View Full Version : Dread Blade Base Class (Variant Warlock)

2008-02-01, 10:16 PM
Yes, I do have a thing for invocation users. Yes this borrows heavily from the soulknife.

Most warlocks learn to throw their eldritch power in the form of blasts, but their are a small few who instead developed the ability to shape the terrible Eldritch Blades. Stories tell of powerful warlords cleaving through battle fields wielding "blades of gnashing teeth and hellfire." Such individuals were Dread Blades, warrior bringing the fury of eldritch blasts to bear against enemies close enough to see the life leave their bodies.

The Dread Blade is a melee focused warlock that exchanges the warlock's range and other abilities for powerful armor and the dreaded Eldritch Blade. The bonus feats seem like they might be a bit much, but I think I did a decent job balancing everything else. Thoughts? Did i totally botch the balance? Anything need added or subtracted?

Saves: As warlock
Base Attack Bonus: As fighter
Skills: Bluff, climb, handle animal, intimidate, knowledge (arcana, religion, the planes), jump, ride, swim, sense motive, spellcraft, Use Magic Device
Invocations: Gains invocations known and caster level as a warlock, but does not gain benefit of eldritch blast.
1- Eldritch Blade (1d6), Weapon Focus (eldritch blade)
2- Eldritch Armor +1
3- Bonus Feat, Eldritch Blade (2d6)
4- +1 Eldritch Blade, Eldritch Armor +2
5- Shape Eldritch Blade, Eldritch blade (3d6)
6- Bonus Feat, Eldritch Armor +3
7- Eldritch Blade (3d6)
8- +2 Eldritch Blade, Eldritch Armor +4
9- Greater Weapon Focus (eldritch blade), Bonus Feat, 5d6
10- Eldritch Armor +5
11- Eldritch Blade (6d6)
12- +3 Eldritch Blade, Bonus Feat, Eldritch Armor +6
13- none :smallsigh:
14-Eldritch Blade (7d6), Eldritch armor +7
15- Bonus Feat
16- +4 Eldritch Blade, Eldritch Armor +8
17- Eldritch Blade (8d6)
18- Bonus Feat, Eldritch Armor +9
19- none :smallsigh:
20- +5 Eldritch Blade, Eldritch Blade 9d6, Eldritch Armor +10

Weapons and Armor Proficiencies: Dread Blades are proficient with all simple weapons, with their own eldritch blades, with light armor, andwith shields (except tower shields).

Eldritch Blade: An eldritch blade is the most basic power a Dread Blade has at his disposal. Though appearances range widely (anything from a blade of flame to a length of gnashing, fanged mouths), all Eldritch Blades originally resemble a shortsword in some way. An eldritch blade has a critical threat range of 19-20/X2. The actual damage done by an eldritch blade increases as the Dread Blade grows in power. An eldritch blade can be formed as a move-equivalent action. Should it leave its owner's hand, it immediately disappears. A blade can always be dismissed or reformed as a move-equivalent action.
At 4th level and every 4 levels therafter, the blade gains a cumulative bonus on attacks and damage rolls (see table).
Feats such as power attack and cleave can be used with an eldritch blade. Eldritch essence invocations that would affect an eldritch blast can be applied to an eldritch Blade, blast shape invocations cannot (with the exception of the new invocations listed below.)

Eldritch Armor: A Dread Blade gains the ability to form a coat of armor out of Eldritch energy. This armor may appear as anything from black iron armor, to scaly growths coming out of the Dread Blade's body itself. This armor provides the Dread Blade with an armor bonus to its AC as shown on teh table. The armor is perfectly formed for the Dread blade, and does not hinder its movement in anyway (no decrease to speed or max dex). As the Dread Blade increases in power and understanding of how to shape the armor, the bonus to AC increases as shown on the table. Eldritch armor cannot be formed while the character is wearing armor, and cannot be worn with armor. It does not interfere with spellcasting or the use of invocations.

Bonus Feat: Every 3 levels, a Dread Blade may select and gain a bonus feat from the fighter's list of bonus feats.

Shape Eldritch Blade: At 5th level, a Dread Blade may shape his eldritch blade into a long sword, bastard sword (requires the use of both hands unless he is proficient with the bastard sword), or split the blade into two short swords, each of which has a bonus equal to one less than what the blade would normally have ( at 5th level, each Eldritch Blade gets a +0 to attack and damage rolls instead of a +1). Whatever option you choose, replace one die of damage your eldritch blade would normally do with a die of damage appropriate for teh weapon it is forming into (i.e. drop 1d6, add 1d8 for longsword)

Greater weapon focus- at 9th level, a Dread Blade gains Greater Weapon focus (eldritch blade.)

SOME HANDY INVOCATIONS: these may be used in conjunction with and eldritch blade or eldritch armor.

Extra Shapes (least): You may change your eldritch blade into any simple or martial weapon you desire replacing a die of damage for teh appropriate damage as if you were using the shape eldritch blade class feature. If used in conjunction with the option of splitting the blade into two shortswords presented in the shape eldritch blade class feature, both shortswords are turned into whatever weapon you select, but penalties still apply normally.

Enlarge Blade (least): You may increase the size category of your eldritch blade by one category gaining al th ebenefits and penalties appropriate for the change. this can be used regardless of the shape the blade is currently in.

There it is. Thoughts?

2008-02-01, 10:22 PM
It's 'Feel' is similar to that of a less sucky Soulknife; I would have taken the SK, fixed it in the manner you have, and then go from there.

Fixes: I would reduce the number and level of Invocations that it gets though; that would make the class less powerful. Also, losing the ability to use Eldritch glaive would balance the class. I would not reduce it to the nerfage that is the Draconic Breath Adept (actual name escapes me).

2008-02-01, 10:39 PM
format it. make it look good. i can promise that more people will actually read it if you display it in the tables that fax was nice enough to post for everyone. you have some cool idea here. advertise them to people by making them look good.

2008-02-01, 10:51 PM
Thank you for the replies. Keep the good advice coming.

I had considered the possibility of it being overpowered by shaping your blade into a weapon as powerful as the glaive and such, but if you have the ability to do so, it means that you have used up one of your choices for invocations. Does it still seem too poweful? If so, then restrictions could be added, but invocations are a potent tool, and if I do end up lowering the number and power of invocations you get...

I had also considered weakening the invocation-using power of the class, that may indeed be something to do.

As for the tables, well, using the oh so useful and professional-looking tables has proven... problematic so far. I'm still trying to get there use pinned down.

2008-02-02, 11:59 AM
If I'm correct, that +d6 damage applies to any attack? And if I were to use a longsword shape, whould all of those d6 now be d8?

Somehow I know that this is probably balanced compared to the normal warlock, and that disappoints me. To know that I could basically have a rogue (when reffering to the +d6 (or d8/d10?)), that has high base attack, high hit-points, high armor (while STILL having high dex), and can get my +d6 without flanking, and it applies to ANY sort of creature.... yeah. And all I loose is evasion, and trapfinding?... yeah...

2008-02-02, 01:12 PM
If I'm correct, that +d6 damage applies to any attack? And if I were to use a longsword shape, whould all of those d6 now be d8?

I'm sorry, but what +d6 are you referring to? The 1d6, 2d6, all the way up to 9d6? That's the damage the eldritch blade does, and it's basically an eldritch blast that only works as a melee weapon.

Also, shaping it into a longsword replaces 1 die of damage his blade would normally do with a d8. So a Dread Blade normally able to do 5d6 with his eldritch blade could form it into an eldritch longsword that would do 4d6+1d8 (drop one of the 1d6, add a 1d8).