D&D 5E D&D Next Q&A: Warlock Pacts, Patrons, and Iniate Feats

The Chain Warlock seems to be the biggest unknown for me, I vaguely have an idea how and Book or Blade Warlock will be. With Book being most like the classic 3.5e Warlock and Blade Warlock being like the Hexblade, with a possible extra attack and an "arcane strike". Chain could have a companion or could be more like the Binder. But the problem with a companion based build, is that we haven't even seen what the companion based builds for Ranger or Druid are like yet.
 

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TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
The Chain Warlock seems to be the biggest unknown for me, I vaguely have an idea how and Book or Blade Warlock will be. With Book being most like the classic 3.5e Warlock and Blade Warlock being like the Hexblade, with a possible extra attack and an "arcane strike". Chain could have a companion or could be more like the Binder. But the problem with a companion based build, is that we haven't even seen what the companion based builds for Ranger or Druid are like yet.
I would think Chain would lead more to a summoner angle, although a permanent companion also makes sense.
 

Pseudopsyche

First Post
This is good news. I worried that the design would tie a particular patron to a particular kind of pact, e.g. all infernal-patron warlocks are pact of the chain, or all fey-patron warlocks are pact of the blade.

Now it echoes the 4E structure, where you choose PHB1 warlock (book), hexblade (blade), or binder (chain), then you choose your patron, infernal/fey/star/gloom/what-have-you.

I wish they would do the same thing for rangers. I would prefer favored enemy to be a separate choice from fighting style.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
I wish they would do the same thing for rangers. I would prefer favored enemy to be a separate choice from fighting style.

This is just what I was thinking! There's already a class that could benefit from separating the elements of the main class.

One choice at first level, another at third. No problem at all. (And that's something that the Fighter already does.)
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
My objection to this iteration of the warlock is simple: it sounds like the three pacts will play fundamentally differently. A player tells their DM, "I'm playing a warlock," and the DM ought to be able to take that to the bank, just like if the player says "cleric," or "fighter." It ought to mean something. These three pacts sound like three completely different classes.
 

gweinel

Explorer
My objection to this iteration of the warlock is simple: it sounds like the three pacts will play fundamentally differently. A player tells their DM, "I'm playing a warlock," and the DM ought to be able to take that to the bank, just like if the player says "cleric," or "fighter." It ought to mean something. These three pacts sound like three completely different classes.

It might not be so...The Druid could be played mellee and as a caster according to the main build. I think this would be the same.
 

DreamChaser

Explorer
My objection to this iteration of the warlock is simple: it sounds like the three pacts will play fundamentally differently. A player tells their DM, "I'm playing a warlock," and the DM ought to be able to take that to the bank, just like if the player says "cleric," or "fighter." It ought to mean something. These three pacts sound like three completely different classes.

I agree with you for the four primary classes. I think assuming this for all classes somewhat negates the point of having the other classes.

I remember a game I played in briefly where a fellow player once had a fit because my paladin wasn't a perfect "tank" (it was 3e and I multiclassed with necromancer to create what felt like a good paladin of the Undying Court). His preconception of what my character should be flew in the face of the story potential. Not fun (and fortunately, the DM did not agree).

As a DM, if a player chose warlock (or heck any other class), I would--you know--check out what the player had made and fit that into my game rather than arbitrarily assuming that they built the same character that I would.
 

I think having the subsets of warlock play differently is a positive. I'm kind of sad the warlord is being shuffled into a fighter subclass. Why should I have to be a "battle captain" and a "combat medic", when all I wanted to play was a "master tactician"?
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
My objection to this iteration of the warlock is simple: it sounds like the three pacts will play fundamentally differently. A player tells their DM, "I'm playing a warlock," and the DM ought to be able to take that to the bank, just like if the player says "cleric," or "fighter." It ought to mean something. These three pacts sound like three completely different classes.

I don't know that cleric and fighter are things you can "take to the bank." A cleric of Corellon plays very differently from a cleric of Bane. A fighter who uses rapiers and bows is very different from a fighter that uses a sword-and-board.

There's likely going to be an "on rails" version of the warlock (I'm betting devil/book), with the ability to go off the rails and select different patrons and pact types, much like there's likely going to be an "on rails" version of the fighter (probably sword-and-board in plate armor) and the cleric (healbot 5000 with a mace and heavy armor), too. So if you're more on rails, you can probably know what the class is going to bring to the table. But D&D hasn't been on rails that rigid since at least The Complete Priest's Handbook in 2e, so I don't imagine ANY class is going to limit itself to just one kind of character.
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
It might not be so...The Druid could be played mellee and as a caster according to the main build. I think this would be the same.

All druids are shapeshifting spellcasters. One subclass is more shifty, the other more casty, but both are effective shifters and casters. If all warlocks turn out to be effective warriors, casters, and beastmasters, then you're right, it's the same phenomenon.

But good gods, does that not raise a red flag to anyone else?

I agree with you for the four primary classes. I think assuming this for all classes somewhat negates the point of having the other classes.

How?

As a DM, if a player chose warlock (or heck any other class), I would--you know--check out what the player had made and fit that into my game rather than arbitrarily assuming that they built the same character that I would.

I am the /last/ person to suggest players should always play optimally. Optimization is creative death. That does not mean that subclasses of a specific class should not be defined by a common playstyle. I'm not trying to pigeonhole warlock players, here, I just don't understand what makes warrior-warlock and pet-warlock the same class.

I don't know that cleric and fighter are things you can "take to the bank." A cleric of Corellon plays very differently from a cleric of Bane. A fighter who uses rapiers and bows is very different from a fighter that uses a sword-and-board.

I disagree. The two clerics you describe are still closer to the archetypal cleric than they are any other class, and the two fighters you describe are still closer to the archetypal fighter than to any other class.

The cleric is predominantly defined by its divine spell list; the fighter by its superior capacity for combat. Those two core concepts have substantial impact on the play of their respective classes. How would you conceptualize warlock play, given the descriptions of the three pacts we currently know about?
 

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