Need Some Warpriest Advice


Advice


Hello everyone!

Been mulling over running a Warpriest in the next campaign I'll be in. The GM is new to GMing and wants to avoid too much janky stuff (so I'm avoiding complicated things like multi-classing, or say, an undersized 1 handed dorn-durger + sphinx hammer two weapon fighting build )

I'm sticking with something a bit more simple. A tank/frontline/Defender fighter type who uses a warhammer (and maybe shield).

The game is going to be slightly more narrative than usual, so my character needs more than just straight up fighting abilities (which is why I chose warpriest. Some versatility with spells, can heal or buff, and not sole focused on combat).

So my stat allotment reflects this (IE I didn't dump INT) but I'm still not sure what I really should go for in a build like this and what is needed. I feel like my health is too low, I feel my skills are still too low, I feel my to hit might be too low, I feel my AC is... probably okay?

Besides being worried about stats I'm also not certain on feat choices. At one point I thought taking cleave was the go to idea... then I read an article on how bad an option cleave is even for someone who only ever hits once a turn for a long while anyways. I thought maybe two weapon fighting but ran into power attack and two weapon fighting eating away at my already perceptively low to hit value.

I guess to start, let's show what the character looks like, here's what I have so far:

Roth [name pending]
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Human, Warpriest, Lawful Good Lvl 3

STR: 16
CON: 13
DEX: 13
INT: 13
WIS: 14 (+2 from Human makes it 16)
CHA: 7

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Traits:

Ancestral Weapon (+1 for all cold iron weapons and I get a free masterwork coldiron weapon)
Eyes and Ears of the City (perception as a class skill and a +1)
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Blessing 1: Nobility Blessing
Blessing 2: N/A --- Traded for Divine Fighting Technique (Way of Patient Strikes --- Basically combat reflexes for wisdom using warhammer)
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Warpriest Deity Favored Weapon: Spear
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Feats:

1) Fast Learner (+1 skill, +1 hp, +1 fav class bonus per level)
Human Bonus Feat: Dodge
Warpriest Free Feat Weapon Focus: Warhammer

3) Power Attack
Bonus Feat: Mobility

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Future levels:

5) Uncertain?

6) Bonus Warpriest Feat: Combat Patrol (thankfully warpriest subverts their 3/4 BAB with sort of counting like full BAB and fighter for their bonus feats)
Bonus Warpriest Favored Class Feat: Vital Strike
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Gear:

Cold Iron Masterwork Warhammer (with Power attack it's currently around +7 to hit, 1d8+5 single handed, 2 handed 1d8+7 )

Coldiron Spear: +7 to hit, 1d8+4 --- Thrown +5 to hit

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Defense: AC currently around 22 (9 armor, 1 shield, 1 dex, 1 dodge(

Full Plate Masterwork
Masterwork Light Steel Quickdraw Shield
or
Masterwork Buckler?

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I'm not sure on shields... should I get a buckler so I can easily switch from 1handed to 2 handed, should I just get the quickdraw shield so I can waste swift actions to put my shield away or draw it? Should I just forget the shield entirely and go Two handed hammer the entire time? (I'm pretty sure I don't want to go with the heavy shield as that would make spell casting impossible, since I need at least one hand free to do somatic components)

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Anyways, that's the build.

Some things to keep in mind: I NEED skill points. right now 5 per level is barely sufficient enough I think to warrant a playable character for a game that may involve lots of skill check rolls. Also, 13 intel is required for fast learner which gives me the +1 skill, HP, and fav class bonus.

I know this part is probably hurting me the most but I can't dump INT... only have 2 skill points a level, or worse, None, is really going to hamper my options outside of combat I feel.

Con is dangerously low as well, to make up for having a higher INT, but, I feel a d8 +2 per level is probably sufficient for a class that can heal itself easily enough. Plus, if I really need hit-points I figure I could take toughness at level 5 since I've got no other idea (or toughness level 3 and take mobility at level 5?)

What are you ideas? Thoughts on builds? How to make this a somewhat decent social/narrative character without gimping his combat abilities too badly? What's a good stat Array (20 point buy)? Are the feats I'm choosing a good idea? Should I pick others? Is there some idea or build I haven't thought of that involves this general style of warpriest? Maybe TWF is more viable than I think?

Hek... maybe I should just go back to my weird ass idea of using an undersized Dorn-Durger in my main hand and a Dwarven Sphinx Hammer in the off hand so I can have reach with the Dorn-Durger, close range with the hammer, and if I need to, throw the thing at someone's face from range (with level 5 being the level I get a blink back belt OR I work towards getting returning on the hammer)

Silver Crusade

I suggest putting your racial +2 into Str instead of Wis; 14 Wis should be sufficient. If it was me, I'd lower Dex and Int to 12, and raise Con to 14. If you really feel you want the extra skill point, I'd just take Toughness instead of Fast Learner, and put the FCB into skills.


If skills are important for your concept why not go inquisitor, which is more skill monkey divine class.
And I agree put the bonus in str if you’re going melee route, don’t need 16 wisdom. And figure how to raise that con to 14 if you’re going melee on a d8 class.
I like the character just seems like you’re trying to do too much and spreading yourself thin.


PCScipio wrote:
I suggest putting your racial +2 into Str instead of Wis; 14 Wis should be sufficient. If it was me, I'd lower Dex and Int to 12, and raise Con to 14. If you really feel you want the extra skill point, I'd just take Toughness instead of Fast Learner, and put the FCB into skills.

Hmm, thinking about it, I think doing what you suggest is an interesting idea.

I've decided to lower my int to 11 (gaining it to 12 at level 4, I think I can live with slightly diminished skills for one level) keeping my per skill level gain as the favored class bonus and raise my con to 14. I "May" take toughness... but I'm not sure yet. It would raise my average starting HP from 24 to 27 but... I can also swift action heal myself... so not sure if needed. BUT I have to keep my Dex at 13 if I want to do the dodge/mobility/combat patrol idea.

I'm still up for debate on increasing my STR or WIS more. Being a warpriest I have many ways to increase my to hit with spells and class abilities. As well as damage. But that is fueled by my Wisdom. As are my extra AoOs from the divine combat ability. So, I think I'll keep my STR and WIS at a 16. Probably pumping them up later with belts and headbands.

But ya, perhaps I was too sold on Fast learner. I mean, it does mean I miss out on the extra free feat at level 6 which sucks... but I don't think I NEED it.

skulky wrote:

If skills are important for your concept why not go inquisitor, which is more skill monkey divine class.

And I agree put the bonus in str if you’re going melee route, don’t need 16 wisdom. And figure how to raise that con to 14 if you’re going melee on a d8 class.
I like the character just seems like you’re trying to do too much and spreading yourself thin.

Well, for one, the character concept is more jovial. More willing to laugh and make merry with people than to brood and harshly punish those the church seeks to discipline. He's much more a defender of the faith and less it's offensive cut throat zealot.

As for the STR vs WIS... I just don't feel comfortable as a caster, even a half caster, having anything bellow a 16 XD also because it keys into my extra AoOs which may be useful because of another feat I'm thinking of taking (not just combat patrol) But I did like the idea of raising my CON so I did that.

Current stats:

STR: 16
DEX: 13
CON: 14
INT: 11
WIS: 16 (+2 from Human)
CHA: 07

I also decided to get rid of the shield. With full plate, 1 dex, and dodge, my AC is 21 at level 3. I think that's sufficient enough. Now I'm just always two-handing my warhammer or spear.
My to hit is +7 with power attack (+8 otherwise) and with spells or class abilities I can reliably make that number go up +1 or +2 when needed. My damage is a solid d8+9 but could be a d10+10 as I plan to make use of swift action enlarge person. Plus Enlarge person really keys into my other abilities, like combat reflexes (keyed off wisdom) and combat patrol further down the line.

So now, with all that figured out, I have a few choices on feats:

I have 2 feat slots available by level 3 (mobility can be moved to either level 3 or taken at level 5)

Toughness: My average HP is about 24 without toughness, with it would be 27 at level 3
Combat Stamina: I'm less likely to choose this option. With a 3/4 BAB and +2 con I only have 3 stamina to start out with. But, it is a flexible to hit bonus per fight at worst. Though, looking through stamina tricks for the combat feats I have and plan to get... there's nothing too exciting other than just say, mobility getting a passive defense buff and possibly combat patrol's ability down the line avoiding AoO for moving.
Body Guard: This fits the character theme pretty darn well. With all my extra AoO and if I can find a way to get enlarge person cast on me (we do have a Archaeologist Bard, so maybe I just buy a wand for him to use on me) ... though that poses a question: is there any way to get Enlarge Person as a spell for warpriest?
I know there's dreamed secrets... if my DM will allow me to take it. But that's level 7 anyways. Still, a decent option then I suppose.
Improved Overrun: An "okay" positioning tool. Not crazy about taking this one buuuuut it's the feat tax for something MUCH better--
Charge Through: This basically allows me to charge, get free overrun on one creature in the way, and attack a target. Bonus points if anyone in the way gets prone due to my overun. Due to my high AoO it means for the cost of a charge maneuver I get damage in on my target, move a good distance, AND I get to pin down potentially something that was in my way. (all this substantially improves if I'm large size too). Flavorful, maybe not the most effective, but I feel I could use it often enough. It does require essentially two feats though (which I can do, but I loose out on say, taking toughness)

Stand Still: Another choice for battle field control. Since I don't want things rushing by and charging the backline, I can stop them right in front of me. Might be useful, might not be. Maybe it's better to just let them go and take some free hits, or maybe attempt to trip them on the way past.
Improved Trip: Useful if I want things prone, I can then get AoOs when they try to get up. HAMMER DOWN!!
Sidestep: I'll probably be taking a lot of hits and probably with my high AC, they'll be missing. Getting a free 5' step on their turn is a pretty sweet trade off deal to position my way infront of other enemies.
Improved Side step:
doesn't eat up my next turn's 5' step.
Step up: with usually only 5' of reach, being able to footsy to my fleeing opponent would be nice.
Following step: even more movement for a fleeing opponent

Cleave: I love the idea of cleaving but... the opportunity cost of it actually ever occurring is low. Not to mention if I use it once in a fight, any intelligent creature, heck probably most animals, will think, ya probably shouldn't stand side by side. Non intelligent creatures still understand flanking usually anyways. I'm not sold on cleave but maybe there's a case for it?

So ya, any ideas on what two feats to take of these choices? I'm pretty set on keeping dodge, mobility (level 5), and combat patrol (level 6) but I'm open to other ideas.

... Also I just thought of this but...

VMC Barbarian for rage and rage powers later is seriously an option... I loose my 3rd level and 7th level feat (easy enough) and I still get 1 more feat to choose from the list above (or something else you might suggest?)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For a 6-level caster that primarily focuses on no-save buffs, and wanted to focus on melee, I wouldn't go for more than a 14 in casting stat.

I'm not sure about the AoO focus, even with things like combat patrol, I've found that it is really pretty unreliable to expect to use them. Similarly, I'd question a 3/4 BaB wanting to focus on combat maneuvers.

VMC Barbarian seems like a bad choice as the rage would prevent your spellcasting.

Warpriest isn't a bad chasis. I think that what they are best at is enduring. They can stand toe to toe with the bad guy, give and take hits and on their turn heal themselves and still fight. They just keep going. They don't have to hit super hard to prevail.

I wouldn't give up on the heavy shield concept, with fervor you can cast spells (on yourself) just fine. Being the 'tank' is a solid option. I would consider the endurance and diehard feats, as well as toughness to focus on the 'never goes down' aspect. If your party doesn't have another front liner, I'd think strongly about the Divine Commander archetype.

Of course this (or your combat patrol plan) is going to depend heavily on the party as a whole using coordinated tactics. In either case, if a couple characters run out ahead of you to engage the enemy the entire point is wasted. An arcane battlefield controller, a full bab archer and something like a bard archer working with this character would be pretty awesome in combat.

I also think you should coordinate your skills. Even in a skill focused game, often being the second best in the party at a skill is pretty much useless. You might find that you really only need to cover a skill or two, and don't need to invest much or you might find that a 2+Int class without an Int focus simply isn't going to be able to cover enough skills that other party members don't have.


Roco wrote:
I'm still up for debate on increasing my STR or WIS more. Being a warpriest I have many ways to increase my to hit with spells and class abilities. As well as damage. But that is fueled by my Wisdom. As are my extra AoOs from the divine combat ability. So, I think I'll keep my STR and WIS at a 16. Probably pumping them up later with belts and headbands.
Warpriests are an odd-duck; they look like a caster at first glance, but they're really martials in mentality, with Divine Favor cancelling the BAB-disparity. -- You swift-buff and pound the crap out of things. You seldom run out of spells (you can always buy wands), so put the racial bump in the physical stat. You're not often going to cast saving-throw magic anyway.
Quote:
is there any way to get Enlarge Person as a spell for warpriest?
Yes: Drink potions like the cheap soda-pop they are once beyond the baby levels. In fact, learn how to drink them faster than usual.
Quote:
More willing to laugh and make merry with people than to brood and harshly punish those the church seeks to discipline. He's much more a defender of the faith and less it's offensive cut throat zealot....

Being jovial and merry is roleplaying (brazenly ignoring dumped charisma, as is the common wont), feats are for cutting throats.

Try this:

STR+ 17 (all bumps)
DEX: 14
CON: 14 (20pt-buy)
INT: 12
WIS: 14
CHA: 7

Traits: Accelerated Drinker, Fate's Favored
01 [bonus: WF:bardiche], Combat Reflexes, Additional Traits: Ancestral Weapon, Eyes and Ears of the City
03 [bonus: Power Attack], Quick Draw
05 Weapon Specialization: bardiche
06 [bonus: Improved Initiative]

-- Aside from a few of the traits, this is pure old-school core rulebook feats takin' care of business martial battlefield-control by being Enlarged-and-in-charge with the best reach-weapon in the game. Learn to use the Brace property offensively (this is a real bacon-saver once pounce-monsters show up later on).

Weapon: cold-iron bardiche, various back-up weapons (e.g., greatsword to deal with reach-crowders)
Armor: Tatami-do
Shield: buckler (you'll be eating -1 attack, but that's OK)

Round 1
* Swift: Divine Favor
* Move: drink Enlarge Person potion
* Standard: attack, ready, brace, or cast another spell
Round 2
* Swift: Cat's Grace (this "fills out" your armor, and grants +2 AoOs)

...and you're in heavy armor with *four* attacks of opportunity while Enlarged threatening a 50'-width zone. STR is 22 at 4th or 5th with a belt, and doing 2d8+(gigantic pile).


Dave Justus wrote:

For a 6-level caster that primarily focuses on no-save buffs, and wanted to focus on melee, I wouldn't go for more than a 14 in casting stat.

I'm not sure about the AoO focus, even with things like combat patrol, I've found that it is really pretty unreliable to expect to use them. Similarly, I'd question a 3/4 BaB wanting to focus on combat maneuvers.

VMC Barbarian seems like a bad choice as the rage would prevent your spellcasting.

Warpriest isn't a bad chasis. I think that what they are best at is enduring. They can stand toe to toe with the bad guy, give and take hits and on their turn heal themselves and still fight. They just keep going. They don't have to hit super hard to prevail.

I wouldn't give up on the heavy shield concept, with fervor you can cast spells (on yourself) just fine. Being the 'tank' is a solid option. I would consider the endurance and diehard feats, as well as toughness to focus on the 'never goes down' aspect. If your party doesn't have another front liner, I'd think strongly about the Divine Commander archetype.

Of course this (or your combat patrol plan) is going to depend heavily on the party as a whole using coordinated tactics. In either case, if a couple characters run out ahead of you to engage the enemy the entire point is wasted. An arcane battlefield controller, a full bab archer and something like a bard archer working with this character would be pretty awesome in combat.

I also think you should coordinate your skills. Even in a skill focused game, often being the second best in the party at a skill is pretty much useless. You might find that you really only need to cover a skill or two, and don't need to invest much or you might find that a 2+Int class without an Int focus simply isn't going to be able to cover enough skills that other party members don't have.

The problem with shields is they don't work too well with Two handed weapon fighting. I could just use one handed fighting for sure, but casting anything during combat that isn't on myself would require me dropping something.

But the more I think about it the more the wisdom thing really effects me in two ways: it effects my AoOs (since it keys off wisdom with the warhammer divine combat style) and it effects the number of uses I get with fervor (the thing that let's me cast spells on myself quickened or to heal)

I guess loosing 1 use a day is an okay trade off, maybe only have 3 AoO are also okay (2 from 14 wisdom and 1 default)

Slim Jim wrote:
Roco wrote:
I'm still up for debate on increasing my STR or WIS more. Being a warpriest I have many ways to increase my to hit with spells and class abilities. As well as damage. But that is fueled by my Wisdom. As are my extra AoOs from the divine combat ability. So, I think I'll keep my STR and WIS at a 16. Probably pumping them up later with belts and headbands.

Warpriests are an odd-duck; they look like a caster at first glance, but they're really martials in mentality, with Divine Favor cancelling the BAB-disparity. -- You swift-buff and pound the crap out of things. You seldom run out of spells (you can always buy wands), so put the racial bump in the physical stat. You're not often going to cast saving-throw magic anyway.

Quote:
is there any way to get Enlarge Person as a spell for warpriest?

Yes: Drink potions like the cheap soda-pop they are once beyond the baby levels. In fact, learn how to drink them faster than usual.

Quote:
More willing to laugh and make merry with people than to brood and harshly punish those the church seeks to discipline. He's much more a defender of the faith and less it's offensive cut throat zealot....

Being jovial and merry is roleplaying (brazenly ignoring dumped charisma, as is the common wont), feats are for cutting throats.

Try this:

STR+ 17 (all bumps)
DEX: 14
CON: 14 (20pt-buy)
INT: 12
WIS: 14
CHA: 7

Traits: Accelerated Drinker, Fate's Favored
01 [bonus: WF:bardiche], Combat Reflexes, Additional Traits: Ancestral Weapon, Eyes and Ears of the City
03 [bonus: Power Attack], Quick Draw
05 Weapon Specialization: bardiche
06 [bonus: Improved Initiative]

-- Aside from a few of the traits, this is pure old-school core rulebook feats takin' care of business martial battlefield-control by being Enlarged-and-in-charge with the best reach-weapon in the game. Learn to use the Brace property offensively (this is a real bacon-saver once pounce-monsters show up later on).

Weapon: cold-iron bardiche, various back-up weapons (e.g.,...

Hmm some interesting ideas here.

Though to address the buying things issue... I never feel I have free money to buy much beyond the "necessary" gear. Like just trying to afford a belt or headband which almost every character needs is most early level investments, let alone enhancing weapons and armor. Finding 750g per first level wand I want to use can be really hard to do (especially this early level if I use full plate for the best AC)

As for the Charisma dump... ya. Really no choice there. But I can make up for the CHA loss by pumping the two relevant skills, diplomacy and intimidate.

Hmm, I like your stat Array... feeling more and more like maybe 14 Wisdom is the right place (and it can be raised for 4k later). Don't know if I want to go the Fate's favored and swift drinker route... for one I don't know if I can afford enough potions to really make use for it and fate's favored, I heard it makes for a good buff to a really good buff spell. But I dunnuh if I want to spend a feat to buff a sometimes active buff spell by 1. (But hey, weapon focus is a feat... so maybe it's not as bad as I think)

As for the weapon and armor choice, just using a reach weapon could be a better idea over using the warhammer with combat patrol. A lot less feat intensive. Though I feel maybe dodge is something I'd want to pump that AC a bit more. But maybe it's not needed.

As for the armor, the DM is narrative leaning more than mechanical so he's trying to weave a story. Things we choose have to make sense to some degree and not just thrown in there cus wanting to optimize. That's a great piece of armor, but because we're in Arabia setting, my character is already slightly out of place by being Egyption. I don't think I could get away narratively with him using asian gear.

The buckler though... that's a really odd proposition. I may understand the shield thing wrong but... if you're using a two handed weapon then you won't ever get the shield bonus? So why even bother wearing one if it's just going to eat away at your to hit.

Oh, and last thing I noticed was the feat: weapon specialization, again I may understand warpriest wrong, but I thought their "sort of acts like fighter and full BAB" only works on their bonus feats. (IE the one they get at 3rd, 6th, etc) and is questionably active if you use the favored class bonus to snag another one at 6th. Ontop of that I thought it only applied to qualifying for feats too... so for instance as I'm now realizing combat patrol does NOT work well because while I can qualify for it at 6th level... the increase in threat range doesn't happen yet becuase my actual bab is NOT +5 at that level... well frick. Guess I do have to change up that build a bit.

Thanks for the suggestions so far guys! I'm probably gonna drop my WIS down a bit and move into better dex/str. In addition I'll look over my weapon and feat choices again... since combat patrol is out I might want to use a reach weapon instead. Or I could live with just using the warhammer still... hmmm...


Quote:
As for the weapon and armor choice, just using a reach weapon could be a better idea over using the warhammer with combat patrol. A lot less feat intensive. Though I feel maybe dodge is something I'd want to pump that AC a bit more. But maybe it's not needed.
Look at it this way: even without Dodge and without a shield, your AC is still going to be better than a typical raging barbarian doing the same kind of melee combat. And the point of polearm combat is to keep the bastards off your butt! And if they are going to getchya, get 'em first with your AoOs (Fortuitous is your first weapon enhancement after the +1).
Quote:
Don't know if I want to go the Fate's favored and swift drinker route... for one I don't know if I can afford enough potions to really make use for it and fate's favored, I heard it makes for a good buff to a really good buff spell. But I dunnuh if I want to spend a feat to buff a sometimes active buff spell by 1.

Well...you're not going to be 1st/2nd level forever. A measly 500gp buys you ten of the things, and how many fights do you do before you score another cash-haul? I'm guessing it's less than ten. Once you're 4th, the things are petty-cash pocket lint.

Fate's Favored: --Divine Favor is *the* go-to spell for warpriests; at 3rd level, you're +3 att/dmg w/FF. Take it, take it, take it, all day long.

Elsewhere....

* Swap Improved Initiative and Weapon Spec to make the build kosher.

* Go without a shield for now, but keep in mind the combo of Shield Focus and Unhindering Shield for later use with a highly-magical buckler.

* Egyptian setting equipment problems: ...never-mind the Tatami-do armor, because you can get the exact same AC/dex combo with an ordinary agile breastplate + armored kilt, and save 600gp, 10lbs weight, and +2 more favorable armor check penalty.

Skills: don't forget the rank in Swim so you can make a DC 5 check!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't think their are many rounds where you will get more than 2 AoOs anyway. WIS for more ferver attempts is nice, but that pool will be going up as you level.

(Out of curiosity, how are you expecting to take Eyes and Ears of the City which requires worship of Adabar and Torag's Patient Strikes Divine Fighting technique?)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Slim Jim wrote:


Fate's Favored: --Divine Favor is *the* go-to spell for warpriests; at 3rd level, you're +3 att/dmg w/FF. Take it, take it, take it, all day long.

Don't quite understand your math here. The spell will give you +1 and the trait will give you an additional +1 for +2.

It isn't a bad trait, but I don't think I'd call it 'go to' you only have so many spells per day, and that combo is going to cap at 9th level at +4, so unless you find better luck bonuses to use it will stop being 'go to' as better spells surpass it (although that isn't too bad even late game).


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Dave Justus wrote:
I don't think their are many rounds where you will get more than 2 AoOs anyway. WIS for more ferver attempts is nice, but that pool will be going up as you level.
When you have Fortuitous (eventually), you'll want it. (Also, I'd rather have more dex than less in any build.)
Quote:
(Out of curiosity, how are you expecting to take Eyes and Ears of the City which requires worship of Adabar and Torag's Patient Strikes Divine Fighting technique?)
I didn't have Torag's thing in my build.
Dave Justus wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
Fate's Favored: --Divine Favor is *the* go-to spell for warpriests; at 3rd level, you're +3 att/dmg w/FF. Take it, take it, take it, all day long.
Don't quite understand your math here. The spell will give you +1 and the trait will give you an additional +1 for +2.
At 3rd, you're caster-level 3, and the Divine Favor bonus becomes +2 (then +1 for the trait).
Quote:
It isn't a bad trait, but I don't think I'd call it 'go to' you only have so many spells per day, and that combo is going to cap at 9th level at +4, so unless you find better luck bonuses to use it will stop being 'go to' as better spells surpass it (although that isn't too bad even late game).

It's a long time away, and if you approach the class with a martial mentality, then any spellcasting at all is pure gravy.

Sovereign Court

Slim Jim wrote:
At 3rd, you're caster-level 3, and the Divine Favor bonus becomes +2 (then +1 for the trait).

Divine Favor doesn't bump up to +2 until CL 6.

As for the Fate's Favored and Divine Favor discussion, that is ABSOLUTELY the go-to. Also, be a half-orc with the Sacred Tattoo alternate racial, which gives you +1 luck to all saves, then Fate's Favored ticks that up to +2 to all saves, which is amazing.

I love Warpriest. One of my favourite classes. I disagree with the people telling you to go low on WIS, mostly because you want to have enough uses of Fervor+Divine Favor to get you through an entire day's worth of combat.

Generally speaking, I'd never play one without multiclassing, but if for some reason I had to, I'd probably do an archer, something like this:

Half-Orc
+2 to DEX, Sacred Tattoo
12/19/12/10/15/7

Traits: Deadeye Bowman, Fate's Favored

Arsenal Chaplain Warpriest
Human FCB for +1/6th bonus combat feat

Feats & Things
1) Point-Blank Shot, Warpriest B: Weapon Focus (Longbow)
2) -
3) Precise Shot, Warpriest B: Rapid Shot
4) ASI: +1 to DEX
5) Deadly Aim, Weapon Training: Longbow
6) Warpriest B: Clustered Shots, Warpriest B: Manyshot

After that just do whatever you want, you're already a thoroughly competent archer. You buy a +1 comp longbow, +2 DEX belt, and Gloves of Dueling. This way, at level 6, you're doing something like:

4 BAB + 6 DEX + 1 magic + 3 Divine Favor + 3 Weapon Training + 1 Weapon Focus + 1 Point-Blank Shot - 2 Rapid Shot - 2 Deadly Aim = +15

1d8 base + 1 STR + 1 magic + 3 Divine Favor + 3 Weapon Training + 1 Point-Blank Shot + 4 Deadly Aim = 1d8+13

That's 3 arrows per round at +15 to hit for 1d8+13 each, without having needed anything more than a swift action to buff yourself and with mostly only basic gear. And you don't care about DR, and get to carry around a quiver of utility arrows to help out in various situations. You only get 2 skill ranks per round, so they're pretty much always going into Perception and Sense Motive, probably.


ZᴇɴN wrote:
Divine Favor doesn't bump up to +2 until CL 6.
Gah. That one gets me every time.
Quote:
I love Warpriest. One of my favourite classes. I disagree with the people telling you to go low on WIS, mostly because you want to have enough uses of Fervor+Divine Favor to get you through an entire day's worth of combat.

Going from a 14 to an 18 Wis only gets you two more uses, but will cost -2 attack and -2/-3 damage (more, because you'll miss more often) when those shunted build points come out of your attack stat, or bleed your saves, skills, and hitpoints if they're nickled and dimed elsewhere. A warpriest will get most of his fervor daily uses from levels (and Vestments of War, which he'll pick up at some point).

Sovereign Court

Vestments of War ALSO "only" gives you two additional uses, for 14k. Two more uses is a big deal at lower levels. Even as you get higher, you inevitably end up using Fervor to heal yourself from time to time, and get more spells you'll want to use in combat.

More WIS also means more bonus spells, better Will save, better Perception, etc.

Honestly, I wouldn't go higher than 16 plus a +2 WIS headband, but having max 14 WIS feels a bit low.


Quote:
Vestments of War ALSO "only" gives you two additional uses, for 14k.
The nice thing about Vestments is that they take the less-often-used body slot, and 14k is pretty reasonable (on par with, say, Gloves of Dueling for fighters). Warpriests also get an extra channel.
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Honestly, I wouldn't go higher than 16 plus a +2 WIS headband, but having max 14 WIS feels a bit low.

Well, then you're only a +1 bonus over 14+headband at the cost of two -1s elsewhere in point-buy or -1 (eventually worse) from your attack stat. Otherwise the point-buy is inefficiently allocated away from the most-nutrient-dense 15,14,14,14,12,7 single-dump array.

Sovereign Court

That's an exaggeration. Realistically speaking, what I'm suggesting is an array of 15, 15, 14, 14, 10, 7. That's a single -1 to an unimportant ability in favor of getting to +1 a much more important ability at level 8 (assuming the most important ability gets the +1 at level 4).

This is especially relevant for characters that aren't going to see play at 12+ (the vast majority of PFS characters, for example), where you're only going to get two ability score increases.

Your suggested array would make your level 8 increase essentially worthless for the average PFS character, or any other character that won't see level 12.

On the other hand, my suggested array makes the 20th level increase theoretically mostly worthless. Not only do very few characters ever see level 20, but even for those that do, a single +1 to an ability score isn't going to count for a whole lot at that level, while the gains represented to an 8th level character are comparatively huge.


First, wanna say thanks for all this discussion on the topic! It really got me thinking more about different ideas and ways to do things and well... I've got another idea now that I want to run by you guys.

Scrapping STR build and going DEX.

Hear me out~

The idea is he's still a High HP, high AC, tank. He also still has battlefield control abilities. But, he's not focusing on reach, or combat patrol, and instead he's focusing on a DEX sword and board, step up and... combat reflexes + Swordmaster's Flair + Amateur Swashbuckler.

Okay stick with me here:

STR: 13 (bumping at level 8 if we go that far)
DEX: 16
CON: 14
INT: 11 (bumping this at level 4 probably)
WIS: 14 (16 from the +2 human)
CHA: 07

BACKGROUND TRAITS:
Eyes and Ears of the City (perception class skill and +1, this can be replaced with fate's favored I supppose... but I really like having a decent perception)
Chosen Child (900 starting Gold, there's a reason explained in gear)

FEATS:
Human Bonus: Combat Reflexes
Level 1: Weapon Finesse
Favored Deity Weapon Focus: Composite Shortbow
Free Favored Weapon feat: Scimitar (though flavoring it to look like a kopesh... yes I know that's an actual item on the list but it's exotic and works more like a straight sword with a trip quality, f!@@ that)

level 3: Amateur Swashbuckler (why? This will also be explained further in gear. But needless to say it's for one sole purpose: To gain 1 panache point [which even with -2 charisma you stll get] and the ability to refuel panache with crits or kills. Also I can take extra panache in the future if I wish to further have more and increase my max pool. I thought maybe to take amature gunslinger instead because it keys of wisdom and the grit/panache work the exact same for what I need it for... I still might because I'm not actually using the deed itself... so perhaps then I will do that XD but it just doesn't feel right cus I'm not using guns... )

Bonus warpriest: Slashing Grace (dex to damage)

Level 5: Step up or Power Attack or quick draw
Level 6: Vital Strike or whatever I didn't pick from level 5

GEAR: (here's where explanations come into play)

ARMOR:
MW Breastplate (can't afford agile, not really necessary anyhow)
MW Buckler

Total AC: 20

WEAPONS:
MW Kopesh (Scimitar) - +7 to hit// 1d6+3 (18-20/x2 crit)
MW Composite Shortbow - +7 to hit// 1d6+1 (20/x2 crit)

(no cold iron Ancestral weapon shenanigans this time)

ITEMS:
Scary Totem (MW Intimidate Tool, +2 to skill) - 50gp
Potion of Enlarge Person - 50gp

SWORDMASTER'S FLAIR: Blue Scarf ... - 2,500

So this is were it all comes down to. I wanted to keep tanky and reach/control a theme and well... the Swordmaster's flair alows me to do that!

Essentially the ability allows me to, once a day, use the magic in the scarf to gain 5' reach for 1 minute. More than enough time for most fights. Whats more, if I have panache/grit, I can spend 1 to do the same effect.

This is where the amaeture swashbuckler/gunslinger comes into play. Even only having 1 panache if I go the swashbuckler route isn't so bad. So long as I kill something worth the salt to be killed, or crit (which I'm building towards a crit weapon and can possibly even do so by level 4 thanks to warpriest sacred weapon) I can just gain it back. If I need more panache I can always gain the feat to get more panache.

So ya, I key off only dex, I use some strength to carry my s**! and to power my bow, I'm now a switch hitter so if I have to shoot something I can, bonus points it's also a sacred weapon. Ontop of that I can drink up enlarge potion, use my blue scarf to extend my reach further, and I have 15' reach for a minute with combat reflexes on a weapon that likes to crit.

Oh and this build costs 3870 gp to have at level 3. This is why I had the trait that gave me 900 gold and couldn't afford an agile breastplate. I think it's worth it.

I'm really liking the flavor of this too because it really looks and feels more egyption. The weapon type, the small shield, the armor choice, being more nimble, it all kind of exudes an egyption feel as opposed to just big strong man with hammer or big two handed European reach weapon.


I also realized I could keep this kind of idea a STR build. But, the trade off is actually kind big both ways.

I loose 1 AC, putting me at 19, I gain 2 feat slots so I can have power attack and step up with everything else at level 3.

My damage goes up slightly though my to-hit goes down by 1 (+6 , 1d6+5)
My bow hits a bit harder too but I'll have to wait to upgrade the pull strength (again money issues).

The weapon of choice would have to be the rapier... or I can convince my DM to just flavor it to be a Scimitar (kopesh) still. Cus they are the exact same weapons except damage type.

Stat array:

STR: 16
DEX: 14
CON: 13
INT: 11 (I'll see which I need to raise first at level 4)
WIS: 16
CHA: 07

everything else on the build though stays the same. This might actually be the better option. Sure, I loose out on one AoO and the AC, and my to hit goes down by 1. But, to get both power attack and step up earlier than I would have normally, that's pretty awesome.

Also having more strength in the long run will probably mean more damage than DEX could do. I also have the option to 2 hand the blade if need be.


Roco wrote:

STR: 16

DEX: 14
CON: 13
INT: 11 (I'll see which I need to raise first at level 4)

When doing point-buy, never overpay for a stat you're not going to keep raising. This particular array costs you build points relative to the 15,14,14,14,12,7 array in which Str is 17 after racial (and raised at 4th), and Con and Int are already at 14 and 12 at 1st level respectively.

ZᴇɴN's array of 15, 15, 14, 14, 10, 7 is a reasonable alternative if intelligence in unnecessary in your build (and I might very well go with that in human warpriests who are already receiving 5 skillpoints/level).

Slim Jim wrote:

Round 1

* Swift: Divine Favor
* Move: drink Enlarge Person potion
* Standard: attack, ready, brace, or cast another spell
Round 2
* Swift: Cat's Grace (this "fills out" your armor, and grants +2 AoOs)

...and you're in heavy armor with *four* attacks of opportunity while Enlarged threatening a 50'-width zone. STR is 22 at 4th or 5th with a belt, and doing 2d8+(gigantic pile).

Fleshing out the numbers:

Assuming Power Attack, the potion drunk, a belt, and Divine Favor up with a +2 bonus, damage with non-magical bardiche will be...

2d8
+6 (22str bonus)
+3 (2h bonus)
+6 (2hPA @ 4th bonus)
+2 (luck bonus)

= ~26 per swat, and Power Attack is the only feat contributing to that amount at this point. (The +2 from Weapon Specialization @ 5th represents a relatively small percentage increase, and hence that feat is relatively unimportant and can be dispensed with if something else strikes your fancy.)

26 is more than what a typical archer or finesse fighter will be doing with two successfully-delivered attacks at that level. With a reach of 20' and low feat overhead, it's easy to see why strength builds are popular. Quick Draw was in the build to pull out a bow as need be, or a short weapon for close in work.

Sovereign Court

Slim Jim wrote:
26 is more than what a typical archer or finesse fighter will be doing with two successfully-delivered attacks at that level.

Well, for comparison, the basic archer I listed just above is doing ~17.5 per arrow, with 3 arrows per round, with a better attack bonus. Average dpr ~52.5, at much higher range.


Slim Jim wrote:
Roco wrote:

STR: 16

DEX: 14
CON: 13
INT: 11 (I'll see which I need to raise first at level 4)

When doing point-buy, never overpay for a stat you're not going to keep raising. This particular array costs you build points relative to the 15,14,14,14,12,7 array in which Str is 17 after racial (and raised at 4th), and Con and Int are already at 14 and 12 at 1st level respectively.

ZᴇɴN's array of 15, 15, 14, 14, 10, 7 is a reasonable alternative if intelligence in unnecessary in your build (and I might very well go with that in human warpriests who are already receiving 5 skillpoints/level).

Slim Jim wrote:

Round 1

* Swift: Divine Favor
* Move: drink Enlarge Person potion
* Standard: attack, ready, brace, or cast another spell
Round 2
* Swift: Cat's Grace (this "fills out" your armor, and grants +2 AoOs)

...and you're in heavy armor with *four* attacks of opportunity while Enlarged threatening a 50'-width zone. STR is 22 at 4th or 5th with a belt, and doing 2d8+(gigantic pile).

Fleshing out the numbers:

Assuming Power Attack, the potion drunk, a belt, and Divine Favor up with a +2 bonus, damage with non-magical bardiche will be...

2d8
+6 (22str bonus)
+3 (2h bonus)
+6 (2hPA @ 4th bonus)
+2 (luck bonus)

= ~26 per swat, and Power Attack is the only feat contributing to that amount at this point. (The +2 from Weapon Specialization @ 5th represents a relatively small percentage increase, and hence that feat is relatively unimportant and can be dispensed with if something else strikes your fancy.)

26 is more than what a typical archer or finesse fighter will be doing with two successfully-delivered attacks at that level. With a reach of 20' and low feat overhead, it's easy to see why strength builds are popular. Quick Draw was in the build to pull out a bow as need be, or a short weapon for close in work.

Those are some pretty beefy numbers. Makes quite the scary fighter for sure! But honestly I'm trying to avoid Min-Maxing. Our DM is new and I really don't want to break the game and be the guy who's character is always causing trouble. Having a 50' reach every fight might be a bit... much for him to figure out how to get around.

No, don't get me wrong, my philosophy: Bring all the broken s@#$ you want. So long as it makes story sense and you've got some narrative behind your choices, bring the most min-maxed character you want if that tickles your fancy (just try not to skimp out on the narrative skills and abilities too). Either way, I, as a DM, would work around whatever someone brings and simply find ways to make it their ultimate abilities don't hog the lime light every fight and solve every problem. For instance, easy enough to shut down that big reached fighter. Oh what's that? Your reflex save is s!%! and you're in heavy armor and you have ridicules reach? Hmm.. this pit spell is looking miiiiighty nice right now.

Of course I wouldn't pick on that player, mostly just I'd have to get creative to work around each player's abilities and choices to give an experience everyone can enjoy rather than just "Oh great, Synthesize Summoner is just fighting all our battles for us... guess we'll just sit and wait" or the rogue who has all the skill points "guess he'll just roll for everything" I'd try and make opportunities for every character to get their play in.

Anyhow, that little blurb of philosophy is more me venting a bit because I talked to the DM about this recent DEX idea and his only response was "How are you affording that Scarf?" and I'm like... I have a trait, here's the gold numbers for everything. Then he replies "I don't like you having gold advantage over other players".

I understand where he's coming from but man did that short a fuze in my mind. Like... it's one of many traits that give a small gold advantage... there's plenty of class abilities and feats that give way more gold value items. Yah, you can argue that's "Part of the class" to make it work (like gunslinger getting free guns) but that doesn't negate that the character got a Free 2,000+ Gold item that they don't have spend money on now.

Either way, the fuze was still shorted because I just can't understand why 900 extra gold is really that much an issue. Also because he didn't think my reason for taking the trait made sense. He was an orphaned kid, left to scavenge on the streets, priest took him in, raised him in the huge local temple. They taught him priestly things, they also had a warrior class of warpriest guards who protect the city, so I learned fighting from them. I was literally chosen by this priest and taken from the streets to be raised in a much wealthier style of living and have all my expenses paid for by working for the church. Chosen Child seems pretty fitting to me.

But, whatever, If I go with that build waiting one level for the scarf isn't a huge deal. Honestly I might do that anyways because then I can get a more "useful" trait and bad out some area I'm lacking. (fate's favored, class skill, initiative, etc)

either way I plan to have 4,500 gold by level 2 to afford the scarf and get my weapon enchanted. Just wish "buying" the scarf wasn't what I had to do, cus I felt that item was more something I did have in the past that would explain why I have amature swashbuckler feat and was something I had from my past.


ZᴇɴN wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
26 is more than what a typical archer or finesse fighter will be doing with two successfully-delivered attacks at that level.
Well, for comparison, the basic archer I listed just above is doing ~17.5 per arrow, with 3 arrows per round, with a better attack bonus.
He's not shooting three of 'em at 4th; he can barely afford his Adaptive bow yet at 4th.
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Average dpr ~52.5, at much higher range.

And zero attacks of opportunity with zero battlefield control (at least not without considerably larger feat investment in the Snap Shot line (which only gets at 10' at a time when the monster reach is beginning to exceed that). A ranged weapon gains only niggling additional damage for additional enhancements, whereas Fortuitous brings down the house on any poor bastard who triggers an AoO waltzing through an Enlarged polearm threatened zone.

Bows are nice, which is why I always have one as a back-up, and to Quick Draw and pop off a shot if I drop a nearby opponent with a single melee attack at BAB6+.

BTW, Arsenal Chaplain works just as well for melees. (Personally I think the archetype sacrifices too much for too little, as Sacred Armor bennies work to stave off those full-up-to-instadead x3 crit blues that stalk the high-level reaches. Given that you shouldn't be having trouble hitting anyway as a warpriest, what are Gloves of Dueling + WT even doing for you? +3 damage? That's not worth forfeiting Sacred Armor as well as the infrequent channel needed to stabilize multiple neg allies simultaneously.)

Roco wrote:
Those are some pretty beefy numbers. Makes quite the scary fighter for sure! But honestly I'm trying to avoid Min-Maxing. Our DM is new and I really don't want to break the game and be the guy who's character is always causing trouble.
A bone-stock vanilla barbarian with same strength and the same polearm will have the same attack-bonus as the warpriest build I listed above, and do one more point of damage. (His rage bonus is equivalent to the Luck bonus the warpriest is getting, but his +2 additional strength results in +3 two-handed damage.
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Having a 50' reach every fight might be a bit... much for him to figure out how to get around.

Reach is 20', not 50'. (The 50' is the diameter of Enlarged threat range with a polearm.)

BTW, if you're trying not to spook your GM, stay away from Swordmaster's Flair and that wacky Swashbuckler stuff. (To start with, you dumped your charisma, so you don't have a whole lot to work with.)

Sovereign Court

Slim Jim wrote:
He's not shooting three of 'em at 4th; he can barely afford his Adaptive bow yet at 4th.

If your numbers were for 4 then they're wrong. At 4 you're -3 damage because you don't have 4BAB yet to tick up Power Attack.

Slim Jim wrote:
Given that you shouldn't be having trouble hitting anyway as a warpriest, what are Gloves of Dueling + WT even doing for you? +3 damage? That's not worth forfeiting Sacred Armor as well as the infrequent channel needed to stabilize multiple neg allies simultaneously.)

First, blowing two uses of Fervor on a channel is almost never worth it. Second, you DO need the help hitting. It's a 2/3 BAB class. Divine Favor makes up that difference, but then you're still just equivalent to a full BAB character with no inherent attack bonuses. Weapon Training + gloves gives both a solid chunk in accuracy and in damage, the latter of which is especially relevant for an archer where damage bonuses on arrows are harder to come by. +4 to attack and damage at level 9 with gloves.

The only thing that makes me not want Arsenal Chaplain for melee Warpriest is that losing channel means you can't single level dip Monk and grab Crusader's Flurry.


ZᴇɴN wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
He's not shooting three of 'em at 4th; he can barely afford his Adaptive bow yet at 4th.
If your numbers were for 4 then they're wrong. At 4 you're -3 damage because you don't have 4BAB yet to tick up Power Attack.
<nod>
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Slim Jim wrote:
Given that you shouldn't be having trouble hitting anyway as a warpriest, what are Gloves of Dueling + WT even doing for you? +3 damage? That's not worth forfeiting Sacred Armor as well as the infrequent channel needed to stabilize multiple neg allies simultaneously.)
First, blowing two uses of Fervor on a channel is almost never worth it. Second, you DO need the help hitting. It's a 2/3 BAB class. Divine Favor makes up that difference, but then you're still just equivalent to a full BAB character with no inherent attack bonuses. Weapon Training + gloves gives both a solid chunk in accuracy and in damage, the latter of which is especially relevant for an archer where damage bonuses on arrows are harder to come by. +4 to attack and damage at level 9 with gloves.

Well, +2 once you account for Rapid Shot's penalty. (Deadly Aim is equivalent to Power Attack, so their penalties cancel.)

The BAB thing is another reason I like the AoO strength builds: the additional attacks you pick up off-turn are all at your highest bonus, whereas archers are not only dealing with an additional -2, but also have fewer choices available for ramping up their attack stat. (They'll also be more MAD if point-buying Str beyond 14.)

As early as 7th, the melee warpriest is popping Mighty Strength to pick up +4 to attack and +6 to damage two-handed. He's not going to have trouble hitting with a 30+ attribute.

Sovereign Court

Slim Jim wrote:
As early as 7th, the melee warpriest is popping Mighty Strength to pick up +4 to attack and +6 to damage two-handed. He's not going to have trouble hitting with a 30+ attribute.

Except Warpriest doesn't get to cast Mighty Strength until level 10, and that'll only be one per day (since you're suggesting never hitting 18 WIS). You could spend a ton of money on consumables for it if you really want to, I guess. Not to mention that the enhancement bonus isn't going to stack with the +2 belt you were already including in your numbers (which is almost certainly going to be +4 at least by level 10), so it's not going to be +4 to hit and +6 to damage, more like +2 to hit and +3 to damage.

Divine Power is the better spell, if you're going to be spending 4th level spells on short term buffs, and you use it instead of Divine Favor for a couple combats a day, for a better bonus, a chunk of temp HP, and an extra attack.

Your limited uses of Fervor aren't going to go far if you're burning through two per combat, plus if you're in a well built combat party, while you're still spending actions buffing the combat will already be almost over. Very few combats last more than a few rounds against a good party.


Quite the interesting numbers debate here!

But I think I've come to an (almost) final decision on how to build this warpriest.

Gonna go sword, board, and bow. Scimitar + buckler + composite shortbow (have to choose short bow instead of long bow due to it being the diefic weapon)

17 STR (+2 from human)
14 DEX
14 CON
12 INT
14 WIS (planning to boost with headband later)
07 CHA

This gives me a base +6 to hit with power attack, so 1d6 + 5 (18-20 crit range).
Feats:

1) Combat Reflexes / Amateur Swashbuckler / Weapon Focus: Scimitar and Bow

3) Power Attack / Step-up or quickdraw

5) Extra Panache or Combat Stamina or Following Step

I talked with my DM about where the build is now and he's perfectly fine with what I've chosen. Fits the themes a bit better and the character idea. The added "swashbuckler" bit isn't too overpowered but it's quite nice to have for an AoO character. A few uses a day of Dodging Panache for that extra AC or, when I get the flair at 4th level, increase my threat range for 1 minute to 10' (15' if I'm large)
It's okay that I dumped CHA because you, at minimum, only get 1 panache anyhow, even if I had a positive charisma score, you'd only start the day with 1. I would need at least a 14 in CHA if I wanted to see some marginal benefit and that only gives my CAP for the day an increase. But I still start the day with 1 regardless. Taking extra panache increases my starting amount per day to 3 and increases the cap by 3. Since I'm using a crit weapon and I'm decently hard hitter, obtaining refills shouldn't be too difficult. I may or may not even need the extra panache.

The last bit of decision making I need to do is figure out if I should go with The Step-up chain of feats or go for Quickdraw/Combat stamina.

Stepup is great because it allows me to keep high value targets close by if they try to footsy away. The follow up and strike is a nice feat to get at level 6 to enable extra attacks, but it's assuming I have enemies trying to 5' step away from me and I imagine that only works once per enemy or encounter once they see I can do that. It also eats up a swift action next turn which I'm not super happy with since I use swift actions a lot as a warpriest.

Quickdraw + combat stamina means I can switch between my bow and sword in a flash. Swift to put away, free action to draw!
But, it's only really useful in that context. I don't see quickdraw being very useful on its own since you can just draw as you move for free. But with combat stamina you get the passive bonus of a swift put away weapon action. (plus some extra limited bonuses to hit per encounter)

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