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    Default [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other options

    Design Purpose:

    Hellfire Warlock is nearly a mandatory option for Warlocks. Getting into Hellfire Warlock, extending the class's length and mitigating its Con damage are all important parts of making any Warlock that isn't trying to theurge with something else. Hellfire Warlock is basically Warlock++. This bothers me and many others. But the thing is, it's not overpowered for the rest of the game if all Warlocks are Hellfire Warlocks. In fact it improves their otherwise sorry lot in the game's class hierarchy. So I thought, why not just make it part of the Warlock class to preclude the possibility of a player not knowing/wanting to be a HFW, and let it start making the Warlock actually good at blasting earlier?

    Then I just went ahead and 'brewed it up for my games. It was pretty simple. But after reading a recent thread about the wider variety Warlock power sources, I eventually decided to start a proper homebrew in earnest to make non-devil options for all sorts of Warlocks. Sure, I could've just genericized the Hellfire ability, but this is more fun. I polled the D&D 3.5 forum for ideas on where to go with it and they came up with some cool stuff. I ran with their ideas and came up with what you see in this thread. What I did not set out to do was balance this against the existing Warlock class or replace its existing features; this is a straight buff to the class to be more in line with Hellfire Warlocks.



    Warlock Power Sources

    Your Warlock power can come from a variety of different sources, from outside influence to inner power. This can be through a heritage with a trace of some magical being in your bloodline, a pact specifically sought by you through one such being, a magical influence arising from close contact with it, or even your own strength of spirit. You begin play with a connection to one of these power sources, but your powers can change and be altered by the influence of another of these options if you choose to allow it, removing the benefits of your previous source. If you do decide to change your power source, the change takes place one week after direct physical contact or being affected by the magic of the new power source. This kind of change can also happen unintentionally under great emotional turmoil.

    Below is a list of potential power sources. None of these sources have restrictions or even influences on alignment despite apparent affiliations with the forces of good and evil. This list is not all-inclusive; powers related in some way to those below might bestow the same magical influence on Warlocks as they do, at the DM's discretion.
    • Celestial: Your power came from angels, archons, or some other outsider with the Good subtype.
    • Dragon: Your power came from a mighty dragon, the icon of magical danger and force.
    • Fey: Your power came from magical beings connected to nature or some other magic from nature.
    • Fiend: Your power came from demons, devils, or some other outsider with the Evil subtype.
    • Self (Ki): Your power came from within, sought through intense meditation or was innate and dormant until triggered through personal growth.
    • The Deep Ones: Your power came from the unknowable creatures of magic from the deep, dark waters, such as aboleths or naga, or the supernatural and spell-like abilities of a sea creature.
    • The Far Realm: Your power came from contact with the Far Realm or creatures under its bizarre and terrifying influence, or even from an aberration's supernatural or spell-like abilities.
    • Undeath: Your power came from influence by necromancy magic or the supernatural and spell-like abilities of an undead creature.




    Benefits of Power Sources

    Starting at second level, you gain one of the following special benefits depending on your Warlock power source. Unless otherwise noted, activation of these abilities takes place when you use your Eldritch Blast but before determining whether or not it hits.


    Celestial

    Radiant Blast (Sp): Your figure softly glows white, and (unusable) wings of white energy appear on your back. This can only be activated on your turn but requires no action. Until the start of your next turn, you automatically make a ranged touch attack that deals 1d6 damage per two Warlock levels against anyone within 15ft plus 5ft per warlock level who targets you with any attack, ability or other effect (or includes you in an area of effect when it is initially placed). This ability takes place before the completion of the action and does not distinguish between friend and foe or harm and aid. You can choose to use this ability on a touched person instead of yourself - they glow white but no "wings" appear. The origin and range of the automatic attacks come from the person glowing, but they still use your attack bonus and Warlock level.

    This ability takes a great amount of energy to use. After it ends, you become fatigued, exhausted if you are already fatigued, or unconscious if you are already exhausted. This drawback lasts for 1 minute, but temporarily loses its effect for the duration of any new Radiant Blast. The durations for each instance of this drawback are still separate, so if you are unconscious and one instance of this drawback expires, you awaken exhausted. You can use Radiant Blast without taking this drawback a number of times per day equal to your Charisma bonus (if any), but otherwise you cannot normally gain the benefit of Radiant Blast if this drawback would be prevented from taking effect. You can also expend one use of your 'free' Radiant Blasts to recover from one instance of the drawback at the end of any turn in which you do not use Radiant Blast, and can even do so while unconscious.


    Dragon

    Dragon Blast: Your eyes gleam with draconic power, and your speech is amplified as if coming from a much larger creature. Until the start of your next turn, when you deal damage with your Eldritch Blast you add 1d6 of energy damage for every two Warlock levels you have. The type of energy damage is one of acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic, depending on the type of dragon your Warlock abilities come from. Sonic damage is reduced to 1d4 per two Warlock levels. You cannot activate this ability again for 1d4 rounds.

    Draconic Influence: You gain the Dragonblood subtype.


    Fey

    Glimmering Glamour: The air about you sparkles like twinkling stars, and your hair and clothes float in unseen wind. Before you make an attack using an eldritch essence, you can activate this ability and choose one of the following: attack rolls, armor class, saving throws, skill checks, one's own save DCs. If a foe fails a saving throw against one of your eldritch essences between now and the start of your next turn, it takes a penalty to the chosen statistic equal half your Warlock level. This effect is cumulative with itself and lasts for 1 minute. Durations of multiple stacks of this ability are not tracked separately; the entirety of its penalty lasts for 1 minute after the latest application.

    At the start of your next turn, you take a penalty equal to half your Warlock level to the same statistic you chose for one round. You can avoid taking this penalty a number of times per day equal to your Charisma bonus (if any).

    Unwavering Gaze: You may use 1 plus half your Warlock level as the spell level equivalent for any of your invocations if it would be advantageous to do so.


    Fiend

    Hellfire Blast: Your eyes turn black, and evil power surges through your veins, black lines visibly spreading beneath your skin like tendrils trying to take hold. You can sacrifice some of your essence to the fiends you are tied to, taking 1 Con damage to improve the damage of your Eldritch Blast until the start of your next turn. You only gain this ability's benefit if you take its Constitution damage. This makes your Eldritch Blast deal extra damage equal to half your Warlock level in d6s.

    Recovery: A number of times per day equal to 1 + your Charisma bonus (if any), you can recover 1 point of lost Constitution due to Hellfire Blast at any time during your turn. You automatically heal the remainder of the Constitution damage from Hellfire Blast when you rest for 10 minutes.


    Self (Ki)

    Lifestrike: As you focus, you begin to 'feel' the lifeforce of your target, finding a way to attack it more directly with your own. Even soulless magical creatures have a core of magic that binds them, which you can search out and target. As a standard action, you can make a Concentration check against the Armor Class of one opponent you can see. If you succeed, your Eldritch Blasts against them gain a +1 bonus on the attack roll and +1d6 to the damage until the target leaves your sight or you use this ability again. The bonus on the attack and damage increases by +1 and +1d6 respectively for every three Warlock levels after 2nd. The activation of this ability bears no visible sign.

    You can attempt to activate this ability as a swift action with a -5 penalty to the Concentration check, but it leaves you fatigued, exhausted if you are already fatigued, or unconscious if you are already exhausted. This drawback lasts for 1 minute. The durations for each instance of this drawback are still separate, so if you are unconscious and one instance of this drawback expires, you awaken exhausted. You can only use this usage of Lifestrike if you are not immune to its drawback.

    Wild Talent: You gain 2 psionic power points, and with them the ability to become psionically focused and take psionic feats.


    The Deep Ones

    Eldritch Torrent: The dark energy of your Eldritch Blast swirls and splashes around your body, moving like water. Until the start of your next turn, when you strike a creature with your Eldritch Blast, all creatures within 5ft of it (including itself) must make a Reflex save with a DC of 10 + Charisma + half your Warlock level. Creatures who fail the save are knocked prone and take half the Eldritch Blast's damage unless they have already taken damage from it. Creatures who pass the save are moved to just outside its radius. The area of this effect extends another 5ft per four Warlock levels after 2nd, but you can always choose to reduce it. In the case of multi-hitting blast shapes, the size you choose for each hit can be chosen individually.

    The use of Eldritch Torrent brings you closer to the alien mind of a creature of the deep, reducing your sense of self and empathy with others. When Eldritch Torrent's effect ends, you suffer 4 points of Charisma damage. You cannot use Eldritch Torrent if you do not take the Charisma damage. At the start of the next turn after that, you begin to heal this ability damage at a rate of 1 point per round. This healing is halted when Eldritch Torrent is used again. You can use Eldritch Torrent underwater without interference despite its liquid appearance.


    The Far Realm

    Maddening Blast: Faint, eerie darkness spirals around you as if caught in a whirlpool, and alien sounds and voices whisper through the air. You can choose to take 2 Wisdom damage to give your Eldritch Blast a terrifying aspect until the start of your next turn; you only gain this ability's benefit if you take its Wisdom damage. This allows you to make a free Intimidate check to Demoralize every opponent you damage with your Eldritch Blast, and the demoralization lasts for 1 plus half your Warlock level in rounds. This happens after the effect of the Frightful Blast essence if you use both. Succeeding with this check advances fear stages as normal (from normal to shaken, shaken to frightened and frightened to panicked), but can also advance panicked creatures to cowering. If a target is already cowering or is immune to this fear effect it takes 1 Wisdom damage plus another 1 for every three Warlock levels. This ability does not trigger against targets who successfully make the save for half damage when a blast shape offers one.

    Recovery: A number of times per day equal to your Charisma bonus (if any) plus your Warlock level, you can recover 2 points of lost Wisdom due to Maddening Blast at the end of a turn in which you did not use it. You automatically heal the remainder of the Wisdom damage from Maddening Blast when you rest for 8 hours.


    Undeath

    Warlock Vampirism: Your skin is unusually pale, and any hair discoloration or wrinkles due to age gradually fade the more you use your Warlock Vampirism; this effect reverts after 24 hours without use. Whenever you strike a living creature with your Eldritch Blast, you gain something called a 'vampire stack'; you can accumulate up 1 plus half your Warlock level in vampire stacks, but they all expire when you go 1 minute without gaining any. You receive a bonus to your Strength, Dexterity and Constitution scores equal to the number of vampire stacks you possess. This ability does not trigger against targets who successfully make the save for half damage when a blast shape offers one.

    You can also sink your teeth into a living creature while in a grapple to use Warlock Vampirism. While grappling the target, you can take a standard action to make a grapple check against it and deal 1 damage to it, or you can take a full-round action to make a grapple check against it for 1 damage plus another 1 for every iterative attack you would gain from your base attack bonus. This ignores damage reduction. You gain 2 vampire stacks for every point of damage your target takes from this. You can take this action on a willing target within 5 feet of you without already being in a grapple. Typically this form of attack would be used to power your Warlock Vampirism without major harm to the subject. Superstition surrounds and promotes fear of this action, but the subject takes no actual adverse effects beyond the damage (although it can activate the Undeath power source in a Warlock).

    Sacrificial Blast: You can deliver a more powerful attack using the stolen essence of creatures attacked with your Warlock Vampirism. When you activate this ability, you can select any number of vampire stacks you have to improve your Eldritch Blast's damage by 1d6 per stack. This lasts until the start of your next turn, whereupon the stacks selected are lost. You do not gain vampire stacks on this attack.

    Author's Note: Because this is intended to replace Hellfire Warlock in Warlock character builds, you are not permitted to take levels in Hellfire Warlock if you use any Warlock power source abilities, even the non-Hellfire ones.
    Last edited by FMArthur; 2015-12-14 at 01:12 AM.
    • Chameleon Base Class [3.5]/[PF]: A versatile, morphic class that mimics one basic party role (warrior, caster, sneak, etc) at a time. If you find yourself getting bored of any class you play too long, the Chameleon is for you!
    • Warlock Power Sources [3.5]: Making Hellfire Warlock part of the base class and providing other similar options for Warlocks whose powers don't come from devils.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Looks well done; next time I play a Warlock, I'll ask to use one of these...
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Sorry for the double post. Forum hiccough.
    Last edited by Amechra; 2011-08-11 at 06:49 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Okay, now I've got them all written out.

    The Fey one is different from what I said it would be in response to Glyphstone's idea (an ability that lets you use two Eldritch Essences), but after careful examination decided that there were far too few Essences to make it especially interesting. Then I thought about letting you add another status effect, chosen from a list I would compile from the conditions, but it was hard to equalize and there was still tons of overlap between them. Eventually I came to just letting you apply rather hefty numerical, stackable penalties to opponents' particular stats, and liked it. Very hex-like, and makes up for the lower damage with flexible control of enemy capabilities - it should be a good team player, in other words. I may nerf this after some thought.

    I nerfed the Far Realm one quite a bit when I got home today, having my books on hand. Duration is reduced and based on your level. It provides no bonus to the Intimidate check. Wis damage you take is less negligable (you can ignore a lot of -1s to Wis, unlike Con, so it's -2 now). Stacking with Frightful Blast makes it very powerful as a fear effect; I made sure to mention what happens with stacked fear because it's not always known, and I also went out of my way to mention Frightful Blast so that players know why this ability is so powerful.
    • Chameleon Base Class [3.5]/[PF]: A versatile, morphic class that mimics one basic party role (warrior, caster, sneak, etc) at a time. If you find yourself getting bored of any class you play too long, the Chameleon is for you!
    • Warlock Power Sources [3.5]: Making Hellfire Warlock part of the base class and providing other similar options for Warlocks whose powers don't come from devils.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Are you planning on making another ability for celestial? All of the other sources have two, except for it.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    This is quality stuff here, well done sir. In order:

    Celestial: not my cup of tea. I always love the insubstantial angel wings effect, but fatiguing myself in order to counterattack guys at extremely close range isn't so great, and defensive abilities aren't that great when they only last for one round. I don't have any suggestions nearly this unique though, so that alone makes it worth something. From the wording I think it strikes before they finish their attack, which could make for some interesting scenarios where you're almost dead but everything that attacks you just explodes before it gets within arm's reach. You don't need to specify non provoking: you can't provoke an AoO unless you're actually taking an action that provokes. Making rolls as part of an automatic ability don't count unless they specifically say they do.

    Dragon: this is just about the best dragon-source ability I've seen. I've always hated the Dragonfire Adept because it goes on and on about having a breath weapon. . . that doesn't even follow the breath weapon rules! Every other breath weapon, and especially those of dragons, has a cooldown time. This thing right here though, is perfect. You have a resevoir of draconic energy that can only be used every 1d4 rounds, just like a proper dragon. The difference is that instead of fueling a breath weapon, you use it to supercharge your eldritch blast. It's perfect. Mechancially, I really like it as a way to just give 'em more damage without it being always on or having some extra roll required.

    Fey: I really don't like this one. It's a pretty small penalty until high levels, and it allows a save to negate. And you have to take some of the penalty too. Increasing the effective level of invocations is kinda cool though. Aside from the obvious Globe of Invulnerability interactions, it could come up for dispelling light spells with darkness effects, interacting with Rods of Absorbtion or Spell Turning.

    Fiend: standardized hellfire blast, good. The recovery ability is already plenty though, I wouldn't give them back all the con damage in the morning for free. Hell's already being extremely lenient by letting you heal it at all

    Ki: at first I was like , but then I 'd. More consistent than dragon or hellfire, but requires a check, which you can speed up by taking a penalty. Pretty cool. Unlocking psionic feats is the perfect secondary, with all the super-monk abilities they can grant (and psionic shot can be a nice damage boost if you can afford the feats).

    Far Realm: I was all ready to argue with intimidate over a proper fear effect, but specifically setting it up to combo with fear effects is pretty awesome. I also like that people who don't feel fear just go crazy instead. Same not about the limited recovery being good enough already, though at 2 damage it would be a bit harder to heal with items (but still easily doable).
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    Are you planning on making another ability for celestial? All of the other sources have two, except for it.
    It doesn't have another ability with its own heading, but the second paragraph contains a recovery method just like Fiend's and Far Realm's second abilities. It gets fewer uses of this because its ordinary drawback won't ruin your whole day. Only the Dragon and Self ones actually have secondary abilities whose function is not to support the primary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    This is quality stuff here, well done sir. In order:

    Celestial: not my cup of tea. I always love the insubstantial angel wings effect, but fatiguing myself in order to counterattack guys at extremely close range isn't so great, and defensive abilities aren't that great when they only last for one round. I don't have any suggestions nearly this unique though, so that alone makes it worth something. From the wording I think it strikes before they finish their attack, which could make for some interesting scenarios where you're almost dead but everything that attacks you just explodes before it gets within arm's reach. You don't need to specify non provoking: you can't provoke an AoO unless you're actually taking an action that provokes. Making rolls as part of an automatic ability don't count unless they specifically say they do.
    The range is based on your level so that when you first get this ability you can't automatically kill any group of 1HD archers for attacking you. I think it would be safe to buff the range from 5ft/lvl to 15ft + 5ft/lvl though, since getting into melee is not the preferred tactic of most Warlocks. I'm also going to change the RTA to use Charisma instead of Dexterity so that it isn't harmed by its own drawback. Is this appropriate, or should I'll just bear with the clumsy wording of making it ignore fatigue and exhaustion for its own 1-round duration. It is supposed to interrupt action, but I should probably call that out in the text for clarity of intent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Dragon: this is just about the best dragon-source ability I've seen. I've always hated the Dragonfire Adept because it goes on and on about having a breath weapon. . . that doesn't even follow the breath weapon rules! Every other breath weapon, and especially those of dragons, has a cooldown time. This thing right here though, is perfect. You have a resevoir of draconic energy that can only be used every 1d4 rounds, just like a proper dragon. The difference is that instead of fueling a breath weapon, you use it to supercharge your eldritch blast. It's perfect. Mechancially, I really like it as a way to just give 'em more damage without it being always on or having some extra roll required.
    Thank you. Yeah, I like this one for being simple. You're not tracking resources, balancing drawbacks and such. Just bein' a warlock and getting extra blasty now and then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Fey: I really don't like this one. It's a pretty small penalty until high levels, and it allows a save to negate. And you have to take some of the penalty too. Increasing the effective level of invocations is kinda cool though. Aside from the obvious Globe of Invulnerability interactions, it could come up for dispelling light spells with darkness effects, interacting with Rods of Absorbtion or Spell Turning.
    I think I will improve its scaling from 1/3 to 1/2 and increase the amount of freebies you can do from lvl to Cha+lvl. I forgot about the drawback when I was thinking about what you can do with this. I do think this one can be very powerful, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Fiend: standardized hellfire blast, good. The recovery ability is already plenty though, I wouldn't give them back all the con damage in the morning for free. Hell's already being extremely lenient by letting you heal it at all
    Hey, I'm out for playability over fluff, and making a Binder level feel unnecessary was part of the purpose. Admittedly I didn't actually include enough of the fluff associated with the cost. I'll remedy that in a brief sentence or two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Ki: at first I was like , but then I 'd. More consistent than dragon or hellfire, but requires a check, which you can speed up by taking a penalty. Pretty cool. Unlocking psionic feats is the perfect secondary, with all the super-monk abilities they can grant (and psionic shot can be a nice damage boost if you can afford the feats).
    Thank you. The Wild Talent pretty much winks and nods suggestively at Psionic Shot. I wanted to break up the 'has drawback, but you can ignore it x times' format.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Far Realm: I was all ready to argue with intimidate over a proper fear effect, but specifically setting it up to combo with fear effects is pretty awesome. I also like that people who don't feel fear just go crazy instead. Same not about the limited recovery being good enough already, though at 2 damage it would be a bit harder to heal with items (but still easily doable).
    Once again it's mostly for preserving the Warlock's relative independence that gets lost a bit in the HFW, which you would just take a Binder level to remedy.

    Thanks a lot for the analysis, it's been very helpful. I'll get to making some changes in a bit. I might also make a couple feats to supplement this new class feature. I also wouldn't be opposed to making one or two more of these if someone can think of other sources a Warlock might acquire powers from.
    Last edited by FMArthur; 2011-08-12 at 11:47 AM.
    • Chameleon Base Class [3.5]/[PF]: A versatile, morphic class that mimics one basic party role (warrior, caster, sneak, etc) at a time. If you find yourself getting bored of any class you play too long, the Chameleon is for you!
    • Warlock Power Sources [3.5]: Making Hellfire Warlock part of the base class and providing other similar options for Warlocks whose powers don't come from devils.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    This looks GREAT.

    I think the best, appearence-wise, is either Celestial or Fey. On the other hand, I like thw Psionic Focus of the Ki one best.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    This looks pretty cool. I've always loved the warlocks, and I'm glad to see them get a much needed boost. Is that all they are going to get, or is there going to be another ability on up in the levels?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    I like the fey with a 1/2 level penalty, I think it's enough to have a good impact. I assume that the penalty you take yourself lasts for one round, but I don't think it's noted.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Just added The Deep Ones and Undeath as power sources, and tweaked/rephrased a lot of the other text for clarity. I did come up with a number of feats but scrapped them after a later inspection. It was mostly boring and unnecessary stuff. Maybe not all class features need supporting feats as options.


    Quote Originally Posted by master256 View Post
    This looks GREAT.

    I think the best, appearence-wise, is either Celestial or Fey. On the other hand, I like thw Psionic Focus of the Ki one best.
    Some players are very interested in their magical characters lookin' purdy, and I'm not one to deny them that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Codemus View Post
    This looks pretty cool. I've always loved the warlocks, and I'm glad to see them get a much needed boost. Is that all they are going to get, or is there going to be another ability on up in the levels?
    I didn't want to add too much extra stuff because a lot of the Warlock's appeal is simplicity. The abilities do scale all the way up the Warlock ladder and benefit from later essence/shape invocations, but there's no denying that it is linear for the most part. It therefore will never compare to tier 2s and above all that well, but I think this is enough to make them a good tier 4 and helps them keep distinguishing strengths and purpose in a tier 3 and 4 game. That's enough for the design intent of this homebrew and is really all that Hellfire Warlock added.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    I like the fey with a 1/2 level penalty, I think it's enough to have a good impact. I assume that the penalty you take yourself lasts for one round, but I don't think it's noted.
    Actually I intended that to be for the same duration as the enemy's debuff, which is why it has only 1/2 the penalty (rounded up) and the good recovery progression (Cha+level). I added some text for clarity. I think I do like the idea of a 1 round duration, but I would probably make it the full penalty and reduce the bypass uses to Cha/day if I did that. Would that be better or worse in your opinion?


    Edit: I made that change, and one other... I couldn't resist making that second paragraph in the Undeath power source. It just seems to fit them so well - perhaps I am associating vampires and D&D warlocks because they are exactly the same proportion of grimdark and silly/fun. I understand there is sort of a fake-vampire/anti-vampire fad going on but I'm only really familiar with those from the age of Buffy and Blade. Regardless, I thought it would add more interesting stuff to a power source I reassessed as being kinda boring after putting it up. In a party of presumably living creatures you can use it to power your Undeath abilities when you go into combat against nonliving creatures, where they would otherwise be useless.
    Last edited by FMArthur; 2011-08-13 at 06:01 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Yes. Because yes.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    We should put together a project to write an Expanded Warlocks Handbook. :P

    Seriously, though, maybe get some people to homebrew up some invocations or prestige classes for those non-evil Warlocks, critiquing one another's work and incorporating it into a larger, easily accessable volume? At the moment, there are very, very few invocations that don't sound negative or evil in some way (the only ones I've spotted are Earthen Grasp and the shape invocations), and Warlocks seem to have gotten the short end on content in general.
    Last edited by Ghastly; 2011-08-16 at 10:19 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    I would certainly be in support of that. There really aren't enough Warlock invocations, especially not for the commonly suggested fix of simply giving them more. I just don't want to be the one to actually do it.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Well, we'd need a leader to organize stuff and people to critique and otherwise act as quality control, even if they don't contribute new stuff themselves (the organization/quality control is the most important part. I've helped out with a few community projects before, for other games).

    Also, this might be going too far with this idea, but would something like domains be useful for separating invocations between power sources, if we wanted to expand this idea further (in an alternate rule, of course)? I find it hard to believe a Celestial benefactor would give you access to Utterdark Blast, for example.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    I view it more as "you were touched by a celestial" or "you have a celestial in your bloodline" and yet they have no ability to control what you do with your celestial powers. Even a pact with them to use their power source would only be like an agreement for money; they can give you the coins and tell you what to do with them, but unless they employ actual coercion or are prepared to hunt you down for lying, you can still choose to run off with the goods to do what you want with them.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Quote Originally Posted by FMArthur View Post
    I view it more as "you were touched by a celestial" or "you have a celestial in your bloodline" and yet they have no ability to control what you do with your celestial powers.
    Ah, that's a good point. The Celestial being in question wouldn't give you powers directly (certainly not to the degree a god gives a cleric). But as you say, "celestial powers." Why would you get access to Utterdark Blast or The Dead Walk if your powers are Celestial in nature?

    But still, most of this is open to interpretation. I bring it up for the sake of covering all bases.
    Last edited by Ghastly; 2011-08-17 at 11:31 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Yeah, that might be nice to change. It would have been better if they didn't name and fluff so many that way, but from this end the problem could still be approached in a number of different ways:
    • Make a list of invocations to be renamed
    • Make a bunch of equivalent invocations from the opposite flavor
    • Make an equivalent number of different invocations with the opposite flavor
    • Make a short blurb explaining that the names and fluff of invocations are actually fabricated by the fearful commonfolk
    Last edited by FMArthur; 2011-08-17 at 12:03 PM.
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    • Warlock Power Sources [3.5]: Making Hellfire Warlock part of the base class and providing other similar options for Warlocks whose powers don't come from devils.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    A combination of 1 and 3 would work. Off the top of my head, Devil's Eyes, Brimstone Blast and Hellrime Blast could be renamed (or have alternate names given). We wouldn't want to make all of them generic or take away from those players who do want to play evil warlocks.

    Edit: Come to think of it, a combination of 2 and 3 might also work. With that approach, we could attach descriptors like Evil to Hellrime Blast and make another version.
    Last edited by Ghastly; 2011-08-17 at 01:00 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    I find it interesting that wearing armor makes it harder for a Ki warlock to feel your life force. maybe there's a different statistic that you can use as a concentration DC?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    It also requires line of sight (and actually, vision, which is weirder). The idea is that solid things can still impede your ability to gain a complete sense of someone's aura even if they don't block your attacks against it.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Started working on some homebrew good/positive sounding invocations. Though I think a new thread would be better for discussing this, since I don't want to draw away from the work posted at the start. (I really don't want to lead such a homebrew project, myself, though, since I haven't been around these forums much.)

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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Let me put my two cents here.

    In my campaign setting, warlocks are, and have always been the common adversaries, because their power is easy to gain and such. The fluff of my setting is exatcly this thing that a normal person gains supernatural power from a powerful pact with a "force or thing".

    The Fluff: When the common person makes the pact, the magical creature loses some of its own essence and lights up the supernatural fire inside the mortal. That can never be taken back. So there are many kinds of creatures who make pacts with warlocks to give them powers. Most of them are malign, or at least amoral, but not all of them.

    For this reason, the warlock is such a common adversary and so much hated: A warlock doesn't need to study long years, to learn how to control power in his blood, get inside his own mind or follow a religion: The power simply comes; as naturaly as it is to any other magical creature. It's the difference between learning over long years how to kill someone with your hands, and why you don't need this; and buying a revolver.

    The Crunch: Players select pacts, that, like yours, give them different abilities at set levels; defines their DR; and gives them some taboos: Things they MUST do (or else lose their power until they do it) and things they can't do (or else lose their power for 24 hours).

    However, we have a lot more pacts: Aberration, Abyssal, Celestial, Deep One, Draconic, Dream, Elemental, Fey, Hag, Infernal, Plant, Rakshasa, Shadow, Star, Undead, Vampiric, Yuan-Ti and Wendigo.

    I won't enter into details, but two things we did:
    -Give EB increase every level.
    -Since we don't use spellthief we ported his steal spell abilities to the warlock: You can steal from the mind with a touch, or steal a spell in effect with an eldritch blast.

    These two things make warlocks into really annoying and scary villains and enemies for my players.

    In the End: At this moment we have a undead-pact warlock in the campaign, but the warlock is a long standing enemy (and sometimes ally) of the party, one they can find among the simplest and sometimes most desperate people searching for a little power.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Quote Originally Posted by DiBastet View Post
    Aberration [...] Star
    It was my understanding (From Bruce R. Cordell's Abolethic Sovereignty trilogy, sorry. ) that Aberration and Star pacts would both tie to the Far Realm and be effectively the same thing.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Quote Originally Posted by DiBastet View Post
    Let me put my two cents here.

    In my campaign setting, warlocks are, and have always been the common adversaries, because their power is easy to gain and such. The fluff of my setting is exatcly this thing that a normal person gains supernatural power from a powerful pact with a "force or thing".

    The Fluff: When the common person makes the pact, the magical creature loses some of its own essence and lights up the supernatural fire inside the mortal. That can never be taken back. So there are many kinds of creatures who make pacts with warlocks to give them powers. Most of them are malign, or at least amoral, but not all of them.

    For this reason, the warlock is such a common adversary and so much hated: A warlock doesn't need to study long years, to learn how to control power in his blood, get inside his own mind or follow a religion: The power simply comes; as naturaly as it is to any other magical creature. It's the difference between learning over long years how to kill someone with your hands, and why you don't need this; and buying a revolver.

    The Crunch: Players select pacts, that, like yours, give them different abilities at set levels; defines their DR; and gives them some taboos: Things they MUST do (or else lose their power until they do it) and things they can't do (or else lose their power for 24 hours).

    However, we have a lot more pacts: Aberration, Abyssal, Celestial, Deep One, Draconic, Dream, Elemental, Fey, Hag, Infernal, Plant, Rakshasa, Shadow, Star, Undead, Vampiric, Yuan-Ti and Wendigo.

    I won't enter into details, but two things we did:
    -Give EB increase every level.
    -Since we don't use spellthief we ported his steal spell abilities to the warlock: You can steal from the mind with a touch, or steal a spell in effect with an eldritch blast.

    These two things make warlocks into really annoying and scary villains and enemies for my players.

    In the End: At this moment we have a undead-pact warlock in the campaign, but the warlock is a long standing enemy (and sometimes ally) of the party, one they can find among the simplest and sometimes most desperate people searching for a little power.
    Ah, that is a nice approach. Give the default Warlock a universal buff and make drawbacks specific. It's certainly more graceful than mine, but I do like making specific abilities for each regardless. I may expand the sources list to be something like yours in the future, but for now my list of sources is intentionally vague for the purpose of maximizing flexibilitiy in Warlock character concepts; things that are sort of similar can be used in place of others.


    Ghastly: I always liked the idea of Aberrations in general coming from the Far Realm and that's how I run it in my games, but I don't think it's actually part of the game information and might depend on the setting. On the other hand, Aberrations are by design a much more diverse group than most other creature types, so I'm not entirely sure that they should all be grouped together at all. Nonetheless, the closest thing to a pattern in their sources of magic is association with the Far Realm or psionics, and the Far Realm source would otherwise be really difficult to acquire if I don't include aberrations in it, so I'll add that.
    Last edited by FMArthur; 2011-08-19 at 12:55 PM.
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    • Warlock Power Sources [3.5]: Making Hellfire Warlock part of the base class and providing other similar options for Warlocks whose powers don't come from devils.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    I suggest drawing up a new class table, to make sure the point gets across properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by FMArthur View Post
    Yeah, that might be nice to change. It would have been better if they didn't name and fluff so many that way, but from this end the problem could still be approached in a number of different ways:
    • Make a list of invocations to be renamed
    • Make a bunch of equivalent invocations from the opposite flavor
    • Make an equivalent number of different invocations with the opposite flavor
    • Make a short blurb explaining that the names and fluff of invocations are actually fabricated by the fearful commonfolk
    Hmm. How about there being one "general" list of invocations, with stuff like a Flight invocation that everyone always wants anyway, and then a shorter list of invocations only available to certain power sources? Would be a combination of 1 and 3.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Quote Originally Posted by FMArthur View Post
    Ghastly: I always liked the idea of Aberrations in general coming from the Far Realm and that's how I run it in my games, but I don't think it's actually part of the game information and might depend on the setting.
    That's a good point, I need to stop looking at it strictly through a Forgotten Realms lens. I apologize. 4e seems to elaborate a bit more on the Far Realm beyond Lords of Madness. Though they still both connect to the Far Realm, actually, stars and other aberrations seem to be distinct (or at least star pacts grant access to other things that non-star pact Warlocks can get http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.a...drfe/20080822a).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    Hmm. How about there being one "general" list of invocations, with stuff like a Flight invocation that everyone always wants anyway, and then a shorter list of invocations only available to certain power sources? Would be a combination of 1 and 3.
    I'd avoid generalizing all of them. There could be quite a few players who want to play with good and evil Warlocks as separate powers. We could possibly have both a generalized list and a specialized list, however, but that would be more work (which I'd still be happy to contribute to, if someone gets the ball rolling ).

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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    If anything I'd prefer to not have specialized invocations at all. I am just really attached to the idea of Warlocks being able to do whatever they like with his powers regardless of where they come from. They should be able to pick evil invocations and channel the power of hell in a crusade of Good if need be. They should be able to leech magical powers off the heavens, warp them into evil forms and use them to strike down angels if they want. I like the idea of power itself not being aligned with anyone, but having it all on the user instead. I realize this is very much splitting hairs since I did just make a bunch of exclusive abilities, but invocations themselves being totally simple and maleable is worth preserving IMO.

    And for a mechanics reason, a Warlock's power source can be changed, so what happens to restricted invocations you know? If you do decide to segregate invocations and include Warlock power sources in the project, be sure to address this possibility.
    Last edited by FMArthur; 2011-08-20 at 08:22 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Perhaps unrelated to the discussion at hand, however, some ideas for power sources:

    Slaad? I don't see any reason they wouldn't give a warlock power. Of course, I don't see any reason they should as well, but that's what you get when playing with pure chaos.

    Vestiges? I know part of what you said was to escape the need for a binder level, but the two classes CAN feel somewhat similar flavor wise, and I know that 4E had it as a legitimate power source (though take that for what you will)

    Another thought might be a different form for undead: Ghosts, ancestral or otherwise. The idea of a warlock whose flavor comes from powerful ghosts (or even a lich) seems slightly at odds with the ability to randomly bite people... Then again, using it on your eldtritch blast only may work for that. Now that I give the idea more thought, you may not want to take this one, though I leave it in the event you do.

    Another thought would be drawing power from a potent Ifreet, Djinni, Dao, or whatever it is for water (I can never remember that). They might be fey under some game-worlds' lore, but also might be their own thing.

    Anyway, take them as you will. I like the mechanics and flavor of the warlock class and I do like what you've done with them.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Warlock Power Sources: Making Hellfire part of the base class and other opt

    Quote Originally Posted by Fayd View Post
    Another thought would be drawing power from a potent Ifreet, Djinni, Dao, or whatever it is for water (I can never remember that). They might be fey under some game-worlds' lore, but also might be their own thing.
    More akin to elementals than fey, if I recall correctly. Also, the water genies are Marids.

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