Archive

Race Guide: Warforged

Updated Fri, Feb 13, 2009 by Ralsu

Children of the Forge

Warforged Guide

By Darkgolem

Warforged are the most unique race of Eberron, and have interesting and powerful abilities which make them very fun to play.  However, with their unique abilities come different limitations which players who wish to play warforged should be aware of,  so that when they plan their character, they have a good idea of what works and what doesn't in character design.

History:
Warforged in BattleThe Last War occurred in the Eberron setting before the time that the Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) is set.  During the Last War, House Cannith created a group of construct soldiers who were then sold to any side in the war that wished it.  As House Cannith produced more sophisticated "warforged" soldiers, they eventually created self aware beings.  While these beings were alive, subject to spells such as raise dead and so on, they were not made of flesh, instead being a composite of metal, flesh and stone.  They did not appear to have souls (since they did not "go" to any reward when they died), but other qualities about their status in the spiritual world is unclear. 

At the end of the Last War, the leading monarch in the Treaty of Thronehold (as it was called) caused Warforged to be considered free and self willed, released from the control of the signatories of the treaty, and had the creation forges of House Cannith destroyed (though rumors persist that forges exist, found here or there throughout Eberron).  Since Warforged had no society to develop in, they eventually reacted in a myriad of ways to their freedom.  Some continued to work as indentured servants for their former masters.  Some went their own ways in warlike and non warlike professions.  Some rejected the entire societies of Eberron, and now can be found in a wasteland, worshiping a warforged deity who's body they are creating, and led by a warforged known as "the Lord of Blades" who, it appears from DDO's approach to the lord of the blades, has or is attaining deityhood (since they get benefits from worshiping him).

Warforged Nature:
Warforged FightingWarforged do not sleep or eat.  In the pen and paper Eberron setting, they do not breathe, but in DDO they can drown (it takes a long, long time).  They are immune to poison, disease and energy drain (but not ability damage, such as wraith con damage).  Warforged are also immune to sleep, paralysis, exhaustion, fatigue. Warforged have no society, and as such, have a difficult time relating to others, and are often gullible or lacking in understanding of things one normally would learn in one's parent society.  As such they have a +2 Constitution bonus (due to their hardy bodies) and a -2 penalty to Charisma and Wisdom.

In pen and paper rules, warforged are not healed by clerical magic, but instead, by arcane repair magic.  In DDO, warforged receive a 50% penalty to the effect of healing magic upon them (but not paladin lay on hands), but are healing by repair magic (cast by arcane casters).  This penalty can be affected by enhancements however.  Warforged cannot wear armor, including robes, but can use sheilds.   However, they can wear clothing such as boots, goggles, gloves and so on.  There is a unique item that takes the armor slot for Warforged, called "Docents" which are magical orbs or similar items that can be inserted into a warforged's body to grant magical qualities to a warforged.  These no only change the appearance of the warforged slightly, they also provide enhancement bonuses (enhancement bonuses such as found on armor), and other qualities. 

Basically in game terms they are warforged only armors that have no armor bonus, that except the "no armor" rule for warforged.  Warforged can choose to take armor types that grant improvements to their bodies via natural damage reduction, by choosing specific feats.  The base "composite armor" body warforged receive without choosing any feats provides a +2 armor class bonus, light fortification (25% chance to ignore sneak attacks and critical hits) and 5% spell failure chance, and counts as light armor.  Warforged do not bleed to death when at -1 through -10 hit points.

Warforged Professions:
Warforged have benefits and penalties for any class.  In general, warforged make any class more fit for surviving and acting in combat.  However, that quality doesn't always fit well with a class, and the interactions between the benefits a warforged gets and class abilities are not always obvious.

Class Name
Benefits of being Warforged
Detractions of being warforged
Fighter
Immunities to "person" spells, poison, disease and energy drain, built in damage reduction, warforged enhancements are geared toward melee abilities, Constitution is primary statistic
Difficulty in finding specific types of docents (since most don't use them), wisdom is a penalty (so penalty to will saves), healing is weaker without using enhancements to heal self, must take enhancements for armor class bonuses (rather than wear armor).  Cannot have Dragonmarks.  Must use feats for heavier armor types upon creation.
Barbarian
Immunities to "person" spells, poison, disease and energy drain, built in damage reduction, warforged enhancements are geared toward melee abilities, Constitution is primary statistic.  Not affected by barbarian exhaustion
Difficulty in finding specific types of docents (since most don't use them), wisdom is a penalty (so penalty to will saves), healing is weaker without using enhancements to heal self, must take enhancements for armor class bonuses (rather than wear armor).  Damage reduction of Warforged body does not stack with Barbarian damage reduction.  Cannot have Dragonmarks.  Must use feat at creation for armor types heavier than light.
Ranger
Immunities to "person" spells, poison, disease and energy drain, built in damage reduction, warforged enhancements are geared toward melee abilities, Constitution is primary statistic.
Difficulty in finding specific types of docents (since most don't use them), wisdom is a penalty (so penalty to will saves and ranger spells), healing is weaker without using enhancements to heal self, must take enhancements for armor class bonuses (rather than wear armor). Cannot have Dragonmarks.  Charisma penalty hurt's ranger empathy ability.  Must use feats at creation for armor types heavier than light.
Paladin
Immunities to "person" spells, poison, disease and energy drain, built in damage reduction, warforged enhancements are geared toward melee abilities, Constitution is primary statistic.  Unique Warforged Only faith based enhancements are available
Difficulty in finding specific types of docents (since most don't use them), wisdom is a penalty (so penalty to will saves and paladin spells), healing is weaker without using enhancements to heal self, must take enhancements for armor class bonuses (rather than wear armor). Cannot have Dragonmarks.  Charisma penalty hurts paladin abilities.  Must use feats for heavier armor types than light upon creation.
Rogue
Immunities to "person" spells, poison, disease and energy drain, built in damage reduction.
Difficulty in finding specific types of docents (since most don't use them), wisdom is a penalty (so penalty to will saves), healing is weaker without using enhancements to heal self, must take enhancements for armor class bonuses (rather than wear armor). Cannot have Dragonmarks.  Wisdom and Charisma penalty hurts skill based upon these ability scores.  Since rogue abilities often avoid poison, disease and other affects, there is an overlap of abilities between class/race choice.  Must use feats upon creation for heavier armor types than light.
Cleric
Immunities to "person" spells, poison, disease and energy drain, built in damage reduction.  Unique faith based enhancements available to warforged clerics and paladins.
Difficulty in finding specific types of docents (since most don't use them), wisdom is a penalty (so penalty to will saves), healing is weaker without using enhancements to heal self, must take enhancements for armor class bonuses (rather than wear armor). Cannot have Dragonmarks.  Wisdom and Charisma penalty hurts skill based upon these ability scores, and clerical spell and turning abilities.  Since clerical spells can heal the things a warforged is immune to, class and race abilities can be reduntant.  Warforged enhancements are geared toward melee not clerical abilties.  Must use feats upon creation for armor types heavier than light.
Wizard
Immunities to "person" spells, poison, disease and energy drain, built in damage reduction.  Can self heal using repair spells.  Docents can provide enhancement bonuses to armor class without arcane casting penalties.
Difficulty in finding specific types of docents (since most don't use them),   Healing is weaker without using enhancements to heal self.  Cannot have Dragonmarks.   Warforged enhancements are geared toward melee not arcane abilties.  Composite body provides a 5% spell failure penalty.
Sorcerer
Immunities to "person" spells, poison, disease and energy drain, built in damage reduction.  Can self heal using repair spells.  Docents can provide enhancement bonuses to armor class without arcane casting penalties. Difficulty in finding specific types of docents (since most don't use them),   Healing is weaker without using enhancements to heal self.  Cannot have Dragonmarks.   Warforged enhancements are geared toward melee not arcane abilties.  Charisma penalty toward primary sorcerer ability score.  Composite body provides a 5% spell failure penalty.
Bard
Immunities to "person" spells, poison, disease and energy drain, built in damage reduction.  Can self heal using repair spells.  Docents can provide enhancement bonuses to armor class without arcane casting penalties. Difficulty in finding specific types of docents (since most don't use them),   Healing is weaker without using enhancements to heal self.  Cannot have Dragonmarks.   Warforged enhancements are geared toward melee not arcane abilties.  Charisma penalty toward primary sorcerer ability score.  Must use feats upon creation for armor types heavier than light, and further feats to make those armors light type.

Warforged Faces Down GiantNote that warforged benefits and detractions weigh differently from class to class.  For example, it would appear that the charisma and wisdom penalties a warforged paladin would get would make that class/race choice a bad idea.  But remember that the benefit of a paladin's charisma is fairly good, even with a midling ability score, and the benefit of damage reduction is worth the exchange for this loss. 

On the other hand, a warforged barbarian's loss of the "post rage" enhaustion ability is nice, but since the damage reduction of the class and race does not stack, and barbarians usually make saves against the things warforged are immune to, many of the presumed benefits of a warforged barbarian choice are quite negligible, especially  considering their penalty to healing magic's effectiveness toward them.  In that case, the immunity to "person" spells such as hold person and dominate person is very useful, however.  Very  careful choice of enhancements and feats can do wonder's in mitigating the problems warforged class choices have.

Warforged Feats: 

Warforged have unique feats that are available only to their race.  Many of these must be picked at creation, and the need for these feats for one build can mitigate that builds usefulness.  Note that enhancements that affect armor type also the "armor" warforged feats below.

Feat Name
Feat Qualities
Adamantine Body
Adamantine body counts as heavy armor, grants a +8 armor bonus and damage reduction 2/adamantine, but also provides a 35% arcane spell failure chance, -5 armor check penalty to certain skills, and a +1 maximum Dex bonus. Must be taken upon character creation.
Mithril Body
Mithral body counts as light armor and grants a +5 armor bonus, but also provides a 15% arcane spell failure chance, -2 armor check penalty to certain skills, and a +5 maximum Dex bonus.  Must be taken upon character creation
Mithril Fluidity
The maximum Dex bonus you have is increased by 1, and the armor check penalties are decreased by 1.
Improved Fortification
Improves your warforged fortification, granting you immunity to sneak attacks and extra damage from critical hits. However, you lose the ability to be healed by spells from the healing subschool, such as cure light wounds. You must have a base attack bonus of +6 before taking this ability.

Improved Damage Reduction
You gain damage reduction 1/adamantine, or improve your existing damage reduction by 1/adamantine.  This can be taken multiple times.

Warforged Enhancements:

Warforged Enhancements are too numerous to list here.  However, they can be found here.  Of note, there are certain enhancements that provide great benefits in mitigating some of the issues warforged face.  Warforged inscribed armor can mitigate spell casting failure, and there are docents available which assist in this.  Warforged receive a constitution bonus as an enhancement, which is useful for any class.  They also receive a damage reduction enhancement, theoretically a warforged can attain a damage reduction of 9/adamantine by taking multiple improved damage reduction feats as character feats, and taking these enhancements along with adamantine body.  Finally, warforged healer's friend enhancements can mitigate the penalty a warforged has with healing spells, reducing the healing spell penalty to only 25%.

In Parting: Warforged Builds

Some warforged builds are available for ideas on how various warforged might be developed.  Note that these can be used "as is" or as ways to generate your own, unique, build which you might choose.

The Undead Slayer:  A warforged paladin/fighter dedicated to the destruction of undead.
The Bladesworn Knight: A warforged paladin/fighter dedicated to the service of the lord of blades.

Does this guide work like clockwork?  Does it fail to construct a clear picture?  (puns intended)  Say so in our forums!

GG_24_04
A horribly-abused system from gaming's past is all but eradicated from current titles.
Satire
Wed, May 07, 2014
gunky
Bonus-Weekend-Compile.jpg

Pick your poison. It seems like many games want your attention this weekend and they’re hosting an assortment of events to get it.

Beta, News, Official Announcements
Sat, Mar 15, 2014
Martuk
DDO-U21-Legendary-Halls.png

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Dungeons & Dragons saga with DDO’s Update 21: Legendary Halls.

News, Official Announcements
Mon, Mar 10, 2014
Martuk
DDO-Blue-Dragon.jpg

Turbine celebrates the 8th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons Online with new content details and an interview with Ed Greenwood.

Video, News, Official Announcements
Fri, Feb 28, 2014
Martuk

News from around the 'Net