View Full Version : Avatar of the Hells(Warlock PrC)

2006-01-13, 01:58 PM
A prestige class I designed for lawful warlocks.

While many warlocks choose to follow demons, more do not. Many use their corrupt powers for their own gain, while some try to use demonic energy to serve the cause of Good. But there are those that feel that their powers are too... disorganized. Too chaotic. Many of those become Avatars of the Hells.
Forsaking all alleigance they may have once possessed to the demons, they swear a binding oath to serve the lords of the Nine Hells, they serve as agents to the Nine Hells, some taking missions for their masters, others supporting self-causes that advance the agenda of the arch-devils. Many command forces of devils in the Blood War, leading them against the demons who’s heritage they have forsaken.
Near as great as their hatred for the demons is their hatred for those warlocks who choose to serve them. Avatars despise those who side with their demonic enemies, and attempt to destroy them if it will not endanger their hellish missions; and there is no doubt that those despise Avatars in return.
Only warlocks are found within the ranks of the Avatars, but some have training in other diciplines. A few gain divine powers, often serving gods such as Hextor or powerful devilish lords such as Baalzebul or Asmodeus. Others advance their martial prowess, and still more gain powers of cunning and stealth.

Avatar of the Hells

Eldritch Blast 3d6
Knowledge(The Planes) 9 ranks
Speak Language(Infernal)
Lawfull Evil
Special:Must have encountered a devil of CR 14 or higher and peacefully interacted with it.
Hit Die:D6

Saves: As Warlock.
BaB: As Warlock.
Spellcasting: As Warlock for levels 1-3.

Devilish Transformation(Ex): An Avatar of the Hells forsakes his demonic bloodline; becoming a devil in mind and soul. His DR against Cold Iron changes to be penetrated by Silver. Levels in Avatar of the Hells advance the DR as though they were warlock levels for purposes of DR. In addition, all abilities he has or will gain with the Chaos descriptor change to have the Law descriptor.

Traitor’s Hatred(Ex): An Avatar of the Hells has forsaken the demons who’s power he owned. At 2nd level; a lasting hatred has sprung up between the two. Avatars of the Hells get +1 to attack against demons; but -4 to all Charisma-based checks other then Intimidate.

Might of Law(Su): An Avatar of the Hells draws upon lawful energy to smite his foes. At 3rd level, his eldritch blasts and melee attacks do +1d6 damage to chaotic foes.

Traitor’s Blessing(Su): For forsaking his demonic power; the devils grant him a dark blessing. At 4th level, he may add his charisma bonus as a modifier on saves.

Devil’s Blessing(Ex): An Avatar of the Hells draws upon evil energy to destroy his foes. Once per day at 5th level; he may smite a foe who is Good or Chaotic with his eldritch blast or a melee attack. The foe must make a Will save(DC 15+cha modifier) or be destroyed.

Basicily, I want to know if this thing is balanced.

2006-01-13, 04:34 PM
In all honesty, no, I don't consider this balanced.

All you give up are getting your Fiendish Reslience until later, and your Energy Resistance (whoop-de-doo, it's a level 20 ability). In exchange you're getting the save bonus of a Paladin, and Smites vs Good or Chaotic that are WAY overpowered (save or die, effectively DC19 or higher, and you can get that ability at 7th level).

Plus, the fluff doesn't make sense.

A Warlock's power can come from ANY Chaotic or Evil source. I'm currently playing one who made a deal with a Slaad demigod; I have, and want, nothing to do with Demons or Devils.

This fits my description of overpowered: sufficiently superior to the parent class as to make the parent class undesirable.

2006-01-13, 05:05 PM
I play a slaad-powered warlock myself. He got it by carving a caste-rune into his forehead while in Limbo and imprisoned in a slaad deathcamp/nursery, but the principle is the same. He's heavy on the destruction-oriented powers, light on the blatantly demonic ones.

I don't buy that just "chaotic" is enough though. The warlock's power source doesn't have to be abyssal, but it's gotta be pretty nasty. I had a player try to claim he could multiclass into Warlock because the fey would give him his powers. Nope, sorry, the eladrins are not going to teach you to summon swarms of centipedes and shoot hellfire out of your hands.

...And now, on to things that are actually on topic.

If you want to make a Baator-powered warlock, why not handle it with substitution levels and some new invocations? Give then DR X/Silver instead of Cold Iron, and write up a couple of powers mimicking Suggestion and the like to give them some options oriented toward guile rather than killing everything in sight.

2006-01-13, 08:48 PM
Uhh... is this a 5-level or 10 level PrC?

Based on the Spellcasting rules, I'd assume 5.

However, as far as I've seen, PrCs going without full Caster progression usually have the non-increasing level first, not last.

The first level is insane, and there seems to be no more powers after level 3. With not even gaining spell progression at level 5, only the most conscientous "anti-munchkin"* will ever complete this PrC.

And I also agree with Sundog on the insta-kill power. It might be OK as the crown jewel of a 10-level PrC that was not too powerful on the way to getting it.

Compare it to the Death Attack from the Assassin class :

Points where Devil's Blessing is better :
Death Attack : ONLY melee, and must qualify for sneak attack
Devil's Blessing : Ranged touch attack (Range 60 feet) OR melee

Death Attack : Needs 3 rounds of study first, where the target can cancel it out by realizing the intent of the assassin
Devil's Blessing : No preparation time

Death Attack : DC 10 + 1/2 Assassin levels + Int Mod
Devil's Blessing : DC 15 + Cha mod

Points where Death Attack is better :

Death Attack : Unlimited daily uses
Devil's Blessing : Once a day

Nearly equal points :

Death Attack : May target anyone affected by Sneak Attack
Devil's Blessing : May target Good or Chaotic creatures

Now, going simply by numbers, the sum would be 3 points for DB, 1 for DA and one tie.

Granted, the point where DA is better is singularly better than any single point where DB is better, but with the restrictions on how the DA may come into play, and the ease that the Avatar may use DB (against a foe with speed of less than 50 feet, he can use it and retreat out of charge range). Add in the fact that the save calculations are only equal when the Assassin has reached 10th level of his PrC, and I would say that the Devil's Blessing is indeed more powerful. And it's given in a front-loaded 5 level PrC, versus Death Attack given in a 10-level PrC, and the save DC is noticably weaker.

Edit :
Forgot to define what I meant by "anti-munchkin" :

* Someone who is very stongly against any attempts at munchkinry, and will go to great lengths to prove that they are not munchkins themselves.

2006-01-13, 10:05 PM
Hmm aborea warlock... 8)

by the way, where is the warlock?

2006-01-13, 10:46 PM
Ah? Crud.
DANGIT. I forgot to note down that Trator's Blessing is the level four ability and Devil's Blessing is level five.
Sorry. That's what it should be.

As to the Slaad-inspired warlock... I guess I just have a different perception of warlocks then others do.
Time to edit my first post.
Ah, and the requirements can be difficult. I mean, you are drawing powers from one of the enemies of the Hells and you expect a greater devil to let you talk to it? *sigh*.

The substitution idea was good, as that was actually what I'd been thinking of, I just foolishly didn't.

Also, here's one difference; a place where Death Attack is better: You get at 5th level.

2006-01-14, 12:07 PM
Fixing the level where powers are available does make it better :)

The Death Attack is available at level 6, not level 5. (you cannot take a PrC at the level you aqcuire the necessary skill ranks/feats).
The Devil's Blessing is now available at level 11.

So having the Death Attack available for possibly 6 levels earlier than Devil's Blessing is a huge difference, yes.

However, let's calculate the Save DC for the level 11 Devil's Advocate (actually level 6 Warlock/level 5 Avatar) and the level 11 Assassin (level 5 rogue/level 6 Assassin). I assume that the Assassin has an Int bonus matching the Charisma bonus of the Avatar, which for this calculation is +5 :

Death Attack : 10 + 3 + 5 : 18
Devil's Blessing : 10 + 5 + 5 : 20

However, there is also the fact that Death Attack uses Fortitude and Devil's Blessing uses Will.

7 of the base (core) classes have Good Fortitude. 6 have Good Will. Apart from that, very few will ever consider using Constitution as a "dump" stat (since it influences both Hit Points and Fortitude) as opposed to Wisdon (for non-spellcasters : Perception skills and Will.

Thus, the chances of coming across someone with a poor Will save is higher than the chances of coming across someone with a poor Fortitude save.

The only thing keeping this calculation somewhat balanced is that by level 15, the Assassin has caught up with the Avatar, meaning that only the different save used will make the Devil's Blessing slightly more powerful.

At level 6, the save DC for the Death Attack could be something like 14 (if the Assasin has 18 or 19 Intelligence). A class with Good Fortitude will easily have +6 (meaning only 12 or 13 Constitution) or more on that save, while a class with poor Fortitude save will only have around +3 or +4 (12-15 Consitution). That means that at best, if the Assassin manages the quite stringent (and possibly very risky, as a failed Death Attack will leave him in melee range of his target) requirements, a successful hit wil have a 50 % chance of success. Factor in the attack roll, and we're probably down to somewhere in the 35 % +/- range. Against a warrior type the chance is more likely 30 % before attack roll, and 20 % when calculating attack roll.

As opposed to the Avatar, who, at 11th level, can use Devil's Blessing, move out of charge range, and (if we assume a +1 wisdom bonus) have a 80 % chance of success against most warrior-type characters before attack roll, and probably around 65-70% if we include the Touch Attack roll to the equation. Against someone with strong will save, it drops to either 60 % (assuming 12-13 wis) or 40 % (assumin 20-21 wis) before the attack roll. However, many of the high will save classes have good touch AC (not being dependant on heavy armor, cleric being an exception), so we'll halve the chances to 20-30 % depending on the target.

The result :

When the Assassin gets his insta-kill ability, he has between 20 - 35 % chance of succeeding depending on target, and is in melee with target if it fails.

When the Avatar gets his insta-kill ability, he has 20 - 60 % chance of succeeding, and is out of charge range for most non-monk characters. At the same level, the Assassin still have slightly poorer chance at success (with a 2 lower DC), and face larger risk when using it.

And keep in mind, that the assumption that the Assassin and Avatar has the same modifier is actually a somewhat flawed assumption, as the Assassin actually has a larger number of "very important" stats than the Warlock.

2006-01-14, 07:35 PM
In other words: Kill more warlock casting. I'll cut another at 4th? That way, either of the best abilities means you lose warlock power.

2006-01-14, 11:32 PM
Looks pretty good now I think, but I'd rather have spell progression at levels 2-4 (since the PrC's without full spell progression "never"* have spell progression at 1st level. With 5th level being the level they gain the most powerful ability, that would make level 1 and 5 the logical choices for the levels without spell advancement)

*As far as I've seen in 3.5 official books. Feel free to correct me if you have a reference that would prove me wrong.