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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Warlocks and Warlock Pacts, how much is too much?

    Most warlocks are the product of a faustian pact as far as I understand.

    If the being that empowers a warlock doesn't get a good amount of service out of the investment, they wouldn't bother to invest that much power in a mortal. If the service requirement is too high, warlocks don't work as PCs very well. It even impairs their use as NPCs if the GM wanted to run them as individuals who are more than mere extensions of someone elses power

    Mortaged souls seems a little hack to me. So what else can warlock empowering beings receive and still have the effort worth their while for all parties (the player if not the character itself)?
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    Default Re: Warlocks and Warlock Pacts, how much is too much?

    One option that was thrown out is that the warlock is descended from creatures who made dark pacts. It's a side effect of something your ancestor did, just like sorcerous powers come from an ancestory dallying with a magical being. Alternately, nonevil chaotic creatures could have sympathetic goals. Or they could do it for whatever nonsense reason chaos creatures chose.

    A simple dark backstory is that the deal is already dealt in full. The warlock already sacrificed the virgin or summoned the fiend or what have you, and is now no longer obligated to whoever handed off the power. (There's still the stain of the deed, but that's purely RP gravy.)

    There's the Vaarsuvious. Wretched creatures notice a being of great destiny, and either directly or indirectly make a deal to undermine it. The precise terms could be minor and lasting ("You may not speak to a priest of Pelor while the moon is full") or short-term and possibly dramatic (see V's deal). Story, without making you a full-time puppet.

    Finally, it could be part of a "the first taste is free" sort of deal. The general class features are tempting freebies. Give the warlock one or two greater powers that will mess the character up severely. Power is nice. More power is nicer, if you're willing to pay what your dark overlord asks.

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    Psyren's Avatar

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    Default Re: Warlocks and Warlock Pacts, how much is too much?

    1) Warlocks have other power sources, e.g. fey, shadows or the cosmos. This is played up more in 4th edition but does exist in 3.5.

    2) You're forgetting that for fiendishly-empowered warlocks, the ancestor is the one that made the bargain, not the descendant. So the bargain may be fulfilled already. Something like "I hereby request everlasting demonic power for my family line for eternity!" "Fine, but you didn't ask to live" (*takes soul*)

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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlocks and Warlock Pacts, how much is too much?

    There's also the Just as Planned approach. The demon/devil/mother-in-law is a crafty and long lived creature. It knows that by giving this particular person this much power at this particular time that its plans will be furthered. As the DM, you can explain how that all happened after ward, because pretending to plan ahead is much easier than actually planning ahead.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlocks and Warlock Pacts, how much is too much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    2) You're forgetting that for fiendishly-empowered warlocks, the ancestor is the one that made the bargain, not the descendant. So the bargain may be fulfilled already. Something like "I hereby request everlasting demonic power for my family line for eternity!" "Fine, but you didn't ask to live" (*takes soul*)
    In some cases it's the ancestor, in some cases it's the warlock though. This is fairly explicit in Complete Arcane.

    Regardless, such a being might be enough of a Magnificent Bastard to want the warlock to run around free to do as he/she pleases, and to somehow gain advantage from that.
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    Default Re: Warlocks and Warlock Pacts, how much is too much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    Regardless, such a being might be enough of a Magnificent Bastard to want the warlock to run around free to do as he/she pleases, and to somehow gain advantage from that.
    Or it might just be a weaker fiend out to sow some mayhem. After all, it doesn't specify which rank of demons can grant warlock powers. Say, instead of a Balor or Pit Fiend granting them, it might be a Marilith or Nalfeshnee with less of a long-term goal in mind (beyond eventually getting the beneficiary's soul of course.)

    It might be as simple as:

    1) Give mysterious child Warlock levels
    2) Put him back in sleepy village near to bullies
    3) ???
    4) Damnation

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlocks and Warlock Pacts, how much is too much?

    Another thing to consider is that if the Warlock was not a warlock, he'd be something else, doing other things and perhaps those would have been things detrimental to the empowering being. With this sort of deal, simply accepting the power serves the purposes of fulfilling the pact.

    Think of it as a whole "For want of a nail" proposition. Instead of being a commoner delivering water who takes a lucky shot and kills the king thus changing the course of history, you're a spooky Warlock off exploring dungeons and other planes. You're not there to take the shot, so the marauding king goes on to conquer the world. Just like the devil wanted...

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Telonius's Avatar

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    Default Re: Warlocks and Warlock Pacts, how much is too much?

    Possible reasons...

    Devil: "So sad that your little town is threatened by the Warlock. If only there were some way for you to protect it... Swear your soul to me, and I'll grant you that power."

    Devil: "Thank goodness the Paladin is off chasing my Warlock, now I can hatch my plan without interruption."

    Devil: "Oh, no, no further charge necessary. I'm a fair fiend. In fact, I'd love for you to tell everyone how lenient the terms of your agreement were. I'm here to help."

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Warlocks and Warlock Pacts, how much is too much?

    One that is emphasized in 4E but also mentioned in 3.5 is the Fey granting your Warlock powers. I have a character whose backstory is basically that a powerful being from the Feywild approached her in a dream and offered amazing powers as long as she would agree to be this being's eyes and ears on the material plane. She agreed, and eventually discovered that she now has a 100% perfect memory of everything that has happened since that moment. She remembers perfectly that chocolate she had 6 months ago, and also remembers perfectly the pain of stubbing her toe in the dark a month later, the look on the face of every person she's killed, etc. It made for some awesome RP, and really all she had to do to fulfill her bargain was experience things with the occasional quest from her patron. Awesome story hooks, awesome RP potential, no real detriment to the character being free to stay with the party.

    Ah, found the thread where I got the idea. Here it is and there are definitely some interesting ones there.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Psyren's Avatar

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    Default Re: Warlocks and Warlock Pacts, how much is too much?

    Indeed, as I mentioned there are many routes to Warlock power. It doesn't even have to be granted. a cosmic or dark pact could come just from reading forbidden lore or witnessing a celestial even of such consummate heterodoxy that it alters your metaphysical makeup.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2010-12-22 at 02:27 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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