Jordan's Page of Useless Babble

Origins of the PCs

Warforged are living machines, built for the purpose of waging war. Introduced in the Eberron campaign setting, warforged introduce a unique type of character to play: a construct given intelligence and free will. Although warforged are generally restricted to Eberron, they could be introduced into any high-magic setting as a people who were once, or perhaps still are a servitor race.

Warforged Strengths

  • High Constitution
  • Built-in armor is the default for the race
  • Less vulnerable to sneak attacks and critical hits
  • Access to a natural attack
  • Immunity to several effects (poison, sleep, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, sickened and energy drain)
  • Is effectively immortal unless destroyed
  • Can heal damage with the Craft skill

Warforged Weaknesses

  • Low Wisdom
  • Low Charisma
  • Generally has an arcane spell failure chance
  • Vulnerable to many more spells than humanoids (spells that affect constructs as well as several that affect metal, stone and wood)
  • Does not naturally heal damage over time
  • Spells from the healing subschool are only half as effective on warforged

Playing a Warforged
Warforged characters are mechanical, mostly. Their default body armor is effectively the equivalent of leather armor with the light fortification special quality. The lower mental faculties of the warforged means that they are much better suited to a physical role, although they can easily excel as spellcasters with some well chosen feats.

Because of a high Constitution, a warforged character is going to be tough. They'll have a higher Fortitude saving throw and more hit points. The added immunities to several effects also make them tougher to put down. Unfortunately, they require specialized healing, such as through a Craft check or a repair spell to bring their hit points back up. This can put a strain on a party's cleric, who finds it much harder to heal one companion than the rest.

A lower Wisdom score means that a warforged character will be more vulnerable to effects that require them to make a Will saving throw. That coupled with a vulnerability to several more spells than normal humanoids means that they will have to be extra careful around spellcasters, especially druids and artificers.

Warforged are extremely effective when disarmed compared to other races. Their built-in armor and natural attack means that they can continue to be effective in battle, even without a weapon. A damaged warforged can become inert until healed, perhaps through a contingency spell, and flank a group of enemies who thought him to be no longer a threat.

Class Suggestions
Warforged often do well in classes that allow them to work physically: both fighter and barbarian are easy class choices for the average character. Both excel in what the warforged is designed to do: bust heads. Both can take feats to improve their body armor without fear of penalizing other abilities, and the natural immunity to several effects that could easily debilitate a fighter, such as paralysis, makes them tougher than their fellows.

One particularly excellent choice for a warforged character is artificer. Not only does it allow them to enhance their own forms permanently through magic item creation, they can also use their infusions to power themselves, as all that construct-based infusions will work on warforged too. Races of Eberron introduced warforged artificer substitution levels that allow the character to better infuse their own bodies.

Paladin seems an unlikely choice for a warforged character, with it's reliance on two ability scores that they do poorly with, but a set of substitution levels in Races of Eberron allow a warforged paladin to heal damage, smite constructs and become more resilient to magical attacks. Also of interest is the duskblade (Player's Handbook II), which allows the warforged to take a heavier composite body and still cast arcane spells without failure.

Despite their appearance, warforged can be sneaky if required, and they make good monks, lurks (Complete Psionics), soulknives (Expanded Psionics Handbook), rogues or scouts (Complete Adventurer). The added benefit of such a character is that if they are trying to disarm a trap and fail, they may be more resistant to it than a flesh-and-blood rogue, especially if poison or debilitating spell effects are involved.

Incarnum-using classes (Magic of Incarnum)are excellent choices for warforged characters. Constitution, which a warforged would have in spades, helps determine the power of a character's soulmelds. Either the incarnate, soulborn or totemist is a good choice.

Since wizards use Intelligence to cast magic, you might think they would be a good choice for a warforged character, and you'd be right. With some feat selection, or by sucking up the arcane spell failure rate, you could make a very durable arcane caster. Warmage makes an even more durable choice by allowing the warforged character to wear their composite armor (or upgrading to a mithral body or similar) without spell failure, but they are generally limited to evocation and conjuration spells.

If you're looking to make a divine spellcaster, the archivist (Heroes of Horror) makes an excellent choice, since it's just about the only one that isn't restricted to using Wisdom or Charisma for its spellcasting. As an added effect, the character could learn any divine spell, making it as versatile as needed. If you're looking for a psionic character, you could consider the psion. A warforged character could take the adamantine body feat and become extremely resistant to damage, while still being able to lash out at others with the power of its mind, or take the psiforged body feat and focus mainly on their psionic powers.

Another interesting choice for a warforged spellcaster is the druid. While it might not seem like the best choice, the character would retain its natural immunities and resistances while wild shaped, and feats like ironwood body (Races of Eberron) would allow the character to better pursue this unusual path.

Feat Suggestions
Warforged characters have a host of feats available to them, many of which can be extremely beneficial, depending on the class the character takes. Warforged spellcasters, like bards, warmages, or duskblades may see use in taking Battlecaster (Complete Arcane) to allow them to use their magic effectively with heavier body armor.

Foremost in a warforged character's mind should be the warforged feats: an entire section of feats available only to them. Warforged feats allow characters to alter their bodies in radical new ways, from bulking up their armor, to allowing their natural weapons to bypass damage reduction. Here is a complete list:

Feat Source Book Page
Adamantine Body Eberron CS
Monster Manual III
Races of Eberron
Blade Communion of Slashing Dragon #359 55
Cold Iron Tracery Races of Eberron 119
Construct Lock Races of Eberron 119
Improved Damage Reduction Eberron CS 55
Improved Fortification Eberron CS
Monster Manual III
Improved Resiliency Races of Eberron 119
Ironwood Body Races of Eberron 119
Jaws of Death Races of Eberron 119
Mithral Body Eberron CS
Monster Manual III
Races of Eberron
Mithral Fluidity Eberron CS
Monster Manual III
Overload Metabolism Player's Guide to Eberron 151
Psiforged Body Magic of Eberron 51
Second Slam Races of Eberron 120
Shocking Fist Player's Guide to Eberron 151
Silver Tracery Races of Eberron 120
Spiked Body Races of Eberron 120
Unarmored Body Races of Eberron 120
Wand Bonding City of Stormreach 119

Of these feats, 5 of them: Adamantine Body, Ironwood Body, Mithral Body, Psiforged Body and Unarmored Body may only be taken at 1st level. The feat represents the alteration of the warforged character's body to make it different than the norm.

Adamantine Body - Adamantine is the strongest body armor a warforged character can wear, and provides protection equivalent to full plate armor along with a healthy dose of damage reduction. It's an excellent choice for a character that will be wading into battle, because less damage means less time you'll have to spend repairing yourself and the less you'll have to bother the team's artificer to cast a repair spell on you.

Ironwood Body - While not as powerful as mithral, ironwood body allows a character to improve their protection and gain some minor damage reduction. The ones who benefit the most from this feat are druids, as it is one of the few body types that allow that class to cast spells while wearing it.

Mithral Body - Mithral improves the warforged character's armor class, while not hampering them too much with problems heavier armors provide. Swashbucklers and rangers can get the most out of this kind of body armor, as they still allow the character to do minor acrobatics (at a small penalty of course). Mithral is considered light, so spellcasters who are restricted to light armor, like warmages, can also benefit greatly from this choice.

Psiforged Body - If you want to be a psionicist, or have access to psionic feats, this is the body-type for you. Beyond providing 1 power point, it also allows the warforged to use his body as a cognizance crystal, making it of far more use to a psion than a soulknife.

Unarmored Body - Sometimes no armor is the best armor. This feat removes the body armor (and light fortification ability) from a warforged character. The upside? Now your warforged wizard can cast spells without bothering with an arcane spell failure, and you're free to wear whatever robes or armor you desire. If you're playing in a Monte Haul style adventure, consider this feat. If great armor is lying just down the hall, you can always wear it, instead of being stuck with what you started with.

Also of interest is a pair of racial feats: Brute Fighting and Stable Footing which both appear in Races of Eberron. Both feats can provide your character with some great options beyond the range of other races.

Prestige Class Suggestions
Warforged characters don't have a lot of prestige class options available to only them, and most of their prestige classes should be chosen to suit their class and feat selection. There are a few options that warforged should be aware of.

Landforged Walker (Secrets of Xen'drik) - This is one of the best choices for a warforged druid or ranger, especially if they have the ironwood body feat. The added protection and spellcasting abilities of the class make it a must have for nature-loving characters.

Reforged (Races of Eberron) - Reforged is an interesting choice for a warforged character who wants to embrace his living aspect. By forsaking the machine parts of the character's body, a reforged loses many of the downsides about being a warforged character, such as the inability to naturally heal. If you're trying for an absolute transformation, load your character up on warforged feats while in the class, you'll lose them, but get an equal number of bonus feats when you complete the class.

Spellcarved Soldier (Races of Eberron) - While it doesn't provide the character with any spellcasting abilities, the spellcarved soldier prestige class does require that the character have some magic of their own. Artificers and armored spellcasters, like warmages, bards or duskblades do best in this class. While they don't learn any new spells, they do learn a number of interesting ways to exploit them, as well as some added protection and the ability to utilize more magic items.

Warforged Juggernaut (Eberron CS) - The warforged juggernaut is the logical opposite of the reforged: a character that embraces their construct-side. These characters do best in the midst of battle, preferably against enemies that squish and splatter satisfyingly against their many weapons. The bloodspike charger feat (Player's Handbook II) is an excellent choice for a warforged juggernaut character who relies on a spiked shield and their slam attack.

Warforged and Magic
Because of their unique connection to magic, warforged characters can be affected by spells in many different ways than ordinary humanoids. Specifically, there are a number of spells designed with the warforged in mind. Consider these spells when working with, or against warforged characters:

Spell Tree Source Book
Construct Essence Races of Eberron
Humanoid Essence Races of Eberron
Natural Weapon Augmentation Races of Eberron
Repair Damage Eberron CS

Other Warforged Options
Finally, there are some other features that a warforged character can take advantage of. Worshippers of the Lord of Blades can invoke 4 rituals (there's a feat that provides an added ability as well) named the Blade Communions.

If you're looking to make a spry warforged character, maybe one that is better suited for shadows than outright action; consider making a warforged scout (Monster Manual III). While they aren't nearly as durable as ordinary warforged characters, the Dexterity boost the scouts receive and their small stature make them into excellent rogues.

Warforged characters should also be well acquainted with magic items that only they can use: components and docents. Components are magical items that can be attached right into the body of the warforged character. Such items can replace body parts at times, but are undeniably useful. Docents are intelligent magical items that take the amulet slot on a warforged, providing them with special abilities and companionship as well as some minor translation abilities.

New Material

New Warforged Feats

Crysteel Tracery [Warforged, Psionic]
An alchemical treatment has deposited fine amounts of crysteel across your body, allowing you to charge your attacks with psionic power.
    Prerequisites: Warforged.
    Benefit: Your natural weapons gain a +1 enhancement bonus to damage rolls. You only gain this bonus when you have at least 1 pp left.

Embed Psicrystal [Warforged, Psionic]
You can embed your psicrystal into your chest, taking some of its powers for yourself.
    Prerequisites: Warforged, Psiforged, Psicrystal Affinity.
    Benefit: You can embed your psicrystal, like a normal warforged component. Doing so takes up the space that would normally be taken up by an amulet. When your psicrystal is embedded, you gain low-light vision equal to that of an elf, as well as darkvision at a range of 60 ft. In addition, the benefit provided by the psicrystal's personality is improved by +1.
    Special: While your psicrystal is embedded in your chest, it is considered within arm's reach and you gain the benefits of the Alertness feat as normal.

Necromantic Endowment [Warforged]
Your necrotic body has provided you with dark powers.
    Prerequisites: Warforged, Warforged Abomination.
    Benefit: You learn to harness the necromantic energy that created you. You are granted the following spell-like abilities as a 1st level caster: 1/day - chill touch, detect undead, hide from undead. Save DC 10 + spell level + your Cha modifier.

Thorny Growth [Warforged]
Your body has begun to grow large, extremely hard spikes, like cactus spines or thorns.
    Prerequisites: Warforged, Ironwood Body, Spiked Body.
    Benefit: Large spikes grow from your armor. You are now treated as wearing armor spikes at all times. The spikes are a living extension of your ironwood body and if destroyed, grow back within 1 week.

Warforged Abomination [Warforged]
Your body was crafted using bone, sinew and magically preserved flesh. The negative energy that powers you makes you different from other warforged.
    Prerequisites: Warforged, 1st level only.
    Benefit: Unlike other warforged, you are damaged by cure spells and healed by inflict spells. Spells of the healing subschool and supernatural abilities that cure hit point damage now provide their full effect on you, while inflict spells are only half as effective on you.
    You gain a +2 racial bonus to Fortitude saves but your speed is reduced to 20 ft. Detect magic spells that target you detect a faint aura of necromancy.
    In addition, the necromantic powers that surround you provide you with a +2 bonus to rebuke or command the undead.
    Special: Unlike most feats, this feat must be taken at 1st level, during character creation. Warforged druids who take this feat cannot cast druid spells or use any of their druid supernatural or spell-like class abilities. Warforged clerics who take this feat cannot turn undead and always rebuke undead as if they were evil.
    Normal: Spells of the healing subschool and supernatural abilities that cure hit point damage normally only provide half their effect to warforged.

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