Does a Con warlock's Painful Transference need fixing? How?

Ferghis

First Post
Warlocks have become a big class, with an essentials version or two, and even the core class has several different pacts at this point. Like a few other classes (the Paladin and Cleric both come to mind), a warlock can be build around one of two different attack stats: Constitution or Charisma. Some attack powers key off one of these, some off the other. Although not unheard of, it is rare for a character to build up both, mainly because a lot of the warlock riders key off of a third stat. But I digress.

At level 16, warlocks can select a utility power called "Painful Transference." The relevant part of the power is as follows.
Arcane Power said:
Effect: You end an effect on you that a save can end. Each ally within 5 squares of you takes damage equal to your Charisma modifier. If no ally is within 5 squares of you, you take damage equal to twice your Charisma modifier. This damage cannot be reduced or negated.

If this power were selected by a Con-focused warlock (with little or no Cha bonus), does this power need to be changed? If so, how?

My position is uncertain. It may be that the power is meant for non-Cha warlocks. After all, as far as level 16 utilities go, removing one save-ends condition is not that dramatic a power. If it weren't for flavor reasons, I'm not sure I'd select it for a Cha warlock: there are plenty of other ways to remove conditions. And Cha warlocks try to stay farther out of the fray when compared to Con warlocks, if only for their greater fragility (many Con warlocks have an infernal pact that generates lots of temp HP on top of their higher HP and surges), so they have less need of condition-removing powers. On the other hand, this theory is questionable because everything after the first sentence needs some Cha bonus to be remotely meaningful.

So I've tried to consider how the power might be modified to make more sense and remain worthwhile, and the truth is that, again, I'm uncertain.
  • Let's examine just the second sentence of the effect. Damaging your allies seems unfair, especially for a Conlock that is more likely to be closer to the front lines and therefore closer to more allies. The simplest solution, to key the damage off of the higher of Con or Cha, would probably induce me to simply select a different power for my Conlock, and is therefore the equivalent of just removing the power, and not really a "fix." I don't know if this is true for others.
  • The third sentence has a similar impact. Assuming Con 22, level 16 Conlock would have 109 HP. Taking 12 damage during a critical moment of a fight, possibly while isolate away from allies, to remove one condition, is not a good trade-off for my highest level power. Again, I'd probably go with a different power.

Looking around, the power is sub-optimal (assuming it inflicts more than paltry damage) when compared to similar powers. Slip from the Grasp, a rogue power of the same level, ends three conditions (grabbed, slowed, immobilized) AND grants the character a save, without any disadvantage. Cleansing Earth, a warden power of the same level, grants a save with a Strength bonus, making it an almost certain success, again without any disadvantage. This makes me go back to my first theory, that the power, as written, is not meant for Cha-locks, but mostly for Con-locks.
 

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GreyICE

Banned
Banned
It looks like a piece of system bloat to be honest.

Why is the damage tied to Cha? No idea. Clearly the author meant for it to do damage, but the effect is so amazingly minor that no one would really pay HP for it.

Maybe if you want to fix it make it a Daily (unsure of what it is now), let it end any number of conditions a save can end, and have it do 3 damage for each condition ended, or 6 to the warlock (scale to 6/12 in epic tier).
 

Ferghis

First Post
I might spend a surge to end an effect. As an encounter power, that gets expensive, but Conlocks do have a few surges.

I would probably assess the damage limit for taking this power at 5 HP at mid-late paragon. Perhaps more at mid-epic, but I'm not that experienced with that tier.
 

aurance

Explorer
It's probably meant to be Cha or Con mod, whichever is higher. However at 16th level ending a single save-ends effect as an encounter is good, but not overpowering. I wouldn't take it at all as a Cha lock.
 

Ferghis

First Post
To keep the power more or less resembling what it is now, my inclination would be to leave it as is for a Con warlock, or to remove everything in the effect after the first sentence so that it becomes a viable power for a Cha warlock.

The name becomes a misnomer, but I can deal with a fluff problem much more easily.
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
To make it equally taxing for both CON and CHA Warlock i think you should take damage equal to your highest ability score modifier instead of your Charisma modifier..
 

Ferghis

First Post
To make it equally taxing for both CON and CHA Warlock i think you should take damage equal to your highest ability score modifier instead of your Charisma modifier..

I assume you mean other PCs in the range should take that damage, and that otherwise the warlock should take double that damage. Your suggestion was my first reaction on how to fix the power. However, it presents a big problem...

Ferghis said:
Looking around, the power is sub-optimal (assuming it inflicts more than paltry damage) when compared to similar powers. Slip from the Grasp, a rogue power of the same level, ends three conditions (grabbed, slowed, immobilized) AND grants the character a save, without any disadvantage. Cleansing Earth, a warden power of the same level, grants a save with a Strength bonus, making it an almost certain success, again without any disadvantage.
But, as I note above, it makes the power completely unpalatable. If that fix were implemented, I would choose a different power. I'm guessing most players feel the same way. If the fix removes the power from the list of usable powers, you're effectively deleting the power. Is this an acceptable result for you?
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
It wouldn't make the power unusable, it would make it equally taxing for both Warlock builds as the intent appears to be. Right now the power is a lot better for one build than the other while being avaibe for all builds.
 

GreyICE

Banned
Banned
It wouldn't make the power unusable, it would make it equally taxing for both Warlock builds as the intent appears to be. Right now the power is a lot better for one build than the other while being avaibe for all builds.

It's okay that the power is better for one build than the other. There's lots of powers like that.

It's not okay that the power blatantly doesn't seem to work like it is written to work.
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
How do you think it should work ?

Its clear to me that Painful Transference is intended to be that, painful. Taking minimal to no damage to end an effect on you that a save can end because you have no Charisma modifier is not that painful. ;)
 

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