D&D (2024) I like the new Warlock

Ashrym

Legend
I actually like this fact, because the Pact Familiar is based on Warlock level, and this means that the Pact warlock actually doesn't get the majority of its lunch stolen by the Tomelock, like it used to.

I am disappointed the tomelock lost so much power in terms of ritual casting, but differentiating the tome and the chain is a great thing in my book.

I got rituals at 1st level instead of 3rd and added many with prepared spells, and it didn't cost me an invocation for those rituals. I didn't think it was much of a loss, tbh. No looking for them and adding them; just selecting them as part of the spell selection process.

I'm going to give warlock testing a second try with chain pact. I'll point out that a 17th level warlock can make use of wish to gain the chain lock familiar but gives up the 9th level invocation to enhance it. Blade pact can too, and blade or chain can add book of shadows the same way. Making class or subclass abilities into spells opens up wish shenanigans.
 

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Honestly the Chainlock got nerfed pretty hard. A flying invisible language using familiar with hands is a whole lot better than an ordinary familiar - and the new chainlock now has a familiar that both loses its special sense and doesn't get to stay invisible in combat (at the very least it should be able to invisibility and dodge itself at the same time).

The tomelock came out in the wash. The theoretical peak power is lower - but they can change their cantrips on a recast and they can't get all rituals into their book by combining work and an invocation but they can get whichever first level rituals they want and change them on a recast. Conceptually I prefer the old way, but the new way will be more relevant at most tables.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I got rituals at 1st level instead of 3rd and added many with prepared spells, and it didn't cost me an invocation for those rituals. I didn't think it was much of a loss, tbh. No looking for them and adding them; just selecting them as part of the spell selection process.

While it didn't cost the invocation (I always forget I houseruled that) you only ever get 1st level rituals. The previous version's power rested in being able to cast ANY ritual. Losing out on Water Breathing just as an example, is a pretty big blow.

Also, since they change every time you cast the cantrip, you may have access to all 1st level rituals, but you need to jump through a hoop or two that wouldn't be neccesary if you just... had the rituals.

I'm going to give warlock testing a second try with chain pact. I'll point out that a 17th level warlock can make use of wish to gain the chain lock familiar but gives up the 9th level invocation to enhance it. Blade pact can too, and blade or chain can add book of shadows the same way. Making class or subclass abilities into spells opens up wish shenanigans.

And if you want to cast wish at 17th level to get a 1st level ability.... feel free? I'm honestly very much not concerned with that, because you couldn't copy them for 16 levels of play, and you are utilizing a 9th level, 1/day spell to cast a 1st level cantrip.

As far as I'm aware, you can't even utilize wish to permanently gain spells either (with the usual caveat of Wish), so it would quite literally just be using Wish to cast a cantrip.
 

Ashrym

Legend
While it didn't cost the invocation (I always forget I houseruled that) you only ever get 1st level rituals. The previous version's power rested in being able to cast ANY ritual. Losing out on Water Breathing just as an example, is a pretty big blow.

Also, since they change every time you cast the cantrip, you may have access to all 1st level rituals, but you need to jump through a hoop or two that wouldn't be neccesary if you just... had the rituals.

Most rituals are 1st level and the arcane spell list has the longest list of rituals that can be added with spells prepared. Additional prepared spells are granted by patron and those spells are still split among only 5 levels so there's additional room for taking rituals above 1st-level or adding 1st-level rituals outside of book of shadows.

So I do just have many of those rituals. The hoops are just a time delay that typically takes "this happened". It's not like we play out the casting time for book of shadows in real game time.

I prepared spells with the ritual tag and used book of shadows to add to that as needed.

And if you want to cast wish at 17th level to get a 1st level ability.... feel free? I'm honestly very much not concerned with that, because you couldn't copy them for 16 levels of play, and you are utilizing a 9th level, 1/day spell to cast a 1st level cantrip.

As far as I'm aware, you can't even utilize wish to permanently gain spells either (with the usual caveat of Wish), so it would quite literally just be using Wish to cast a cantrip.

It's not a 1st-level ability because the familiar's stats are based on the warlock level regardless of pact.

With the familiar example, it's less easily replaced but not less useful. The warlock cannot take favor of the chain master but that just means taking a different invocation instead. The familiar has the same stats and basic abilities.

With the blade example, every single warlock can use the ability to add extra attack at that level, and use caster stat for attack and damage.

With the book example, every single warlock can add caster stat to damage and add those rituals and add those cantrips. It takes more time to change those but it's still extra magic and cantrips. In this case, every spell caster with access to wish might as well just have extra cantrips and rituals. It's a cheap downtime upgrade.

I don't like that because it marginalizes significant subclass traits. It's the type of mechanic that's worth pointing out now to watch out for potentially overpowered interactions.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Most rituals are 1st level and the arcane spell list has the longest list of rituals that can be added with spells prepared. Additional prepared spells are granted by patron and those spells are still split among only 5 levels so there's additional room for taking rituals above 1st-level or adding 1st-level rituals outside of book of shadows.

So I do just have many of those rituals. The hoops are just a time delay that typically takes "this happened". It's not like we play out the casting time for book of shadows in real game time.

I prepared spells with the ritual tag and used book of shadows to add to that as needed.

I mean... anyone can just take ritual spells as their "prepared" spells (ie spells known) and just cast them as rituals, that doesn't make the Tomelock the premier ritualist of the warlocks.

It's not a 1st-level ability because the familiar's stats are based on the warlock level regardless of pact.

With the familiar example, it's less easily replaced but not less useful. The warlock cannot take favor of the chain master but that just means taking a different invocation instead. The familiar has the same stats and basic abilities.

Sure, it is still a Familiar with all the level bonuses. So, it will have 22 hp and deal 11 damage on its attacks. Is that the same value as restoring the entire party back to full health? Same value as any other thing you could do with a wish? Sure, it isn't "bad" as a usage, but it is far from a problem.

With the blade example, every single warlock can use the ability to add extra attack at that level, and use caster stat for attack and damage.

Okay? That lasts only 24 hours, and is worse than just using Eldritch blast which makes FOUR attacks at that level, and explodes the blade pact out of the water. Like, you are trying to compare 2d8+10 to 4d10+20 and saying that using a 9th level spell to get that 2d8 is worrying.

With the book example, every single warlock can add caster stat to damage and add those rituals and add those cantrips. It takes more time to change those but it's still extra magic and cantrips. In this case, every spell caster with access to wish might as well just have extra cantrips and rituals. It's a cheap downtime upgrade.

I mean, at 17th level, I'm not sure if two extra cantrips and two 1st level rituals are really doing anyone any good. It is cheap, but it is also... so incredibly minor.

I mean, simulacrum is still on the list. And that is a complete copy of yourself with all your abilities. Which is far better than anything you've listed here. Yes, they CAN use wish at 17th level to copy these 1st level abilities. But they aren't actually problematic.

I don't like that because it marginalizes significant subclass traits. It's the type of mechanic that's worth pointing out now to watch out for potentially overpowered interactions.

By level 17. After 16 levels of the pact boons (Which aren't subclasses) being inviolable. None of it is overpowered compared to almost any other usage of wish anyone will actually use. And it marginalizes nothing until you've have 3/4 of the game under your belt. At that point, if you have two warlocks, they've had plenty of time to become different.
 

shadowoflameth

Adventurer
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:)

Seriously, though, I appreciate what you wrote, but the changes are primarily for those who aren't Warlock fans. The people who like the class now (such as me) seem to be mostly against these changes.
I played a warlock to 19th level. Answering the survey, I was mainly positive. I don't mind the warlock not having a separate spell mechanic from everyone else, but I thought that Mystic Arcanum should just be a feature and not a tax on Invocations, and I feel it still needs the added Invocation options from Xanathar's. Still, I did not see anything that made me run screaming from it.
 

I played a warlock to 19th level. Answering the survey, I was mainly positive. I don't mind the warlock not having a separate spell mechanic from everyone else, but I thought that Mystic Arcanum should just be a feature and not a tax on Invocations, and I feel it still needs the added Invocation options from Xanathar's. Still, I did not see anything that made me run screaming from it.
You only need 4 mystic arcanas. Maybe give those for free and have them auto scale.
 

shadowoflameth

Adventurer
You only need 4 mystic arcanas. Maybe give those for free and have them auto scale.
Agree. If 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th are a given at the appropriate levels and you can take a Invocation to get more if you want that would be nice but having those would be backward compatible. On my character, Improved pact Weapon, Eldritch Smite, and Life Drinker were important, I used Armor of Shadows but I could have worn armor. I had Thirsting Blade but I didn't take the second attack a lot because I used Greenflame Blade a lot.
 

Ashrym

Legend
Playing with a chainlock to check out the difference. The choices I made were similar to the tomelock I tried.

Vanilla with a human. The default gave me resourceful, skillful, and versatile. This time I replaced versatile with magic initiate (divine).

Cultist for the background again. That gave me +2 INT, +1 CHA, arcana proficiency, religion proficiency, disguise kit proficiency, magic initiate (arcane).

Standard array again. I also chose INT for the caster stat again for concept reasons.

STR: 8
DEX: 13
CON: 12
INT: 14+2=16
WIS: 10
CHA: 15+1=16

No book of shadows immediately so at 1st level this time...

warlock cantrips: eldritch blast, prestidigition, minor illusion
magic initiate (arcane) cantrips: mage hand, mending
magic initiate (divine) cantrips: guidance, resistance

warlock spells: hex, shield, sleep
magic initiate (arcane) spell: thunderwave
magic initiate (divine) spell: detect magic

The familiar at 1st level instead of 3rd level is still better, and stat increases based on warlock level instead of spell level to create it works better than using the standard arcane spell.

skill proficiencies: arcana, religion, insight (skillful), history, investigation
armor training: light, medium

Very little changed as I leveled up. I had 3 less skill proficiencies but still had plenty of cantrips and a better familiar. My familiar was a floating undead skull named Bob.

At 2nd level armor of agathys for a prepared spell, misty visions (invocation), and agonizing blast (invocation). The number of cantrips available and free casting of silent image at will continues to make a caster warlock doable.

At 3rd level alarm, burning hands, and command again.

At 4th level INT to 18, identify, and message again.

At 5th level I swapped out sleep for levitate and added alter self this time. I kept agonizing blast invocation without the book of shadows damage upgrade, and I added animate dead via mystic arcanum. Plus suggestion and scorching ray.

Without the free bonus damage I felt obligated to keep agonizing blast and I felt like I was one invocation behind moving forward because of it compared to the tomelock. I didn't need investment of the chain master or voice of the chain master, and the floating familiar that could use it's actions to remain invisible was useful, and I was more inclined to use the familiar for additional combat support with the changes; but it still felt like I needed agonizing blast due to the prevalence of damage in combat.

6th level dark one's own luck is still useful. At 7th level I added detect thoughts, and blight via mystic arcanum.

8th level was INT to 20 again. 9th level fear and stinking cloud as patron spells, animate dead and dispel magic via spells prepared, and scrying as mystic arcanum. Replaced alarm with Leomund's tiny hut. Replaced animate dead mystic arcanum with favor of the chainmaster.

10th level added friends cantrip.

11th level I added comprehend languages and I replaced the blight mystic arcanum with circle of death via mystic arcanum, and added whispers of the grave.

12th level I increased CON to 14. At 13th level the patron spells added wall of fire and blight. I added polymorph. I added teleport through mystic arcanum.

14th level adds hurl through hell. At 15th level I added dimension door. I added glibness through mystic arcanum.

At 16th level I took the durable feat. CON went up to 15 and the warlock could expend HD for healing using a bonus action.

17th level adds flame strike and insect plague as patron spells. I added modify memory and scrying. I replaced the scrying from mystic arcanum with wish. I added master of myriad forms. I replaced alter self with darkvision.

I used wish to add a book of shadows for thaumaturgy and druidcraft cantrips, and added tensers floating disk and unseen servant rituals.

At 18th level I replaced the agonizing blast invocation with devil's sight because of the bonus from book of shadows, and replaced darkvision with darkness.

At 19th level I added misty step, and bumped DEX to 14 and CON to 16. I replaced teleport with forcecage.

20th level added +2 INT and epic boon of the night spirit. I added epic boon of fate instead.

Build at the end of playing was:

AC 18 (+2 breastplate)
163 hp

STR: 8 (saves -1)
DEX: 14 (saves +2)
CON: 16 (saves +3)
INT: 22 (saves +6)
WIS: 10 (saves +6)
CHA: 16 (saves +9)

athletics (-1); acrobatics (+2), sleight-of-hand (+2), (stealth +2); arcana (+12), history (+12), investigation (+12), nature (+6), religion (+12); animal handling (+0), insight (+6), medicine (+0), perception (+0), survival (+0); deception (+3), intimidation (+3), performance (+3), persuasion (+3)

cantrips: eldritch blast, prestidigitation, minor illusion, mage hand, mending, guidance, resistance, message, friends, thaumaturgy, druidcraft

1st-level -- hex, shield, thunderwave, detect magic, armor of agathys, burning hands, command, Identify, comprehend languages, unseen servant, tenser's floating disk
2nd-level -- suggestion, scorching ray, darkness, levitate, detect thoughts, misty step
3rd-level -- fear, stinking cloud, animate dead, dispel magic, leomund's tiny hut
4th-level -- wall of fire, blight, polymorph, dimension door, hurl through hell
5th-level -- contact other plane, flame strike, insect plague, modify memory, scrying

6th-level -- circle of death
7th-level -- forcecage
8th-level -- glibness
9th-level -- wish

Invocations: mystic arcanum (x4), misty visions, devil's sight, whispers of the grave, favor of the chainmaster, master of myriad forms, book of shadows (added via wish)

There is a free casting of thunderwave, detect magic, hurl through hell, contact other plane, and one of the patron spells. The following spells can be cast at will: hex, silent image, alter self, speak with dead. The following spells can be cast as rituals: detect magic, identify, comprehend languages, unseen servant, tenser's floating disk, leomund's tiny hut, contact other plane.

I did feel like I was behind an invocation from 5th level on through 16th but wish corrected that. Access to spell levels is more of a pain but mystic arcanum does mitigate that. I don't see the need to level gate mystic arcanum and still think another invocation at 3rd and 19th levels makes sense but over-all the UA version does work.
 


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