D&D 5E Warlock Mechanics - The best representation of modern fantasy archetypes in Dnd

Warlocks are probably the most played class in my games, whether I'm sitting at the table as a GM or as a player. Maybe warlocks would be played more if you didn't just make them into a hollowed-out cleric subclass. ;)
Same here. In my games I have the:
  • Pact of the Fiend played straight;
  • the “cleric of the Old Gods” vibe Celestial warlock;
  • the gish bladelock;
  • the “my spells exist to boost my utility” genie warlock.
 

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Quickleaf

Legend
Agreed. I think the simplest fix to Eldritch Blast spam is to remove all of the Eldritch Blast invocations and then add more invocations to support different types of cantrips. Like change Agonizing Blast to a 3rd level invocation (to discourage dips) and make it do this:

"Once per turn, when you do damage with a cantrip, you may add your Charisma modifier to the damage roll. At 5th, 11th, and 17th level, you may add an additional 1d8 to the damage roll. (1d8+Cha at 5th level, 2d8+Cha at 11th level, 3d8+Cha at 17th level)"

That keeps the Eldritch Blast damage scaling in place (Agonizing Blast adds 20 damage at 17th level, this is 18.5 but can also crit), but makes other cantrips do roughly similar damage as EB spam.
Yeah, I reworked Eldritch Blast: By default it's one attack, not multiple. If the player chooses to separate it out into separate attacks, they can, but they only get to apply any Invocations that boost Eldritch Blast to one of those attacks.
 

Yeah, I reworked Eldritch Blast: By default it's one attack, not multiple. If the player chooses to separate it out into separate attacks, they can, but they only get to apply any Invocations that boost Eldritch Blast to one of those attacks.
Why does eldritch blast "spam" even need fixing? Do you also set rules for the ranger so they don't spam arrows at people? Or the fighter so they don't spam sword swings?
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Why does eldritch blast "spam" even need fixing? Do you also set rules for the ranger so they don't spam arrows at people? Or the fighter so they don't spam sword swings?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but a few posts back you just posted:

One of the reasons the warlock is in practice the simplest spellcaster is that Eldritch Blast is so strong. This means that "I cast Eldritch Blast" is never a wrong choice, and allows the warlock's spell list and spell slots to be kept lean. What's needed is for each warlock subclass to gain its own at will option. A choice between "I eldritch blast" and "I breathe fire" is far more interesting while not changing the power level much.

The intent with my change is exactly what you're describing – to make other options at the warlock player's fingertips as or more attractive than Eldritch Blast so that Eldritch Blast does not become the default predominant action.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Agreed. I think the simplest fix to Eldritch Blast spam is to remove all of the Eldritch Blast invocations and then add more invocations to support different types of cantrips. Like change Agonizing Blast to a 3rd level invocation (to discourage dips) and make it do this:

"Once per turn, when you do damage with a cantrip, you may add your Charisma modifier to the damage roll. At 5th, 11th, and 17th level, you may add an additional 1d8 to the damage roll. (1d8+Cha at 5th level, 2d8+Cha at 11th level, 3d8+Cha at 17th level)"

That keeps the Eldritch Blast damage scaling in place (Agonizing Blast adds 20 damage at 17th level, this is 18.5 but can also crit), but makes other cantrips do roughly similar damage as EB spam.
Yeah, combine this with invocations to create cantrip cones and lines and melee spell attacks, and we’re cookin
 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but a few posts back you just posted:

One of the reasons the warlock is in practice the simplest spellcaster is that Eldritch Blast is so strong. This means that "I cast Eldritch Blast" is never a wrong choice, and allows the warlock's spell list and spell slots to be kept lean. What's needed is for each warlock subclass to gain its own at will option. A choice between "I eldritch blast" and "I breathe fire" is far more interesting while not changing the power level much.

The intent with my change is exactly what you're describing – to make other options at the warlock player's fingertips as or more attractive than Eldritch Blast so that Eldritch Blast does not become the default predominant action.
And I also have pointed out that Eldritch Blast backed by Agonizing Blast is mathematically not as good as a ranger shooting an arrow at people (Archery style is a thing) - and IME Hunter's Mark has a significantly lower opportunity cost than Hex (and that's without getting into Sharpshooter). The problem is not and has never been that Eldritch Blast in and of itself has been overpowered as your default attack.

I'm therefore proposing a choice by offering a second cantrip-equivalent that is competitive with Eldritch Blast. Not by deciding "Oh, you say shooting the same arrows all the time gets a little monotonous. So we'll take away Extra Attack from archery to force you into melee".

I don't know why there is this obsession people, including WotC, have with taking away what makes the Warlock interesting and different and beating the warlock savagely with nerf bats. With multiclassing fixed the warlock isn't OP unless short rests happen after every encounter. With 1-2 short rests per day the warlock is fine power wise.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
And I also have pointed out that Eldritch Blast backed by Agonizing Blast is mathematically not as good as a ranger shooting an arrow at people (Archery style is a thing) - and IME Hunter's Mark has a significantly lower opportunity cost than Hex (and that's without getting into Sharpshooter). The problem is not and has never been that Eldritch Blast in and of itself has been overpowered as your default attack.

I'm therefore proposing a choice by offering a second cantrip-equivalent that is competitive with Eldritch Blast. Not by deciding "Oh, you say shooting the same arrows all the time gets a little monotonous. So we'll take away Extra Attack from archery to force you into melee".

I don't know why there is this obsession people, including WotC, have with taking away what makes the Warlock interesting and different and beating the warlock savagely with nerf bats. With multiclassing fixed the warlock isn't OP unless short rests happen after every encounter. With 1-2 short rests per day the warlock is fine power wise.
Oh, I didn't see where you did those maths. I'll go back through, see if I can find it, and look over your thoughts. Thanks for pointing it out for me.

edit: Thought I was going crazy for a minute! I did look back through this thread, and did not spot any ranger maths, so perhaps it was from another thread you're thinking about? I don't stay current on all the threads.
 

Oh, I didn't see where you did those maths. I'll go back through, see if I can find it, and look over your thoughts. Thanks for pointing it out for me.

edit: Thought I was going crazy for a minute! I did look back through this thread, and did not spot any ranger maths, so perhaps it was from another thread you're thinking about? I don't stay current on all the threads.
Probably another thread.

Fundamentally from levels 1-10 the math is simple due to symmetry.
  • Hex and Hunter's Mark cancel each other out (outside the playtest). As mentioned I think Hunter's Mark does more for the ranger than Hex for the warlock due to opportunity costs (even if you're high level hexing it's still your concentration slot).
  • Eldritch Blast plus Agonizing Blast is the equivalent of a d10 weapon; although the Ranger is only wielding a d8 weapon they get +2 to hit from their fighting style.
  • Most ranger subclasses do an extra d8 damage once per turn or have something equivalent. Most warlock subclasses (other than the genie) ... don't.
  • The Warlock can get invocations for range, slow, and push - but Sharpshooter is incredibly powerful as a feat (and more than covers the ranged invocation)
  • At level 11 the third attack comes in. The Ranger has two ways to keep up and more than keep up.
    • Magic weapons are much more common than pact rods. Also vanilla weapons don't require attunement, there are better rare weapons, and Bracers of Archery are a thing
    • Hand crossbows plus Crossbow Expert keep up in number of attacks. They're (ignoring magic weapons) at -2 damage, but +2 to hit.
There's a reason the warlock gets compared to martials a lot. In many ways it is - just using Eldritch Blast rather than weapons. (And the warlock's squishy as both defensive invocations need fixing).
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I would have to look around, but I think there was a thread where someone brewed up a Wizard variant using the Warlock chassis.

I've also seen some homebrew using the Warlock chassis. This shaman class has primal/druidic flavor, but with Pact Magic style casting and invocations, for example.

I seen a swordmage based on the Warlock structure... not too bad. Neither example is a core class a Wizard variant does count though.
 
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