Revamping the Warlock
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  1. #1
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    Revamping the Warlock

    So there has been a discussion I've recently engaged in regarding the Warlock and Eldritch Blast. And while having that conversation I realized that Pact Magic seems a bit strange for the Warlock. It places the Warlock in a role similar to a caster, but the Warlock is not really meant to be played like a caster. Additionally, because Eldritch Blast is such a useful aspect of the Warlock and so many invocations support it, it can make players feel like if they don't use their invocations to improve Eldritch Blast that they are losing out.

    So, what if we removed Pact Magic and increased the number of Invocations and cantrips a Warlock gets? Some of the invocations that grant access to spells would need to be changed to perhaps allow the spell to be cast once per short rest instead (so similar to Pact Magic but requires an invocation). Additionally, this would make it easier for your Patron to grant an extra themed invocation. Those Patron invocations would be along the lines of casting a certain spell once per short rest. Previously because of the way Invocations are, it was hard to associate specific Patrons with specific cantrips. However, spells are easier, and if the invocation grants access to a spell (and is exclusive to that patron), it can make it more interesting with your Patron choice.

    Admittedly I haven't thought this through completely yet, and I'm rushing to type this before work (please excuse the typos or run-on sentences), but I wanted to get the idea out there.

    Would people play a Warlock without Pact Magic and with more invocations? Would it be preferred?

    I think the Warlock should keep Mystic Arcanum, but only because I'm not sure how to handle that. Maybe they can be treated like greater invocation?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk Diesel View Post
    So there has been a discussion I've recently engaged in regarding the Warlock and Eldritch Blast. And while having that conversation I realized that Pact Magic seems a bit strange for the Warlock. It places the Warlock in a role similar to a caster, but the Warlock is not really meant to be played like a caster. Additionally, because Eldritch Blast is such a useful aspect of the Warlock and so many invocations support it, it can make players feel like if they don't use their invocations to improve Eldritch Blast that they are losing out.

    So, what if we removed Pact Magic and increased the number of Invocations and cantrips a Warlock gets? Some of the invocations that grant access to spells would need to be changed to perhaps allow the spell to be cast once per short rest instead (so similar to Pact Magic but requires an invocation). Additionally, this would make it easier for your Patron to grant an extra themed invocation. Those Patron invocations would be along the lines of casting a certain spell once per short rest. Previously because of the way Invocations are, it was hard to associate specific Patrons with specific cantrips. However, spells are easier, and if the invocation grants access to a spell (and is exclusive to that patron), it can make it more interesting with your Patron choice.

    Admittedly I haven't thought this through completely yet, and I'm rushing to type this before work (please excuse the typos or run-on sentences), but I wanted to get the idea out there.

    Would people play a Warlock without Pact Magic and with more invocations? Would it be preferred?

    I think the Warlock should keep Mystic Arcanum, but only because I'm not sure how to handle that. Maybe they can be treated like greater invocation?
    Personally, yes.

    Much of the dissatisfaction I have seen in play and in considerations for play for Warlock has come in the direction of folks thinking or expecting they were getting a spellslinger.

    They see the Warlock spell list and think "hey, yeah, caster" especially with short redt dlots.

    I think dropping the slots and spells known, adding more invocation slots as well as more invocation options would go a long way to making the class appear right out of the box more like it plays.

    It also resolves a few multi-class wrinkles between pact magic and other classes.

  3. #3
    To me the big problem (if there is one) with the warlock is the break in expectation. You look at the class table and see a full caster, but that's not really what the class does. The solution to me is to change the presentation of the class, not it's mechanics, which I think are fine. Make it more visible that the warlock is not just another tipe of mage, but a very different kind of class. The only real change I'd make would be changing Hex from a spell to a class power, that doesn't consume slots.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk Diesel View Post
    So there has been a discussion I've recently engaged in regarding the Warlock and Eldritch Blast. And while having that conversation I realized that Pact Magic seems a bit strange for the Warlock. It places the Warlock in a role similar to a caster, but the Warlock is not really meant to be played like a caster.
    Honest question: How is the Warlock meant to be played?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogre View Post
    Honest question: How is the Warlock meant to be played?
    PEW PEW PEW!


    /ducks
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  6. #6
    they are an archer... BUT WITH MAGIC.

  7. #7
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    I'd play it, certainly, but I'd lean in a different direction. I would do this:

    1) Give Warlocks half-caster progression, and remove Mystic Arcanum.
    2) Half-casters don't have cantrips, so warlocks get Eldritch Blast as a 1st level class ability. (Tome warlocks can get other cantrips, if desired.) Bake in Agonizing Blast as part of the class feature. The 2nd beam is gained at Warlock 5th, and the 3rd beam at Warlock 11th. Since Eldritch Blast isn't a cantrip, its scaling is handled as a class feature.
    3) Roughly double the number of invocations. I'd say one per level up until level 10, than one every other level (so 15 total at 20th).
    4) Modify the spell grant invocations to be once per long rest, no slot required. (This might be too much spell reserve if you chose all spell invocations, still thinking about this one.)
    5) Add more high level invocations, especially spell granting invocations, to mimic Mystic Arcanum.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogre View Post
    Honest question: How is the Warlock meant to be played?
    I think it was designed to be a good out-of-combat class (and the devs have said sneakiness is built into its DNA) that "pays its dues" by spamming EB during combat. And yes, that includes the bladelock (see the 2002 He-man cartoon's Skeletor as a really good example of how that would work--when the sword doesn't work, it is time to bring out the blasts).

    If the warlock's player wants to play a more traditional caster, that depends on how many short rests the DM doesn't complicate, so there is a lot of table variance. I suggested that they create a "law school" wizard that gets some warlock-y stuff (mostly pact spells and a fighting familiar), or they could go the PF route and make some warlock-y sorcerers (although in PF 2, fiends-related stuff falls under divine, so maybe a more warlock-y domain for the cleric) as a way around that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5ekyu View Post
    It also resolves a few multi-class wrinkles between pact magic and other classes.
    Yea, I hadn't considered it at first, but it would go a long way to eliminating the palilocks and the coffeelocks.

    Quote Originally Posted by pogre View Post
    Honest question: How is the Warlock meant to be played?
    It's a fair question. I think the way it is presented is that Warlocks should play similarly with similar roles to Sorcerers or Wizards, when in reality I see them being more equivalent to Rogues or Monks.

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoSix View Post
    I'd play it, certainly, but I'd lean in a different direction. I would do this:

    1) Give Warlocks half-caster progression, and remove Mystic Arcanum.
    2) Half-casters don't have cantrips, so warlocks get Eldritch Blast as a 1st level class ability. (Tome warlocks can get other cantrips, if desired.) Bake in Agonizing Blast as part of the class feature. The 2nd beam is gained at Warlock 5th, and the 3rd beam at Warlock 11th. Since Eldritch Blast isn't a cantrip, its scaling is handled as a class feature.
    3) Roughly double the number of invocations. I'd say one per level up until level 10, than one every other level (so 15 total at 20th).
    4) Modify the spell grant invocations to be once per long rest, no slot required. (This might be too much spell reserve if you chose all spell invocations, still thinking about this one.)
    5) Add more high level invocations, especially spell granting invocations, to mimic Mystic Arcanum.
    I don't know that I would go half-caster. I like thinking of Warlocks with tons of at-will spell abilities, which is where cantrips and most invocations come in. And with the elimination of Pact Magic at first level, it creates design space for Eldritch Blast as a separate ability with Patron choice and cantrips. Then level 2 you get access to invocations plus Hex as a class ability (1/short rest, lasts a minute, no concentration).

    I agree that the spell granting invocations can be a problem. But I think the best way to solve that would be to wrap those into your patron. Currently, patrons provide options for bonus spells that warlocks could select (but don't have to) with their Pact Magic. Instead, provide level appropriate spell invocations themed around their Patron bonus spells. This limits the number that they can get, but also doesn't force the choice while allowing Patrons to have themed invocations. Then the only other way to gain spell per rest invocations would be Mystic Arcanum / Greater Invocations.

    Of course, this would then also necessitate a change to the Warlock capstone.

  10. #10
    I like the warlock class.
    The actual mechanics give A feeling of opportunist, cheater, making people suspicious about possible abuse.
    It perfectly render what is a Warlock.
    I dont want a predictable class like a paladin, where you can calculate exactly the dpr it will have from smite during the day.
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