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D&D 5E Warlocks or: What even is class fluff?

loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff (She/Her)
Then again I'm not a fan of anything to do with sorcerers this edition. Thematically I love them, but mechanically they're just bad wizards with the metamagic feat glued to the side. In their current state I don't even think they should be a class
Hm, that's like the opposite of my experience with sorcerers. From a strictly powergaming perspective, I feel like sorcerers are wizards, but better in every way. Nothing says "I can kick your ass" better than Hold Person followed by a spear to the face.
 

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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I think that Warlock's identity is their relationship with their patron.

As opposed to Cleric, whose god doesn't communicate directly, Warlock can and should encounter their patron and suffer repercussions for acting against its wishes.
Clerics don't even have to worship a deity in 5e, they just have to be devoted to a specific part of the universe, like the concept of Peace or Death. Warlocks, on the other hand, have to be connected to a real entity. You can't barter with a non-sentient aspect of the universe.
 

jgsugden

Legend
I find that Warlocks can do a bit of what other classes can do, making them versatile, but they are not the only versatile class. Bards are even more versatile.

However, Warlocks are incredibly distinct if you use the lore and story of the class. That patron relationship is absolute gold for role playing. They are subject to a pact with obligations and benefits. Each pact can be very different. This is a different relationship than a cleric or paladin worshipping a God, or a druid revering nature ... this is a business arrangement, pure and simple. Well, not so pure, usually, and not so simple, either.

As a DM, when a player says they want to play a Warlock, I salivate. It is gold. My next campaign is starting in two weeks and I am looking forward to the player that decided to play a Fiend Pact Warlock. Old School. Classic. And I have such a good spin on it for him - based upon the backstory he wrote.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I think even with the ancestry spells, they still lack a proper mechanical identity. Most casters have subclass spells.
It does help them a bit with the identity problem, though. Versatile casters (i.e. Bards, Wizards) don't need subclass-based spell lists, but classes where the individual casters are more restricted while the class's theme is more open, the spell lists are a large part of defining the identity of the different subclasses.
It does improve the quality of life though. You're no longer forced into either picking the vital spells and being useful, or picking the thematic spells and playing the party escort mission. It's downright depressing that the older subclasses don't get them.
Agree on both accounts here. Quite possibly my favorite part of Tasha's is the ability for Aberrant Mind and Clockwork Sorcerers to replace their innate spell lists with other spells on the Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard spell lists, restricted to certain spell schools. This is a small bit of versatility that Sorcerers desperately needed (and that the pre-Tasha's subclasses still desperately need).
I think the spell points of the playtest were a good idea. Pity they axed every single little thing related to that version though.
Yeah, it really is a pity that Sorcerers don't use Spell Points. That would help further them from Warlocks mechanically, with one class using Pact Magic and the other using Spell Points.
And the fact that three of the four elemental sorcerers never got added is completely depressing. Elemental themes are my favourites. And in 5e elemental themes are basically ignored.
The Phoenix Sorcerer is quite possibly my favorite sorcerer subclass that WotC has published in 5e (in both UA and the official books). I am so disappointed that they dropped it.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I agree with many that if the Warlock had been given Pact and/or Ancestry options...I think it could have been the default sorceror and people would have been fine with that.

I either deal with orders from my master or the chaotic issues of innate power, both are cool roleplaying hooks.....but mechanically could look nigh identical.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I think that Warlock's identity is their relationship with their patron.

As opposed to Cleric, whose god doesn't communicate directly, Warlock can and should encounter their patron and suffer repercussions for acting against its wishes.

except that the Commune Spell tells us that Clerics do get to communicate directly with their deity or its divine proxy. Augury (level 2) gives the cleric a divine hint. Outside that its up to the GM and roleplay as to whether gods directly respond to prayer that arent 'spells'
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
except that the Commune Spell tells us that Clerics do get to communicate directly with their deity or its divine proxy. Augury (level 2) gives the cleric a divine hint. Outside that its up to the GM and roleplay as to whether gods directly respond to prayer that arent 'spells'
Even then it’s up to the DM, since no spell requires the intersession of the actual deity.

Commune or Augury, you could be getting that reply from an Angel or other extraplanar servant. There could be no god, but only angels who find it easier to let mortal beseech The Divine Host under the names of cultural archetypes, and the person casting commune would gain no special access to that information.
 

I think that Warlock's identity is their relationship with their patron.

As opposed to Cleric, whose god doesn't communicate directly, Warlock can and should encounter their patron and suffer repercussions for acting against its wishes.
honestly, this is why clerics make real no sense to me why would their god not give them tasks? or at least send angles to deliver tasks for the cleric, you're an agent of the divine why am I just doing not a whole lot?
 

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