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Playbook:
Dwarven Warpriest Cleric

Play A Warpriest If You Want To...

  • Focus less on casting and more on martial fighting

  • Buff yourself with your spells and abilities

  • Turn your healing capabilities into offensive ones

By Gwenevere Rothwell

Level 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20

Perception

  • Trained in Perception

Saving Throws

  • Expert in Fortitude

  • Trained in Reflex

  • Expert in Will

Skills

  • Trained in Religion

  • Trained in one skill determined by your choice of deity

  • Trained in a number of additional skills equal to 2 plus your Intelligence modifier

Attacks

  • Trained in simple weapons

  • Trained in the favored weapon of your deity. If your deity’s favored weapon is uncommon, you also gain access to that weapon

  • Trained in unarmed attacks

Defenses

  • Trained in light armor

  • Trained in medium armor

  • Trained in unarmored defense

Class DC

  • Trained in divine spell attacks

  • Trained in divine spell DCs

Ancestry

Dwarf

Dwarves make for excellent medium or heavy armored ancestries because of the feat Unburdened Iron which removes any speed penalties a piece of armor or shield imposes.

Heritage

For heritage, I personally recommend either Ancient-Blooded or Death Warden. The +1 from Ancient-Blooded’s reaction can be a lifesaver and a lot of particularly potent spells are from the Necromancy school, so treating a success as a critical success is incredibly helpful.

Ancient-Blooded Dwarf

  • Dwarven heroes of old could shrug off their enemies’ magic, and some of that resistance manifests in you. You gain the Call on Ancient Blood reaction.

Call on Ancient Blood

Trigger You attempt a saving throw against a magical effect, but you haven't rolled yet.

Your ancestors' innate resistance to magic surges, before slowly ebbing down. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus until the end of this turn. This bonus also applies to the triggering save.

OR

Death Warden Dwarf

  • Your ancestors have been tomb guardians for generations, and the power they cultivated to ward off necromancy has passed on to you. If you roll a success on a saving throw against a necromancy effect, you get a critical success instead.

Background

Warrior

For background I went for Warrior to get trained in Intimidate and Intimidating Glare for free.

Attributes

This is going to surprise a lot of people when I say this, but as a Warpriest, our priorities are, in order, Strength > Charisma > Constitution > Wisdom > Dexterity. We will not be using our spells offensively, so we actually don’t need that high of a Wisdom to start off with. 12 Dexterity is the cap for Breastplate, so we also don’t need to increase that further.

ABILITY

SCORE

MODIFIER

Wisdom

12

+1

ABILITY

SCORE

MODIFIER

Strength

16

+3

Dexterity

12

+1

Constitution

12

+1

Intelligence

10

+0

Charisma

16

+3

Breakdown

Ancestry: +2 Strength, +2 Charisma (using the variant ancestry ability scores)

Background: +2 Strength, +2 Charisma

Class: +2 Wisdom

Free Boosts: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma

Starting Equipment

Price 13 gp; Bulk 4 Bulk, 2 light; Money Left Over 2 gp
Armor Brestplate
Weapons Warhammer, Clan Dagger (free from being a Dwarf)
Gear adventurer's pack, climbing kit, silver religious symbol

Starting Proficiencies

Anathama

Class Feature

Largely roleplay based, but something to keep in mind. We can’t tell lies or cheat, intentionally create inferior works, or show mercy to the enemies of our people.

Divine Spellcasting

Class Feature

Despite our low wisdom we still focus on divine casting—it’s why we’re a cleric and not a champion or a fighter after all. These are more spells than we have access to, and Bless is first and foremost our bread and butter early on.

Cantrips

Cantrip

Very nice in a boss fight. Keep in mind that you can’t select yourself with this spell and it’s sustained, so it will require an action every round to maintain it.

Cantrip

A nice one action spell. There are better options in combat, but it can still be handy. Out of combat you can assist allies or yourself before attempting a skill check.

Cantrip

With our set up we won’t be carrying around a shield, and our Clan Dagger will be a substantial help to us with its parry trait, but Shield’s ability to deflect some incoming damage can be worth going for instead of a parry.

Cantrip

A particularly situational cantrip, but a good one nonetheless depending on what you’re going up against. A nice spell to have in your back pocket.

1st Level Spells

1st Level Spell

Give yourself and allies in a 5-foot emanation a +1 status bonus to attack rolls. We can also use an action to extend the effect, but otherwise Bless is not sustained. This will be one of our key spells until we get Heroism.

1st Level Spell

A very simple spell that gives us a small damage boost, but it could make all the difference. We can target two weapons with this, so we can give it to both our Warhammer and our Clan Dagger.

1st Level Spell

Situational, but nice. Keep in mind we’ll only ever be striking, at most, twice per round. We won’t be casting this often, but it might help once in a while.

1st Level Spell

Not necessarily for casting on ourselves or our allies, but particularly potent if you need to protect a non combatant.

Divine Font

Class Feature

We’ll be going for Healing Font as healing is more focused on buffs and support, whereas Harmful Font is focused more on making will saves, which we’re not great at. Because of our high Charisma, we also get a lot more healing.

Healing Font

You gain additional spell slots each day at your highest level of cleric spell slots. You can prepare only heal spells in these slots, and the number of slots is equal to 1 plus your Charisma modifier.

Doctrine - Warpriest

Class Feature

This is obviously going to be Warpriest. What Warpriest gains is increased defenses that makes it better as a front line supporter.

First Doctrine

You’re trained in light and medium armor, and you have expert proficiency in Fortitude saves. You gain the Shield Block general feat, a reaction to reduce damage with a shield. If your deity’s weapon is a simple weapon or an unarmed attack, you gain the Deadly Simplicity cleric feat. At 13th level, if you gain the divine defense class feature, you also gain expert proficiency in light and medium armor.

Action Combos

Get Ready, Everyone!

COMBO Level 1

1st two Actions: Bless; 3rd Action: Stride or Strike
This allows you to buff yourself and any adjacent allies, and then strike with your new buffed up stats.

Extend Aura

COMBO Level 1

1st Action: Increase the emanation of Bless; 2nd Action: Strike with Warhammer; 3rd Action: Shove
With the emanation of Bless extended, there’s more wiggle room to allow allies to benefit from the spell. We strike to do a bit of damage, and then Shove with our Warhammer to push them back. This means that for the enemy to attack us on their turn, they have to move forward. Use this based on the situation as this could interfere with your teammates.

The Best Defence

COMBO Level 1

1st Action: Increase the emanation of Bless; 2nd Action: Strike with Warhammer; 3rd Action: Parry
The nice thing about using a Clan Dagger is it can act as both offense and defense, since it has the parry trait.

Is a Good Offense

COMBO Level 1

1st Action: Strike with Warhammer; 2nd Action: Strike with Clan Dagger; 3rd Action: Parry
Sometimes you don’t need to extend the range of Bless, and as such you can make use of your Clan Dagger, using its Agile trait to attack with a lower MAP. We go for a Parry instead of a Shove for this very reason.

Glaring Strike

COMBO Level 1

1st Action: Demoralize2nd Action: Strike with Warhammer; 3rd Action: Strike with Clan Dagger
Frightened is a particularly potent debuff that doesn’t require casting a spell and only takes a single action. With Intimidating Glare we also no longer need to meet the language requirement of Demoralize.

1st Level

Deity - Torag

Class Feature

Your deity determines things like your favored weapon and what domains you have access to. We’ll be selecting the Dwarven god, Torag, who’s favored weapon is a Warhammer.

There are a number of different feats that you could choose from here, and what you pick will largely depend on your campaign. If you’re fighting fiends, Holy Castigation is a great choice. If you’re fighting undead, you have a lot more freedom. Emblazon Armament is almost always worth it.

Domain Initiate - Protector's Sacrifice

Class Feat

I decided to go with this feat because as a reaction we can reduce the damage someone takes and take that reduced damage ourselves, which can be a life saver in a tight spot. Emblazon Armament is another fine choice because then we don’t need to worry about having our hands full if we need to perform a three action heal.

Assurance

Skill Feat

Assurance might seem like a bad feat at first, but it opens some options for us if we put it into Athletics, since now our MAP no longer applies if we do a shove as our last action.

All Out Offense

COMBO Level 2

1st Action: Strike with Warhammer; 2nd Action: Strike with Clan Dagger; 3rd Action: Shove with Warhammer using Assurance
Shove makes it so enemies need to spend an action to move back into melee range with you, thus limiting their range of actions.

Action Combos

2nd Level

Ancestral Paragon - Dwarven Doughtiness

Ancestry Feat

An amazing feat that keeps us in the battle. Demoralize and fear are common effects for enemies to have, so being able to substantially reduce that threat is an incredible asset.

Second Doctrine - Martial Weapons Training

Class Feature

Our doctrine gives us training in Martial Weapons. This means we don’t necessarily have to use our Deity’s favoured weapon. Some other good weapons are ones that take advantage of the Athletics skill by allowing us to trip or grapple while our hands are full.

3rd Level

2nd Level Spells

Class Feature

The divine list at this level doesn’t have anything too crazy for us. Our healing spells also go up a level. Lastly, you can always prepare more Bless in higher level slots.

4th Level

Class Feat

This is where things start to pick up. It’s worth noting that going for a neutral deity and picking up Versatile Font earlier might be worth it just for this feat if you’re not fighting undead or fiends, and if you’re fighting fiends, picking up Holy Castigation is a great choice since its effects apply to Channel Smite.

Action Combos

God's Wrath

COMBO Level 4

1st and 2nd Action: Channel with Smite with Warhammer; 3rd Action: Strike with Clan Dagger

Feat 5

With this, we can make some solid use of our Clan Dagger by using it to assist others, basically blocking for them.

Ability Boosts

Strength, Constitution, Wisdom, and Charisma

For ability boosts, you’ll want Strength, Constitution, Wisdom, and Charisma. With a somewhat decent Wisdom score we can start looking at some more offensive spells if we want.

3rd Level Spells

Class Feature

3rd Level Spell

A nice defensive buff for everyone around you if you’re fighting forces of a specific alignment, like Undead or Fiends.

3rd Level Spell

Our new bread and butter spell. Still cast Bless if you can’t cast Heroism, but Heroism lasts longer and can be heightened for even greater benefits. It also affects far more rolls. This is what makes a Warpriest keep up with other Martials in terms of accuracy.

And of course, we also get more healing from our Healing Font, which also gives more damage to Channel Smite.

Action Combos

COMBO Level 5

Swap out anything that uses Bless with Heroism instead.

5th Level

Action Combos

Cleansing Light

COMBO Level 6

1st Action: Heroism; 2nd Action: Divine Weapon; 3rd Action: Strike with Warhammer

6th Level

Class Feat

A nice spell to weave in with other spells. Cast Bless? Can as a free action use Divine Weapon. The varying damage is also nice since that means that you can decide to do alignment damage instead if you know the enemy is evil or chaotic, otherwise go for the lower force damage. Note that this does not work with our Channel Smite unfortunately.

4th Level Spells

Class Feature

Nothing too crazy in here for us. Some very nice healing spells, our Healing Font improves, and we have more spell slots to put Heroism in.

7th Level

Class Feature

We get Expert proficiency with weapons and our Deity’s weapon, and also get access to critical specialization effects, which are always good to have.

Action Combos

To Battle

COMBO Level 8

1st and 2nd Action: Protector's Sphere; 3rd Action: Stride

Steel Yourself

COMBO Level 8

1st and 2nd Action: Heroism; 3rd Action: Sustain Protector's Sphere

Vengeance of the Devine

COMBO Level 8

1st Action: Sustain Protector's Sphere; 2nd and 3rd Action: Channel Smite

8th Level

Class Feat

A focus spell from Advanced Domain (Protection). It’s a 15-foot emanation resistance buff that scales as you level, to a max of resistance 9 to all damage, which is great to be able to deploy. It is sustained, so you’ll need to watch out for that.

5th Level Spells

Class Feature

There are some really nice support heavy spells at this level. Also remember that our healing prowess increases. Because this level has some really good spells I would recommend not preparing Heroism in 5th level slots.

5th Level Spell

It only lasts a round, but the two and three action options are incredible.

,

, or

5th Level Spell

One of the best healing options for an emergency as it lets you save an ally that is supposed to be dead.

5th Level Spell

For when going against undead and necromancers.

5th Level Spell

Very nice bit of healing to put beside yourself when in the midst of combat so that you and other melee characters have access to a relatively free source of healing.

Action Combos

Not Today

COMBO Level 9

When below half health, 1st and 2nd Action: Hero's Call; 3rd Action: Single Action Heal from Divine Font

Into the Thick of It

COMBO Level 9

1st and 2nd Action: Blessign fo Defiance, choos Reflex and cat it on yourself and other melee martial party members; 3rd Action: Stride

9th Level

Ancestry Feat

A Dwarven feat. While Heros’ Call is never heightened, it can make for an amazing buff if you’re all out of Heroism for the day. Save it for when you’re at half or fewer hit points to really make it shine.

Ability Boosts

Invest in Strength, Constitution, Wisdom, and Charisma.

Class Feat

A very nice buff that quickly gets even better. As long as you land a hit you get temporary HP, which drastically improves your survivability.

10th Level

6th Level Spells

Class Feature

Both Heal and Heroism improve at this level. We now effectively have master proficiency in our Warhammer and Clan Dagger as long as Heroism is up. Additionally there are some nice spells at 6th level.

6th Level Spell

Nice passive healing to allies and damage to undead. Note that this also heals enemies if they’re healed by positive energy and that Holy Castigation does not affect this spell.

(10 minute cast) Raise Dead

6th Level Spell

Raise a fallen alley who has died in the last three days.

6th Level Spell

Take on a powerful battle form based on your deity. This can be further improved with an 8th level spell slot. Keep in mind that you can’t cast spells while in Righteous Might.

Multi-Turn Action Combo

Bread and Butter

COMBO Level 11

1st Turn: To Battle!
2nd Turn: Steel Yourself!
3rd Turn: 1st Action: Sustain Protector's Sphere; 2nd and 3rd Action: Righteous Might
While you’re not doing damage for three turns, you are still providing incredible support to your allies.

11th Level

Class Feat

Now when you attack and hit more than twice in a round, you not only grant yourself temporary hit points, but also can grant temporary hit points to your allies.

12th Level

Trigger: You are struck by a critical hit that deals physical damage.

Your intractable nature can help you shrug off even the most grievous injuries. Attempt a DC 17 flat check. If you are successful, the attack becomes a normal hit.

7th Level Spells

Class Feature

There are a lot of fun spells at this level.

7th Level Spell

Transform into an angel. A lot of high level battle forms are large or larger, so staying medium is actually really nice because it lets you use it more often as you no longer have to worry about tight spaces.

7th Level Spell

I’d advise only having this or Angel Form prepared. Cosmic Form can be particularly potent for applying weaknesses.

7th Level Spell

Extremely good because it lets us cast while it’s being used, since it’s only a Morph effect, but in return it uses most of our base statistics.

(1 minute cast) Energy Aegis

7th Level Spell

Giving a nice resistance to an assortment of energy types. This can save you a focus point and it lasts a long time. The only downside is it only affects one creature, so you either have to cast it multiple times or just put it on one person (likely yourself).

7th Level Spell

Fast Healing for 1 minute on anyone is just extremely good, and it doesn’t need to be sustained.

Multi-Turn Action Combo

At this point our combo is pretty much going to be exactly the same as it was at 11th level, but we can swap out Righteous Might with Divine Vessel or any other Battle Form that fits. Divine Vessel is my personal recommendation because it acts as a nice buff and doesn’t prevent us from casting or using other abilities.

13th Level

Stone Bones

Ancestry Feat

Dwarven feat. When you’re critically hit, as a reaction you can make a DC 17 flat check to try and negate it. That might not sound like a lot, but that’s a 15% chance of completely negating a critical hit and turning it into a normal hit. Keep in mind this specifically makes it a normal hit and a lot of enemies have particularly nasty effects if they crit you.

Premonition of Clarity

Class Feat

Another reaction, but a good one for just in case situations. We get to reroll a mental saving throw with a +2 bonus, particularly good if we critically fail the save against really scary spells like Dominate.

Trigger: You fail a saving throw against a mental effect.

Your deity sends you a vision of faith to steel you against mental attacks. Reroll the triggering saving throw with a +2 circumstance bonus. You must use the second result, even if it's worse.

14th Level

15th Level

Ability Boosts

Strength, Constitution, Wisdom, and Charisma

8th Level Spells

Class Feature

8th Level Spell

Great buff to keep the melee crowd safe. Take full advantage of the fact that you’ll be right up in the thick of it with your melee allies.

8th Level Spell

Affected by something crippling that wears off in an hour? Moment of Renewal can help with that.

8th Level Spell

You and all your allies gain a champion class ability until the end of your next turn and a 100 foot emanation Divine Wrath on your enemies. Pretty dramatic spell.

Class Feat

A very nice feat as it gives us constant Bless for 15 feet. Keep in mind this doesn’t stack with spells like Heroism, but it’s a very nice +1 during the setup phase for our allies.

16th Level

9th Level Spells

Class Feature

Heroism can now be prepared at its maximum potential, for a nice +3 status bonus to attack rolls, Perception checks, saving throws, and skill checks. Additionally there are a couple of nice spells to note.

9th Level Spell

It only affects a single target, but that target can be you if you’d so like. It makes the target unable to be flanked and gives a very nice reaction that has the enemy roll twice if they’re attacking you, or for you to roll twice if you’re defending. It also lasts an hour.

9th Level Spell

This is effectively an extremely nice Slow spell as enemies need to waste actions praising you.

17th Level

Class Feat

Makes Premonition of Clarity a 15 foot emanation effect instead, allowing all allies within that range to re-roll their saves if it’s against the same spell effect, making an already powerful feat even more powerful.

18th Level

10th Level Spells

Class Feature

You only ever get a single 10th level Spell Slot per day. The exception is our Healing Font which is also heightened to 10th level. Pretty much all spells at 10th level are amazing, but here’s one that I especially like:

10th Level Spell

You become an Avatar of your deity, taking on a huge battle form. The huge size might be a problem, so keep that in mind. Don’t expect to bring this into a dungeon. But if you can pull it off, you get a 50 foot speed, a reach of 15 feet, a shield that can’t be broken, so you essentially always take 15 less damage from an attack per round, you have a burrow speed of 30 feet, and of course, the 15 foot reach also applies to effects like Shove.

19th Level

There are a lot of options here that don't completely complement a Warpriest, but are still good or fun to pick up.

 

Avatar's Audience is a very thematically interesting feat. It doesn't help us at all in combat, but that's okay! It can be a lot of fun to roleplay with.

 

Maker of Miracles gives us another 10th level spell slot, and it's the only way to gain an additional 10th level spell slot (outside of our Healing Font). It can be worth picking up just for that.

 

Of course, you can also always pick up a feat that you missed along the way. Fast Channel can let us cast Heal faster, Deity's Protection gives some nice resistances after we cast a Domain Focus Spell, and Domain Focus lets us regain two Focus Points when we Refocus instead of one.

 

It's a very open level and the choice is yours.

20th Level

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