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D&D 5E Shadow Warlock

vulcan_idic

Explorer
I really like the feel/flavor of the Shadow Sorcerer, Way of Shadow Monk, and Gloom Stalker Ranger... but what I'd really like is a similarly flavored Warlock patron. Maybe something borrowing some conceptual ground from the late 3.5 Tome of Magic class, the Shadowcaster. I think there's already a lot to support it - Tome of Shadows, Darkness, Devil's Sight... so maybe I just need to reflavor one of the existing subclasses... Great Old One maybe? Thoughts?
 

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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Reading your post made me realize something.

almost every sorcerer subclass could be reformatted into a warlock subclass, and vice versa. I mean we already have both the divine warlock and sorcerer, I'm surprised there isn't a fiendish sorcerer, the aberrant mind sorcerer and GOO warlock are clearly linked, etcetera
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
To answer your question, I would:

Look at the GOO and hexblade, because the hexblade is tied to the Raven Queen, which is linked to shadow.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I think it would quite easy to take the Shadow Sorcerer and make it a Warlock's:

Eyes of the Dark
Starting at 1st level, you have darkvision with a range of 120 feet.

When you reach 3rd level in this class, you learn the darkness spell, which doesn't count against your number of warlock spells known. If you cast it with a spell slot from your Pact magic feature, you can see through the darkness created by the spell.

Strength of the Grave
Starting at 1st level, your existence in a twilight state between life and death makes you difficult to defeat. When damage reduces you to 0 hit points, you can make a Charisma saving throw (DC 5 + the damage taken). On a success, you instead drop to 1 hit point. You can't use this feature if you are reduced to 0 hit points by radiant damage or by a critical hit.

After the saving throw succeeds, you can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Hound of Ill Omen
At 6th level, you gain the ability to call forth a howling creature of darkness to harass your foes. As a bonus action, you can summon a hound of ill omen to target one creature you can see within 120 feet of you. The hound uses the dire wolf's statistics (see the Monster Manual or appendix C in the Player's Handbook), with the following changes:

The hound is size Medium, not Large, and it counts as a monstrosity, not a beast.
It appears with a number of temporary hit points equal to half your warlock level.
It can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. The hound takes 5 force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.
At the start of its turn, the hound automatically knows its target's location. If the target was hidden, it is no longer hidden from the hound.
The hound appears in an unoccupied space of your choice within 30 feet of the target. Roll initiative for the hound. On its turn, it can move only toward its target by the most direct route, and it can use its action only to attack its target. The hound can make opportunity attacks, but only against its target. Additionally, while the hound is within 5 feet of the target, the target has disadvantage on saving throws against any spell you cast. The hound disappears if it is reduced to 0 hit points, if its target is reduced to 0 hit points, or after 5 minutes.

You can use this feature a number of time equal to your proficiency bonus before you must finish a long rest to use it again.

Shadow Walk
At 10th level, you gain the ability to step from one shadow into another. When you are in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action, you can magically teleport up to 120 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness.

Umbral Form
Starting at 14th level, you can, as a bonus action, magically transform yourself into a shadowy form. In this form, you have resistance to all damage except force and radiant damage, and you can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. You take 5 force damage if you end your turn inside an object.

You remain in this form for 1 minute. It ends early if you are incapacitated, if you die, or if you dismiss it as a bonus action.

When you use this feature, you must complete a long rest before you can use it again.
 

MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
I think you could give the warlock a shadow form similar to the form of dread (and like the Dresden File's Nicodemus Archleone) with some stealth boosts, shadow step, and some psychic damage and fear.
 


vulcan_idic

Explorer
To answer your question, I would:

Look at the GOO and hexblade, because the hexblade is tied to the Raven Queen, which is linked to shadow.

The hexblade is awesome, but in my mind the Shadow Warlock I was thinking of emphasizes casting more than martial prowess.
 


DEFCON 1

Legend
Reading your post made me realize something.

almost every sorcerer subclass could be reformatted into a warlock subclass, and vice versa. I mean we already have both the divine warlock and sorcerer, I'm surprised there isn't a fiendish sorcerer, the aberrant mind sorcerer and GOO warlock are clearly linked, etcetera
This is why I'm not a fan of the Sorcerer concept other than the Wild Mage. The original intent was that other than the Wild Mage you were supposed to be directly descended from an innate magical creature and that's why you have sorcerous powers. But that pretty much overlaps with what races do. If you are a descendant of a fiend you are a tiefling... not a fiendish sorcerer. The genasi are supposed to be the descendants of genies and the elemental planes, which renders the storm sorcerer moot.

At the very least... I can kind of accept the draconic bloodline sorcerer origin because in that case the dragon from whom you descended from could polymorph into the race you currently are when they engaged in coitus with your ascendant. Even that's kind of tenuous, but at least it's partially explainable why you could have dragon blood while still a human, dwarf, elf etc. (whereas a fiend that reproduced with a human resulted in a half-human/half-fiend creature, aka tiefling and celestial beings who got with humans produced aasimar.) And Shadow sorcerers should actually be racial Shades or Shadar-kai.

But now WotC just makes up any reason whatsoever why someone has magic, even something as tenuous as that an ascendant hung around with Modrons and now you have a "clockwork soul". Really? Then where are the sorcerer origins for the other 15 Outer Planes? Why does Mechanus get special treatment?

If you are going to receive magic by just making googly-eyes at some magical extra-planar being... that's what I think they warlock is supposed to be. You don't have their blood (because if you did, it'd be represented by your race not your class) but you can use their magic. That to me makes much more sense and is cleaner than the muck of sorcery in my opinion.
 

Pauln6

Explorer
My PC is effectively a shadow Warlock converted from previous editions. I mix and matched taking the fiendish pact ability to gain temporary hp and a variation on the fey Warlock misty escape for a shadow jump as a bonus action. The 10th level ability is trickier. I suppose it should have resistance to necrotic but I'm not sure what else. Eyes of the Dark are a must. The invocation that let's you cast Silent Image is thematic but I found I wasn't using it often enough to warrant spending an invocation.

I still found that that there aren't enough shadow spells out there to generate a strong shadow theme but this is true of shadow sorcerer too.

I'd love to see some form of official shadow magic. The closest I've seen is a fan-created class feature that man's your illusions inflict 1d6 necrotic damage not sure if there is a good way to balance that.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The hexblade is awesome, but in my mind the Shadow Warlock I was thinking of emphasizes casting more than martial prowess.
oh absolutely! I wasn't recommending making a pseudo-martial characters. But there is a bit of "shadows" in the hexblade kit - the specter for example. The unearthed arcana perhaps more (I think it had the shadow of ill omen for the hexblade, and some of the invocations that didn't make it to the official version may be useful).

Xanathar's guide has spells in it that would be good too - shadowblade, shadow of moil...
 

Pauln6

Explorer
oh absolutely! I wasn't recommending making a pseudo-martial characters. But there is a bit of "shadows" in the hexblade kit - the specter for example. The unearthed arcana perhaps more (I think it had the shadow of ill omen for the hexblade, and some of the invocations that didn't make it to the official version may be useful).

Xanathar's guide has spells in it that would be good too - shadowblade, shadow of moil...
They are fun spells but melee focused. If you want more of a spell casting shadow mage all you have to play with are darkness and creation spells? You can add other thematic spells to the custom list such as illusions. I think it's more of an issue that there are no thematic invocations to help enhance or boost this theme. I am lucky that my PC was converted from 1e where I had a wand of conjuration that was refluffed as a wand of shadowshaping. We refluffed it so it does darklight, darkness, and summon shadowspawn.

I also used magical Adept and shadow touched feats to boost my casting potential.
 

vulcan_idic

Explorer
Just noticed nobody talked about the new Undead patron from Tasha's.

Despite the name, it is pretty spot on for a shadow caster, being all about necrotic damage, illusions spells and spirit form.

Do you mean the Undead patron from Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft? I don't have the book yet and had to look it up... Fathomless and Genie were the only two I thought I saw in Tasha's.
 


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