D&D 5E Balancing Warlocks on a 1-2 combat per day workload.


Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
... which is exactly why WotC is replacing "1 per SR" abilities with "PB per LR", so classes remain balanced across different play styles.

But the math for Warlock might not fit that rule, probably too powerful. IMO doubling their SR slot count should be about right.
This is a good change, although it opens up a can of worms with multiclassing that, hopefully, they will address.

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Changing short rests to 10 minutes also helps out quite a bit at my tables. Every time a full caster wants to cast ritual or the experts want to search for traps or secret doors in an area (both of which take 10 minutes) the other PCs take a short rest and get all their stuff back. That has solved most of my problems with disparate rest style classes.

As a DM, if you knew you were going to play a homebrew campaign with a maximum one or maybe occasionally two combat encounters in each whole day, how could you help balance the warlock?
To be honest the Warlock is only about third on my "classes I'm worried about" list given this ruling, behind the fighter and the monk.

Ideally I'd switch to gritty rests as others have mentioned. But honestly, as long as warlocks go in to most fights with their spell slots intact no one playing a warlock is going to mind. But the other casters are going to be overwhelming given that they get up to about a dozen spell slots to burn in one fight so can just unload something really impressive every single turn.


  • When an enemy fails its first spell save DC against your spell, the slot is not used…
That seems like that would be something interesting to try all by itself. Of course, some spells the Warlock cast don't require saves (such as Fly). I'd be inclined to have such spells automatically burn the slot, but give the Warlock PB spells per day. Maybe have a method where if they use their patron's 1st level ability (up to 1x/day) <EDIT> or better yet, their 6th level ability, they recover a slot.

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