For all of the many things about the warpriest that there is to like, in my mind, it all seems to keep coming back to that sacred weapon ability. Not the part that lets you make your weapon magic for free, although that’s quite nice, but the part that lets your puny 1d4 damage weapon, like a dagger, for example, eventually deal more damage than a greatsword. It seems clear that this class feature was put in place so that players could use their deity’s favored weapons without having to suffer for it (as many deities seem to choose their favored weapons for symbolic purposes, rather than picking the most effective ones), but I find that the principle applies equally well for other reasons one might want to encourage a character to wield a weapon that might not otherwise be their first pick.
Take, for example, Jack the Ripper. It’s certainly possible to create an effective character who wields a single dagger…but he’ll pretty much always be worse off than if he upgraded to a short sword, rapier, or an even bigger weapon. But if our ripper-copying character were a warpriest, suddenly his infamous knife becomes much less of an albatross hanging around his neck. It was in this vein that today’s archetype came about.
New Warpriest Archetype
Many warpriests fight in the defense of their faith, but for a handful of warpriests, the faith becomes the means and the fighting and killing are the true ends. These ruthless murderers dole out death whenever they can, justifying their actions with their faith after the fact.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The divine butcher does not gain proficiency with heavy armor, or with shields.
Butcher’s Blessings: At 1st level, when selecting his blessings, the divine butcher must choose one of the following as one of his two blessings: chaos, death, destruction, evil, or war. The divine butcher may select his other blessing normally.
This ability modifies the blessings class feature.
Knife Focus: At 1st level, when choosing a weapon for his focus weapon class feature, the divine butcher must select a light piercing melee weapon.
This ability modifies the focus weapon class feature.
Spontaneous Casting: Regardless of alignment, a divine butcher always spontaneously casts inflict spells, as an evil warpriest, and never spontaneously casts cure spells.
This ability modifies the spellcasting class feature.
Deadly Fervor (Su): Regardless of the divine butcher’s alignment, his fervor ability cannot be used to heal either living creatures or undead ones, and harms both living and undead creatures.
Beginning at 2nd level, as a standard action, the divine butcher can expend one use of fervor and make a single attack with a light piercing melee weapon. If the attack hits, it deals additional damage equal to the damage dealt by the divine butcher’s fervor ability. If the divine butcher’s attack misses, the use of fervor is still expended with no effect.
Alternatively, by expending 2 uses of fervor, the divine butcher can add his fervor damage to any attack, including attacks of opportunity and an attack made as part of a full-attack action.
This ability modifies the fervor ability.
Channel Hatred (Su): Beginning at 4th level, the divine butcher learns to channel all of his rage and hatred into his fighting. He gains the ability to expend daily uses of fervor in order to gain the following benefits:
Dodge: As a swift action, the divine butcher can expend 1 use of fervor in order to gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC until the beginning of his next turn. Alternatively, he can expend 2 uses of fervor in order to gain the same benefit as an immediate action.
Extra Attack: As a swift action, the divine butcher can expend 1 use of fervor to make an extra attack at his full base attack bonus as part of a full attack action. If the divine butcher is at least 8th level, he can instead expend 3 uses of fervor to make two extra attacks: one at his full base attack bonus, and one at his base attack bonus minus 5. If the divine butcher is at least 15th level, he can instead expend 6 uses of fervor to make three extra attacks: one at his full base attack bonus, one at his base attack bonus minus 5, and one at his base attack bonus minus 10.
Nimbleness: As a swift action, the divine butcher can expend 1 use of fervor to grant himself a competence bonus on Acrobatics checks equal to 1/2 his class level, and increase his movement speed by 10 feet. These benefits last until the beginning of the divine butcher’s next turn.
Swift Demoralization: As a swift action, the divine butcher can expend 1 use of fervor to attempt to demoralize a foe with the Intimidate skill (normally a standard action). He gains a bonus on this check equal to 1/2 his class level. If he has killed a creature with a light piercing melee weapon since the end of his last turn, he gains an additional +4 bonus on the check.
This ability replaces the channel energy class feature.