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D&D 5E Starting to Hate Hexblades

People seem to forget that a 1 level dip into warlock has the cost of a deal with a patron. "A warlock is defined by a pact with an otherworldly being." Dipping into hexblade comes with consequences in the RP side of the game - there is something out there that you're obligated to serve.
I was recently in a rather involved discussion on this site where several people insisted that warlocks should only suffer consequences from their patrons if the player wants them to. I don't agree, but it's clear to me that some pushback from the players is a real possibility.
 

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Vaalingrade

Legend
Picking a class in and of itself shouldn't be something that warrants a 'consequence'. that's why I don't want the stabnerd shackled and brainboxed to a specific narrative. For me, they're mages who studied magic as a martial art. Done. No weird meta crap DMs can use as an excuse to restrict them, no limitations on how players can use or imagine them baked in, no lame lore new campaign settings have to awkwardly slot in.

Heh. Forgot which of the three identical gish arguments I was in. Stabnerd is a registered trademark of me.
 

Greg K

Hero
For me, they're mages who studied magic as a martial art. Done. No weird meta crap DMs can use as an excuse to restrict them, no limitations on how players can use or imagine them baked in, no lame lore new campaign settings have to awkwardly slot in.
Well, whether that interpretation is going to fly depends on the DM. A player making that interpretation of a warlock would not fly in the games I run nor would it run in the games of other GMs with whom I play or have played over the years (The same would hold true for making interpretations of several other classes).
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Well, whether that interpretation is going to fly depends on the DM. A player making that interpretation of a warlock would not fly in the games I run nor would it run in the games of other GMs with whom I play or have played over the years (The same would hold true for making interpretations of several other classes).
Like my edit said, I was replying as if this was the gish thread about the gish 'identity'.

The warlock is already lost to this mistake in class design that lets the DM kick you in the jimmies for picking a class.
 


Blue Orange

Adventurer
People seem to forget that a 1 level dip into warlock has the cost of a deal with a patron. "A warlock is defined by a pact with an otherworldly being." Dipping into hexblade comes with consequences in the RP side of the game - there is something out there that you're obligated to serve.

And that's why I never played a warlock or a cleric... non serviam...
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
This leads me to ask:
Does anyone in here just say no to multiclassing?
I do the opposite, and actively encourage multiclassing at my table. I'll help to make sure all the characters are effective enough to be fun to play, but otherwise I'm fine with any combination of classes, including dips, even splits, and anything in between.

Whether or not the player wants to incorporate any of the default fiction of their character's classes I leave up to them. A fighter/monk could have been expelled from a monestary, a brawler who found a teacher for formal training, or just a character with an unusual self-taught fighting style. Similarly, I leave warlock pacts up to the player: it could be an ongoing relationship, a one-time deal, a carryover from an ancestor making a deal, unknowing siphoning of the patron's power, or anything else. (Hexblades can be as simple as the character possessing an eldritch weapon that they figure out how to use as they gain Warlock levels.)

As I see it, every character develops along their own, unique path. Sandy the Fighter/Wizard isn't, IC, erratically proceeding along two separate tracks, she's becoming increasingly powerful in her role as Sandy. That the progression happens to be granular rather than continuous doesn't bother me any more than it does for a single-class charater. (And even that isn't much--granular advancement is a necessary consequence of a level-based game.)

Why do I take this approach? I find it leads to more mechanically diverse characters at my table, which in turn reduces reliance on class identity to define who each character is. Even the players of single-class characters at my table tend to define their characters less by their class when sitting at a table of characters who can't be so easily pigeonholed.

And to address the inevitable question of why I don't choose a classless system, I find that flexible class-based systems tend to (ironically) produce greater mechanical character diversity than classless systems. In a point-buy system, the opportunity cost of taking a particular ability is generally similar for all characters. So, for example, all of the characters at the table are likely to use either the most powerful defensive ability (if they want to emphasize defense) or the most cost-efficient defensive ability (if they want to emphasize some other aspect of their character). So frequently most of the characters end up with one of two defensive abilities. By contrast, the opportunity cost of getting a particular ability in a class based system depends on how many levels a character already has in that class. This, for example, leads to the most efficient defensive ability usually being different for each character, so a greater diversity is seen in play.
 

The warlock is already lost to this mistake in class design that lets the DM kick you in the jimmies for picking a class.
Honest question here: What kind of DM are you playing with where the DM is out to get you because you picked a class? I get limitations via lore, designed worlds, etc. But have not played with a DM in the last 25 years that would be out to get me had I picked an allowable class.
 

As I see it, every character develops along their own, unique path. Sandy the Fighter/Wizard isn't, IC, erratically proceeding along two separate tracks, she's becoming increasingly powerful in her role as Sandy. That the progression happens to be granular rather than continuous doesn't bother me any more than it does for a single-class charater. (And even that isn't much--granular advancement is a necessary consequence of a level-based game.)
Very well stated. Thank you for explaining. Your take seems to be open minded and stems because you view the character through background and lore. Is that a fair statement?
I think most that limit multiclassing do so because they view the character through a game mechanics lens. Either way, both viewpoints are valid. But it is nice to have both viewpoints.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
I understand everyone wanting a class like this. But until then I hope people aren’t opposed to
Fighter eldritch knight X/Mage X. It’s a darn good effective build. Or bladesinger or warmage or whatever.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Honest question here: What kind of DM are you playing with where the DM is out to get you because you picked a class? I get limitations via lore, designed worlds, etc. But have not played with a DM in the last 25 years that would be out to get me had I picked an allowable class.
Same. If your DM doesn't want you playing a particular character class, they should just tell you so you can pick something else.

That said: it's also possible that the DM is trying to build a story arc involving your patron and your pact. Perhaps they are setting the scene for an internal struggle between your pact and events in the game, where you will ultimately have to choose between doing what is right and what is easy. Without trust and dialogue between the DM and the player, it's easy to feel like you are being "kicked in the jimmies."
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Honest question here: What kind of DM are you playing with where the DM is out to get you because you picked a class? I get limitations via lore, designed worlds, etc. But have not played with a DM in the last 25 years that would be out to get me had I picked an allowable class.
The prosecution calls to the stand the section of the thread that wants to gate the warlock and paladin classes with their flavor text.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
Very well stated. Thank you for explaining. Your take seems to be open minded and stems because you view the character through background and lore. Is that a fair statement?
I think most that limit multiclassing do so because they view the character through a game mechanics lens. Either way, both viewpoints are valid. But it is nice to have both viewpoints.
That seems a fair synopsis, yes. There's a slight caveat since I'm also actively seeking mechanical diversity at my table, but your description is still sound.

And I entirely agree that both viewpoints are valid. I know I'm pretty far down the path of being pro-multiclassing. :)
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
The prosecution calls to the stand the section of the thread that wants to gate the warlock and paladin classes with their flavor text.
objection.gif
 

Dausuul

Legend
Perhaps they are setting the scene for an internal struggle between your pact and events in the game, where you will ultimately have to choose between doing what is right and what is easy. Without trust and dialogue between the DM and the player, it's easy to feel like you are being "kicked in the jimmies."
See, that framework right there is the problem. Let's say you are presented with this choice, and you choose to do what is right. Then what? Are you suddenly stripped of all class powers? Or denied the ability to gain levels? I think "kicked in the jimmies" is a damn good description of those outcomes.

This is really the fault of the warlock flavor text, which suggests they are essentially edgelord clerics, with powers that can be withdrawn any time they get crosswise with the boss. But there is a key difference: Clerics are generally on the same page as their deity. If a cleric has to choose between "do what is easy" and "do what is right," their god is urging the latter. Taking the easy path is a temporary lapse, for which the cleric can atone. For the warlock, choosing the right path puts you in a state of permanent conflict with your patron.

And, to be clear, I don't have any objection to warlocks coming into conflict with their patrons! I think it has tons of potential for awesome games. But the conflict should be planned as a thing that will happen, and the player should not be deprived of the ability to play their character as a result. "Your patron wants you to murder a kitten! What do you do?" is not a good way to set up the conflict.

I much prefer to regard a warlock's pact as: You made the deal, got your powers, and now they are yours to use as you see fit, growing as you gain experience with them. That decision is now in the past. If there are elements of the price remaining to be paid, the patron will not ask when the bill comes due--they will simply show up and collect. If you can find a way to prevent them collecting, you get to keep your powers and cheat your patron... but that's easier said than done.
 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
See, that framework right there is the problem. Let's say you are presented with this choice, and you choose to do what is right. Then what? Are you suddenly stripped of all class powers? Or denied the ability to gain levels? I think "kicked in the jimmies" is a damn good description of those outcomes.
I concede that it can be a problem. If this loss of power is a short term inconvenience that was communicated to you in advance, and which you approved of, as a means to deepen your character's involvement in the story? No problem at all.

If it's a permanent change to your character that wasn't discussed beforehand and you didn't buy into? Big problem.

Communication (or rather, the lack thereof) is the problem, not the framework. This is supposed to be a cooperative storytelling game, not a game of "ha ha gotcha."
 
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That said: it's also possible that the DM is trying to build a story arc involving your patron and your pact. Perhaps they are setting the scene for an internal struggle between your pact and events in the game, where you will ultimately have to choose between doing what is right and what is easy. Without trust and dialogue between the DM and the player, it's easy to feel like you are being "kicked in the jimmies."
Great insight and something I didn't think of. But something that the implied statement from Vaalingrade seemed to lack. I could be wrong. (It has happened on a few thousand occasions in my life. ;) )
 

I concede that it can be a problem. If this loss of power is a short term inconvenience that was communicated to you in advance, and which you approved of, as a means to deepen your character's involvement in the story? No problem at all.

If it's a permanent change to your character that wasn't discussed beforehand and you didn't buy into? Big problem.

Communication (or rather, the lack thereof) is the problem, not the framework. This is supposed to be a cooperative storytelling game, not a game of "ha ha gotcha."
I would say trust in a DM here is vital. I know the past five DMs I've played with might do such a thing, and it wouldn't bother me. They would have a work-around - even if I were to be stripped of powers. A new patron would come in to save the day. A wand holding a part of my patron's soul that I could control would come into play. A god or nature might intervene. Being without your powers for a session or two is not that big of a deal, especially when you trust the DM.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I know it might seem like we've gotten far enough along that you can make a joke like this, but...we really haven't. That sort of stuff still hurts. Mostly because other people keep saying it seriously. I'm genuinely not mad at you. I just would rather not deal with that sort of comment.
I sincerely appologize and regret my statement.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I wouldn't punish a player for picking a Warlock in 5E via withholding spellsor whatever. I'll either ban the class, ask the playerto retire the character of it's that big a problem or end game and next game removes the offending whatever from the game.
 

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