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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Let the Warlock shine: improved invocations and other changes

    Upon request, I posted in another thread a list of changes I have made to the Warlock class. These changes were made to increase the number of different effective Warlock builds. I didn't like that every Warlock seemed to take mostly the same invocations. In case it matters, these changes have not been a problem so far in my games.

    Here are the changes I made:

    Changed invocations:
    beast speech: animal friendship, speak with animals, and animal messenger at-will
    beguiling influence: gain proficiency in deception, persuasion, and intimidation. If you are already proficient in any of these skills, you gain expertise in that skill instead. (credit to Tenmujiin for this)
    bewitching whispers: removed; add compulsion to warlock class spell list
    chains of carceri: removed creature type restrictions
    dreadful word: removed; add confusion to warlock class spell list
    eldritch sight: cast detect magic and see invisibility(self only) at will
    fiendish vigor: cast false life(self only) as a spell of level equal to half your proficiency bonus
    lifedrinker: each hit with your pact weapon deals extra necrotic damage equal to your charisma modifier. each time you drop a creature with your pact weapon, the extra damage from this invocation increases by 1. the extra damage from this invocation resets to your charisma modifier after a rest.
    minions of chaos: add conjure minor elementals as a spell known + cast conjure elemental 1/long rest without a slot.
    mire the mind: renamed temporal manipulation; adds haste and slow as spells known
    one with shadows: only breaks on attack, usable as a bonus action
    sculptor of flesh: cast polymorph 1/ long rest without a slot.
    sign of ill omen: removed; add bestow curse to warlock class spell list
    thief of five fates: bane at-will
    whispers of the grave: add ability to cast animate dead 1/long rest without a slot
    witch’s sight: applies to objects and creatures
    New invocations: (credit to Maliface for inspiration)
    improved pact magic: requires 7th level; adds 1 pact magic slot
    grand grimoire: requires 18th level and pact of the tome; add 5 spells of up to 5th level from any spell list to your spells known.
    bladebound: requires 18th level and pact of the blade; each time you reduce a creature to 0 with your pact weapon, you can remove 1 level of exhaustion. if you have no levels of exhaustion, you can regain 1 expended pact magic slot.
    soul link: requires 18th level and pact of the chain; familiar within 30’ can maintain concentration on 1 spell or effect for you.
    pact magic mastery: requires 18th level; you can spend 2 slots to cast a spell at 6th level, 3 slots to cast a spell of 7th level. this can be your mystic arcanum spells or one of your known spells cast from a higher level slot.
    Patron feature changes:
    archfey patron:
    fey presence: lasts until save ends
    misty escape: is recovered when you drop a foe or after a rest
    beguiling defenses: works against any form of charm effect (like Vampire's charm ability)
    fiend patron:
    replace blindness/deafness with heat metal; add blindness/deafness to warlock class spell list
    great old one patron:
    awakened mind: extends to 60’ and no longer requires line of sight
    entropic ward: usable charisma modifier times/rest
    create thrall: works like the Vampire's charm ability, but no-save and limited to 1 creature at a time.
    Class feature changes:
    eldritch master: changed to: you can trade 4 HD to regain 1 pact magic slot as a bonus action.
    Clarifications:
    Required levels are Warlock level not character level.
    Chain pact familiars grant the magic resistance trait.
    Blade pact users must use weapons of appropriate size and can not use unique monster weapons. They can modify a magic weapon's form into any allowed form they like however.

    That covers all the changes. Feel free to use them (or don't) as you like.
    Last edited by xyianth; 2015-03-02 at 12:45 AM. Reason: Updating beguiling influence

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let the Warlock shine: improved invocations and other changes

    As someone who really likes playing and building stuff for warlocks. I like these a lot. I REALLY like both the Beguiling Influence and Lifedrinker Invocations: Beguiling influence never seemed powerful enough for me, and the name 'Lifedrinker' really makes it seem like you should be siphoning something off of the creature you kill. I see visions of a powerful warlock routing a small army with his sword, screaming with the souls of the recently deceased, and those visions are GLORIOUS!

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Let the Warlock shine: improved invocations and other changes

    I really like the changed invocations, they seem reasonable and are what I would like to see changed for the Warlock.

    The Improved Pact Magic Invocation, however, is a no brainer for every Warlock to take. An extra spell slot per short rest is just too powerful to ignore. Unfortunately, I don't really have a good idea on how to adjust the level requirement to make it less clunky. Levels 12 and 15 may be alright alternatives, but both of them feel a bit clunky somehow.

    The other new Invocations seem both powerful and flavourful, though I would probably advise caution on giving the ability to maintain concentration on 2 spells, even if one of them is tethered to your squishy familiar.
    My current homebrews

    The gods play with dice and parchment!

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let the Warlock shine: improved invocations and other changes

    nice thread and i also like the changing which you have thought good job thanks for like that sharing keep it up

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Let the Warlock shine: improved invocations and other changes

    I'm just going to copy-paste my reply to this from the thread it was originally posted in with some amendments:

    That looks good except for a few invocations that are WAY too powerful:

    beguiling influence: gain proficiency + expertise in deception, persuasion, and intimidation
    I would make this proficiency OR expertiese if you are already proficient otherwise your warlock will have 7 skills (more than any other class, rogue has 6) with expertise in 3 (rogue has 2 at this level).
    This really does tread on the rogue and bard's toes too much IMO, 5 skills 3 expertise is about as good as it gets in a single classed build (ignoring race and background). By giving the expertise only if the warlock already has proficiency it means they can choose between having expertise OR having more skills than a rogue.

    chains of carceri: removed creature type restrictions
    This ability is very powerful with the restrictions, without them it breaks the game, IIRC you can just keep casting until your opponent fails the save. This ability is restricted for the same reason beastmaster companions are, it may not make much sense from fluff perspective but in terms of game balanced it is needed
    My opinion on this hasn't changed
    grand grimoire: requires 18th level and pact of the tome; add 5 spells of up to 5th level from any spell list to your spells known.
    bladebound: requires 18th level and pact of the blade; each time you reduce a creature to 0 with your pact weapon, you can remove 1 level of exhaustion. if you have no levels of exhaustion, you can regain 1 expended pact magic slot.
    soul link: requires 18th level and pact of the chain; familiar within 30’ can maintain concentration on 1 spell or effect for you.
    Bladebound looks good, grand grimoire is potentially too powerful (warlocks have a limited spell list for a reason) and soul link...soul link is probably balanced since warlocks have such insane competition for concentration from hex.
    While these are probably fine assuming you give similar buffs to other classes


    pact magic mastery: requires 15th level; you can spend 2 slots to cast a spell at 6th level, 3 slots to cast a spell of 7th level. this can be your mystic arcanum spells or one of your known spells cast from a higher level slot.[/INDENT]
    This is overpowered. No other caster gets the ability to cast more than one spell of each level over 5th a day. Disallow mystic arcanum spells and it MIGHT be balanced.[/QUOTE]

    The original post had the wrong level here but even at lv18 I would still restrict it to normal spells, assuming that all other classes remain unchanged.

    Clarifications: Chain pact familiars grant the magic resistance trait.
    If you are going to allow this then the chain pact familiars should also be actual members of their race that have a deal with the warlock, with all the potential disobedience (particularly from quasits) that implies.
    Normal familiars are not actual creatures but are essentially a part of their owner's essence made form. The magic resistance is incredibly powerful and should come with a drawback and so since it comes from a sidebar, not part of the creature's stat block it makes sense that only real versions of the creature have that trait.
    I apologise for the rather harsh terms I used in the original post, I have been rather tired lately and let it show in my post. I agree that

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Let the Warlock shine: improved invocations and other changes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenmujiin View Post
    snip
    First, no worries regarding tone. We all have bad days, and I can honestly say that I took no offense to your posts. (then or now) I'll provide here my reasoning for each of the areas you raised an issue with, and I hope you continue to challenge me where you think appropriate. My players have not exercised all of these options in actual play, so it is very possible that I have slipped in too much power accidentally.

    Beguiling Influence: My primary thinking on this was to boost it to be worth more than 2 skill proficiencies, which I believe is pathetically weak for an invocation slot. I could have gone with adding expertise in deception and persuasion to keep it at 4 skills for the class with 2 expertise. (equivalent to a knowledge cleric at level 1) I added intimidation for a couple reasons. In 3.5, beguiling influence boosted bluff(deception), diplomacy(persuasion), and intimidation. So the first reason was purely legacy throwback. The second reason is that I have found intimidation to be hardly ever used in my games and I wanted to encourage its use. (Generally, when intimidation is needed, my players tend to use the friends cantrip + persuasion instead) The final reason is that I don't believe warlocks that choose to invest in skills with one of there invocations should be much less effective at the skill monkey role than a rogue or bard. (Both of which don't have to spend a class feature choice to get more proficient and expertise skills than even warlocks with my revised beguiling influence invocation get.) The reason I did not change the level required is that, at level 2, this invocation is worth +4 to social checks. That is a 20% boost, which is hardly overpowering considering DC 15 checks go from ~40% success chance to ~60% success chance. This also assumes that the warlock takes it at level 2, which means they aren't taking one of the many other good/great invocations.

    Chains of Carceri: I personally find the hold person and hold monster spells are entirely overrated on these forums. Setting aside the initiative order and save ends nature of the spell, please keep in mind that this invocation is limited to one attempt per creature per long rest. (regardless of save being passed or failed) You can not then cast it over and over until they fail the save, you can cast it once and then they are immune until you long rest. This is a good restriction on the ability, and I did not remove it. What I did remove is the arbitrary limitation of creature type that the invocation works on. What this effectively means is that chain pact warlocks who take this invocation at 15th level (or above) can attempt to use hold monster once per creature per long rest, with each attempt costing an action. For every creature they use this on, they are not using their action to do something else. I don't believe this ability is as overpowering as you state due to these restrictions and trade-offs.

    Grand Grimoire: This (and the other pact specific 18th level invocations) were added to fill in the 'gap' that warlocks have at 18. None of the invocations require 18th level, and really compare to capstones of other classes. (many of which get fantastic features at 17-18th level) One of the primary reasons that warlock is often viewed as a dip class is that it lacks an effective capstone that rewards single classed warlocks for sticking with it. These were meant to provide that. The purpose of this one is to allow the tome warlock to further expand into effectively an alternate type of wizard. This fits thematically with their ability to cast cantrips and rituals from any list. It also provides approximately the same benefit (regarding spells known) that multiclassing warlock 9/full caster 11 does. If I were to further limit this invocation, I would add the restriction that all 5 spells added must come from the same spell list.

    Bladebound: Like the other pact specific 18th level invocations, this was meant to provide single-classed (or mostly single-classed) blade pact warlocks with a capstone ability. Since blade pact warlocks are unlikely to spam damage/debuff spells, recovering spell slots mostly serves as a method of recasting buff spells as needed. The restoration of exhaustion is actually a weakness that allows DMs to prevent the restoration of spell slots when needed. (add exhaustion inducing effects prior to/during a fight and the warlock will have to recover from them first)

    Soul Link: Like the other pact specific 18th level invocations, this was meant to provide single-classed (or mostly single-classed) chain pact warlocks with a capstone ability. Dual concentration is a potent ability to be sure, and I don't mean to give it out lightly. However, familiars are extremely fragile, especially at high level. They are unlikely to survive a direct attack, and even if they do they will likely fail the concentration check to maintain concentration. This effectively renders the second concentration slot to be easily countered by enemies. For this reason, it is probably best used on a spell like hex, such that it isn't a big deal if concentration gets broken. While concentrating, you are also trading you familiar's ability to scout for the extra spell effect.

    Pact Magic Mastery: Warlocks were intended to be effectively full casters. All full casters (except warlocks) get a 2nd 6th level spell slot at 19 and a 2nd 7th level spell slot at 20. This is in addition to their 20+ other daily spell slots. These slots are not restricted to boosting low level spells, they can cast any spell up to the slot level. Given that warlocks are balanced around the idea of 2 short rests per long rest, warlocks that take improved pact magic get a total of 15 spell slots per day. This ability lets you trade 5 of those slots for the extra 6th and 7th level slot other casters get without trading anything. Certainly, a warlock that takes this invocation could do so with all of their slots, getting more 6th and 7th level casts than any other class. But this would be in exchange of all their 1st-5th spells per day. (other than those provided by other invocations) I believe this gives the warlock an interesting tactical choice to make. (more powerful effects vs more effects overall)

    Chain pact familiars granting magic resistance: This was largely meant to balance chain pact vs tome pact. Tome pact warlocks get 90% of the abilities of the chain pact familiar by selecting find familiar with the book of ancient secrets invocation. This meant that chain pact was often seen as inferior to the tome pact. Adding the magic resistance trait gives chain pact that something extra that makes them worthwhile. I'd go further and argue that the presence of that sidebar is in fact the best argument for not adding the potential disobedience aspect to chain pact warlocks. That sidebar basically says any spellcaster that can use familiars can gain magic resistance by bonding with an actual creature (imp, pseudodragon, quasit) in exchange for the potential disobedience risk. If that is true, it effectively gives even more of the chain pact's uniqueness to tome pact warlocks as they could then gain all the familiar abilities that a chain pact warlock gained while still keeping the benefits of the tome pact. By removing the potential disobedience risk from chain pact warlocks, they go back to having some unique familiar qualities. Add to this that having a class feature grant magic resistance is already an established precedent thanks to ancient paladins and abjuration wizards. Since the magic resistance trait requires the familiar be within 10', it is not always on nor without risk.

    Improved Pact Magic: Originally, I was just going to add an extra slot gained at 7th level to the warlock chassis. I decided against that and went with the invocation instead because I wanted this boost to have a significant cost. I am aware that it is effectively an invocation tax due to how potent it is, but I couldn't come up with a better way to handle this. I just wanted to alleviate the daunting 2-11 stretch where warlocks gained no extra slots.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Let the Warlock shine: improved invocations and other changes

    Quote Originally Posted by xyianth View Post
    snip
    I still think you have overloaded the warlock somewhat but as long as the other classes were buffed too it should be fine. Also, I was mistalen about the effects of most of the abilities you listed.

    Beguiling Influence
    I stand by my suggestion of expertise OR proficiency, expertise is kind of the rogue and bard's thing amd giving 3 expertise in addition to 3 skills just seems too much. The other problem I have with your version (and the original version) is that it discourages warlocks from taking social skills earlier.

    Chains of Carceri
    I didn't realise this was 1/creature/rest, it shpuld be fine (and honestly, I have no idea why the restrictions are there normally now...

    Grand Grimoire
    I derped and forgot warlocks couldn't get spells higher than 5th with this. I might still consider limoting the list(s) these come from but it should be fine.

    Bladebound
    is awesome. Blade pact warlocks really needed something extra and this fits the bill.

    Soul Link
    I didn't think about the fact that your familia is so squishy and I didn't see the 30ft range limit, this should be fine, especially given warlocks have a concenteation tax.

    Pact Magic Mastery
    I forgot casters other than warlocks get extra 6th and 7th level spells and for some reason I thpight this went up to 9th level spells, hense my worry. This is actually a really good ability.

    Chain pact familiars granting magic resistance
    Fair enough on all points, I wasn't aware of the 10ft limit.

    Improved Pact Magic
    I never had a problem with this one.


    All in all I like what you've done, I still think beguiling influence is a bit off but other than that my problems were mostly failed comprehension and not having access to my books. Finally, I apologise for any typos in this post, my phone has no spellchecker for some reason and I tend to miss the keys.
    Last edited by Tenmujiin; 2015-03-01 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Cleaning up quotes

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Let the Warlock shine: improved invocations and other changes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenmujiin View Post
    ...
    I stand by my suggestion of expertise OR proficiency, expertise is kind of the rogue and bard's thing amd giving 3 expertise in addition to 3 skills just seems too much. The other problem I have with your version (and the original version) is that it discourages warlocks from taking social skills earlier.
    Actually, this is a good point that I hadn't considered. I too disliked the apparent incentive to not take social skills at the outset. Unfortunately, the rules of 5e actually eliminate that problem already. When you would gain proficiency to a skill twice (not expertise, just proficiency from two sources) you can instead gain proficiency in any skill. (PHB page 126) So, if a warlock takes deception and persuasion at level 1 and then takes beguiling influence, the warlock can gain proficiency in any 2 skills in the game. This is something that I hadn't considered when changing this invocation. As a result, I'm going to change to your suggestion. It helps eliminate the absurdity of using a feature named beguiling influence to gain proficiency in perception and stealth. (which, let's face it, are the most likely candidates) Thank you for this change, I learned something while investigating it and the feature now does what I want it to do in a better way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenmujiin View Post
    I never had a problem with this one.
    This one was actually directed at Pramxnim's comment. I got lazy and lumped it into the same post. (Which I then forgot to delineate correctly... )

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    Default Re: Let the Warlock shine: improved invocations and other changes

    Quote Originally Posted by xyianth View Post
    This one was actually directed at Pramxnim's comment. I got lazy and lumped it into the same post. (Which I then forgot to delineate correctly... )
    I did realise that but included my comment for the sake of completeness. I was going to mention that I realised it wasn't directed at me but decided I couldn't be bothered.
    Last edited by Tenmujiin; 2015-03-02 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Smiley was being stupid

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