View Full Version : Theory about 4th ed. Warlocks...

2008-06-23, 03:09 AM
So, after a few reads of the PHB, and perusal of various threads on this board, I've had an idea that's been nagging at me. It seems to be agreed that Warlocks have the fewest options available due to the railroading associated with the pacts. There also seems to be a lot of disagreement about their fluff (How they get their powers, etc) and whether they're a good class to play.

To me, it also kind of seems like they were shoehorned into the PHB after the other classes were done. They have some funky mechanics that kind of break the mold of the others, suggesting perhaps that the designers were experimenting (the Life-stealer PP, for instance). It also seems like maybe they're filling in for someone else...and I think it's the Psion...

Here's why I believe this:

1) The class role-call: In the PHB, we have 2 Defenders. We have 2 Leaders. Since there are 8 classes total, it would follow that there are 2 of each. But no, we have instead 3 strikers, and only one controller. The Warlock seems like the extra striker, since Rangers and Rogues are more firmly entrenched in D&D tradition. Now, if you were to include another controller, Psion seems like the obvious choice, since it has been stated by the developers that mind control and charms will be their purview, and they definitely filled a similar role in 3rd.

2) Playtest reports: The first playtest report I read on 4th edition had one of the players as a Psion (who the writer described as a "wizard with a paint job"). I don't remember where this article was (pretty sure it was on the WotC site), but I distinctly remember that quote. Perhaps the Psion was too much like the Wizard and needed more refinement to be distinct?

3) Page 50-51 of the PHB. That guy that's front and center. Tattoos, shaved head, holding a crystal...sure looks like a Psion from 3rd ed. doesn't it? I know that illustrations aren't always related to the book they're placed in, but this piece of art was showcased as the heading for the class section, and I'm pretty sure it's brand new. I doubt the artist just randomly decided to drop a psion in if they knew that class wasn't going to be in the book. Also, a lot of the art for warlocks looks like it may not have been meant for them - the tiefling picture on p. 129 could be a Tiefling of any class, and the one of the Dragonborn on 142 is looks like he freezing the kobolds in ice, not stealing their souls or life force as the accompanying text would suggest. It could easily be a wizard.

So there's my conspiracy theory for the week. Discuss as you will.

2008-06-23, 03:47 AM
You've got a point about the Dragonborn pic, but look at the Tiefling one again. In the upper right-hand corner, the flames are in the shape of a demonic skull or some such. Purposeful inclusion to make it seem warlock-like or last minute edit? The plot thickens!

2008-06-23, 04:00 AM
Those are just part of the background - it looks like it's part of a larger picture that was cut up into sections.

2008-06-23, 04:18 AM
Keep in mind a few things, first, the warlock was announced ages ago, that there is very little fluff determining what a warlock is and is not(most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a wizard and a warlock unless they have the arcana skill), and that the psion has also been in development for quite some time. Also remember that many of WotC's artists don't acually play the games they make art for. They are just given a guide saying what the basic traits of the different races are and a general description of what to draw. They may not know how to make a warlock, psion, and wizard look different.

The warlock is defiantly interesting, and I do think it was the experimental class, it plays a little differently then other classes and does things it's own way. The pacts arn't as restrictive as people say(other then at-will powers, you have complete control over what powers you take, your pact just makes certain powers better.) Warlock is the most adventurous class game design wise in the book, which makes sense, being the third striker

2008-06-23, 04:30 AM
does anyone here roleplay making the pacts? Or is it just done in your history?

2008-06-23, 04:31 AM
My conspiracy theory (applied to not only the Warlock, but to all classes) is that:

a) They wanted to see just how much acceptance/disapproval various levels of class flexibility/inflexibility would receive in order to tailor future class offerings,


b) Classes were assigned to different people for development and if that person liked more or less restrictive classes, that's what he made.


c) They didn't have as much room as they thought they would for stuff in the format they used for the PHB and some stuff got cut and/or pushed back to future supplements leaving options limited that weren't inteded to be.


d) A combination of the above.

2008-06-23, 04:54 AM
does anyone here roleplay making the pacts? Or is it just done in your history?
Playing a warlock myself, I can totally see that as being an interesting thing to do, but we did not: we just wanted to plunge into the adventure (although, I did think up details of my pact and its implications). With this in mind, it's probably a thing best left for the DM and the (single) player before the "real" sessions.