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D&D 5E Proposed Houserule: Warlock Spell Slots

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
My proposal is to give the Warlock an additional spell slot at level 5. That's pretty much it.

I'd also consider the possibility to making some of the spell invocations draw from a pool of daily castings, give them a fancy name like Sigils of Power, and say you have Sigils equal to your proficiency bonus and they recharge on a long rest, which would weaken some Invocations and strengthen others (those that spend a warlock spell slot to cast 1/day).

But mainly it's the extra slot at level 5 that I think the Warlock genuinely needs.

Thoughts?

Oh! Also, Variant Optional rule, make warlocks int based and give them prepared casting from known spells and they can learn more like wizards, but from the warlock spell list.
 

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From my experience, the third spell slot you currently get at level 11 makes the warlock a lot more enjoyable to play, you can afford to cast a bit more freely without worrying about being stuck with no spells at a critical moment. So I agree that letting the warlock have an extra slot earlier would be a good change. It's not like a warlock would be beating regular casters for total spells cast per day even with this upgrade, unless the game has a lot more short rests than is usual.
 

I'm going to disagree, as the only weakness the warlock has is the limited number of spells they can use outside of cantrips. While it might be more "fun" for the average warlock player, this is also a pretty significant increase in power, since you are increasing their spellcasting by 50%. I'd only allow this in a group of casual players or if the campaign severely limits the number of short rests per long rest (which is extremely unusual).
 

Pauln6

Explorer
I agree that Warlocks are way more fun with 3 slots. You could balance it by making it a daily recharge like the magic items or possibly a cost (feat or invocation) or by restricting the level of spell you can cast with it.
 

DeviousQuail

Explorer
A few years back we tried out giving the warlock 3 spell slots at 5th level. They also recovered all missing slots on a short rest but only once per day, similar to arcane recovery. It made sense for our group because we often played with fewer, deadlier, encounters per day. Overall it was fine but we've had so few warlocks at our table over the years (that reached 5th level) that I can't say if it was really any better than the standard style.

The one change I would make is having most spells from invocations be free to cast 1/day and then use a slot if you want to cast it again. I'm thinking specifically invocations like Bewitching Whispers, Dreadful Word, Minions of Chaos, etc. They just never seemed worth it to me due to cost of spell slot and invocation.
 

Pauln6

Explorer
A few years back we tried out giving the warlock 3 spell slots at 5th level. They also recovered all missing slots on a short rest but only once per day, similar to arcane recovery. It made sense for our group because we often played with fewer, deadlier, encounters per day. Overall it was fine but we've had so few warlocks at our table over the years (that reached 5th level) that I can't say if it was really any better than the standard style.

The one change I would make is having most spells from invocations be free to cast 1/day and then use a slot if you want to cast it again. I'm thinking specifically invocations like Bewitching Whispers, Dreadful Word, Minions of Chaos, etc. They just never seemed worth it to me due to cost of spell slot and invocation.
I suppose if you are looking at granting an extra daily spell slot you could look to grant an extra daily use of any daily spells obtained via invocations. The book keeping is no worse for multiclass characters.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
I think it would be pretty broken to give them more power with how eb&hex works. If your dead set on it though... "bob your warlock can either be like normal or get an extra spell slot at 11 but eldritch blast scales with extra dice not extra attacks to bring it in line with every other cantripp.... oh I'll do you one better and say that eb is a class feature after that chanheand scales thst one blast by warlock level not character level" > "bob:no I think I want default"
 

BacchusNL

Explorer
I'm sure nothing will go wrong with 9 level 3 spell slots per day @ level 5...

For real though, give your warlock a Rod of the Pactkeeper or Pearl of Power early if you want to boost his spellcasting because your current idea can give some real balance issues if the player somewhat knows his class.
 


DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
As most combats tend to finish by the end of round 3 anyway... giving a third slot just means you're less likely to see repetitive Eldritch Blast spam. If a Warlock can cast non-EB spells each round during combat instead, the need to use EB and spend all their invocations to power it up is lessened.

The fact that you are posing the question means you've already seen what having only 2 spell slots does for your Warlock players, so I'd say just trust your gut and go ahead and try it out and test it. Especially since you have not received an entire thread of every single person saying "Noooooooooooooo!!!!", so obviously this is not something that has been definitively proven to be a bad idea. :)
 


J-H

Adventurer
Rod of the Pact Keeper +1 is a nice drop that adds a 1/day 1-slot recharge without having to change the rules.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
My proposal is to give the Warlock an additional spell slot at level 5. That's pretty much it.
I don’t think it would be needed in my games, but potentially a useful rule for tables where warlocks struggle. I had a warlock in a Thule game with an extra spell slot once, can’t remember if it was from a magic item or a special background. Either way, it felt strong to me because I basically never ran out of spell slots, but it was far from overpowered as I was still generally only casting one non-cantrip spell per encounter, or sometimes two.
I'd also consider the possibility to making some of the spell invocations draw from a pool of daily castings, give them a fancy name like Sigils of Power, and say you have Sigils equal to your proficiency bonus and they recharge on a long rest, which would weaken some Invocations and strengthen others (those that spend a warlock spell slot to cast 1/day).
I’d sooner just change the Invocations that take a warlock spell slot to cast 1/day and make them 1/day and not cost the spell slot. Accomplishes pretty much the same goal with less fuss.
Oh! Also, Variant Optional rule, make warlocks int based and give them prepared casting from known spells and they can learn more like wizards, but from the warlock spell list.
I think that would be a cool Invocation for Pact of the Tome.
 

rgoodbb

Adventurer
I agree.

Most of the games I have been involved in have often seen just one big battle at the end of the day and maybe a minor skirmish beforehand. If you know that's your DM's preferred playstyle of fewer encounters, then that extra slot feels very important to keep up.
 


tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
I agree.

Most of the games I have been involved in have often seen just one big battle at the end of the day and maybe a minor skirmish beforehand. If you know that's your DM's preferred playstyle of fewer encounters, then that extra slot feels very important to keep up.
Is that not why warlocks have a broken cantrip in the form of agonizing (repelling) eldritch blast & unlike natural/arcane recovery of druid & wizard can recover spell slots on an unlimited number of short rests per day? If people want to nullify the downsides under the worst possible situation, are the upsides that are excessively good in other situations deserve to remain?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don’t think it would be needed in my games, but potentially a useful rule for tables where warlocks struggle. I had a warlock in a Thule game with an extra spell slot once, can’t remember if it was from a magic item or a special background. Either way, it felt strong to me because I basically never ran out of spell slots, but it was far from overpowered as I was still generally only casting one non-cantrip spell per encounter, or sometimes two.
Yeah, that’s the thing about stuff like this. It’s very group dependent.
I’d sooner just change the Invocations that take a warlock spell slot to cast 1/day and make them 1/day and not cost the spell slot. Accomplishes pretty much the same goal with less fuss.
That works too, I just like giving them more widgets with spooky occult names.
I think that would be a cool Invocation for Pact of the Tome.
I’d go for that if it were possible to have that at level 1. As it is, 5e point buy isn’t generous enough to have a character with caster level stats in two stats.
Compromise
Gained at Level 5 - A warlock may cast a single 1st level spell they know without expending a spell slot. You cannot use this ability again until you have finished a short or long rest.
A good comp for games where an extra slot might be too much, I suppose.
Is that not why warlocks have a broken cantrip in the form of agonizing (repelling) eldritch blast & unlike natural/arcane recovery of druid & wizard can recover spell slots on an unlimited number of short rests per day? If people want to nullify the downsides under the worst possible situation, are the upsides that are excessively good in other situations deserve to remain?
The warlock has nothing that is overpowered. Even if you have a 6 encounter day with 2 short rests, where the warlock shines, they aren’t outshining anyone else. They are keeping pace.

In any other game, they often struggle to keep pace, and are frustrating to play. It also makes it more difficult to choose non-combat spells in a lot of games.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
The warlock has nothing that is overpowered. Even if you have a 6 encounter day with 2 short rests, where the warlock shines, they aren’t outshining anyone else. They are keeping pace.

In any other game, they often struggle to keep pace, and are frustrating to play. It also makes it more difficult to choose non-combat spells in a lot of games.
You just confirmed my point. If the dm needs to strictly shackle the entire campaign's pacing to one very specific formula for one of thirteen classes and never allow it to deviate to allow more rests within the plot & pacing it indicates that something is very wrong. This is a thread where people are talking about removing or reducing the downside of moving that shackle slightly towards being more restrictive, raising the question of pairing it with addressing the massive problems caused by moving the shackle slightly towards less restrictive is extremely reasonable.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You just confirmed my point. If the dm needs to strictly shackle the entire campaign's pacing to one very specific formula for one of thirteen classes and never allow it to deviate to allow more rests within the plot & pacing it indicates that something is very wrong. This is a thread where people are talking about removing or reducing the downside of moving that shackle slightly towards being more restrictive, raising the question of pairing it with addressing the massive problems caused by moving the shackle slightly towards less restrictive is extremely reasonable.
You’re off on a tangent that has frack-all to do with the thread or anything I’ve talked about, and I don’t care at all about it. Please stop.

None of the hyperbolic nonsense you’re spouting is true, or relevant to the thread.
 

If your games, like mine, tend to have fewer, deadlier encounters per day; I’d be fine.

i like the idea of a « mystic arcanum, 1st level ».

i also gave the spell invocation the same wording as the artificer; « you can cast this spell once with this trait. Once you use it, you must complete a long rest or spend a spell slot to cast it again » to the PHB incantations
 

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