'investigator'.


Warpriest is still going to kick major ass!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sounds awesome. I'm looking forward to playing the Iconic Warpriest this weekend at Free RPG day!

As an aside, it looks like this article's tags are held over from the last Advanced Class Guide preview article.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Good to see Sacred Weapon was made a little bit less crazy.


Starfinder Superscriber

Huh, nice, can't wait to see the physical final copy.


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Honestly... I'm glad the damage dice scaling stayed. I have to say, I'm pretty satisfied with dropping the BAB thing though. Playing one as per the 2nd version of the advanced class guide, it works really well and is fun to play, but holy hell is my accuracy really high with full BAB and being able to buff up every turn and still unleash the hurt. I'm glad to see the blessings got another look, and hope that a lot of the blessings got the same treatment as the example listed. I'm still hoping for thrown weapon compatibility with sacred weapon, since that's more or less the clergy of Desna's whole image in respects to martial combat: chucking starknives at range and dancing with them up close.


I will reserve final judgement until I see the finished class, but the hit to Sacred Weapon hurts a lot. I can only hope that we will get some way to replenish our fervor like the other limited pool classes.


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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.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Awesome Warpriest of Lamashtu!! Very excited for this class, can't wait for the ACG to come out!


Huh, so they have an archetype called Divine Commander, I take it?


Jason wrote:

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.

^ my favorite :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Aw, no archetype 'teases' :c

Glad it was toned down just a bit; having a melee'er that could buff themselves felt like it outpaced the fighter parent-class.

Ah well, bloodrager next up!


Sounds awesome! Can't wait to play one, this could be one of my new favorite classes!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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I could be misremembering this, but wasn't one of the reasons for the effective BAB bump also so that they could actually take combat feats at appropriate levels? I feel like that was a pretty big point from the first round of the playtest, how hard it was to pick feats for the class since they needed to be able to wade into combat like a Fighter but couldn't select combat feats until much later due to the BAB restrictions.


Cheapy wrote:
Huh, so they have an archetype called Divine Commander, I take it?

Apparently. A little easter egg for the observative types eh?

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I've updated the blog tags.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm guessing the image is of an archetype that allows the warpriest to get a bamf divine mount.

Shadow Lodge

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I think I just stopped loving or even being excited about the Warpriest.


Cheapy wrote:
Huh, so they have an archetype called Divine Commander, I take it?

The answer is yes. (Per Jason Bulmahn's first post in the associated thread).

I'm one of the people who liked the first iteration of the Warpriest best (though it definitely needed some tweaks), and felt the 2nd version went a little bit awry from where I'd have liked to see it go, but I'm still interested in seeing the final class, and trust in the Paizo team to make it cool.

Just the fact that they made me go from "hoo-hum" with the initial name drop of the class to making it one of my favorites in the playtest is a pretty big feat.

Silver Crusade

Dropping the BAB boost feels right. Frees up room for the other, more interesting class abilities to shine. Looking forward to some tomb-raiding with Oloch & Quinn on Sat. :-)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Scavion wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Huh, so they have an archetype called Divine Commander, I take it?
Apparently. A little easter egg for the observative types eh?

She's kind of got a Shoanti look to her, I wonder if that's intentional?


So far, it sounds good!

I do wonder, though, if the nerfing between the playtest and printing won't have an adverse affect on the class.


With the Divine Weapon nerf, I hope Blessings are not worthless anymore. I see that community was improved, but I am skeptical on the rest of them.


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Maybe they bumped that enhancement bonus to weapons up to a minute instead of keeping it as round per level.


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I agree with the full BAB while wielding your sacred weapon was too much.

If Blessings were juiced a little to compensate or the Sacred Weapon buff lasted longer, it'll be fine though.


Looks good. And it looks like the next iconic to be previewed will be the bloodrager, which I definitely can't wait for, to see if they fix the bloodlines to be more on par with each other, or if 2-3 of them will be the go-to and the only ones you will almost always see.

Really looking forward to this book, to see the final incarnations of the classes. I wonder what some of the archetypes for this class will be.


Scavion wrote:

I agree with the full BAB while wielding your sacred weapon was too much.

If Blessings were juiced a little to compensate or the Sacred Weapon buff lasted longer, it'll be fine though.

Agreed. I remember during the playtest I was thinking to myself "I'd trade both my blessings for a single Domain or Inquisition" several times.

Also the Sacred Weapon enhancement bonus lasting a round per level is on the same track as Judgements and Bane/greater bane despite being worth less.

I wonder how the archetype will pan out? If it gives you a dive Mount ala Paladin/Anti-Paladin it would be cool.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Not sure how I feel about this compared to the inquisitor since they certainly overlap a bit in the niche they fill, especially since this class no longer gets full BAB.


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My enthusiasm is greatly diminished.


Ssalarn wrote:
I could be misremembering this, but wasn't one of the reasons for the effective BAB bump also so that they could actually take combat feats at appropriate levels? I feel like that was a pretty big point from the first round of the playtest, how hard it was to pick feats for the class since they needed to be able to wade into combat like a Fighter but couldn't select combat feats until much later due to the BAB restrictions.

This wouldn't matter at all. Monks get full BAB during a flurry, but they can't select Power Attack at level one because you need a BAB of 1 to select it.

Likewise a Warpriest wouldn't be able to take Power Attack at level 1 even if he had his sacred weapon because the Warpriest himself doesn't have an actual BAB of 1.


The lack of full BAB makes it a nice back-up for the paladin.


Illius wrote:

Not sure how I feel about this compared to the inquisitor since they certainly overlap a bit in the niche they fill, especially since this class no longer gets full BAB.

Just realized that.... Oh no :(

I do hope that now that the Warpriest is nerfed that it still has a place compared to the Inquisitor.


Illius wrote:

Not sure how I feel about this compared to the inquisitor since they certainly overlap a bit in the niche they fill, especially since this class no longer gets full BAB.

All armor and martial weapon proficiencies, a different spell list, more combat oriented options...

The niche for the Warpriest that none can really compare is that it makes niche builds possible. Want to be actually good at wielding 90% of the weapons in the game instead of being mediocre compared to the best weapons? Warpriest.


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Inquisitor is the skillful counterpart to the warpriest.
Warpriest is the smashy counterpart to the inquisitor.


Cheapy wrote:

Inquisitor is the skillful counterpart to the warpriest.

Warpriest is the smashy counterpart to the inquisitor.

I dunno, I think an Inquisitor can actually be more smashy than a Warpriest considering they're both 3/4 BAB and the existence of bane/Greater Bane and Judgements.

Not to mention a spell list that was intended to be used for 6/9 casting+more/better skills.


Insain Dragoon wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Inquisitor is the skillful counterpart to the warpriest.

Warpriest is the smashy counterpart to the inquisitor.

I dunno, I think an Inquisitor can actually be more smashy than a Warpriest considering they're both 3/4 BAB and the existence of bane/Greater Bane and Judgements.

Not to mention a spell list that was intended to be used for 6/9 casting+more/better skills.

But only for short times. The Warpriest is more 'fightery' in that his smashing goes for longer than the Inquisitor.


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Insain Dragoon wrote:


I do hope that now that the Warpriest is nerfed that it still has a place compared to the Inquisitor.

I still view Inquisitors as the Divine equivalent to Bards and Warpriests as the Divine equivalent to Magi. Bards and Inquisitors will be more skill oriented while Magus and Warpriest will have better combat options. Does a Magus still have better out of combat versatility than a Warpriest? Most likely, but the same comparison can be made between Wizards and Clerics.


Tels wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Inquisitor is the skillful counterpart to the warpriest.

Warpriest is the smashy counterpart to the inquisitor.

I dunno, I think an Inquisitor can actually be more smashy than a Warpriest considering they're both 3/4 BAB and the existence of bane/Greater Bane and Judgements.

Not to mention a spell list that was intended to be used for 6/9 casting+more/better skills.

But only for short times. The Warpriest is more 'fightery' in that his smashing goes for longer than the Inquisitor.

What does he have that goes on longer? 3/4th BAB? The Warpriest lost his "forever full BAB" man. The Blessings don't actually buff his atk/dmg in most cases.


Why not use the warpriest and the inquisitor in the same party?


Insain Dragoon wrote:
Tels wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Inquisitor is the skillful counterpart to the warpriest.

Warpriest is the smashy counterpart to the inquisitor.

I dunno, I think an Inquisitor can actually be more smashy than a Warpriest considering they're both 3/4 BAB and the existence of bane/Greater Bane and Judgements.

Not to mention a spell list that was intended to be used for 6/9 casting+more/better skills.

But only for short times. The Warpriest is more 'fightery' in that his smashing goes for longer than the Inquisitor.
What does he have that goes on longer? 3/4th BAB? The Warpriest lost his "forever full BAB" man. The Blessings don't actually buff his atk/dmg in most cases.

Bane is rounds a level, Sacred Weapon*, Sacred Armor and spell buffs last usually minutes if not longer.

*I'm betting on Sacred Weapon lasting minutes.


I wouldn't say one is more smashy, they just smash in different ways. Warpriests can buff up, move, and smack something the first turn of combat, and continue to get better and better every single round as opposed to the inquisitor, which really can only buff up damage and accuracy once as a swift action (by dropping judgement). most other spells requires them to use a standard action or metamagic. The warpriest also has artificial bulk by being able to heal themselves in combat while still attacking, although this is something the inquisitor can do to a degree as well with fast healing. I hope with the BAB reduction, fervor goes up to equal lay on hands for healing, selfish healing was something the class was supposed to do, after all.


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Suma3da wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:


I do hope that now that the Warpriest is nerfed that it still has a place compared to the Inquisitor.
I still view Inquisitors as the Divine equivalent to Bards and Warpriests as the Divine equivalent to Magi. Bards and Inquisitors will be more skill oriented while Magus and Warpriest will have better combat options. Does a Magus still have better out of combat versatility than a Warpriest? Most likely, but the same comparison can be made between Wizards and Clerics.

Magus has intelligence as casting stat.

With this nerf I really hope the Warpriest got 4 skills per level and a bonus feat at level 2 so it doesn't have to wait until level 3 to get Power attack.


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One problem with the first draft of the Warpriest was:
- why play a Warpriest with 3/4 BAB and 6 spell levels when you can play a Crusader with same BAB and 9 spell levels.

I hope this problem has been fixed.

Contributor

Zark wrote:

One problem with the first draft of the Warpriest was:

- why play a Warpriest with 3/4 BAB and 6 spell levels when you can play a Crusader with same BAB and 9 spell levels.

I hope this problem has been fixed.

Crusader as in the Cleric archetype?

If I recall, that archetype trades one of its domains and has diminished spellcasting in exchange for Weapon Focus feats with your favored weapon. That's not really the same as having a full BAB.

I think that removing the BAB scaling from sacred weapon was the right call. I thought that having the scaling was very wonky the first time that I read the playtest. Dropping it ought to make this class shine even more. Plus now there's absolutely no chance that the warpriest will invalidate the paladin. (Wasn't likely before, but now they both have very clearly defined roles.)


Despite the lack of full BAB, I'm still excited for the class. I really WANT the domains to have been improved, as well as a spell list improved, soo, sooo badly.
I'm happy that my warpriest of Nulgreth can carry around a falchion or a double axe and get that scaling damage still. I certainly hope the sacred weapon rules have been changed a bit, either Sacred Weapon powered up a bit more OR lengthened. Either way, it's too short. A weapon bonus versus the awesomeness of judgements, while both lasting the same, is not an ideal situation. Would be nice if his Warpriest level counted as his BAB for selecting feats though. That would be an interesting way of solving things.
I also wonder what types of archetypes they'll have. I hope that they'll have stuff similar to the fighter archetypes, like weapon master, two handed fighter, armor master, etc, that allows you to specialize your warpriest in some of his abilities even further, like specialized fervor or sacred weapon or something like that.
Dammit I NEED MOAR!!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I support this change; the warpriest definitely seemed just a hair over the line.

EDIT: And I really hope there was a cutback on the number of pseudo-sanctuary blessings. Made sense for a couple, but they were everywhere. :/


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Zark wrote:

One problem with the first draft of the Warpriest was:

- why play a Warpriest with 3/4 BAB and 6 spell levels when you can play a Crusader with same BAB and 9 spell levels.

I hope this problem has been fixed.

Crusader as in the Cleric archetype?

If I recall, that archetype trades one of its domains and has diminished spellcasting in exchange for Weapon Focus feats with your favored weapon. That's not really the same as having a full BAB.

I think that removing the BAB scaling from sacred weapon was the right call. I thought that having the scaling was very wonky the first time that I read the playtest. Dropping it ought to make this class shine even more. Plus now there's absolutely no chance that the warpriest will invalidate the paladin. (Wasn't likely before, but now they both have very clearly defined roles.)

Removing a powerful ability never makes something shine more. Even if they were right to do so, saying that it makes the class more appealing is incorrect.

Currently we have no evidence that Sacred Weapon will last minute per level, so as it stands the Inquisitor is better. Inquisitions and Domains are better than the old Blessings too, and we only have evidence of one of the blessings being buffed.

The things that make this class cool are currently in a state of mystery, so it is hard to judge it. We got a for sure nerf in exchange for "maybe" buffs.


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I will repeat my disclaimer of holding off final judgment until I see the finished version.

However.

Let's compare the Swashbuckler and Warpriest for a moment in terms of rough power levels.

One one hand you have a d10 full BAB chassis that counts as fighter when selecting feats, that has a pool ability that is laughably easy to refill. It's not particularly hard to regain your panache with a class that gives you Improved Crit at level 5 and encourages you to use a rapier. To add to that, the vast majority of the SB abilites are "on" as long as you keep a point in the pool. Our group has had a SB since the playtest opened, and he has run out of Panache maybe...twice.

On the other hand, you have a MAD d8 3/4 BAB class that is supposed to be the divine personification of war yet cannot qualify for fighter feats like the SB and Brawler can. His Fervor pool not only cannot be replenished over the course of a dungeon, for example, he cannot even get it back via resting for 8 hours. He is limited to getting it back at the same time of day. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have run out of Fervor. The most recent nerf to the BAB aspect of Sacred Weapon now cuts into Power Attack as well.

I dunno. I think that I wouldn't be as worried about the Sacred Weapon thing if I had some sort of acknowledgment of how quickly Fervor runs out (especially when you spend 2 points for a substandard Channel, or some of the other problems that were raised in the playtest.

I still want to be excited about this class but I can't help but feel a sinking feeling.

We shall see in August, I suppose.


Any chance it could be answered if we'd be able to choose Domains instead of Blessings?

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