Banishing Eldritch Blast

clearstream

(He, Him)
While those are viable options for a Rogue, I think you are missing some things. A 3rd level Rogue going Assassin has a means to auto-crit a surprised enemy. A 3rd level Inquisitive or Swashbuckler have new routes to make it easier to Sneak Attack more often. A rogue that simply uses basic Two Weapon Fighting rules (can be achieve at level 1) instantly increases there opportunities for Sneak Attack. I think I have mentioned this previously in this conversation, but the point of Eldritch Blast is more consistent damage, while Sneak Attack offers a MUCH higher damage ceiling with the trade off of being less consistent. So fewer builds around Sneak Attack are able to replicate that more reliable damage since that is not what Sneak Attack is intended for.

But still, while a valid counter-point, it also misses the overall point. Which is that class features such as Sneak Attack and Martial Arts, as core features of their classes of origin, function as intended when they are used often and perhaps even in spite of other options being available.

My argument is the Eldritch Blast should be a core feature of the Warlock. But since it is not (as the designers wrongly chose to make it a cantrip), then spamming Eldritch Blast feels different than spamming Sneak Attack or Martial Arts.
This seems like a good argument, as I take your point about spamming Sneak Attack or Martial Arts. They're pillar functions of their respective classes. So I can see one route for Warlock that doubles-down on a less diverse strategy. I want to think about that some more.

I would also argue that the Warlock's class and archetype design is so different than other classes that it can lead to confusion and a sense of too many options. First, unlike other classes that have a clear archetype, the Warlock has a Patron (technically considered the archetype) and a Pact (somewhat of a mini-archetype). But the Patrons don't seem to mechanically function as other archetypes do. They add features that are thematic to the particular Patron, but none of them truly support existing core features of the warlock (as other archetypes tend to do), nor do they create any mechanics that are built upon as you continue in that archetype. Rather, each Patron seems a hodgepodge of interesting mechanics, linked by thematic description, but not in any way mechanically related to one another. Think of the Battlemaster. That archetype introduces a new mechanic, and builds upon it. Same with the Rogue Assassin, the Ranger Gloomstalker, any many, many others.
Also true. The joined-up part of Warlock is the chosen attack (EB or Blade) and Invocations.

So I actually have a product on the dmsguild that addresses how to treat the Hexblade. I would link to it, but after engaging in the conversation in this thread, I feel like maybe the Warlock redesign I created could be tweaked. But, I can give you the basics of what I did.

1) Adjust the Warlock class. Hex becomes a class feature at level 2, usable 1/short rest for 1 min, no concentration. Still requires a bonus Action.

2) Hexblade level one grants proficiency in medium armor, shields, and martial weapons. This brings the first level of the Patron in line with relative power of the other patrons. Also stops the Hexblade from stepping on the toes of the Fiend patron.

3) Further levels in the Hexblade modify or improve how they use the Hex class feature.

4) Pact of the Blade provides the character with a new Eldritch Blast variant. You could call it Eldritch Weapon, and rather than a ranged spell attack, it is a melee spell attack.

This way, Hexblade remains thematic with regard to improving Hex and allowing more melee oriented warlocks. Hexblade still benefits from taking Pact of the Blade (As currently Hexblades have no reason to take Pact of the Blade). But Hexblades can function just as well without Pact of the Blade, and Pact of the Blade is still a viable option for any Patron.
In some test runs with Maledictions, I've felt drawn to use a wider range of cantrips with seemingly more interesting decisions to make each turn. I think I wouldn't want the class to be one big decision in chargen (Blast or Blade) and then not much in encounters. So I need to think about all this! You've certainly given food for thought.
 

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Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
Admitting from the outset that questioning a "feeling" might be considered pointless, but hey, when that feeling is a basis for a position, there is some merit to the question.

This is more than just a feeling. If you look into my previous posts in this conversation, you will see that I go into extensive detail in the history of the Warlock since its initial appearance in 3.5. The key defining feature of the Warlock from the beginning has been Eldritch Blast and Invocations.

I see Eldritch blast *as* a warlock class feature because...

1 - It exists only on the Warlock class spells list. The only way non-warlocks get it is thru "other class swiping" abilities other classes have or feats that allow that kind of thing.

While this may be true, does a Bard need to give up a spell known for Bardic Inspiration? What does the Fighter give up for Action Surge, or a Rogue give up for Sneak Attack? Because a Warlock has to give up a very precious (because there are so few) cantrip slot for Eldritch Blast. Yes, I agree that being restricted to the Warlock spell list means it is technically a Warlock-exclusive (which is fairly weak because the only way to get a Rogue's Sneak Attack or a Fighter's Action Surge is through multi-classing, whereas a Bard can gain Eldritch Blast through Magical Secrets or anyone could gain it through the Magic Initiate feat), but this is not the same as a core class feature. This is especially true because so many invocations are designed to support Eldritch Blast (and no other cantrips). Meaning that unlike any other core class features, there is both a cantrip tax and invocation tax.

2 - As the start of this thread re-affirms, the majority of the Eldritch blast "problem" threads are not actually with Eb itself but with the EB *after* Warlock features like invocations and hex get added in. The het (not sure what you meant here) is not lit up with threads about how non-warlock EBs need to be changed.

Is the "het" lit up with how non-rogue Sneak Attacks need to change? What about non-fighter Action Surge or non-monk Martial Arts?

Once again, if Eldritch Blast were treated as an actual core class feature, we also would not be having this discussion. Nobody talks about how Battlemaster Fighters need to change because their maneuvers add so much to their normal attacks, or how Bards of certain colleges can change how their Bardic Inspiration is used. But because Eldritch Blast is not treated as a core class feature, and rather a relatively widely available cantrip, there is now an outcry as to how the Warlock can modify Eldritch Blast compared to other cantrips. Once again, we don't have these conversations when we talk about how archetypes or feats allow core class features to be modified or improved. And Eldritch Blast should be a core class feature, if for no other reason than the plain fact of the amount of support it gets from invocations. But because it is a cantrip, it is instead seen and compared to other cantrips, which I believe to be an unfair assessment since it is clearly meant to be exclusive to the Warlock.

3 - As a cantrip, it also serves the Hexblade and other builds where they focus on non-EB invocations and such.

Not exactly sure what you are getting at here. If a Warlock got automatic access to Eldritch Blast, it has no impact on builds that would prefer to focus on things other than Eldritch Blast. Just as a Rogue has options that focus on things other than Sneak Attack, Bards have options that focus on things other than Bardic Inspiration, and Monks options that focus on things other than Martial Arts. I posit that Eldritch Blast becoming a core feature (rather than a cantrip), along with Hex, would do a great deal to make tweaks possible to things such as the Hexblade (which once again, I see as broken and evidence that WotC is aware of the problems with the warlock and as such an attempt to over correct)..

So, to me, there is little difference to no difference in the feel of "most warlocks best option is to focus on EB" and "most rogues best option is to focus on sneak-able weapons" when one looks at "best options" being read as "damage".

Right. I am not talking about best options for damage. I am talking about having the mechanics of the Warlock align with

1) How Warlocks have been presented in the past. How would it look if Rogues were designed in 5e without Sneak Attack, or Sorcerers without Metamagic, or Druids that couldn't Wildshape? We are not talking about a cool ability, but something that from the beginning has been one of the primary aspects of their identity. And

2) How existing mechanics (the large number of invocations that support Eldritch Blast) seem to indicate that it is a core ability, despite requiring a Warlock to pay the cantrip tax AND invocation tax to take advantage of.

So let me ask what specifically about the warlock cantrip Eb boosted by warlock class abilities vs warlock class ability Eb bothers you?

It bothers me because Eldritch Blast has prior to this edition been fundamental to the identity of the Warlock. But since 5e, it is now an "option." Instead, the defining characteristics of a Warlock is "Pact Magic" and Invocations. To me, this makes little sense since the original Warlock did not have any spells and did not cast at all, but instead had consistent at-will spell-like abilities. A warlock did not have to make a decision whether or not they had Eldritch Blast. Instead, their decision was if they use their invocations to boost the damage or utility of Eldritch Blast, or focus on more general utility invocations. So what, based on precedent, has been a core feature of the Warlock now requires investment from multiple places to access, let alone improve. And once again, this is in stark contrast to Sneak Attack, Action Surge, or Bardic Inspiration where their classes simply get them without requiring investment.

It also creates a false equivalency. Because Eldritch Blast is treated as a cantrip, it is compared to other cantrips, rather than standing on its own and being compared to other similar class abilities like Sneak Attack or Martial Arts. Eldritch Blast is on the cantrip list, but it is clear that both in its mechanical design and the specific support it gets from the Warlock that it is not intended for or belong in the same conversation with other cantrips. No one talks about how Green-Flame Blade stacks up against Sneak Attack or Martial Arts. No one discusses Shocking Grasp versus a Fighter using the Dueling Style. Because cantrips don't belong in those discussions. Yet we see those discussions with Eldritch Blast versus Sneak Attack or various fighting styles. And that's because mechanically, it is a class feature and not a cantrip. Yet that is how 5e categorized Eldritch Blast.

In some test runs with Maledictions, I've felt drawn to use a wider range of cantrips with seemingly more interesting decisions to make each turn. I think I wouldn't want the class to be one big decision in chargen (Blast or Blade) and then not much in encounters. So I need to think about all this! You've certainly given food for thought.

I don't think the idea of maledictions is bad. In fact I think it fits with the general idea of a Warlock as a master of cantrips (since they have, from the beginning, always been about those at-will spell like abilities). But I think that having Eldritch Blast be automatically given to a Warlock also does not take away their ability to choose additional offensive cantrips. Those can certainly be valuable either to take advantage of vulnerability, as well as have those nice riders. I just think that taking away the cantrip tax for Eldritch Blast is necessary to recognize what a core aspect it is to the Warlock, both mechanically and in its identity.
 
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5ekyu

Hero
This is more than just a feeling. If you look into my previous posts in this conversation, you will see that I go into extensive detail in the history of the Warlock since its initial appearance in 3.5. The key defining feature of the Warlock from the beginning has been Eldritch Blast and Invocations.



While this may be true, does a Bard need to give up a spell known for Bardic Inspiration? What does the Fighter give up for Action Surge, or a Rogue give up for Sneak Attack? Yes, I agree that being restricted to the Warlock spell list means it is technically a Warlock-exclusive (which is fairly weak because the only way to get a Rogue's Sneak Attack or a Fighter's Action Surge is through multi-classing, whereas a Bard can gain it through Magical Secrets or anyone could gain it through the Magic Initiate feat), but this is not the same as a core class feature. This is especially true because some many invocations are designed to support Eldritch Blast (and no other cantrips). Meaning that unlike any other core class features, there is both a cantrip tax and invocation tax.



Once again, if Eldritch Blast were treated as an actual core class feature, we also would not be having this discussion. Nobody talks about how Battlemaster Fighters need to change because their maneuvers add so much to their normal attacks, or how Bards of certain colleges can change how their Bardic Inspiration is used. But because Eldritch Blast is not treated as a core class feature, and rather a relatively widely available cantrip, there is now an outcry as to how the Warlock can modify Eldritch Blast compared to other cantrips. Once again, we don't have these conversations when we talk about how archetypes or feats allow core class features to be modified or improved. And Eldritch Blast should be a core class feature, if for no other reason than the plain fact of the amount of support it gets from invocations. But because it is a cantrip, it is instead seen and compared to other cantrips, which I believe to be an unfair assessment since it is clearly meant to be exclusive to the Warlock.



Not exactly sure what you are getting at here. If a Warlock got automatic access to Eldritch Blast, it has no impact on builds that would prefer to focus on things other than Eldritch Blast. Just as a Rogue has options that focus on things other than Sneak Attack, Bards have options that focus on things other than Bardic Inspiration, and Monks options that focus on things other than Martial Arts. I posit that Eldritch Blast becoming a core feature (rather than a cantrip), along with Hex, would do a great deal to make tweaks possible to things such as the Hexblade (which once again, I see as broken and evidence that WotC is aware of the problems with the warlock and as such an attempt to over correct)..



Right. I am not talking about best options for damage. I am talking about having the mechanics of the Warlock align with

1) How Warlocks have been presented in the past. How would it look if Rogues were designed in 5e without Sneak Attack, or Sorcerers without Metamagic, or Druids that couldn't Wildshape? We are not talking about a cool ability, but something that from the beginning has been one of the primary aspects of their identity. And

2) How existing mechanics (the large number of invocations that support Eldritch Blast) seem to indicate that it is a core ability, despite requiring a Warlock to pay the cantrip tax AND invocation tax to take advantage of.



It bothers me because Eldritch Blast has prior to this edition been fundamental to the identity of the Warlock. But since 5e, it is now an "option." Instead, the defining characteristics of a Warlock is "Pact Magic" and Invocations. To me, this makes little sense since the original Warlock did not have any spells and did not cast at all, but instead had consistent at-will spell-like abilities. A warlock did not have to make a decision whether or not they had Eldritch Blast. Instead, there decision was if they use their invocations to boost the damage or utility of Eldritch Blast, or focus on more utility invocations. So what, based on precedent, has been a core feature of the Warlock now requires investment from multiple places to access, let alone improve. And once again, this is in stark contrast to Sneak Attack, Action Surge, or Bardic Inspiration where their classes simply get them without requiring investment.

It also creates a false equivalency. Because Eldritch Blast is treated as a cantrip, it is compared to other cantrips, rather than standing on its own and being compared to other similar class abilities like Sneak Attack or Martial Arts. Eldritch Blast is on the cantrip list, but it is clear that both in its mechanical design and the specific support it gets from the Warlock that it is not intended or belong in the same category of other cantrips.



I don't think the idea of maledictions is bad. In fact I think it fits with the general idea of a Warlock as a master of cantrips (since they have, from the beginning, always been about those at-will spell like abilities. But I think that having Eldritch Blast be automatically given to a Warlock also does not take away their ability to choose additional offensive cantrips. Those can certainly be valuable either to take advantage of vulnerability, as well as have those nice riders. I just think that taking away the cantrip tax for Eldritch Blast is necessary to recognize what a core aspect it is to the Warlock, both mechanically and in its identity.


Ok well i can see some answers and some differences so thanks for your response.

First, i judge a system and its elements by itself - not how other games have done it in the past. 5e was built as its own package and i treat it as such - with minor allowances for its sacred cows.

Second, when you start arguing about the "cantrip tax" i almost get the sense that you feel the warlock using Eb is underpowered? Is "short" a cantrip or somesuch? That to me is not some accident - but an intended design. The warlock is built to have much more limited spellcasting than the other classes because of the elements in its design. Obviously they have their own ways to bolster that to various degrees using their in-class choices.

What i took away from the warlock was that it is a massively customizable class - with more branches and combos of significant differences from the combo of patron, pact and invocations than most any other class except perhaps the cleric. Putting EB in the cantrips instead of having it replace a core class feature seems to fit that design approach, not go against it.

As for the notion that if it weren't a cantrip we wouldn't have these discussions - well - the fact that some folks want to choose as a basis for comparisons a naked cantrip in another class vs a warlock boosted cantrip and get their knickers in a twist is a failing of their logic, not of the system. I mean, should we be worried about the system if folks compared a twinned firebotl from a fire dragon sorcerer of dragon born heritage to say Acid srpay from an abjurer wizard and see the Firebolt as too good?

yes you are right that others can get the Eb but when they do its not at all at the same effectiveness as when a walrock keys in their class abilities - and most classes (maybe all) have some exclusive features and some that are not exclusive and the warlock is no different in that regards.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
First, i judge a system and its elements by itself - not how other games have done it in the past. 5e was built as its own package and i treat it as such - with minor allowances for its sacred cows.

I disagree. We are talking about D&D in its 5th iteration. Each is built upon the last, and 5e seems to be the best example of an edition that took what works from the previous ones and tried to scrap what didn't. As such, we are not talking about a sacred cow like Ability Scores, and we are not talking about a game it is being built from the ground up in a vacuum without history or context to guide design decisions. We are talking about the common interpretation of what makes a Fighter, a Rogue, a Wizard, and so on. Each have their respective identities. You cannot have a Barbarian without some ability to rage. You cannot have a Rogue that does not Sneak Attack. You cannot have a Monk that does not use Martial Arts. Now how these things are reflected in the mechanics may change, but these are each core aspects of their class identity. The only exception I see when it comes to 5e is with the Warlock (and probably the Sorcerer given that all casters are now spontaneous casters by 3.x standards of magic use). Eldritch Blast was not just part of its identity, but its defining characteristic. When they first appeared, a high level warlock without any specific build could consistently fire beams of energy dealing multiple dice worth or damage to a single target without requiring resource use or investment. It was what made the Warlock cool and fun. For 5e to disregard that history in its design is, from my perspective, a mistake.

Second, when you start arguing about the "cantrip tax" i almost get the sense that you feel the warlock using Eb is underpowered? Is "short" a cantrip or somesuch? That to me is not some accident - but an intended design. The warlock is built to have much more limited spellcasting than the other classes because of the elements in its design. Obviously they have their own ways to bolster that to various degrees using their in-class choices.

No. I say cantrip tax because it requires investment for an ability that is mechanically presented similarly and supported in ways that other core class abilities are handled. Once again, a rogue needs no additional investment to get access to Sneak Attack. A monk needs no additional investment to get Martial Arts. Each have options that can improve or focus upon those abilities. But there is nothing they need to do to gain access to them.

Additionally, even without Eldritch Blast, Warlocks were always presented as the ones capable of casting all day without rest or resource investment. The fact that they have so few cantrips I think is also a mistake. It would make more sense and be more aligned with the identity of the Warlock to grant tons of Cantrips and Invocations and get rid of Pact Magic and Mystic Arcanum entirely. However, I'm not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. But when it comes to Eldritch Blast, it is just more appropriate as a core class feature, no investment required. Investment for improvement, sure. But not for access.

What i took away from the warlock was that it is a massively customizable class - with more branches and combos of significant differences from the combo of patron, pact and invocations than most any other class except perhaps the cleric. Putting EB in the cantrips instead of having it replace a core class feature seems to fit that design approach, not go against it.

Yes, the Warlock is highly customizable. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. But once again, Eldritch Blast is not designed like a cantrip. It is not supported like a cantrip. I see no class abilities anywhere that specifically improve Chill Touch, or Acid Splash specifically. There are archetypes that extend the use of Mage Hand with the Arcane Trickster, or the Illusionist that can use both the sound and sight version of Minor Illusion simultaneously. But those are extensions of what those cantrips already do and thematic to the specific archetype. Eldritch Blast is vastly different from any other cantrip. It is the only one that deals force damage, it improves with additional rays rather than increasing the number of damage dice on the one attack, and it has MANY ways to improve it through invocations. It simply does not function like any existing cantrip, it has way more support than any existing cantrip, and so it really does not belong on the list of cantrips and should simply be a core class feature.

As for the notion that if it weren't a cantrip we wouldn't have these discussions - well - the fact that some folks want to choose as a basis for comparisons a naked cantrip in another class vs a warlock boosted cantrip and get their knickers in a twist is a failing of their logic, not of the system. I mean, should we be worried about the system if folks compared a twinned firebotl from a fire dragon sorcerer of dragon born heritage to say Acid srpay from an abjurer wizard and see the Firebolt as too good?

No, and I feel you are taking it to a bit of an extreme. Not only do we see these conversations consistently taking place on this forum regarding Eldritch Blast, but your example uses specific cantrips as if they matter to the example, when in fact a wide array of spells and cantrips can benefit from twinning, fire dragon sorcerer abilities, and so on. That is based on whether the spell targets a single person and the energy type of the spell or cantrip, respectively. Meanwhile, warlock invocations ONLY modify Eldritch Blast, and do so in a way that intentionally takes advantage of the multiple rays produced by the cantrip. Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast, Pull of Hadar, each benefits directly from the individual rays produced. They would not and cannot have the same impact with other spells or cantrips. Once again, its almost as if these things were designed specifically with Eldritch Blast in mind, rather than just any old cantrip or spell. Like maybe it was meant to be a class feature, but the designers traded design space for a dedicated beam attack for something else. As such, this makes Eldritch Blast on a warlock unreasonable to compare to other cantrips, and much more reasonable to compare how an Assassin Rogue benefits Sneak Attack or how Martial Arts benefits from the Kensei archetype.

yes you are right that others can get the Eb but when they do its not at all at the same effectiveness as when a walrock keys in their class abilities - and most classes (maybe all) have some exclusive features and some that are not exclusive and the warlock is no different in that regards.

Exactly. Just like a multiclass rogue doesn't Sneak Attack as well as a full class rogue, or a multiclass monk doesn't hit as hard as a full class monk, or a multiclass fighter doesn't get as many action surge attacks as a full class fighter. Once again, this reaffirms that Eldritch Blast is mechanically equivalent to other core class abilities, but unlike them requires investment to access and is unfairly compared to other cantrips despite being mechanically distinct from any other cantrip.
 
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5ekyu

Hero
I disagree. We are talking about D&D in its 5th iteration. Each is built upon the last, and 5e seems to be the best example of an edition that took what works from the previous ones and tried to scrap what didn't. As such, we are not talking about a sacred cow like Ability Scores, and we are not talking about a game it is being built from the ground up in a vacuum without history or context to guide design decisions. We are talking about the common interpretation of what makes a Fighter, a Rogue, a Wizard, and so on. Each have their respective identities. You cannot have a Barbarian without some ability to rage. You cannot have a Rogue that does not Sneak Attack. You cannot have a Monk that does not use Martial Arts. Now how these things are reflected in the mechanics may change, but these are each core aspects of their class identity. The only exception I see when it comes to 5e is with the Warlock (and probably the Sorcerer given that all casters are now spontaneous casters by 3.x standards of magic use). Eldritch Blast was not just part of its identity, but its defining characteristic. When they first appeared, a high level warlock without any specific build could consistently fire beams of energy dealing multiple dice worth or damage to a single target without requiring resource use or investment. It was what made the Warlock cool and fun. For 5e to disregard that history in its design is, from my perspective, a mistake.



No. I say cantrip tax because it requires investment for an ability that is mechanically presented similarly and supported in ways that other core class abilities are handled. Once again, a rogue needs no additional investment to get access to Sneak Attack. A monk needs no additional investment to get Martial Arts. Each have options that can improve or focus upon those abilities. But there is nothing they need to do to gain access to them.

Additionally, even without Eldritch Blast, Warlocks were always presented as the ones capable of casting all day without rest or resource investment. The fact that they have so few cantrips I think is also a mistake. It would make more sense and be more aligned with the identity of the Warlock to grant tons of Cantrips and Invocations and get rid of Pact Magic and Mystic Arcanum entirely. However, I'm not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. But when it comes to Eldritch Blast, it is just more appropriate as a core class feature, no investment required. Investment for improvement, sure. But not for access.



Yes, the Warlock is highly customizable. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. But once again, Eldritch Blast is not designed like a cantrip. It is not supported like a cantrip. I see no class abilities anywhere that specifically improve Chill Touch, or Acid Splash specifically. There are archetypes that extend the use of Mage Hand with the Arcane Trickster, or the Illusionist that can use both the sound and sight version of Minor Illusion simultaneously. But those are extensions of what those cantrips already do and thematic to the specific archetype. Eldritch Blast is vastly different from any other cantrip. It is the only one that deals force damage, it improves with additional rays rather than increasing the number of damage dice on the one attack, and it has MANY ways to improve it through invocations. It simply does not function like any existing cantrip, it has way more support than any existing cantrip, and so it really does not belong on the list of cantrips and should simply be a core class feature.



No, and I feel you are taking it to a bit of an extreme. Not only do we see these conversations consistently taking place on this forum regarding Eldritch Blast, but your example uses specific cantrips as if they matter to the example, when in fact a wide array of spells and cantrips can benefit from twinning, fire dragon sorcerer abilities, and so on. That is based on whether the spell targets a single person and the energy type of the spell or cantrip, respectively. Meanwhile, warlock invocations ONLY modify Eldritch Blast, and do so in a way that intentionally takes advantage of the multiple rays produced by the cantrip. Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast, Pull of Hadar, each benefits directly from the individual rays produced. They would not and cannot have the same impact with other spells or cantrips. Once again, its almost as if these things were designed specifically with Eldritch Blast in mind, rather than just any old cantrip or spell. Like maybe it was meant to be a class feature, but the designers traded design space for a dedicated beam attack for something else. As such, this makes Eldritch Blast on a warlock unreasonable to compare to other cantrips, and much more reasonable to compare how an Assassin Rogue benefits Sneak Attack or how Martial Arts benefits from the Kensei archetype.



Exactly. Just like a multiclass rogue doesn't Sneak Attack as well as a full class rogue, or a multiclass monk doesn't hit as hard as a full class monk, or a multiclass fighter doesn't get as many action surge attacks as a full class fighter. Once again, this reaffirms that Eldritch Blast is mechanically equivalent to other core class abilities, but unlike them requires investment to access and is unfairly compared to other cantrips despite being mechanically distinct from any other cantrip.
To mr cantrips are a class feature not some extra thing tossed in. So a camtrip that only exists on one class list for a class that has the option of choosing other class features to bolster it alone... that yo me is not requiring an extra investment as much as it is giving you the option to go more than that one way.

I personally like that and wish more classes had such choices.

Ymmv.
 

WaterRabbit

Explorer
Right. I am not talking about best options for damage. I am talking about having the mechanics of the Warlock align with

1) How Warlocks have been presented in the past. How would it look if Rogues were designed in 5e without Sneak Attack, or Sorcerers without Metamagic, or Druids that couldn't Wildshape? We are not talking about a cool ability, but something that from the beginning has been one of the primary aspects of their identity.

Sorcerers with metamagic wasn't a thing in previous editions (well maybe 4e, since I skipped that one). In 3e both wizards and sorcerers had access to metamagic feats, but arguably metamagic was more of a wizard shtick than sorcerers because they had better access to metamagic feats in general.

Just a nit pic.

Also, druidic wildshape has always been kind of lame in previous versions. With Circle of Moon in 5e they at least get a lot of versatility.

Personally, I have always disliked the warlock class since its inception as a one note Sally type of class. They have always seemed boring to play IMO. The class is much broader than the one introduced in 5e. I think having options that aren't all focused around EB would be better.

Personally, I would like to see more around the obvious tropes such as summoning patron creatures with dangerous pacts or using more themed powers related to the patron.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
To mr cantrips are a class feature not some extra thing tossed in. So a camtrip that only exists on one class list for a class that has the option of choosing other class features to bolster it alone... that yo me is not requiring an extra investment as much as it is giving you the option to go more than that one way.

I personally like that and wish more classes had such choices.

Ymmv.

Yes, cantrips are in themselves class features. But that also presumes that all cantrips are of a similar level of power. They are to some degree interchangeable. Just as all 1st level spells have some degree of balance against one another. But Eldritch Blast is mechanically different. Are there other cantrips limited to a single spellcaster list? Sure! We have Vicious Mockery for the Bard, Shillelagh for the Druid, and Sacred Flame for the Cleric, just to name a few. However, do any of these cantrips get even a fraction of support from the mechanics of their respective classes? No. And why is that? Because Bards are not associated with Vicious Mockery, or Clerics with Sacred Flame, in the same way that Warlocks are to Eldritch Blast. It is a core aspect of their identity both mechanically and descriptively. To me, that suggests that the relationship is more than a spellcaster to a cantrip. Hence why I believe it is more akin to a Rogue and their Sneak Attack, Monk to Martial Arts, ect.

As for investment, I once again disagree. A rogue takes one level in rogue and they get sneak attack. However, a warlock needs to sacrifice one of only two cantrip slots to get Eldritch Blast, as well as access to a slew of relevant invocations that have no ability to apply to cantrips other than Eldritch Blast.

Sure, if I don't want sneak attack, I can choose not to play a Rogue, or just refuse to use that class ability (though why would you go with a rogue if that was the case?). That is also a choice. But Warlocks and Eldritch Blast are too entwined both conceptually and mechanically not to recognize that this fits better as a class feature rather than a cantrip. It's not built like a cantrip, its not supported like a cantrip... so why do we call it a cantrip?

Sorcerers with metamagic wasn't a thing in previous editions (well maybe 4e, since I skipped that one). In 3e both wizards and sorcerers had access to metamagic feats, but arguably metamagic was more of a wizard shtick than sorcerers because they had better access to metamagic feats in general.

Just a nit pic.

Fair point. In 3.x metamagic was available via feats. However, the Sorcerer could cast a few select spells spontaneously and had more spell slots, where wizards had to prepare which spell would go in each spell slot. But since 5e has made all caster spontaneous casters, Sorcerers have also lost the core facet of their identity. If they were not given metamagic (which I would argue represents a similar brand of "on the fly" magic that the 3.x Sorcerers seem to exude), then I believe that Sorcerers would not have a place in 5e. Not without returning to the previous structure used to memorize and

Also, druidic wildshape has always been kind of lame in previous versions. With Circle of Moon in 5e they at least get a lot of versatility.

True, but without wildshape they are just worse Nature Clerics. But I have much greater problems with Wildshape which are beyond the scope of this thread.

Personally, I have always disliked the warlock class since its inception as a one note Sally type of class. They have always seemed boring to play IMO. The class is much broader than the one introduced in 5e. I think having options that aren't all focused around EB would be better.

Personally, I would like to see more around the obvious tropes such as summoning patron creatures with dangerous pacts or using more themed powers related to the patron.

I can understand this. But in the same way you can have Sneak Attack without focusing on improving it via archetypes or feats, a Warlock should have Eldritch Blast without being required to focus on improving it. And I agree more themed invocations around their Patron's could be cool. The problem is that I don't think the Patrons are mechanically distinct enough to provide a foundation for building such invocations, even if their are quite conceptually distinct. This makes it hard to limit an invocation to a single patron, as they are not really so different as to be able to see an Invocation only working for one Patron and not another. As to the summoning, that is also tricky. Summoning has always been very powerful and easily abused, as well as having the potential to slow down the game or take the spotlight away from the others at the table. But I agree it would be thematic and appropriate if the mechanical issues could be addressed.
 

Bah, not to divert too much into a sorcerer thing, but metamagic was pretty obviously a hail Mary play after the playtest one didn't get any love. Admittedly "doing something interesting with spellcasting" wasn't a 5e thing (and since the Mystic doesn't seem to be supported, still isn't a 5e thing) and not having the sorcerer in the PHB (so it would be clear to the most obsessed that they really, really were not going to port 3x magic into 5e, so you do need to think about what other gimmick to give the class) would have caused problems, so there probably was no good option.

The warlock was a similar (although much more successful) hail Mary taking a little bit from the 3x warlock (eldritch blast) and a little bit from the 4e warlock (where EB was an at-will power, so you largely didn't use it after the first couple of levels until you got the feat that let you recharge an encounter power when you hit with an at-will power) that focused as much on curses (hex anyone?) and "creepy" powers (which I will freely admit the 5e one could use more of). While my preference would have been much more 4e than 3x (for both the sorcerer and the warlock), I have to admit for the warlock, it works out, because it allows the class to have an impressive amount of out-of-combat resources since EB "pulls the weight", thus allowing it to fill a useful niche.
 


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