Hi all, first post! I have recently started playing Pathfinder, and have been scouring the 'net for Warpriest builds, with not much luck. After reading N. Jolly's excellent warpriest guide, I have a lot of questions.
I want to make either a half orc warpriest, or an archer warpriest (if half orc works, then great!)
This, from the guide, sounds great, if I knew what the possiblities were:
"Considering that you’re going to be taking sacred tattoo, this race has a ton of synergy with warpriest and can steal the human favored class bonus, making them some intense warpriest. Throw in strong racial feats and the ability to snag racial heritage and they’re the best CRB race possible."
Do people post lvl by lvl builds? I like starting from something that works, so that I can understand it.
A half-orc archer warpriest. That can work, sure. Weapon familiarity lets you use an orc hornbow so do that. With sacred tattoo you want the fate's favored trait. The last moving part before feats is the human alternate favored class bonus of +1/6 of a combat feat.
Feats for a character focused heavily on damage might go:
1: point blank shot
Warpriest 1: weapon focus (orc hornbow)
3: precise shot
Warpriest 3: rapid shot
5: deadly aim
Warpriest 6: weapon spec (orc hornbow)
FCB 6: barroom brawler - so you could pick up weapon finesse or whatever as needed
7: iron will or toughness
Warpriest 9: greater weapon focus (orc hornbow)
11: clustered shot
Warpriest 12: greater weapon spec (orc hornbow)
FCB 12: improved critical
If you want to dabble in knocking dragons out of the sky (ace trip) you'll need some other feats; or if you want to be able in melee you'll need other feats again.
If you're using a weapon that already has a good damage die (like a hornbow or a greatsword) and you don't have something specific you want to do with blessings, the MAC is an upgrade to the Warpriest- take it every time.
Weapon Training is better now (thanks AWT!) than it was when N.Jolly wrote that guide. You may want to clarify with your GM how exactly the Molthune Arsenal Chaplain's Weapon Training works with Advanced Weapon Training. There are multiple interpretations out there; at the very least you should be able to take AWT options with bonus feats at the appropriate levels. The most liberal interpretation is that since the MAC gives you the fighter's weapon training feature (except only for sacred weapons) and the fighter's weapon training feature includes the text "Beginning at 9th level, instead of selecting an additional fighter weapon group, a fighter can choose an advanced weapon training option" then you get them for free, since choosing a second weapon group does nothing for you.
Weapon finesse is for the once-in-a-blue-moon occasion when you need to use a melee weapon, or perhaps a touch attack spell. Barroom brawler is a feat which lets you pick up one combat feat (like weapon finesse, or dedicated adversary, or anything else you won't need most of the time) for a minute, once a day.
(Molthuni) Arsenal Chaplain is very effective. Ordinary warpriest is slightly less effective but slightly more flexible. Champion of the Faith warpriest is more for melee.
Weapon Training gives +1 to hit and damage initially, which increments by another +1 every 4 levels (so +2 at 9th, +3 at 13th, etc.) this also lets you buy Gloves of Dueling for an additional +2 to hit and damage. But having weapon training means you come out ahead of the vanilla warpriest in accuracy and damage for almost any weapon.
For AWT, Warrior Spirit is #1 with a bullet (since it lets you put bane on your weapon for a minute several times a day), but things like versatile training (max ranks in 2 skills), trained initiative (add your WT bonus to initiative), defensive weapon training (get a shield bonus without having to use a shield), and maybe Fighter's Reflexes would be nice to have.
I'm not sure that the MAC doesn't get weapon groups:
At 5th level, a Molthuni arsenal chaplain gains weapon training as per the fighter class feature, but the benefits of this weapon training apply only to the his sacred weapons (weapons with which the warpriest has taken Weapon Focus). This ability replaces channel energy.
So you have the fighter weapon training feature, except it does nothing unless it references one of your sacred weapons. But you don't make any other alterations to the fighter's weapon training feature, which has you choose groups at 5th, 9th, 13th, etc. and I don't see anything about the text of the MAC that changes that.
So a hypothetical MAC using a hornbow would have "Weapon Focus (Hornbow)" so that counts as a sacred weapon, so at level 5 they would choose the Bows group (since that's the one the hornbow is in) and they would get the bonus only to Hornbows. But there's nothing that says they can't then choose a different weapon group at level 9 (say you took weapon focus with a different weapon to gain a second sacred weapon), or instead trade away this vacuous choice for an AWT.
But like I said, ask your GM what they think.
The blessings you'll probably want for an archer are Air and either Charm or Glory, due to the super sanctuary. From what I could find on the Archives of Nethys that means your ideal deities would be Hathor, Seramaydiel, or Shelyn.
As far as feats go, this is what I did on an half-orc warpriest of Shelyn, built through lvl 10:
1. Point-Blank Shot
1. (warpriest) Weapon Focus: Longbow
3. Rapid Shot
3. (warpriest) Deadly Aim
6. (warpriest) Manyshot
6. (FCB human) Snap Shot
9. Scale and Skin
9. (warpriest) Improved Snap Shot
You want to go for an Adaptive Composite Longbow (3K gp) as soon as possible, because with all your self-buffs you will have a variable str mod. Although now that I've looked up the orc hornbow mentioned above by avr, I think that that's a significantly better option over the composite longbow, but I would still put my feats into longbow since the hornbow counts as a longbow and a shortbow for all effects, so weapon focus longbow and thus the subsequent sacred weapon stuff should still apply.
My build is designed more to be as close to untouchable as possible, and is definitely built to function best in a party where you have frontliners, taking pot shots at peeps from a distance. Minor Air blessing means no ranged penalties, minor Charm blessing means people must make a will save in order to attack me unless I've already shot them, major Air blessing means I'm flying, and thus hard to get into melee. Scale and Skin gives bonuses to natural armor whilst under the effects of a transmutation effect, which for a warpriest means bull's strength and eventually mighty strength. Snap Shot, Improved Snap Shot, and eventually Greater Snap Shot (or whatever the third one in the chain is called) mean that if an enemy tries to reach me they provoke.
You want to max out STR and have a decently high DEX. You want to have a 16 WIS at minimum, because otherwise you don't get your best spells late game, and since your fervor is WIS based more of it is always good. For belts I would recommend prioritizing DEX over STR because you'll be putting your buffs into STR, and Bull's Strength and Mighty Strength don't stack with a belt, meaning your belt will be worthless a lot of the time if you have a STR belt. Headband obviously goes to WIS, but it really isn't a priority, getting your Adaptive bow, DEX belt, Amulet of Nat Armor, and Ring of Protection are more important (in fact, that's probably a good order of priority for them, those, then the headband of WIS).
Also, very important to remember, Fate's Favored trait isn't just for pumping Sacred Tattoo, Divine Favor and Divine Power (your MVP buffs) are luck bonuses, meaning Fate's Favored pumps them too.
I hope this helps!
I'm currently playing a half orc warpriest through rise of the rune lords. heres my build so far:
Shaharazad al-Shamsen, Warpriest of Horus lvl 9
Base Ability Scores:
Human Favored Class Bonus
Sacred Tattoo Alternate Racial Trait
Traits: Fate's Favored, Second Chance, Reactionary
Blessings: Air, Nobility
Feats: Weapon Focus: Longbow, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim, Weapon Specialization: Longbow, Point Blank Master, Bullseye Shot, Greater Weapon Focus, Manyshot
I think those are more or less in the order I took them also.