Our DM wants to start a new campaign in Eberron. I want to build an Elf Warpriest since all the Asian weapons are up (only for Elves)1.

Which feats should I pick for fighting with a katana (probably with 2 Hands)?

My Warpriest will be the face of the party. I'm some kind of diplomat who's trying to be a part of the Undying Court.

My katana should be part of my soul and I should know how to be part of aggressive negotiations.

We are starting Level 1. Max Level is something around 9.

My party will consist of a Dwarf Ranger (TWF), a Warforged Magus and a Gnome Wizard (Illusion).

Everything that is published in German is allowed. I think the "Advanced Class Guide" is the latest published material.

We already rolled our Attributes (18, 18, 17, 14, 11, 9)

Attributes example: Str 18, Dex 9 (+2=11), Con 18 (-2=16), Int 11 (+2=13), Wis 17, Cha 14

Feats example:

  1. Weapon of the Chosen
  2. Power Attack, Improved Weapon of the Chosen
  3. Greater Weapon of the Chosen
  4. Vital Strike
  5. Furious Focus
  6. Critical Focus, Devastating Strike

Instead of Power Attack and Furious Focus I thought of replacing them with Toughness and Improved Initiative.

  • Weapon: Katana
  • Armor: Kusari-Gusoku

I thought of taking the feat-path to Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Focus, but I don't think I meet the requirements since the Warpriest does not count as a Fighter taking his normal Talents, right?

I also don't know which Blessings I should take. I thought of Magic/Weather and Strength/War. Is it possible to use the War blessing effects on yourself?

1 I can use a different class as long as it can heal and fight, without being a real Paladin.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. While a level 20 warpriest that solves all of his problems with a katana can be suggested, more information is always good: Is the whole of Pathfinder available or only official material? Do you assume standard wealth by level? Do you know anything about your fellow party members? Thank you for participating and have fun. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 29 '16 at 14:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I’ve edited your question to do some formatting and putting information people will be looking for in a more prominent place. Having done that, I think there’s enough information here to answer the question, but I had already voted to close (and happened to be the fifth to do so). I’ve voted to re-open, so if four people agree that we now have enough information, this will get opened back up. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Feb 29 '16 at 16:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Warpriests don't have really have any significant class mechanics dependent on charisma. If you're looking to optimize your character, you'd normally make charisma the lowest stat. Yet, you mentioned you were the face of the party, which implies a heavy dependence on charisma for skills. So, are you committed to rolling a warpriest or would you be open to using a different class that actually makes use of charisma? \$\endgroup\$ – Ellesedil Mar 1 '16 at 0:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is your GM going to require you to take Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Katana), or is it assumed that these weapons are sufficiently common in the setting? \$\endgroup\$ – Phlyk Aug 20 '16 at 7:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Phlyk using a Katana with two hands is a martial proficiency so op is set if he takes a weapon-skilled class (incl Warpriest) with spellcasting; Exotic WP:Katana is specifically for using it with one hand (although you could still doublehand it for 1.5 STR) like a Bastard Sword \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Aug 22 '16 at 12:40

For Warpriest feats, I would recommend Vital strike over focusing on full attacks, you will likely be moving a lot of your turns with reduced movement from heavy equipment. That being said, Weapon of the Chosen is also good. Depending on the difficulty of encounters and your party's willingness to rest for extra days, you may want to consider Extra Channeling. Also, if you want to use Channel Positive Energy during combat, you will most likely need Selective Channeling so you don't heal your foes. Also, Warpriest levels count as fighter levels but only for the Bonus Feats gained at 3rd, 6th, 9th (etc) levels. It's indicated in the 2nd portion of the Bonus Feats descriptor on Paizo/PFSRD.

I wouldn't bother with Weapon Focus or Specialization, your class gives you plenty of bonuses in those aspects that they're not worth the feat slots. You only need Weapon Focus to unlock Sacred Weapon damage. (Assuming your deity's favored weapon isn't Katana)

For Blessings, Healing is very powerful defensively. It might also be wise to look at Knowledge and Liberation depending on your GM. War Blessing is always good in combat, but has less uses to a 'face of the party'.

Favored class you will likely be taking bonus health since it looks like you're the tankiest member of your group. I always take skill points, personally (even on fighters and the like). The Elf racial bonus likely wont fit since it limits which Blessings you could get bonus uses of (to mostly less useful Blessing choices).

In response to Ellesedil and your comment back, you could consider being a Bard if you only want healing spells. They use Charisma, have a huge number of skill points for Diplomacy, Bluff, etc and provide large bonuses to party defenses. There is no problem with using a Katana 2 handed and removing one hand to cast as necessary since it would be on separate rounds.

Remember with the bard, you don't have to be the court jester or a troubadour. You could be spreading the good word of the lord, but casting arcane spells. You would, however, lose access to medium and heavy armor.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @DarChaos Well I've been downvoted but not notified about why. Is there a particular portion of my answer that does not help answer the question? I could add references and links if that would help. I'd like to continue helping but don't know how. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Apr 12 '16 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have added the querent's comment about other classes to the question, hopefully that addresses a possible motive for the downvote ... since he asked about Warpriest and you offered bard in your opener. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Aug 19 '16 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point, I'll edit that to be a footnote. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Aug 22 '16 at 12:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I downvoted, because you recommend Vital Strike and the healing blessing. Vital Strike is an absolutely awful approach to, well, anything, and should never be used. It is 100% trap. The only exception is that one Divine Fighting Technique that lets you use it at the end of a charge. Healing blessing improves cure spells (which are garbage and should pretty much only be cast from wands out of combat), and then offers a meager 30-HP-over-a-minute heal at a point where cure light wounds wand charges are chump change. Completely wasted choice. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jul 20 '17 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan understandable. Vital is a lot better on Warpriest since you can get it when you would have gotten iterative attacks (6, 11, 16) instead of when you actually do (8, 15) allowing you to almost keep up with other martials' damage while you're also casting as Swift. It's also usable with Weapon of the Chosen (etc) for when you're not casting and allows you, as I mentioned, to be a much more mobile PC instead of relying on Full Attacks. No, you won't do as much damage as a crit fisher or 30+ STR Barbarian, but it makes you more single ability dependent \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Jul 20 '17 at 15:38

A theory of fluff: Aereni diplomat with ties to the Valaes Tairn

OK, so here are some thoughts on this:

  • Elves in Eberron come in roughly three flavors: original Aereni, fancy Khorvaire, and spicy Valenar.

  • The Valaes Tairn elves of Valenar are extremely well-known as mounted marauders.

  • Valaes Tairn come from Aerenal; all Valenar warhorses are bred on Aerenal, all Valaes Tairn are born and raised on Aerenal, and so on.

  • The Valaes Tairn are following a tradition of war dating back to ancient Aereni expeditions to Khorvaire.

  • You are an Aereni elf, but the difference between the Aereni and the Valaes Tairn is really just a question of which ancestors your venerate more (the Undying Court vs. the war-heroes of Xen’drik). All elves on Aerenal venerate the Undying Court, and all elves everywhere are descended from the heroes that the Valaes Tairn venerate. There is a lot of overlap here.

I am now imagining an Aereni elf who approached the Keepers of the Past, interested in his or her ancestral patron—the Valaes Tairn believe all elves have one—and was surprised to learn that his or her patron was not one of the heroes who died in the fighting in Xen’drik, but one of those who protected the exodus from Xen’drik to Aerenal. Maybe that ancestor actually made it to Aerenal, and is actually still a member of the Undying Court. This led the would-be Valaes Tairn to serve the Undying Court despite his or her warlike inclinations. The books do not make any official mention of such ancestral patrons, but then PCs are often a little unique.

Mounted combat and a divine fighting technqiue

Anyway, my point here is that horse-elf-ship is an Aereni tradition; the Valaes Tairn are the most serious about that tradition, but all Aereni are descended from that tradition. Aerenal is also apparently a pretty good place for raising horses, and there are horses there. You can definitely make Aereni elves pledged to the Undying Court who nonetheless exhibit some of the warrior-skills of the Valaes Tairn.

I bring all this up because being mounted is decent direction for a warpriest to take. The greatsword battler divine fighting technique allows you to combine charges with the Vital Strike line. The Vital Strike line generally sucks, but combining it with mounted charges goes a long way to improving things.

In Golarion, the greatsword battler divine fighting technique is associated with Gorum, a god of battle. Again, the Tairnadal religion is probably the closest thing on Eberron to that—but Aereni elves and Valaes Tairn elves are not very different. Associating greatsword battler with Tairnadal is entirely appropriate, and an Aereni elf could follow the Tairnadal path even if not born into it directly. And if the katana is your ancestral weapon and “part of your soul,” Tairnadal would have you use that, not a greatsword (a greatsword is a better weapon anyway, so there is no balance concern here). The feat requires matching the alignment of the deity—Gorum’s is Chaotic Neutral—but the Tairnadal religion is a form of ancestor worship, so an Aereni elf of any alignment could easily make sense. Officially, the “spirits of the past” as a collective “deity” are true neutral.

With this, you want a decent mount—you could use the divine commander archetype to get one that scales like a druid’s animal companion, but the rest of the archetype is worse-than-useless to you, since it replaces crucial bonus feats, particularly the 6th-level bonus feat you need to take Vital Strike “on time.” If your GM is willing to give you some wiggle room on that (maybe move the blessed mount feature to 9th, replacing the 9th-level bonus feat?), I would consider it, but barring that the Blood Steed trait is a strong consideration for you.

Diplomacy without Charisma: learn some humility

Since you are also a diplomat, and you have no need for Charisma, Creed of Humility is important for using Wisdom for Diplomacy. This does not replace your Charisma modifier, unfortunately, so having particularly-poor Charisma will hurt you somewhat, but it’s still better than having to pump your Charisma which does literally nothing for you. The Creed of Humility could be quite appropriate too—if this elf’s patron ancestor was not a great martyr-hero, but rather a quieter, perhaps more practical or disciplined warrior, who forsook suicidal glory in favor of just making sure the exodus got through.

On the other hand, multiclassing offers a superior alternative to Creed of Humility: a level of inquisitor with the Conversion Inquisition could get you charm of wisdom which replaces Charisma with Wisdom on each of Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate. That hurts you a lot in terms of lost spellcasting, though. Plus it’s harder to justify the Conversion Inquisition—the Aereni are not much interested in converting anyone to their faith (since it wouldn’t make any kind of sense for non-elves and the non-Aereni elves of Khorvaire are not well-regarded by the Aereni).

Feats: a conclusion

With the above in place, you want to get Spirited Charge as well as the entire Vital Strike line. Power Attack also makes sense.

Something like this:

Level Feat
1st Creed of Humility
3rd Mounted Combat, Ride-by Attack
5th Divine Fighting Technique (greatsword battler)
6th Vital Strike
7th Spirited Charge
9th Power Attack

If you end up going beyond 9th, Wheeling Charge and Indomitable Mount are desirable for you, and of course you want to get Improved Vital Strike and Greater Vital Strike at 12th and 18th, respectively.

Blessings: ideally, Destruction and Liberation

Finally, on blessings. The Undying Court offers the Deathless, Fate, Good, Protection, and Planning domains, while the “spirits of the past” offer the Destruction, Protection, War, Elf, and “Revered Ancestor” domains (the last is a domain unique to this faith that emphasizes a lot of Valaes Tairn things, including their signature double scimitar). There are no real blessing analogues to the Deathless, Elf, Fate, Planning, or Revered Ancestor domains. Of those with direct analogues, Destruction is easily the best, with Protection or War as the best choice for your second blessing.

If you are allowed to make arguments for other blessings, though, there are some you should consider. The Community blessing is interesting in that you could use it on your mount, who could then use its standard action to aid your attacks: a +4 attack bonus is not bad at all. Strength is pretty decent too, though you might want to consider going for a more overrun-based direction with that. The Liberation and Travel blessings are also really good, since they allow you to ignore difficult terrain and therefore allow you to charge through it.

If you can get into pure homebrew territory, you might consider trying to argue for some blessing that you could use on a mount—say, a swift-action blessing that upgrades the mount to animal companion status for a minute? I’d allow it, anyway. Certainly sensible as a Revered Ancestor blessing.

Don’t waste time with the Healing blessing; you have healing ability, but you are a warrior first-and-foremost. Healing is mostly going to be zapping a wand of cure light wounds between fights. Stabilize is good for emergencies, maybe a one-off cure light wounds for a truly dire situation. And even if you prepare a lot of cure spells (which you absolutely should not do), the healing blessing offers little real benefit.


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