View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Have you Seen the Yellow Sign? - A variant GreatOldOne patron

2015-07-09, 11:21 AM
The King in Yellow
You have made a pact with a being from Carcosa; the King in Yellow himself. [other fluff forthcoming]
Expanded Spell List
1st: Dissonant Whispers, Sleep
2nd: Blindness/Deafness, Blur
3rd: Blink, Major Image
4th: Confusion, Phantasmal Killer
5th: Dominate Person, Modify Memory
Master of the Play.
Long ago, a master author penned a play named the King in Yellow. It drove those who read it to insanity. You have learned the secrets the play holds in its depths. Starting when you make a pact with the Yellow King, you can, as an action, attempt to enthrall a crowd by telling the story of the King. Doing so is a Charisma (Performance) check. Each member of the crowd must make a Wisdom saving throw against the result. In addition you are proficient with Charisma (Performance) checks.
Black Sunlight
Starting at 6th level, you can focus the power of the black stars of Carcosa on a foe. Once per short rest, you can designate one creature within 30 feet. It must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be poisoned for 2 rounds.
Gaze of the King
Starting at level 10, you can, once per short rest as a reaction to an attack, stare at a foe that just hit you. They must succeed at a Wisdom saving throw. If they fail, you gain resistance to that damage and they take the same amount of damage that you do. In addition you have advantage on saving throws to resist becoming frightened.
Pallid Mask
At 14th level, your connection to the King is at its peak. Once per long rest as an action, you can invoke the Pallid Mask and the Yellow Sign. Doing so grafts the mask onto your face, though this does not hamper anything in any way. Each turn they see you, they are forced to make a Wisdom saving throw or be stunned for 1 turn. If they succeed, they are immune to further attempts until you take a long rest.

2015-07-09, 03:20 PM
20 views and no comments?

2015-07-09, 05:30 PM
31 views and no comments? Is it perfect in every way or something? Come on.

2015-07-09, 06:20 PM
Personally, I have no experience with pacts. I would say it's OK, but that's just me. Hopefully you get better reviews then this.

2015-07-10, 08:52 AM
73 views and 1 comment? Does ANYONE have ANYTHING to say?

2015-07-10, 12:32 PM
To be perfectly honest, I'm not impressed. I'm a big fan of weird fiction but I haven't read The King in Yellow yet. I skimmed the wiki to get a basic idea.

Reading the forbidden play is supposed to induce "despair or madness." I would take that idea and run with it. Whereas the GOO Pact grants telepathy and mind control, the King should inflict debilitating madness in the form of status effects like Dazed, Poisoned (think sickening disgust), and Stunned. Being that the source of the madness comes from reading a play, tying something in to Performance skill checks would be thematic. The dance ability kinda does that, but not in the right way.

Instead, every ability in your homebrew deals damage. Nothing about a play is necessarily lethal, even one that drives its readers mad.

Making someone see the Yellow Sign is a good idea, but don't make it deal damage, have it inflict Dazed or Stunned on a failed save. The attack an ally thing swings too close to mind control and thus GOO. Also, 1st level Warlock abilities are generally not attack powers, but rather utilitarian. I would tie in Performance here, perhaps granting proficiency or the ability to enthrall a crowd on a failed save vs your Performance check.

Black Sunlight could be another enthrall power or inflict Poisoned from seeing the horror of the black suns of Carcosa.

Gaze of the King is kinda meh, but could be acceptable if you change the wording. No other rule in 5e utilizes 1/4-3/4, just half for resistance. Make it a once per rest Warding Bond effect on the attacking enemy. Balance it against the other Warlock powers as far as if it's a short or long rest.

Dance of the King has some serious issues. "His most dangerous attack"? "Razor-edged yellow madness"? The concept of a maddening performance is great, but dealing damage doesn't fit, the King doesn't have "attacks" that would be taught, and "razor-edge yellow madness" is absurd. Again, status effects should be the name of the game.

That's my two cents.

2015-07-10, 12:48 PM
I'm of a mind with ZenBear, and furthermore I judge that this patron is just mechanically weaker than other patrons and needs a power up regardless. Cool fluff, and a nice, thematic spell list, but it needs a boost, both in flavor and mechanics.

2015-07-10, 04:50 PM
I edit-ed the abilities. How is it now?

2015-07-10, 06:08 PM
Looks good. A few tweaks to make still but it's definitely more interesting now.

Master of the Play is good but it needs the same stipulation as Pallid Mask that someone who resists it cannot be affected again for a certain amount of time. Also the -1 when you have willing actors should just be disadvantage or something, 5e is designed around having as few +'s and -'s as possible. This might be a bit OP, but I can't say until it's play tested.

Is there a reason Black Sunlight is a spell attack instead of a saving throw? Also at your preference it could inflict Frightened instead of Poisoned. Whatever fits best with the story. 2 rounds seems arbitrary, if you make it a save it could last until they pass.

Gaze is good but needs rewording. Try to stick as close as possible to the wording of Warding Bond to avoid confusion.

Pallid Mask is awesome as far as tying it in to the book. It also needs tweaking though. The duration should be 1 to 10 minutes depending on balance. "Until your next short rest" is, as far as I know, an unprecedented duration in 5e. Also, there's no point in having Dazed, Poisoned AND Stunned when Stunned means they can't do anything anyway. Again, probably should allow a save each turn, lasts as long as they keep failing.

The whole thing needs cleaning up for clarity. Match the wording up with the PHB.

I like the changes, but I hope you didn't just abandon your own ideas for my suggestions. If you disagree with something then say so.


You don't need a hyphen there.