D&D (2024) 2024 Player's Handbook reveal: "New Warlock"

"The character builder's paradise".

"The character builder's paradise".


We last saw the Warlock in Playtest 7, with a lot of features from 2014 restored from the previous version. Still, a lot of questions (for me) remain: here's my list from before the video ran:
  • Will the three pacts still be invocations, and will it be possible to get all of them by level 2? (I hope not). Yes.
  • If they are invocations, will people still believe they are getting more invocations than thry had in 2014? Yes.
  • What will the Pact of the Chain special creature options be? (We've seen the Sphinx of Wonder previewed already.) Is there still going to be a (M-sized) skeleton option? YES!
  • Will Pact of the Tome still have the lame rewritten Ritual Caster rules, of only two 1st level rituals, and never any more? (I hope not). No answer, but I doubt it's been changed.
  • Is it conceivable that anyone would not take Pact of the Blade as one of their Invocations? (Doubt it.) No answer. They did not talk about whether later invocations will give Extra attack, or other concerns here.
  • Will anyone be able to take Eldritch Blast? "Warlock Specific"
(Happily, many of these questions were indeed answered in the video!).
I think warlock really benefits from having the subclasses come at level 3: you can "dabble" in the occult without selling your soul until level 3 (though admittedly, the wording of the fluff text does not require you to sell your soul).

OVERVIEW
  • Invocations at 1, Magical Cunning at 2 (as in PT7)
  • Crawford claims we will get more eldritch invocations. Assuming the table's as in PT7, this is a bit of a fudge: there's one for a pact at level 5 (no gain) and one extra, at level 5, and for most it will go, I feel, to another pact). Yes there's more flexibility.
  • Main choices are Pact Boons. "This is a big deal" -- "it is a juicy choice" they say, and Crawford makes it clear you can get them all "over time". "Over time", though, is by level 2. To me this is too much too early.
  • NEW: all pact boons at level 1 now.
  • NEW: "More Spooky critter options" for Pact of the Chain, speaking to Patron types. Complete list: Slaad tadpole. Skeleton, Imp, Pseudodragon, Quasit, Sprite (Fey), Sphinx of Wonder (Celestial), Venomous Snake. All will be in the PHB.
  • Spellcasting has been enhanced: more invocations work with warlock spells. Now they don't just affect Eldritch Blast (which is warlock-specific -- not clear how that's mechanized, though). You can have Ray of Frost with Repelling Blast.
  • NEW: Lessons of the First Ones only lets you take an Origin Feat.
  • Contact Patron at 9, Mystic Arcanum at 11+, expanded spell list (though not as big as sorcerer).
  • All subclasses get an expanded spell list.
SUBCLASSES

ARCHFEY - "a teleportation fantasia"
  • Gameplay was not living up to the flavour. Going "all-in" on Teleportation.
  • Additional effects occur whenever you cast the spell, not just the free casting from Steps of the Fey. (Refreshing step and Taunting Step confirmed, as in PT7 apparently).
  • Beguiling Defenses, causing psychic damage
  • Bewitching magic at 14 as in PT7 -- "ridiculous in all the best ways".
CELESTIAL
  • NEW: from expanded class spell list. Summon Celestial on spell list.
  • NEW: Guiding Bolt, Cure wounds and Aid (Aid was not on PT7 list) on subclass list
  • You can be "a hired hitman from the gods"
  • NEW: Searing Radiance at 14 now can apply to an ally.
FIEND
  • Magical weapons no longer pass your damage resitance (in reference to Fiendish Resilience at 10?)
  • "tankiness" seen in BG3 is also here: Dark One's Blessing seems completely rewritten, as it was described in the Design Note of the PT7.
GREAT OLD ONE
  • NEW: Summon Aberration might be a version of the Mind Flayer (an option in the Summon Abberation spell)
  • when you do damage, you can do psychic.
  • Psychic Spells for enchantment/illusion without Verbal/Somatic (but you still need Material); damage may be Psychic. Clairvoyant Combatant can be a battle of wills (focusing damage to one target -- a nod to AD&D psionic battles). Eldritch Hex also as in PT7.
 

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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
So the Faustian Bargain just gets a pass from you? Feel free to ignore your patron?
Many of the best Faustian bargain stories work by having the recipient outwit and overcome their patron using the very power given to them. More than "ignoring," they outright defy and defeat that patron.

That's (one part of) why I like the Celestial patron--going along with what the patron wants is itself the aspirational, hopeful thing to do, and good roleplay comes from struggling with the task of being the good person you want to be, but aren't sure that you actually CAN be.

I liked prestige classes, so YMMV.
Oh, I love the idea of prestige classes.

But giving players concrete, clear power increases solely for squishy, ill-defined narrative reasons is a recipe for rampant abuse and manipulation. And once that snowball built up, there was no stopping it; the designers fell into the very same trap.
 

Kurotowa

Legend
So what's hidden in the fine print here?

As I suspected, Agonizing Blast requires 2nd level. The better to encourage taking a Pact at 1st, and smooth out the damage progression. The ability to exchange an invocation when you level up returns, after being missing in the UA releases. You can take the cantrip enhancing invocations more than once, if you want to power up more than one cantrip.

That seems to be the main ones. Some other minor things, like a change to the 20th level feature, but when does that ever matter. Otherwise, not a lot of wildly new info.
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
So the Faustian Bargain just gets a pass from you? Feel free to ignore your patron?

My Feylock sent letters to his patron daily, was building her a house, and working towards getting her a proper dowry. What part of that is ignoring her?

My fiendlock would have needed to report weekly to their patron, but that game never went far enough to establish any of that. But couldn't just ignore him, he would have slaughtered her entire hometown if she did, and since she wasn't a psychopath, dooming an entire town to be killed by a demon was something she wanted to avoid.
 



Treantmonk is "happier with the balance in the book than UA7". So all signs point to 2 attacks, with a possible boost to lifedrinker.
That has to be what that means, yeah. I was always puzzled why WotC even tried to go 'lol multiply everything a 3rd time' route instead of buffing Lifedrinker whose whole point is improving Blade Pact right at that point.
 

tglassy

Adventurer
Maybe Lifedrinker just adds a third attack and allows you to heal when you attack without adding more dice? I'd be fine with that.

I don't know why I like the idea of Warlocks getting a third attack so much. But I do. For whatever reason, I really do.
 

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