D&D 5E Companion thread to 5E Survivor - Subclasses (Part XIII: Warlock)

Undrave

Hero
Depends on the character! Some characters prefer the subtle approach! My character in our Battletech Hero game is very much the kind to hack into a computer and find out the information we were expected to find by assaulting an enemy stronghold. But I figure so long as we eventually get into a scrap with the big stompy robots it doesn't matter if it's to my character's design instead of the patron's.
Hacking is cool but it also tend to lead to a solo adventure for the hacker while everybody else twiddles their thumbs.

I'm still not convinced on how practical a class who's whole gimmick is effects that play out over a long period of time is, especially if they can easily be removed by enemy casters with like... Remove Curse or what have you.
 

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RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
Hacking is cool but it also tend to lead to a solo adventure for the hacker while everybody else twiddles their thumbs.

I'm still not convinced on how practical a class who's whole gimmick is effects that play out over a long period of time is, especially if they can easily be removed by enemy casters with like... Remove Curse or what have you.
Remove curse is a 3rd level spell, which requires a 5th level caster. In my home game, the NPCs in town don't include any 5th level casters who are willing to do that for just anyone. You could go to Father Nemo of the Church, and he's only likely to do it for one of the Church's major donors.

Also, there are several things witches can do that can't be so easily removed.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
It's a matter of style.

The warlock class has built-in specialization in eldritch blast. Is it necessary to do a warlock build around eldritch blast? Absolutely not! You can make any kind of character you like! However... several invocations drastically improve eldritch blast, which is a cantrip all warlocks get and is (in its base version) arguably one of the best combat-oriented cantrips: force damage, multiple beams at higher levels, a 1d10 damage die, etc.

So, can you make a witchy warlock? Sure, absolutely! In which case, why bother having a sorcerer class; just make a wizard! Why have a paladin, when you can get the same flavor with fighter/cleric multiclassing?

I have a fairy-tale oriented setting, and wanted a witch class that would fit well with that setting. And I found one!
For me, it's more about choosing the spellcasting mechanics that I want.

If I want to play a classic "Vancian" spellcaster with prepared spells and slots, I roll up a wizard.
If I want to avoid spell prep and use metamagic abilities, I roll up a sorcerer.
If I want my spells to reset on a short rest instead of a long rest, I roll up a warlock.

The spell lists for each aren't that different...at least nothing that a Magic Initiate feat or a chat with my DM wouldn't handle. But the mechanics for each is quite different. I can see room for a Witch in this "arcane caster" list, if the spellcasting mechanics are meaningfully different from the other three.
 

Undrave

Hero
Remove curse is a 3rd level spell, which requires a 5th level caster. In my home game, the NPCs in town don't include any 5th level casters who are willing to do that for just anyone. You could go to Father Nemo of the Church, and he's only likely to do it for one of the Church's major donors.
That's all well and good if your enemy is below level 5 I guess...
 

Undrave

Hero
Anybody else misses the 4e Star Pact Warlock? And it's potential 'Patrons' (who probably don't even notice the Warlock?)

Acamar: A corpse star whose motions and behemoth size send celestial objects that draw too close spiraling to their doom.
Caiphon: The dream whisperer, a purple star usually on the horizon. It has the guise of a helpful guide star, but sometimes betrays those who rely upon it.
Delban: An ice-white star often visible only during winter, it might surprise the star-gazer with an impromptu flare during any season.
Gibbeth: The Endless. Better not to write or think overlong on this greenish point in the sky.
Hadar: The Ebon Hunger, the extinguished cinder of a star lurking within the cloaking nebula of Ihbar.
Ihbar: The Hands of Tendrils, a dark nebula between stars, is slowly expanding and eating the light of neighboring constellations.
Khirad: The Burning Flame, a piercing blue star, its radiance sometimes reveals secrets and gruesome insights.
Nihal: The Red Worms, a reddish star that writhes around the position it should hold in the heavens.
Ulban: The messenger, a comet of blue-white fire and the morning glory. Its blue-white light disrupts cognition and the ability to recognize danger.
Thuban: Of the frozen emerald seas.
Zhudun: Dead, and of the blank face. Another corpse star, historically described as shining a baleful light over the Ruined Realm of Cendriane in the Feywild before its fall.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
It's a matter of style.

The warlock class has built-in specialization in eldritch blast. Is it necessary to do a warlock build around eldritch blast? Absolutely not! You can make any kind of character you like! However... several invocations drastically improve eldritch blast, which is a cantrip all warlocks get and is (in its base version) arguably one of the best combat-oriented cantrips: force damage, multiple beams at higher levels, a 1d10 damage die, etc.

So, can you make a witchy warlock? Sure, absolutely! In which case, why bother having a sorcerer class; just make a wizard! Why have a paladin, when you can get the same flavor with fighter/cleric multiclassing?

I have a fairy-tale oriented setting, and wanted a witch class that would fit well with that setting. And I found one!
I'm a fan of Mage Hand Press's Witch, but the Walrock one is good too.

My personal favorite homebrew for Warlock is the Compendium of Forgotten Secrets, which has a ton of flavorful warlock patrons (17, I think) and supporting mechanics for each.

 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I must admit I am surprised warlocks are getting so much love... I think the class is horrible and don't really like any of the subclasses, either. For me, it isn't "they are all sort of good so I can't decide what to downvote", it is "man, I can't downvote all this crap FAST ENOUGH!"
 


DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Let's just say we have very different ideas of what makes a "good class" and leave it at that. :)

(I will agree Rogue is one of the best classes, however. :D )
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
What's not to love? Fun flavor, good, customizable (!!) At-Will, refreshes power on a short rest like a good class should, consistently supported. If the rogue and bard didn't exist, it'd be the best class in 5e.
Yea, I'm with you. To my mind, the rogue is the best model that the noncasters should follow, and the warlock pact magic model is superior to the daily slots model for casters.
 

I think with a few small tweaks, the warlock could be one of the big beneficiaries of 5.5e really. Just little things that I find annoying about it that could easily be fixed. Steal some of the hexblade subclass abilities and put them in the blade pact boon to make melee warlocks more viable with different patrons. Make the eldritch blast focused invocations applicable to any attack cantrip to allow for more variety. And extend the spell list a bit - warlock spells were seemingly picked for being daaaaark and creeeepy, which worked fine for the initial phb patrons but is less thematically appropriate for the newer celestial or genie pacts, for instance.
 

The voting has been kinda slow in this one. Feels like ALL the subclasses are quite popular! It's really interesting to see that only the UA ones have really suffered... I feel like the votes are so spread out that we'll be going for a while.
Technically speaking, there's a relatively tight range of possible votes.

The absolute minimum would be if everyone upvoted one single option universally, which would take exactly 130 votes (because there would be 13 things to vote down, each requiring posts to kill.) Alternatively, if it goes down to the very wire (so the penultimate post leaves either 1/1, 2/1, or 2/2), then you must have had enough votes to reduce the 14x20 = 280 points down to only 2, 3, or 4.* Every vote reduces the total value by 1, unless it's one of the (n-2) "wasted" votes prior to the aforementioned state, which does not reduce the total points on the board. Every category other than the final one has been whittled to nothing, which means 20(N-2) = 20N-40 (for N>2.) Further, the remaining two when the penultimate vote is cast have been reduced to a total of either 2, 3, or 4, so at maximum that's another 40-2 = 38 votes added on, giving 20N-2, which then rises to 20N-1 when the very last vote is cast.

So the minimum number of votes is always 10(N-1), and the maximum is 20N minus 1, 2, or 3 depending on the specific situation. In this case, the absolute maximum is 279 (though the specifics of 14 starting numbers might mean it's actually 278 or 277.) Thus, very roughly, there's always a 10N spread of possible vote counts.

*I thiiiiink which value comes out--in the worst case--depends on the voting total mod 3. But it might not be a straightforward "take the modulus" thing.

Depends on the character! Some characters prefer the subtle approach!
I think there's rather a big difference between "I take the subtle approach" and "I ruin lives over the course of the next season, year, or perhaps decade." The former is much more compatible with adventuring than the latter--and the former is compatible with the Warlock 5e actually offers, while the latter really isn't compatible with any class in 5e. Almost nothing works on the time scale of seasons or years.
 

Undrave

Hero
I'm surprised by how high the Genie currently is, at the start it felt like an easy target for a lot of people an now it's one of the leaders!
 

I'm surprised by how high the Genie currently is, at the start it felt like an easy target for a lot of people an now it's one of the leaders!
I think it initially took flak for being weird, but once the UA/minimally-liked options were cleared out and the front runners identified, the attention shifted. Time will tell whether this was the surge that lifted it to the late game or the poison pill that made people identify it as a threat.
 

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
I think there's rather a big difference between "I take the subtle approach" and "I ruin lives over the course of the next season, year, or perhaps decade." The former is much more compatible with adventuring than the latter--and the former is compatible with the Warlock 5e actually offers, while the latter really isn't compatible with any class in 5e. Almost nothing works on the time scale of seasons or years.
I'm not sure where you got seasons or years from my post. Subtle doesn't have to mean "waaay in the future." You can absolutely play a warlock as a subtle character, but I'm saying the mechanics don't support that as the most optimal choice.
 

I'm not sure where you got seasons or years from my post. Subtle doesn't have to mean "waaay in the future." You can absolutely play a warlock as a subtle character, but I'm saying the mechanics don't support that as the most optimal choice.
You spoke of turning someone's fields to rust, inducing their cows to fail to produce milk, or inflicting a plague of nightmares that slowly drives someone mad. That's stuff that takes the better part of a season at least in order to end someone, not something that makes an immediate impact. It's why the other poster said "that doesn't seem like a player character power."
 

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
You spoke of turning someone's fields to rust, inducing their cows to fail to produce milk, or inflicting a plague of nightmares that slowly drives someone mad. That's stuff that takes the better part of a season at least in order to end someone, not something that makes an immediate impact. It's why the other poster said "that doesn't seem like a player character power."
"Rust" is a mold that infects wheat, so I'd say more on the order of weeks than seasons, but okay. I'm not saying the character shouldn't have immediate offensive capability. However, the warlock is designed to focus on that. If your warlock character wants to take the subtle approach, they can, sure. However, a bunch of invocations are designed to focus on eldritch blast; if you choose to focus your warlock on other abilities, there is less mechanical aid.

In any case, you can certainly play your character any way you wish, but telling someone, "Your character doesn't really seem like a player character," is a little bit of a judgement.
 



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