The Warpriest can refer to either of two classes from the Dungeons & Dragons family tree.
In Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, the Warpriest is one of several Variant Classes created for the Essentials lineup. Introduced in the Heroes of the Fallen Lands splatbook, the Warpriest is built on a Cleric chassis, and is described as a more martial branch of the faith than the standard cleric; whilst not a full-fledged Paladin, it is more "smashy" than a typical cleric, relying on a combination of heavy armor and weapon's skill backed by divine magic; this lets it dabble in Defender from its trademark Leader role. The intent is to make a "simpler" version of the Cleric (which would be rebranded as the "Templar" in Dragon #399) for newbie players by abandoning the AEDU System... most people think they failed.
The chief issue with this (as with most Essentials classes) is that the issue of choice paralysis was counteracted with too few choices. This is no sooner noticed than in the Channel Divinity feature all divine classes are provided: while most can use whatever power they want without concern about how it would fit any chosen domain, the Channel Divinity powers available to warpriests only offer a small few domains or demand worship of a specific deity. These domains also lock you into using a single set of at-will, utility, and encounter powers, with your only non-domain choice at level 1 being what daily you want. From that point on, you get the same small handful of choices for later levels - except that your encounter powers are locked by domain while gaining new domain features at levels 5 and 10.
In fact, the Warpriest depends almost entirely on its Domain for its class features; instead of having a Paragon Path, the Warpriest gains class features stemming from their domain. It does gain the "feature powers" of Holy Cleansing and Resurrection at Heroic tier, and can take an Epic Destiny, but otherwise most of its goodies are bound up in its Domain.
The Warpriest debuted with only two domains; Storm and Sun. Dragon Magazine would add two more, with Earth appearing in #392 and Domination appearing in #409. Heroes of Shadow would add the Death domain. Finally, the Neverwinter Campaign Setting, an Essentials based splatbook that fleshed out the titular city in the Forgotten Realms, would add Warpriest Domains for four Faerun deities; Corellon, Oghma, Selune and Torm.
Your basic domain powers are as follows:
- Corellon - Lets you re-roll saves from charm effects at the start of the turn and at the end and lets allies who are in range of Healing Word ignore terrain for a turn.
- Domination - Become trained in Intimidate and gain THP when you use Healing Word.
- Death - Gain resistance to necrotic damage and gain THP from Healing Word.
- Earth - Allies within range take +2 on their saves and whenever you use Healing Word, allies halve any damage they take that turn.
- Oghma - Lets you use Wis for Int skill checks (thereby making Intelligence your ultimate dump stat) and gives all allies in range of Healing Word a +1 to their next save.
- Selune - Gain resistance to necrotic and radiant damage plus penalizing the saves of anyone nearby the target of your Healing Word.
- Storm - Gain resistance to thunder and lightning damage while also giving the target of your Healing Word a tier-scaling bonus to damage.
- Sun - Gain +2 to saves, which can b shared with allies in range, while an extra ally within range can gain a smaller tier-scaling extra amount of HP.
- Torm - You automatically refuse to attack any enemies regardless of compulsion, and the target of your Healing Word gains +2 to all defenses for the turn.
|Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Classes|
|Player's Handbook 1:||Cleric - Fighter - Paladin - Ranger - Rogue - Warlock - Warlord - Wizard|
|Player's Handbook 2:||Avenger - Barbarian - Bard - Druid - Invoker - Shaman - Sorcerer - Warden|
|Player's Handbook 3:||Ardent - Battlemind - Monk - Psion - Runepriest - Seeker|
|Heroes of X:||Blackguard - Binder - Cavalier - Elementalist - Hexblade - Hunter|
Mage - Knight - Protector - Scout - Sentinel - Skald - Slayer - Sha'ir - Thief
Vampire - Warpriest - Witch
|Settings Book:||Artificer - Bladesinger - Swordmage|
|Others:||Paragon Path - Epic Destiny|
While it isn't particularly as good as the parent classes in their dedicated areas of expertise (Pure fighting or pure casting/channeling), it offers a good balance between them the two by having 6th level casting, a decent BAB, and two good saves (Fort and Will). This as well as their lack of requisite alignments made them a sort of "smart paladin". Practically all warpriests have a few gimmicks. First, they can force a weapon to deal a designated amount of damage, making simple weapons or unusual tools not-shit for fighting, and later levels let you improve both your weapon and armor as well. Second, they pick two pseudo-domains called Blessings (as in they are domains, but not the same as a cleric's and lack extra spells) at creation and gain access to powerful buffs they can throw around, though they lack the non-combat utility of domains. Finally, they gain access to Fervor, their Wis-based equivalent to Lay on Hands, except they can do negative energy as well and they get the cleric's spontaneous casting of cure/inflict wounds alongside Channel Energy (however, since this is all Wis-based, it interacts very weirdly RAW with feats for channel energy), but you should never use it for that. The real use of fervor is being able to expend a use to cast self-buffs as a swift-action. On top of all that, you're part fighter and you know what that means: extra combat feats, though not as many as the original but they do let you consider your BAB as full for requirements. The Human favored class allows you to get 1/6th of an extra feat, though even at level 18 you're still behind (though this does mean Toughness/Cunning/Eclectic+retraining your FCB is strictly better than any combat feat past level 6)
All in all, they've got good utility, and are pretty good frontline buffers and healers, while also dealing fair damage. Don't actually waste time buffing your teammates in battle though. Your fervor swift action is best used to overbuff yourself during a fight with spells like channel vigor and divine favor. You will find that as properly built warpriest you can out DPR most classes while still staying in the fight thanks to free healing and patch spell cleric list provides. If your Blessings give you a summoning ability at level 10, you can also call on them to help out.
Warpriest is a tier 3 class. It's capable of smashing things quite well, and its spell list has enough versatility it won't feel left out if that's not appropriate. It lacks the ability of a true Cleric to break the game without a lot of effort.
In Second Edition, Warpriest is a subclass of the Cleric in the core rulebook.
The Warpriest isn't hurting for a particular archetype to patch up the flaws, but there are those that grant some special utilities as well as unique perks.
- The Sacred Fist archetype swaps out all of the Fighter stuff for Monk abilities, notably Flurry and the improved unarmed damage. It originally gave you the Monk ability to count your BAB as full when making a full attack, but this was nerfed in errata.
- The Shield Bearer archetype pretty much turns your shield into your ultimate weapon, making channel energy shoot out as a cone from it and getting the ability to improve its combat usage.
- Arsenal Chaplain trades out your second blessing and medicore Sacred Armor for an improved version of the War blessing. More importantly it trades out the (almost always pointless) ability to channel energy with Fervor uses with the Fighter's weapon training, which is a massive damage and to-hit increase when paired with Gloves of Dueling. Since your Warpriest level count as a fighter level for feats, this also lets you pick the Advanced Weapon Training which lets you do some really cool stuff. So good its considered the default Warpriest for optimization.
Spheres of Power
The Sphere Warpriest maintains its Mid Caster mechanics, and gains Life or Death depending on their alignment (good gains Life, evil gains Death), similar to a Cleric. Fervor also has changed, letting them use a self-targetting sphere ability for free; including making auras selfish. Strange, but okay.
The Champion Warpriest gains Blended Training, with 3/4 progression, and even gain a Domain sphere at first level. They don't get the bonus sphere associated with Fervor, but they also get Practitioner abilities. They can even trade their Sacred Weapon for better Blended Training, if you truly want more options.
The Bastion of Conviction gains Combat Training instead of their feats at 3rd, 6th, 12th, 15th and 18th levels, and the ability to regain Martial Focus from channeling energy instead of their feat at 9th level. They also get access to Fighter feats; counting their warpriest levels as fighter levels.
Devoted Disciples lose one of their Blessings and gains a Domain Sphere based on their remaining Blessing, and gains a pseudo rage at second level.
Divine Heretics gain Domain spheres similar to Devoted Disciples, but MUST get the War Sphere; getting it and Totemic Aura; as well as Personal Conflict as a drawback. 10th level lets them gain Domain Mastery, letting them obtain a free talent when using Fervor, taken from their Domain Spheres. Lastly, Endless Fervor lets them use an unlimited number of sphere abilities from their domains as a swift action, so long as they target themselves or their equipment; still having to pay the spell point cost. It's a scary capstone with the right combinations of talents.
Because of their similarities, Warpriest was reintegrated as a class defining option for Cleric made at level 1. You trade a quicker growth for spell casting power and Unique domain spells, to be a melee warrior with full spell progression, gaining proficiency in armor and martial weapons.
Why they suck in Second Edition
Unfortunately, the Warpriest in Pathfinder 2e is kind of shit. For starters, a Warpriest only gets Expert proficiency in their weapons. They will never be able to upgrade to Master proficiency, and thus will always lag behind all other martial classes -- and they get Expert proficiency 2 levels after martial classes. Secondly, while they do get armor proficiencies, like their weapons they only go up to Expert. Which means that while you have slightly higher AC than a normal cleric, you still have worse defenses than a proper frontline class. Thirdly, they lose out on Legendary proficiency with spellcasting. They can only get up to Master proficiency at level 19, the level where most other spellcasters get Legendary proficiency and well after most campaigns end.
So you have a subclass that is worse at hitting enemies with weapons than martials, worse at tanking damage than a frontliner, and worse at spellcasting than a cloistered cleric. So what good is a Warpriest? Not very much in it's current form. Like the many attempts of making hybrid classes of martial classes and spellcasters, its hard to make a class that is strong at both without making it overpowered, so instead they nerfed it to the point that it's underpowered. Not to mention that Warpriest lacks proper feat support to help them keep up.
Given better feats and stronger proficiencies, either in armor or weaponry (but not both), the warpriest could be worth it. If you're really desperate to play a frontline cleric right now though, it's better to just play cloistered cleric and multiclass in Fighter or Champion.
|The Classes of Pathfinder 1st Edition|
|Core Classes:||Barbarian - Bard - Cleric - Druid - Fighter - Monk |
Paladin - Ranger - Rogue - Sorcerer - Wizard
|Alchemist - Antipaladin - Cavalier |
Inquisitor - Oracle - Summoner - Witch
|Arcanist - Bloodrager - Brawler - Hunter - Investigator |
Shaman - Skald - Slayer - Swashbuckler - Warpriest
|Kineticist - Medium - Mesmerist |
Occultist - Psychic - Spiritualist
|Ultimate X:||Gunslinger - Magus - Ninja - Samurai - Shifter - Vigilante|
|The Classes of Pathfinder 2nd Edition|
|Core Classes:||Alchemist - Barbarian - Bard - Champion - Cleric - Druid |
Fighter - Monk - Ranger - Rogue - Sorcerer - Wizard
|Advanced Player's Guide:||Investigator - Oracle - Swashbuckler - Witch|
|Secrets of Magic:||Magus - Summoner|