View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Pact of the Blade and Hexblade United! PEACH

Ebon Rogue
2017-05-01, 11:02 PM
I've been reading up on a lot of people's homebrew to try and make pact of the blade not suck and hexblade not ridiculously OP(it UA, so...). I've been thinking of ways to mix the two to create a more viable pact of the blade experience. Please take note that I have shamelessly stolen ideas(whether from other homebrews or the UA's hexblade), but they will be cited at the bottom and in spoilers.

Anywho, here is the Pact of the Blade replacement. Any feedback in changes, balance, or anything else is welcomed and encouraged.

Warlock Changes

Due to the implementation of many mechanics from the UA, Hexblade is no longer a Patron Option.

Invocations in the UA(Warlock & Wizard) that create alternate pact weapons with the "smite" mechanic(ie:Curse Bringer or Moon Bow) are not available to use as the smite mechanic has been integrated into the Pact of the Blade Boon.

Anything else from the UA is available.

Pact of the Blade

You gain proficiency in medium armor and shields. When attacking with a melee pact weapon that lacks the two-handed property, you many use your charisma modifier for the attack and damage rolls.
I've kept the Hexblade Warrior ability from UA. The idea to implement it as a feature of the boon was from Malifice. They allowed two-handers to use charisma, but I've let the smite change balance the difference between Gish and Strength build. I've also limited the Charisma modifier to only pact weapons(to prevent shenanigans!).
As part of your attack action, you may create a pact weapon in an empty hand or transform your current pact weapon into a different melee weapon from the Weapon's Table. You are proficient with your pact weapon and it counts as being magical for overcoming resistances. Your pact weapon disappears if it is more than 5 feet away from you for 1 minute or more. It also disappears when you use this feature again, if you dismiss the weapon(no action required), or if you die.
The ability to change the pact weapon on the go is useful to change up combat style. Swapping from a slashing polearm to a stabbing Rapier brings a few utility options to the Bladelock.
You can bind a magical weapon to your Pact Boon by performing a special ritual while you hold the weapon. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. This weapon is shunted into an extradimensional space, and appears only when you choose to create it. When you create a pact weapon that isn't this bound weapon, the pact weapon takes on the magical bonus of the bound weapon; but not any other magical properties of the bound weapon. Binding an Artifact or Sentient magical weapon requires a DC25 check using your spellcasting modifier to succeed. On a failure; the ritual fails, you take 4d6+10 psychic damage, and you must wait 24 hours to try the ritual again. If you bind another magical weapon or die, the bound weapon appears on the floor in your space and is no longer bound.
This is taken from Sicarius. It is a way of imparting magical properties on the transformable weapon. The check for absorbing a sentient or artifact makes sense to me, it should be difficult and harmful to try and force such powerful weapons to a warlock's will. This is a potential DM fiat deal. Its understandable to not want the legendary sword of Excalibur take on the form of a bludgeoning mallet, but it does help keep the bladelock's weapon transforming in play.
When you hit a creature with your pact weapon, you may expend a spell slot from the Pact Magic class feature to roll the weapon's damage die an additional times equal to the spell slot's level. The total of these dice are dealt as damage to the creature hit, cannot be a critical, and ignore resistance to the damage type dealt. The damage type is determined by the Patron's nature or domain and is up to the DM's discretion.
Ok, so a LOT of people don't like that the Hexblade's nova is better than a paladin. I like the idea of it, just not how easily it was achieved. With the loss of the curse's critical range and the fixation on pact magic I feel that it is much more balanced option to spend spell slots on instead of Darkness spam. The basis of the weapon die is to balance out the fact Str-based two-handed builds won't have the charisma that one-handers have for spells.

Eldritch Invocations

Lifedrinker(Replaces old Invocation)
Requirements: Level 11, Pact of the Blade
When you hit a creature with your pact weapon, the creature takes extra necrotic damage equal to the attack's ability modifier. In addition, when you use the Pact of the Blade feature to deal extra damage through spell slots the damage can be a critical strike.
Don't know who at WotC said 12 was a good level to get this. It fits mechanically well at 11, where the warlock receives their 3rd beam from EB.

I've opened the necrotic damage, so strength and dexterity can benefit from the damage. I felt this was necessary because two-handers were being heavily out DPRed by EB, which shouldn't be a thing.

I've also opened the smite to critical strikes. Spells tend to do more damage than the smite conversion. Even AoE will out damage a Greatsword smite if there are more than two targets. Without critical range of Hexblade's Curse, and the reduction in smite damage, the gap between spell damage and smite damage will be a whole lot closer without stepping on Divine Smite's toes to much.

Requirements: Pact of the Blade
When you create or transform a Pact Weapon, you may create or transform a second pact weapon in your other hand. While holding two pact weapons, you cannot use your Charisma modifier in attacks and damage. If you have a magic weapon bound, you may distribute the magic bonus between the weapons.
OK! This one was tough.
Because of lifedrinker, stacking flat damage is really, really easy with TWF. It actually outclasses THF and EB in terms of DPR. Thank god it doesn't get a silly -5/+10 feat.

To balance the damage, TWF can't be charisma-based. So it fills the roll of a High DPR melee build. Its also good for forcing a critical for the "smite" with the extra attack.

This differs from Sicarius' build in that you cannot bind two magic weapons and you don't get TWF style. With lifedrinker dealing damage in this homebrew, Duality already has so much going for it, that I feel it is properly balance.

Bowyer's Weave
Requirements: Pact of the Blade
When you create or transform your Pact Weapon, you may choose to make it a non-thrown Ranged Weapon from the Weapons Table. When you fire this weapon, a piece of magical ammunition is created and shot out..
This one is very WIP. Tell me how it breaks the game, please.

The idea was to give the warlock a suitable ranged weapon that would play similarly to EB, but allow the use of the "smite" mechanic.

The forced use of Dexterity also serves to limit in the same way Strength two-handed builds can't get good spell saves/attacks, but get noticeable boosts from "smite"

The DPR is lower than other two handed weapons, but thats made up for the fact that a warlock can smite a fool at 600ft with a Longbow.

Shadow Curtain
Requirement: 7th Level, Pact of the Blade, pact weapon with at least +1 magic
While not wearing heavy armor, your pact weapon creates obscuring shadows in its wake. At the start of combat, you may choose to transfer one of the bound magic weapon's bonus for a bonus of +1 AC, instead of using the bonus on attacks and damage. You lose this bonus to AC if you drop your pact weapon.
A simple invocation to give some tankyness to the class. The main balance factor here is the dedication to the entirety of combat and possibly the level requirement. It seems alright. Forcing the use of Medium Armor means there's less incentive to do a fighter start to get that little AC bonus.
I like the flavor of the name too. A flowing curtain of shadow trailing behind the weapon to obscure and deter an attack. A historically accurate Cloak and Dagger.

Formative Mastery
Requirements: Level 15, Pact of the Blade
Your pact weapon's damage die increases by one step.
This is mostly here to give a tangible incentive for dedicating to a pure bladelock.

The dice increase brings the DPR disparity between EB and weapons a little closer.

More importantly, though, the smite gains a pretty notable boost from this. It brings back the 2d8/slot level damage that Hexblade had, but only with a Greatsword(or similar big sticks).

It's not game breaking, imo. Most good spells at this level from Mystic Arcanum are spell saves, so sword 'n' board and EB will still rule the fight with some top tier spells.

Critique is necessary for balance and especially grammatical errors. Post your thoughts on these changes and ways it can be improved upon!

Malifice and his Homebrew tweaks! (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?522417-Malifice-s-5E-Tweaks-(and-house-rules)&p=21970124)
Sicarius Victis with his own Bladelock modification (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?504059-A-New-Bladelock-Pact-of-the-Blade-Modifications-(PEACH))
WoTC Unearthed Arcana on two broke subclasses (http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/unearthed-arcana/warlock-and-wizard)

2017-05-03, 12:10 AM
Patron's Arbitration:(wip name, I don't do this for a living)
Requirements: Pact of the Blade
When the warlock hits with their pact weapon, they may expend one spell slot from the Pact Magic class feature to deal 1dX extra damage per spell slot-level expended. Where X is, is the weapon's damage dice. If the weapon deals 2d6 damage or more, it instead deals 2dX extra damage(a greatsword with slot level 5 would be an extra 10d6 damage). The damage type is determined by the nature of the Patron(Archfey's Titania might be fire or the Fiend's Baphomet might be slashing for example). If no damage type is obvious, it will be the weapon's damage type.

It seems to me that allowing the Patron to determine the damage type might allow someone to abuse it if the DM is too lenient. Because of monster Resistances and Immunities, Fire and Poison are far less attractive options than Psychic or Thunder. I would suggest setting the damage type to something specific to avoid the issue. Sure, not being a lax DM can curb it, but still...

Ebon Rogue
2017-05-03, 04:41 PM
It seems to me that allowing the Patron to determine the damage type might allow someone to abuse it if the DM is too lenient. Because of monster Resistances and Immunities, Fire and Poison are far less attractive options than Psychic or Thunder. I would suggest setting the damage type to something specific to avoid the issue. Sure, not being a lax DM can curb it, but still...

Indeed, the intention was to allow DM discretion in the damage type. It would be possible to outline damage types from the patrons and balance it based on patron feature's balance but then it gets so wordy that pact of the blade might as well be it's own class. I will probably stick with weapon damage overall.

One option was to separate the damage of the invocation from the attack and have it unable to be a critical while making it by bypass resistance and deal 1/2 damage if immune. This mechanic was to negate that issue where types like psychic, thunder, or force were rarely mitigated in the MM. I didn't implement it because the invocation description was already to long.

I am also taking some grammar from the "Orcish Fury" feat in the feats for race UA to simplify how damage is done and scaled, to make it less confusing and mathematically worded.