Invocations for a Far Realm-flavored Warlock

paradox42

Visitor
In this thread, a few people suggested/liked the idea of making a Warlock that got its powers from the Far Realm instead of fiends. Since that was an idea I had already pursued in my homebrew, and I said so, I got a request to see what I did. So, here's a thread to show it to the world for better or worse. :)

Basically, I altered only a few minor things about the Warlock in going from Fiendish (which is what I call the Warlock from Complete Arcane) to Alienoid (what I call the Far-Realm-inspired version). First, some names get changed, though the effects remain the same; Fiendish Resilience gets called Alien Resilience instead, and the Dark Invocations are instead called Outer Invocations by Alienoids.

The Alienoid still gets the abilities at the same levels as the Fiendish one does, but one potentially significant change is that the Alienoid's abilities are specifically considered psi-like abilities rather than spell-like. In most campaigns this will make no difference; however, in those using the "psionics are different" rules it can change things. Also, rather than being restricted to a Chaotic or Evil alignment, the Alienoid Warlock is barred only from the three Lawful alignments- though a Neutral Good or Neutral Evil Alienoid would be so rare as to be unheard-of. The vast majority would, of course, be Chaotic Neutral, just like most of the inhabitants of the place their powers come from.

The real change between the Alienoid and the Fiendish Warlock is in the list of available Invocations. Fiendish Warlocks gain some the Alienoids don't, and vice versa. Also, just as with the Resilience power and the name for the top tier of Invocations, I changed the names of several Invocations that both versions get, when they're used by Alienoid as opposed to Fiendish. I'll list the changes the Alienoid Invocation list has from the Fiendish one below, and will leave full descriptions for the new invocations for later (perhaps tomorrow- I got home from work about an hour ago as I type this and am very tired).

Invocations which are mechanically the same as others in Complete Arcane, but just had the names changed for flavor, are listed in blue. Invocations which are removed from the list, for Alienoids, are listed in Red.

Least
Adaptation Use Endure Elements (self only) as the spell.
Alien Logic New name for Beguiling Influence.
Baleful Utterance Removed.
Darkness Removed.
Devil's Sight Removed.
Dimensional Assistance New name for Leaps and Bounds.
Draw the Veil New name for Breath of the Night.
Entangling Blast Eldritch Essence. Target must make Reflex save or become Entangled.
Frightful Blast Removed.
Glimpse From Beyond Gain bonus on Knowledge (Arcana, Dungeoneering, the Planes, Psionics) checks, and the ability to use them untrained.
Lurker at the Threshold Bring a Pseudonatural creature to your plane to fight for you.
Outer Strike Gain bonus on next attack roll.
Outer Vision Use Touch of Idiocy as the spell.
Spiderwalk Removed.
Summon Swarm Removed.
Tainted Cloud New name for Miasmic Cloud.
Timeless Insight New name for Dark One's Own Luck.
Walk the Border New name for Entropic Warding.

Lesser
Arms of Plenty Grow extra pair of arms, and gain Multiweapon Fighting and Multiattack feats.
Beshadowed Blast Removed.
Brimstone Blast Removed.
Charm Removed.
Curse of Despair Removed.
The Dead Walk Removed.
Dimensional Step New name for Flee the Scene.
Disorienting Blast Eldritch Essence. Target must make Fortitude save or be Stunned for 1 round.
Displacement Use Displacement (self only) as the spell.
Energy of the Outer Spheres Go without food or water, and require less sleep. (Basically like a Ring of Sustenance.)
Hungry Darkness Removed.
Ignore Gravity New name for Fell Flight.
Look Through Beyond Use Arcane Eye as the spell.
Thunderbolt Blast Eldritch Essence. Blast deals Electricity damage, and target must make Fortitude save or take -4 penalty to WIS.
Undulant Innards Become immune to critical hits and sneak attacks.
Wall of Gloom Removed.

Greater
Distorting Blast New name for Noxious Blast.
Enervating Shadow Removed.
Ghostly Blast Eldritch Essence. Blast deals Force damage, and can strike Incorporeal and ethereal targets with no miss chance.
Repelling Blast Removed.
Step Sideways Become ethereal for 5 rounds.
True Strike Use True Strike as the spell.
Verminous Influence New name for Tenacious Plague.
Wall of Perilous Flame Removed.

Outer (equivalent of Dark)
Alien Foresight New name for Dark Foresight.
Cross the Threshold Use Plane Shift as the spell, but no off-target arrival.
Dark Discorporation Removed.
Distortion Armor Gain deflection bonus to AC.
Mind Blank Use Mind Blank (self only) as the spell.
Path of Shadow Removed.
Pseudonatural Blast Eldritch Essence. Blast ignores Spell Resistance, and target must make Will save or go permanently Insane.
Retributive Invisibility Removed.
Utterdark Blast Removed.
 
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Land Outcast

Explorer
Hum...

I like the idea, I quite like it... (as it couldn't be any other way, I LOVE Pseudonatural Blast)

what about adding an invocation causing confusion

I wonder about Lurker at the Treshold being overpowered, limitless summoning, you know... and each of them can true strike once... (note that I love the concept of the summoning but... that thingy... maybe make an hp cost for it? or Wis cost? :] )
 

paradox42

Visitor
I'll get to posting complete descriptions here in a minute- wanted to take the time to respond first.

Thanks for the comments, Land Outcast!

Land Outcast said:
I like the idea, I quite like it... (as it couldn't be any other way, I LOVE Pseudonatural Blast)
Thanks, I took a while to come up with the best idea to replace Utterdark, but I figured this was well in line. The one thing I really haven't figured out is... what does it look like? :D But then again, since pseudonatural critters are so hard to describe/picture in the first place, that's probably appropriate.

Land Outcast said:
what about adding an invocation causing confusion
Yes, it's something I seriously considered adding, don't really remember why I didn't at the time. But now, there are new invocations from several other sources, so I actually need to go back and rework the lists a bit- some of the new Fiendish ones might not be appropriate for Alienoid, and thus require making more new ones to fill the gap!

Of course, Dragon #330 featured a new invocation causing Lesser Confusion, so if the Fiendish one gets that, the Alienoid certainly should too.

Land Outcast said:
I wonder about Lurker at the Treshold being overpowered, limitless summoning, you know...
Ah yes, I worried about that one too. :) But the kicker is, the Invocation has a duration of Concentration- which means the summoner can't be doing anything else while his "little friend" is on the Material Plane. So in that respect it works out a lot like the Summon Swarm one, IMO.

Land Outcast said:
and each of them can true strike once... (note that I love the concept of the summoning but... that thingy... maybe make an hp cost for it? or Wis cost? :] )
Yes, pseudobeasts are annoying that way, but when you know (as you soon will since I'm posting the descriptions shortly) that the Lurker is only from Summon Monster II, well, even True Strike doesn't really look that great when it's coupled with at best about 1d6 damage. This is one invocation I'd expect a player to take early on, use to the hilt in early levels, and then replace probably at 11th level. By that time, Summon II's just don't cut it anymore, even if you can do them all day long. Even using them to help the party Rogue flank would depend on very careful timing because the beasts you can summon are so fragile- they'd all die in one hit to an average CR 11 creature. Now, in an RP-heavy game, I can see it being useful all the way up to 20th, since they can always be used to impress/scare average citizens who don't encounter stuff like that every day.
 

paradox42

Visitor
New Least Invocation Descriptions

Adaptation
Level Equivalent: 1st
Your body becomes hardened to environmental extremes when you use this invocation, and you suffer no harm from being in hot or cold environments (as with the Endure Elements spell). You can exist comfortably in conditions between -50 and 140 degrees Farenheight without having to make Fortitude saves (as described in the Dungeon Master's Guide). Your equipment is likewise protected. This invocation doesn't protect you against actual Fire or Cold damage, nor does it protect against other environmental hazards such as smoke, lack of air, and so forth. The effect of Adaptation lasts for 24 hours.

Entangling Blast
Level Equivalent: 1st
Type: Eldritch Essence
This Eldritch Essence invocation allows you to change your Eldritch Blast into an Entangling Blast. An Entangling Blast carries with it a net of force that entangles any creature struck by it (in addition to the normal damage from the blast) unless that creature succeeds on a Reflex save. An entangled creature may break free and move half its normal speed by using a full-round action to make a DC 20 STR or Escape Artist check. The net of force dissipates on its own after 1 minute, freeing any creature entangled by it.

Glimpse From Beyond
Level Equivalent: 2nd
You can invoke this ability to link your mind briefly to the Outer realms, gaining deep insight into the workings and nature of creatures, objects, and energies related to them. This grants you the ability to use Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (the Planes), and Knowledge (Psionics) checks untrained, as well as Knowledge (Dungeoneering) checks related to Oozes and Aberrations specifically. Furthermore, the deep insight granted by the Glimpse From Beyond gives you a +6 bonus on those same Knowledge checks. This special insight into alien realms fades and is forgotten by you after 24 hours.

Lurker at the Threshold
Level Equivalent: 2nd
You can use this invocation to summon one or more pseudonatural creatures, as the Summon Monster II spell except that summoned creatures have the Pseudonatural template instead of the Celestial or Fiendish templates. Also, this invocation has a duration of Concentration instead of 1 round per caster level.

Outer Strike
Level Equivalent: 1st
The next attack you make within 1 minute after using this invocation has an insight bonus on the attack roll equal to your CHA bonus (if positive), to a maximum of your Warlock class level.

Outer Vision
Level Equivalent: 2nd
As a standard action, you can make a single melee touch attack. If you hit, the target receives a brief flash of insight into the nature of the Outer realms from which your power derives, and as a result has its mental faculties reduced as it tries to come to grips with the disturbing vision. This applies a 1d6 penalty to the target's INT, WIS, and CHA scores, though this penalty can't recude any of thse scores below 1. This invocation's effect may make it impossible for the target to cast or manifest some or all of its spells or psionics, if the requisite ability drops below the minimum required to use spells or powers of that level. The effect of this invocation lasts for 10 minutes per caster level, and it is a Mind-Affecting effect.
 
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paradox42

Visitor
New Lesser Invocation Descriptions

Arms of Plenty
Level Equivalent: 4th
Infusing your body with mutagenic energies from Outer realms, you sprout an extra pair of arms which exactly resemble your other natural arms (in particular, if you have a natural Claw attack, then the new arms can be used to make Claw attacks just as your natural arms can). The arms are fully functional, and feel so natural to you that you gain the benefits of the Multiattack and Multiweapon Fighting feats when you attack with your arms (both natural and otherwise) in combat. The arms rot and fall away after 1 round per caster level. Though this certainly looks disturbing and painful to natural creatures, you are not harmed in any way by the loss of the two unnatural limbs. If the invocation is dispelled, or you enter an Anti-Magic Zone, the arms immediately rot and fall away as if the normal duration had expired.

Disorienting Blast
Level Equivalent: 4th
Type: Eldritch Essense
This Eldritch Essence invocation allows you to change your Eldritch Blast into a Disorienting Blast. Any living creature struck by a Disorienting Blast must succeed on a Fortitude save or be Dazed for 1d4 rounds in addition to the normal damage from the blast.

Displacement
Level Equivalent: 3rd
You warp the light around yourself to distort your true location, as the Displacement spell, with a duration of 24 hours.

Energy of the Outer Spheres
Level Equivalent: 3rd
You can go without food and water for 24 hours when you use this invocation, and you can sleep for only 2 hours and gain the full benefits of having slept for 8 (though if you can cast spells or manifest psionic powers, you must still recharge and prepare spell slots or power points normally, and with the normal limitation of not using them for 8 hours prior to recharging).

Look Through Beyond
Level Equivalent: 4th
You can use Arcane Eye as the spell, except that this invocation has a duration of Concentration instead of 1 minute per caster level.

Thunderbolt Blast
Level Equivalent: 4th
Type: Eldritch Essense
This Eldritch Essence invocation allows you to change your Eldritch Blast into a Thunderbolt Blast. A Thunderbolt Blast deals Electricity damage. Any creature struck by a Thunderbolt Blast must succeed on a Fortitude save or take a -4 penalty to WIS for 10 minutes. The WIS penalties from multiple Thunderbolt Blasts do not stack.

Undulant Innards
Level Equivalent: 4th
When you use this ability, your body partially joins with the Outer realms for 24 hours and becomes somewhat amorphous as a result. This does not change your appearance, but it does make your internal organs and vital parts shift and twist in wholly alien ways, and continue to move about while the effect lasts. During this time, you are immune to critical hits, Sneak Attacks, extra damage from the Skirmish ability of Scouts, and any effects which depend on using them (such as an Assassin's Death Attack ability, or the power of a Vorpal weapon to remove your head).
 
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paradox42

Visitor
New Greater Invocation Descriptions

Ghostly Blast
Level Equivalent: 5th
Type: Eldritch Essence
This Eldritch Essence invocation allows you to change your Eldritch Blast into a Ghostly Blast. A Ghostly Blast deals Force damage. Incorporeal creatures, and ethereal creatures which you can see, may be targeted by the Ghostly Blast without penalty- and as a Force effect, it strikes them without the 50% miss chance that normally applies to attacks directed at such targets.

Step Sideways
Level Equivalent: 6th
You can use this invocation to render yourself and your equipment ethereal for 5 rounds. As an ethereal creature, you become invisible, insubstantial, and capable of moving in any direction, even up or down, albeit at half normal speed. As an insubstantial creature, you can move through solid objects, including creatures. An ethereal creature can see and hear on the Material Plane, but everything appears gray and ephemeral, and sight and hearing on the Material Plane are both limited to a range of 60 feet. Force effects (such as Magic Missile and Wall of Force) and Abjurations affect an ethereal creature normally. When the effect of this invocation ends, you become material again; if this occurs while you are inside a material object (such as a solid wall), you are shunted off to the nearest open space and take 1d6 points of damage per 5 feet that you so travel.

True Strike
Level Equivalent: 4th
You can use True Strike as the spell, except that you receive the +20 insight bonus on your next single attack roll as long as you make that attack roll within 1 minute of activating the invocation (rather than within 1 round as with the actual spell).

New Outer (Supreme) Invocation Descriptions

Cross the Threshold
Level Equivalent: 8th
You can use this invocation to transport yourself and up to eight other willing creatures holding hands to another plane, as with the Plane Shift spell. Unlike the spell, however, this invocation never deposits you off-target- you always arrive exactly where you intended to go.

Distortion Armor
Level Equivalent: 8th
This invocation warps space around your body, making it much more difficult to aim and maneuver weapons and effects to hit you. You gain a +10 deflection bonus to AC for 24 hours.

Mind Blank
Level Equivalent: 8th
You can use this invocation to grant yourself nearly total immunity to Mind-Affecting and divination/clairsentience effects for 24 hours, as per the spell Mind Blank.

Pseudonatural Blast
Level Equivalent: 7th
Type: Eldritch Essence
This Eldritch Essence invocation allows you to change your Eldritch Blast into a Pseudonatural Blast. A Pseudonatural Blast is infused with energies from the Far Realm, and it is greatly corrosive to the minds and bodies of normal creatures as a result. Pseudonatural Blasts ignore Spell Resistance, and any creature struck by one must make a Will save or go permanently Insane (as if from the Insanity spell) as its mind breaks under the strain of the alien energy. This is a Mind-Affecting effect.
 
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Nyeshet

Visitor
Some of the ones removed could arguably be returned to the list or replaced with a new invocation that better fits the concept:

Baleful Utterance -> Alien Whispers
Confusion to all excluding Warlock who hear the maddenning sounds

Baleful Utterance -> Alien Screetch: similar to the original, but the Warlock somehow utters a sound akin to fingernails scratching a blackboard that causes cracks to form in whatever object they are facing (basically a conical sonic attack)

Darkness: I would replace this one with something that controls lighting (as the psionic power of similar name). Basically the Warlock can raise or lower the lighting in an area.

Devil's Sight -> Alien Perception: regardless of the condition of their eyes, or lack thereof, the warlock can somehow perceive / see around himself (perhaps more akin to blindsense 15 or 30 ft than seeing in magical darkness)

Spiderwalk: honestly, I cannot see why you removed this one. So many aberrations can spider climb (even if they shouldn't be able to - or perhaps especially if they shouldn't be able to) that it seems almost a signature ability for a far realms style warlock. I can see guards chasing one - believing him blocked by the cart that all but blocks the narrow road ahead - only to see him suddenly start running along the wall itself (a la Matrix-style), using the wall as if it were the road until past the obstacle, and then returning to the road, running on as if not noticing anything unusual about his casual defiance / redirection of gravity.

Summon Swarm: all you need is a re-wording of the ability and it works as well for far realms as for fiend realms. Just describe the creatures in an odd manner. For example, suppose instead of bats you summon a swarm of those tiny flying eye / mouth / ear / tentacle things in the Ushio and Tora manga?

Beshadowed Blast -> Alien Vision: As the blast strikes its target it briefly rips apart the dimensional barriers between this plane and the Far Realm. The target must make a will save to resist the maddenning vision or become blinded for 1 round.

Brimstone Blast -> not sure about this one. There are abberrations that deal fire damage, but I suppose I can see why you are removing it.

Charm -> Why remove this one? I can recall some games and even some books I've read where the alien creature has charmed various people so that they either willingly aid it or walk about thinking there is nothing all that odd about Mr. _____ - even if he does have tentacles growing out of his shoulders and seventeen eyes covering his forehead . . .

Curse of Despair -> sounds like something that might be used by a creature from Call of Cthulu, so I can't really see why it would be removed. I can see it being used by a warlock upon someone, such that they suddenly realize how truly odd reality is, how utterly futile existence in such a warped realm is, that reality is merely the surface of the water that is the far realm, and no hope exists for those that will inevitably sink into its depths, etc . . .

The Dead Walk -> Okay, I admit that this is not much of a far realms ability, per se, but I've read of far realms creatures that might animate dead as a type of flesh golem (ie: zomibies in all but actual method and some game mechanics). Still, I can see why you would remove this one. Perhaps a higher level incantation that changes a corpse into a flesh or bone golem could be used instead?

Hungry Darkness -> Again, just reword the ability and it works remarkably well. What about an ooze like shadow that drains the life of creatures within it? Perhaps the invocation briefly summons a bit of such a being into the plane from the far realm, allowing it to feed upon those it surrounds for a brief while . . .

Enervating Shadow -> I can see this as a perhaps far realm type power, but I can see why you removed it. More of a negative energy plane power than a far realms power, really.

Wall of Perilous Flame -> couldn't the far realms have something akin to fire, something that while similar to fire in appearance and causing some fire type damage, is different enough that some of its damage bypasses typical fire resistance? Okay, so this is a stretch, but otherwise I understand why you removed it.

Dark Discorporation -> I cannot understand your removal of this one. What could be more far realms-ish than suddenly breaking up into a myriad of other creatures, all of which seem to be individuals yet having some overmind as well? They don't need to be bats, of course. They might be irregular patches of shadow, or strange alien / psuedonatural appearing creatures, etc. Of course, as the invocation states you become shadows, then you could give the shadows any form - however maddenning - you wish. Perhaps the warlock seems to melt into a pool of shadow that suddenly wriths away along the ground like a swarm of translucent dark slugs or tentacles . . .

Path of Shadow -> Should definately be kept, but instead of the Shadow plane, you briefly enter the Far Realms. Its non-euclidean geometry means that you can end up in locations quite distant from your starting point - perhaps after a single step, or perhaps you return to the prime seemingly a moment later but have memories of having journeyed seeminly for years . . . And while you have indeed healed as if a day or more has passed, you also have these strange scaly patches, or perhaps a small extra eye on your arm, or maybe a small tentacle that will eventually wither and fall off a day or so later . . .

Retributive Invisibility -> Instead of dealing damage, those caught in the blast must make a Will save vs Confusion for 3d4 rounds, as visions of the far realms replace normal sight for a time. . .

Utterdark Blast -> If they fail the save they lose 2 levels due to their memories being warped. They suddenly cannot recall the last few months except as snippets of a nightmarish existence on an insane realm. Perhaps they truly were briefly blasted into that realm, and the horror of it destroyed the more recent parts of their mind. They don't know. Nor, for that matter, does the warlock know - at least not for certain . . . You'll need to rename the invocation, of course.
 

starwed

Visitor
Isn't disorienting blast strictly better than Noxious blast, and even at a lower level? Being stunned is worse than being nauseated (you drop items and lose your dex bonus), and I'm pretty sure they have the same duration.
 

Nifft

Penguin Herder
Summoning Tangent:

Greater Invocations:
  • Flesh-Harrow (Eldrich Essense): Your target must make a Fort save or suffer 2 points of Dex and Str damage as a hunk of its own flesh animates as a pseudonatural animal and tears free from the original creature. The pseudonatural animal(s) appear adjacent to the target.
    Choose an animal from the Summon Monster II or 1d3 animals from the Summon Monster I list and apply the Pseudonatural template in place of the Fiendish or Celestial template. These monsters count as summoned for all spells and effects, and remain animate up to 1 round/caster level before imploding in a wet *splorch*.
    This effect can apply to a particular target only once in a 24 hour period.
 

frankthedm

Visitor
Great ideas!

But doesn't this make the Warlock's reputation even worse?

At least fiends only embody the worst of human failings.
 

Asmor

Visitor
Nifft said:
Summoning Tangent:

Greater Invocations:
  • Flesh-Harrow (Eldrich Essense): Your target must make a Fort save or suffer 2 points of Dex and Str damage as a hunk of its own flesh animates as a pseudonatural animal and tears free from the original creature. The pseudonatural animal(s) appear adjacent to the target.
    Choose an animal from the Summon Monster II or 1d3 animals from the Summon Monster I list and apply the Pseudonatural template in place of the Fiendish or Celestial template. These monsters count as summoned for all spells and effects, and remain animate up to 1 round/caster level before imploding in a wet *splorch*.
    This effect can apply to a particular target only once in a 24 hour period.
Dude! That is... what's the word I'm lookin' for here... Oh, right. That is the **** (sorry, Eric's grandma does not allow me to full express how awesome that is).
 

paradox42

Visitor
Regarding Flesh Harrow...

I... must agree with Asmor, wholeheartedly. I wish I'd thought of it first! That is just wicked.
 

paradox42

Visitor
starwed said:
Isn't disorienting blast strictly better than Noxious blast, and even at a lower level? Being stunned is worse than being nauseated (you drop items and lose your dex bonus), and I'm pretty sure they have the same duration.
Actually Noxious Blast lasts for one minute, which is 10 rounds. :)

I agree that Stunning is nasty, but the fact that it's lower level means lower save DC, and having the effect last only one round means the Warlock has to keep hitting the opponent to keep it out of the fight. And of course, if one opponent is being concentrated upon that way, then either the party was only facing one opponent (in which case it's pretty screwed whether nauseated or stunned) or there are numerous others to go after the Warlock while the victim recovers.

Perhaps it would be worth adding a line to Disorienting Blast along the lines of: "The victim is stunned, except that it does not drop held items"?
 

paradox42

Visitor
Nyeshet said:
Some of the ones removed could arguably be returned to the list or replaced with a new invocation that better fits the concept:
Oh, agreed. But the point of removing invocations was to change the flavor of the Warlock, to make the Alienoid genuinely different from the Fiendish one. It would have been easy to keep more or most of the same powers, I just wanted to change the Alienoid's focus a bit. That was why I removed some invocations while adding others. Honestly, some of the ones you mention below were ones I almost kept, but when it came down to choosing between these and others- I dropped these. (shrug)

Also, I know COmplete Mage introduces a whole slew of new Invocations; obviously those would be for the Fiendish one, which means the Alienoid won't get all (or even most) of them. If that happens, the Alienoid would need new Invocations to make up the gap, or would need to get back Invocations that were originally lost. The Spiderwalk one is a perfect example- I wanted the Alienoid to have it, at first, but when the time came to cut one more I pulled it.

Anyway, if you want an Alienoid in your own game, feel free to give them all the invocations you like. :) This is the House Rules forum after all.

Nyeshet said:
Baleful Utterance -> Alien Whispers
Confusion to all excluding Warlock who hear the maddenning sounds

Baleful Utterance -> Alien Screetch: similar to the original, but the Warlock somehow utters a sound akin to fingernails scratching a blackboard that causes cracks to form in whatever object they are facing (basically a conical sonic attack)
See, here you split one Invocation into two, and the original one was based on a feat that's clearly and obviously tied to fiends- the Dark Speech. I can see your point, but unless you make a house rule for a Far Realm version of Dark Speech (Pseudospeech?), I feel better about removing this one.

Nyeshet said:
Darkness: I would replace this one with something that controls lighting (as the psionic power of similar name). Basically the Warlock can raise or lower the lighting in an area.
Since the Alienoid is ostentibly psi-like, you have an excellent point! This would be a wonderful thing to add in if Complete Mage invocations leave holes in the Alienoid list.

Nyeshet said:
Devil's Sight -> Alien Perception: regardless of the condition of their eyes, or lack thereof, the warlock can somehow perceive / see around himself (perhaps more akin to blindsense 15 or 30 ft than seeing in magical darkness)
Changing the flavor this way is appropriate, I agree- though Blindsight is considerably more powerful than Devil's Sight as written. So again, I'd say this is something that should be added back in if Complete Mage leaves a hole.

Nyeshet said:
Spiderwalk: honestly, I cannot see why you removed this one. So many aberrations can spider climb (even if they shouldn't be able to - or perhaps especially if they shouldn't be able to) that it seems almost a signature ability for a far realms style warlock. I can see guards chasing one - believing him blocked by the cart that all but blocks the narrow road ahead - only to see him suddenly start running along the wall itself (a la Matrix-style), using the wall as if it were the road until past the obstacle, and then returning to the road, running on as if not noticing anything unusual about his casual defiance / redirection of gravity.
It was painful, I admit. Your images match some I came up with myself. At this point I honestly can't tell you why I removed this instead of another one; the reasons are long forgotten except that I needed to cut just... one... more! and this one was somehow the least "in-flavor" for the Alienoid.

Nyeshet said:
Summon Swarm: all you need is a re-wording of the ability and it works as well for far realms as for fiend realms. Just describe the creatures in an odd manner. For example, suppose instead of bats you summon a swarm of those tiny flying eye / mouth / ear / tentacle things in the Ushio and Tora manga?
Haven't seen that manga, honestly I don't read much of that myself. But you are correct about swarms being in-flavor; I considered keeping the Swarm invocation. The reason I went with a Summon, in the end, was that I desperately wanted an invocation named "Lurker at the Threshold" (and a Summon was obviously the only thing that would do) ;) and I decided that if the Alienoid had that, it didn't also need the ability to summon up a swarm. If you put an Alienoid in your game, feel free to choose differently.

Nyeshet said:
Beshadowed Blast -> Alien Vision: As the blast strikes its target it briefly rips apart the dimensional barriers between this plane and the Far Realm. The target must make a will save to resist the maddenning vision or become blinded for 1 round.
Eh. I think this one is reaching, personally. The Far Realm would be more likely to burn the eyes right out of the victim's sockets than just shut them down for one round, surely? But I see your point.

Nyeshet said:
Brimstone Blast -> not sure about this one. There are abberrations that deal fire damage, but I suppose I can see why you are removing it.
Mostly because the Pseudonaturals are more focused on electricity than fire. So I gave a Thunderbolt instead of Brimstone. Actually, I consider Thunderbolt Blast potentially more powerful as written, since it screws with a spellcasting stat. I'm a little leery of it, but then again a spellcaster caught on fire can't normally cast either, right?

Nyeshet said:
Charm -> Why remove this one? I can recall some games and even some books I've read where the alien creature has charmed various people so that they either willingly aid it or walk about thinking there is nothing all that odd about Mr. _____ - even if he does have tentacles growing out of his shoulders and seventeen eyes covering his forehead . . .
I have also seen stories like those, but honestly I never considered Charming of any sort to be in-flavor for the Far Realm or its denizens. The Far Realm is about wonder and mystery that turns dark and terrifying, not something that looks nasty at first but when you get down to it really isn't so bad (unless, of course, you're becoming one of the denizens yourself, like a Deep One/Human hybrid). That's my take on it, anyway.

Nyeshet said:
Curse of Despair -> sounds like something that might be used by a creature from Call of Cthulu, so I can't really see why it would be removed. I can see it being used by a warlock upon someone, such that they suddenly realize how truly odd reality is, how utterly futile existence in such a warped realm is, that reality is merely the surface of the water that is the far realm, and no hope exists for those that will inevitably sink into its depths, etc . . .
Despair is a comprehensible emotion. Generally, in Lovecraftian tales, the protagonist doesn't feel despair when encountering the critters from Beyond- he/she feels terror, or an overwhelming sense of wrongness, which becomes despair later when the character wonders how to ever beat these Things.

Also, from a Far Realm being's perspective, Material Plane denizens aren't worth cursing; they're either incomprehensible themselves, or just plain beneath notice. Making an effort to deliberately curse one would require caring about what happens to it, on some level, which Far Realm creatures simply don't. :) They're not malicious, they're indifferent (which is usually worse).

Nyeshet said:
Hungry Darkness -> Again, just reword the ability and it works remarkably well. What about an ooze like shadow that drains the life of creatures within it? Perhaps the invocation briefly summons a bit of such a being into the plane from the far realm, allowing it to feed upon those it surrounds for a brief while . . .
Decouple it from the Darkness effect and I'll agree. The Far Realm isn't about Darkness though; it's about light shining in places you really wish had stayed dark. This is one reason I removed the original Darkness invocation, and I figured since I got rid of that one, getting rid of the higher-level version just made sense.

Nyeshet said:
Dark Discorporation -> I cannot understand your removal of this one. What could be more far realms-ish than suddenly breaking up into a myriad of other creatures, all of which seem to be individuals yet having some overmind as well? They don't need to be bats, of course. They might be irregular patches of shadow, or strange alien / psuedonatural appearing creatures, etc. Of course, as the invocation states you become shadows, then you could give the shadows any form - however maddenning - you wish. Perhaps the warlock seems to melt into a pool of shadow that suddenly wriths away along the ground like a swarm of translucent dark slugs or tentacles . . .
Again, this is one I almost kept. What would you have discarded in its place?

Nyeshet said:
Path of Shadow -> Should definately be kept, but instead of the Shadow plane, you briefly enter the Far Realms. Its non-euclidean geometry means that you can end up in locations quite distant from your starting point - perhaps after a single step, or perhaps you return to the prime seemingly a moment later but have memories of having journeyed seeminly for years . . . And while you have indeed healed as if a day or more has passed, you also have these strange scaly patches, or perhaps a small extra eye on your arm, or maybe a small tentacle that will eventually wither and fall off a day or so later . . .
This is a result of a fundamental point of disagreement between us- you seem to see the Far Realm here as a transitive plane, whereas in my campaign it's what "exists" beyond the entire cosmos. The Far Realm, in my game, is not a place you can simply Plane Shift or even Gate to; it's far too remote for that. Only epic powers can pierce the boundary of eons and allow a creature from the standard cosmos entry to its maddening vistas.

That is, admittedly, my take on it, not necessarily anyone else's. But in that light, you can see why I removed Path of Shadow.

Nyeshet said:
Retributive Invisibility -> Instead of dealing damage, those caught in the blast must make a Will save vs Confusion for 3d4 rounds, as visions of the far realms replace normal sight for a time. . .
Interesting. :) I like it. Could fill a hole left by Complete Mage if necessary.

Nyeshet said:
Utterdark Blast -> If they fail the save they lose 2 levels due to their memories being warped. They suddenly cannot recall the last few months except as snippets of a nightmarish existence on an insane realm. Perhaps they truly were briefly blasted into that realm, and the horror of it destroyed the more recent parts of their mind. They don't know. Nor, for that matter, does the warlock know - at least not for certain . . . You'll need to rename the invocation, of course.
I did- and I made it turn them permanently insane instead of just losing memories. :p It's now called Pseudonatural Blast. :D
 

Nyeshet

Visitor
frankthedm said:
Great ideas!

But doesn't this make the Warlock's reputation even worse?

At least fiends only embody the worst of human failings.
I'm reminded of that old quote:

"Vote Cthulu for President!"
(Why vote for the lesser of two evils?)
 

Soel

Visitor
Great ideas, all of them! A guy who taps into the outside to bend things to his will. Its the Alienist class made good!
 
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Soel

Visitor
I must play one of these! The best variant of Warlock yet, and what terrible (in a good way) new invocations!

Thank you, Paradox42!
 

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