View Full Version : (3.5) Coward's-Strike Warlock (PEACH)

2010-10-13, 04:39 PM
This is a re-work of my Artillery Mage (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/printthread.php?t=118041) PrC for warlocks. Could maybe use a better name... EDIT: Perhaps "Bloodwar Ballista" with fluff that the technicques were first developed for the bloodwar since if fiends can give out the powers to mortals, they probably can use or exchange the powers themselves?

Coward's-Strike Warlock

"I can harm them, they can not harm me. I find this arrangement amenable." - Buzark Filene, Coward's-Strike Warlock and short-contract mercenary for hire.

Coward's Strike Warlocks hide from their targets, allowing their stealth-oriented familiars to serve as the focal point for the sight by which they guide destruction to their foes.

((Hope I got the mechanics of "Obtain Familiar" and the non-core base classes right))

Invocation: Walk Unseen OR Retributive Invisibility*
Invocation: Eldritch Spear
Special: Must have had a familiar from the lowest level level possible for you to do so with the order you took your previous class(es) in. Life restoring spells are acceptable but only if they were applied at the earliest reasonable time (GMs discretion), otherwisely you must have summoned another familiar within no more than a year and a week of the death of the previous one (if the GM does not enforce the year and a day delay from the death of one familiar to the summoning of a replacement, then it much have been as early as reasonably possible).

*This second option isn't intended so much as an entry requirement (although it certainly could be used that way) as an allowance for upgrading and swapping out walk unseen for another least invocation when you get retributive invisibility.

Class Skills
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (The Planes) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Move Silently(Dex), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha)
Skills Points at Each Level: 2 + int

Hit Dice: d4(Enlarged for Emphasis)


Eldritch Blast
Invocations Gained

+2 Faithful Beyond Death(Fast Re-summoning, 3/4 Experience Loss), Familiar Progression, Spotter, Toughened Familiar--

+3Terminal Guidance, Stealthy Familiar +1d6 1

+3Faithful Beyond Death(1/2 Experience Loss)--

+4Eldritch Eruption(2 invocations at once, 1 extra invocation per day)+2d6 1

+4Transmit Personal Invocation, Telepathic Link--

+5Faithful Beyond Death(1/4 Experience Loss), Eldritch Eruption (2 invocations at once, 2 extra invocations per day)+3d6 1

+5Transmit Touch Invocation, Swift Familiar--

+6Faithful Beyond Death(1/8 Experience Loss)+4d6 1

+6Eldritch Eruption (2 or 3 invocations at once, 3 extra invocations per day)--

+7Eldritch Eruption (2 or 3 invocations at once, 4 extra invocations per day), Faithful Beyond Death(No Experience Point Loss if same species), Unseen Death+5d6 1

Weapon Proficiencies: A Coward's Strike Warlock gains no proficiencies with weapons, armor, or shields.

Invocations Known
A Coward's-Strike Warlock adds his class level to all other applicable levels to determine what grades of invocations he has access to and the caster level of his invocations. He also gains a new invocation known every even-numbered level of this class. As usual, when access to a new invocation is gained, he may swap out one invocation he knows for any invocation of the same or lower level. He does not, however, gain most other benefits a character of that class would have gained (improvements to the familiar are the exception). If a character had more than one invoking class before he became a coward's strike warlock, he must decide to which class he adds each level of coward's strike warlock to for the purpose of determining invocations know and caster level.

Faithful Beyond Death (Su): You no longer must wait a year and a day from the death of your familiar before you can summon a "replacement", for the spirit of the familiar returns from beyond the grave to heed your call, albeit in a new body. So eager is your familiar's spirit to return to you that you also subtract twice your class level from the time required to resummon your familiar (minimum 1 hour). You may never dismiss your familiar. Killing your familiar, taking obviously and/or overtly suicidal risks with it (as determined by the GM) resulting in its death, or similar may negate your ability to replace it in any way what-so-ever for a year and a day after which you may seek an Atonement spell from a cleric with either the Animal or Magic domain for this intentional transgression. After you received this you may summon your familiar again, using the usual procedures.

Also at 1st level your bond is so strong that it persists to a faint degree even after death. This reduces the shock of the familiar's death such that you only take 3/4 of the experience loss you would otherwise take.

At 3rd level you instead lose 1/2 the experience you would otherwise lose.

At 6th level you instead take only 1/4 the experience loss you would otherwise.

At 8th this is only 1/8.

At 10th level you take no experience point loss when your familiar dies, but if you summon it back as a different species then AT THAT TIME you must make the appropriate fortitude save and take 1/8 the resulting experience point loss as a regular arcanist who has a familiar die.

Familiar Progression (Ex): Unlike most spellcasting prestige classes, levels of coward's-strike warlock stack with all other applicable levels to determine your familiar's progression on the familiar table, a portion of which is duplicated below for convenience.
Master Levels in applicable classes[/td]Natural Armor Adj.IntSpecial
5th-6th+38Alertness(master), Improved Toughness(familiar)*, improved evasion, share spells(invocations), empathic link, deliver touch spells(invocations), speak with master
7th-8th+49Speak with animals of its kind
11th-12th+611Spell Resistance
13th-14th+712Scry on familiar(Long Range)
*See the Toughened Familiar class feature below.

Spotter (Sp): You may Scry on your familiar at-will, but the range of this effect is 100' feet per class level. Line of sight and line of effect are still not required. This effect does not require concentration to maintain, but while you are doing it, your own body is deaf and blind. This deafness does not cause a spell-failure chance.

Toughened Familiar (Ex): At first level, the increased bond with your familiar allows you to impart more of your durability to it than most masters of a familiar could. Your familiar gains Improved Toughness as a bonus feat, but this may not increase its hitpoints to a maximum higher than your maximum.

Stealthy Familiar (Su?): At 2nd level or higher, your familiar has an enhancement((untyped?)) bonus to move silently and hide checks equal to the caster level of your eldritch blast.

Terminal Guidance (Su): At 2nd or higher level as long as between the two of you, your familiar and you have line of sight(ignoring the fact that you are blind while using spotter) and effect to every part of a path from you to target (including a point in space), you may send any invocation along that path. Count the invocation range along that path, rather than in a straight line. In no case does this grant a greater effect or more chances to have an effect against a target than casting the spell normally, with a direct line of sight and effect would allow (so, no, you can't zig-zag a line-shaped blast across a target for increased damage or to force multiple saving throws).

Eldritch Eruption (Su): This allows you store up your eldritch blast energy, then release several eldritch blasts at once. You may store and launch two blasts at a time (or three, if you prefer, and are at least class level 9). You do NOT need to decide the specifics of the targeting for those blasts at that time, but you DO need to decide which eldritch essence and/or blast shape invocations you will apply to each blast as soon as you start building the eruption. Each blast in the eruption takes 1 round to build up, and you MUST fire the eruption as soon as you complete the final round of the eruption. Any concentration checks required are as if it was the highest equivalent spell level in the eruption +2 to the DC for each additional blast. A failed concentration check or voluntarily stopping in the middle wastes all of the blasts involved.
You are limited to casting a single extra blast (so one set of 2) per day at 4th level. At 6th level you can do this twice per day. At 9th level you can cast 3 extra spells per day, either as 3 sets of 2 total, or as one set of 3 blasts at once, and one of 2 at once. At 10th level you can string on up to 4 extra blasts per day either in two sets of 3 total eldritch blasts, one set of 3 and two sets of 2 total, or 4 sets of 2 eldritch blasts total.

Telepathic Link(Su): At 5th level you and your familiar as permanently joined as per Telepathic Bond. This is extremely useful for directing your familiar to coordinate better.

Transmit Personal Invocation (Su): As long as you are scrying on your familiar you may cast invocations that affect it, and only it, as if you were touching it.

Swift Familiar (Ex): All movement speeds of your familiar increase by 50%. If your familiar has an innate(so not from magic items, spells, invocations, etc, etc) fly speed, its maneuverability with it increases by one step, to a maximum of Perfect.

Transmit Touch Invocation (Su): As long as you are scrying on your familiar you may "load" it with invocations for its "deliver touch spells(invocations)" ability as if you were touching it.

Unseen Death (Su): At 10th level you gain one of the following benefits:

Any one Blast Shape Invocation.
If you have (or later acquire) the Eldritch Chain feat you may apply both it and Eldritch Spear to your Eldritch Blast as if they were a single blast shape invocation.
If you have (or later acquire) the eldritch doom blast shape you may apply both it and eldritch spear to your eldritch blast as if they were a single blast shape invocation, however, in such a case, the effect become a 20 foot radius burst centered on the point you designate (and thus strikes both friend and foe), requires no to-hit roll, but allows a reflex save for half damage.
The range on your eldritch spear blast shape invocations increases to 1,000 feet, and the range of your base eldritch blast increases to 100 feet.

Protective magic items are a must for your familiar (perhaps including something to boost move silently or even hide checks), and, even at lower levels, invocations that can buff your familiar are good to have. Once you get the Transmit Personal Invocation class feature, defensive buffs for your familiar become even more important to have. If you took this class with a toad familiar, weep bitterly at your foolishness every night, but also realize that it has a reasonably high armor class and can be gently tossed short distances if you don't think anyone would hear the "splut" sound. Also realize that Fell Flight will handle most of the problems created by this error.
Combat: As well as shooting around corners, Terminal Guidance is useful for avoiding hitting your allies with line effects (if you somehow get one).

Advancement: Straight-up blasting is the most obvious route to take with this class, but non-damaging invocations and battle-field control can also be very effective.

Resources: If you were trained by the military for this role (unlikely for chaotic warlocks), you might still have some general contacts. Otherwisely, probably about the same as if you had levels in warlock and/or whatever other PrCs you used to qualify for this class.

A quote of somebody else talking about your class!

A brief description of how your class is perceived in the world and how he interacts with the world.
Daily Life: Some general information about the typical day in the life of your class.
Notables: Make up some cool information about notable figures in the history of your class. It's best to give a little information from one of the good alignment and evil alignment (unless it's a good or evil only class).
Organizations: Some information about organizations dedicated to the practice of your class and other organizations which members of your class will be attracted towards.

NPC Reaction
This is an in detail description of how NPC's would perceive your class and the immediate generalization that people would give of your class.

Expect a more systematic and careful approach to dungeons as the artillery mage scouts his familiar ahead and tries to set things up to protect both himself and his familiar. At the same time, eldritch eruption makes "going nova" an option (Since it has limited uses per day).
Adaptation: This is a place where you put in detail how people can adapt your class into their campaign setting.
Encounters: This is a place to describe what sort of encounters PC's will have with NPC versions of your class.

Sample Encounter
Give an example of how one might encounter a member of this PrC.
EL x: Give the encounter level and description of a sample member of this class and a stat block for him/her.

Lix Lorn
2010-10-13, 05:55 PM
Looks highly cool. And I adore the bit about toads. XD

2010-10-13, 07:32 PM
Lix Lorn: Thank you.

I think I am going to go ahead and make them 3/4 BAB, rather than 1/2 BAB... should I have them lose a caster level (but not EB or invocation progression) at first level?

List of things they DON'T get that a straight Warlock DOES:

Fiendish Resilience progression
Fiendish Resistance Progression
Imbue Item
Damage Reduction Progression
Intimidate and Sense Motive as class skills
Slightly slower invocation progression (see the 9th to 11th and 14th to 16th level ranges of the Warlock)

Should I perhaps make them choose between two paths at first level? One that gives them Bluff and Disguise as class skills, and the other that gives them Hide and Move Silently? If so might call them "Path of the Urban Assassin" and "Path of the Rural Assassin" or something.

2010-10-15, 06:17 PM
Looks rather solid to me, but I haven't given it a thorough look through. Only complaint is 'Suicidal Risks.' It's a bit loose. Perhaps the addition of the word 'Obviously' would assist. Or 'Overtly,' adventurers take suicidal risks on a daily basis.

2010-10-15, 07:47 PM
Looks rather solid to me, but I haven't given it a thorough look through. Only complaint is 'Suicidal Risks.' It's a bit loose. Perhaps the addition of the word 'Obviously' would assist. Or 'Overtly,' adventurers take suicidal risks on a daily basis.
Thank you very much, and I have added those words. That whole business about killing your familiar/suicidal risks was something that someone else suggested to keep players from killing their familiar just to change its species to something that fitted the task of the day a bit more. I later also did the bit about 1/8 XP loss if you change the species of the familiar, even at 10th level, but it can't hurt to leave it in.

2010-10-18, 12:27 PM
I see nothing that stands out as bad when reading it. Kudos :smallcool:

2010-10-28, 11:46 PM
Bumping for further feedback.