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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Rhaegar14's Avatar

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    Default Pact of the Blade: Expanded [PEACH]

    When the February 2017 Unearthed Arcana for the Warlock was released, I loved the idea of unique weapon options for each pact, but thought the execution was terrible. With the Fiend Patron and Great Old One Patron getting a mace and a flail respectively, I felt that these weapons were utterly useless to a single-class Warlock with proficiency in only light armor, with Hexblade's greatsword and Archfey's longbow being little better. Additionally, as a Paladin player, the idea that these invocations would come with an ability that was essentially a strictly superior version of Divine Smite, the Paladin's single most defining class feature, greatly offended me. This collection of invocations is my attempt to rectify what I saw as the issues with the original versions presented in the Unearthed Arcana article, as well as expand on the idea (and two slight, 95% thematic changes to Pact of the Blade itself). Some things will be explained in greater detail in the Design Notes, below.

    Pact of the Blade

    You can use your item interaction to create a pact weapon in your empty hand. You can choose the form that this melee weapon takes each time you create it. You are proficient with it while you wield it. This weapon counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

    Your pact weapon disappears if it is more than 5 feet away from you for 1 minute or more. It also disappears if you use this feature again, if you dismiss the weapon (no action required), or if you die.

    You can transform one magic weapon into your pact weapon by performing a special ritual while you hold the weapon. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. You can then dismiss the weapon, shunting it into an extradimensional space, and it appears whenever you create your pact weapon thereafter. The weapon ceases being your pact weapon if you die, if you perform the 1-hour ritual on a different weapon, or if you use a 1-hour ritual to break your bond to it. The weapon appears at your feet if it is in the extradimensional space when the bond breaks.

    Invocations

    Blades of Winter's Mourning
    Prerequisite: The Archfey patron or The Hexblade patron, Pact of the Blade feature

    You can create a pair of slender scimitars with white gold hilts and blades of glacial ice using your Pact of the Blade feature. The two scimitars, the Blades of Winter's Mourning, are both considered your pact weapon for the purposes of weapon proficiency and any other invocations (though you can only make an additional attack with one scimitar using the Thirsting Blade invocation) and can both exist at the same time, though if you create any other pact weapon they disappear as normal. When attacking with the Blades of Winter's Mourning, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls. However, you do not add your Charisma bonus to damage on your bonus attack unless you have the Two-Weapon Fighting Fighting Style feature, as normal for Two-Weapon Fighting.

    You can also perform a Spellstrike with the Blades of Winter's Mourning: when you hit with either weapon, you can expend a spell slot to deal an additional 5 cold damage to the target per spell level, up to a maximum of 25 damage, and you can reduce the creature's speed to 0 until the end of your next turn. Additionally, if you hit with both Blades of Winter's Mourning on the same turn you perform a Spellstrike, either before or after making the Spellstrike, the target has disadvantage on all attack rolls until the end of its next turn. If you have the Divine Smite class feature, you can not use Divine Smite and perform a Spellstrike on the same attack.

    Black Shield
    Prerequisite: The Hexblade patron, Pact of the Blade feature

    You can create a kite shield crafted from polished obsidian, called the Black Shield, using your Pact of the Blade feature. While creating the Black Shield is similar to creating a pact weapon, the shield is not a pact weapon, and therefore you can also create a pact weapon without the shield disappearing. You can create both the Black Shield and your pact weapon with the same item interaction. However, you can not create more than one Black Shield, and it disappears if it is more than 5 feet away from you for 1 minute or more as normal for a pact weapon. You can transform one magic shield into your Black Shield by performing a special ritual while you hold the shield, as you can transform a magic weapon into your pact weapon. The Black Shield retains all the properties of the magic shield, as well as its unique properties outlined below.

    You can use the Black Shield as an arcane focus for your spells. Additionally, you can cast spells with Somatic components while wielding the Black Shield, even if your other hand is full. While wielding the Black Shield, you can use your Warlock spell attack bonus, instead of your Strength (Athletics) bonus, when you try to shove a creature with it.

    Additionally, if you wield a pact weapon in your other hand while wielding the Black Shield, you can perform a Spellstrike: when you hit with your pact weapon, you can expend a spell slot to deal an additional 5 magical bludgeoning damage to the target per spell level, up to a maximum of 25 damage, and you can reduce the creature's speed to 0 until the end of your next turn. If you have the Divine Smite class feature, you can not use Divine Smite and perform a Spellstrike on the same attack. If you can perform a Spellstrike with your pact weapon through another invocation, you can not perform both Spellstrikes on the same attack; however, when performing a Spellstrike, you may choose the damage type of either Spellstrike, use the higher damage value if they differ, and the additional effects of both Spellstrikes apply. For example, if you wield the Mace of Dispater with your Black Shield, your Spellstrike can deal either bludgeoning or force damage equal to that of the Mace of Dispater's Spellstrike, and you can both reduce the target's speed to 0 until the end of your next turn and knock it prone if it is Huge or smaller.

    Bloodthirster
    Prerequisite: The Undying patron or The Hexblade patron, Pact of the Blade feature

    You can create a silver-bladed rapier with a hilt of black iron, Bloodthirster, using your Pact of the Blade feature. The rapier's crossguard is sculpted to resemble a pair of batlike wings, and a teardrop-shaped ruby is set in its pommel. When attacking with Bloodthirster, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls. While you wield Bloodthirster, you can cast haste as a bonus action using a warlock spell slot, but you can only target yourself, and while affected by a haste spell you cast in this way you must make at least one attack with Bloodthirster against a target with fresh blood on each of your turns. Exactly which creatures have fresh blood is subject to DM interpretation. If you can not reach any enemies with fresh blood, you must either make an attack against one of your allies with fresh blood or lose the effect of the haste spell.

    You can also perform a Spellstrike with Bloodthirster: when you hit with this weapon, you can expend a spell slot to deal an additional 5 piercing damage to the target per spell level, up to a maximum of 25 damage, and you gain temporary hit points equal to half the extra damage dealt. If you have the Divine Smite class feature, you can not use Divine Smite and perform a Spellstrike on the same attack.

    Claw of Acamar
    Prerequisite: The Great Old One patron or The Hexblade patron, Pact of the Blade feature

    You can create a black, lead flail known as the Claw of Acamar using your Pact of the Blade feature. The flail's head is sculpted to resemble a pair of grasping tentacles. The Claw of Acamar has the reach property. While you wield the Claw of Acamar, enemies provoke attacks of opportunity from you when moving within your reach, not just when they move out of your reach. When attacking with the Claw of Acamar, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength, for the attack and damage rolls.

    You can also perform a Spellstrike with the Claw of Acamar: when you hit with this weapon, you can expend a spell slot to deal an additional 5 necrotic damage to the target per spell level, up to a maximum of 25 damage, and you can reduce the creature's speed to 0 until the end of your next turn. If you have the Divine Smite class feature, you can not use Divine Smite and perform a Spellstrike on the same attack.

    Cursebringer
    Prerequisite: The Hexblade patron, Pact of the Blade feature

    You can create a greatsword forged from silver, with black runes etched into its blade, using your Pact of the Blade feature. The sword is named Cursebringer. When attacking with Cursebringer, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength, for the attack and damage rolls. If you reduce a target cursed by your Hexblade's Curse to 0 hit points with this sword, you can immediately change the target of the curse to a different creature. This change doesn't extend the curse's duration.

    You can also perform a Spellstrike with Cursebringer: when you hit with this weapon, you can expend a spell slot to deal an additional 5 slashing damage to the target per spell level, up to a maximum of 25 damage, and you can reduce the creature's speed to 0 until the end of your next turn. If you have the Divine Smite class feature, you can not use Divine Smite and perform a Spellstrike on the same attack.

    Destroyer
    Prerequisite: The Fiend patron or The Hexblade patron, Pact of the Blade feature

    You can create a jagged axe forged from blackened bone, with fiery runes etched into its blade, using your Pact of the Blade feature. The axe was simply named Destroyer by the demon that forged it. When attacking with Destroyer, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength, for the attack and damage rolls. If you attack a target vulnerable to fire, cold, lightning, or poison damage, you have advantage on attack rolls with Destroyer.

    You can also perform a Spellstrike with Destroyer: when you hit with this weapon, you can expend a spell slot to deal an additional 5 fire, cold, lightning, or poison damage to the target per spell level, up to a maximum of 25 damage, and you can push the target up to 15 feet away from you. If this forced movement pushes the target into a wall or similar obstacle, the target takes additional damage equal to the remaining distance of the push. If you have the Divine Smite class feature, you can not use Divine Smite and perform a Spellstrike on the same attack.

    Mace of Dispater
    Prerequisite: The Fiend patron or The Hexblade patron, Pact of the Blade feature

    When you create your pact weapon as a mace, it manifests as an iron mace forged in Dis, the second of the Nine Hells. This weapon's name is the Mace of Dispater. When attacking with the Mace of Dispater, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength, for the attack and damage rolls.

    You can also perform a Spellstrike with the Mace of Dispater: when you hit with this weapon, you can expend a spell slot to deal an additional 5 force damage to the target plus 5 more force damage per spell level, up to a maximum of 30 damage, and you can knock the target prone if it is Huge or smaller. If you have the Divine Smite class feature, you can not use Divine Smite and perform a Spellstrike on the same attack.

    Moonbow
    Prerequisite: The Archfey patron or The Hexblade patron, Pact of the Blade feature

    You can create a longbow of faintly glowing white wood, the Moonbow, using your Pact of the Blade feature. When you draw back its string and fire, it creates an arrow of the same white wood, which vanishes after 1 minute. When attacking with the Moonbow, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls, and you have advantage on attack rolls against lycanthropes. Attacks with the Moonbow can be made against heavily obscured targets without disadvantage, but only if the target is not hidden from you.

    You can also perform a Spellstrike with the Moonbow: when you hit with this weapon, you can expend a spell slot to deal an additional 5 radiant damage to the target per spell level, up to a maximum of 25 damage. If you have the Divine Smite class feature, you can not use Divine Smite and perform a Spellstrike on the same attack.

    Raven Scythe
    Prerequisite: The Raven Queen patron or The Hexblade patron, Pact of the Blade feature

    You can create a scythe with a gnarled, black haft and a nonreflective, steel blade with blue runes etched into its surface using your Pact of the Blade feature. The scythe is named the Raven Scythe, and it is considered a halberd for the purpose of any game rules, including attacks, damage, properties, and feats. When attacking with the Raven Scythe, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength, for the attack and damage rolls. Any attack roll you make with the Raven Scythe is a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20 on the d20. If the target is cursed by your Hexblade's Curse, an attack roll with the Raven Scythe is a critical hit on a roll of 18, 19, or 20.

    You can also perform a Spellstrike with the Raven Scythe: when you hit with this weapon, you can expend a spell slot to deal an additional 5 necrotic damage to the target per spell level, up to a maximum of 25 damage, and you can cause the creature to become frightened of you until the end of its next turn. If the target is undead, the Spellstrike deals additional slashing damage instead of necrotic damage, and you can still cause it to become frightened even if it is normally immune to the frightened condition. If you have the Divine Smite class feature, you can not use Divine Smite and perform a Spellstrike on the same attack.

    Shadowblades
    Prerequisite: The Raven Queen patron or The Hexblade patron, Pact of the Blade feature

    You can create a pair of black, insubstantial daggers that look as though forged from shadows, the Shadowblades, using your Pact of the Blade feature. The two daggers are both considered your pact weapon for the purposes of weapon proficiency and any other invocations (though you can only make an additional attack with one dagger using the Thirsting Blade invocation) and can both exist at the same time, though if you create any other pact weapon they disappear as normal. When attacking with the Shadowblades, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls. However, you do not add your Charisma bonus to damage on your bonus attack unless you have the Two-Weapon Fighting Fighting Style feature, as normal for Two-Weapon Fighting. If you make a ranged attack with a Shadowblade, you can choose for it to immediately reappear in your hand (no action required) after the attack is resolved.

    You can also perform a Spellstrike with the Shadowblades: when you hit with either weapon, you can expend a spell slot to deal an additional 5 cold or necrotic damage to the target per spell level, up to a maximum of 25 damage, and you can give the target disadvantage on all attack rolls until the end of its next turn as shadows cloud its vision. If you have the Divine Smite class feature, you can not use Divine Smite and perform a Spellstrike on the same attack.

    Spear of R'lyeh
    Prerequisite: The Great Old One patron or The Hexblade patron, Pact of the Blade feature

    You can create a glaive of green stone set with diamonds carved to resemble eyes along the haft and at the base of the blade. The eyes seem to come alive, staring at you (and others) from the corner of your vision, but when looked at directly are only diamonds. Though it is technically a glaive, this weapon is called the Spear of R'lyeh. When attacking with the Spear of R'lyeh, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength, for the attack and damage rolls.

    You can also perform a Spellstrike with the Spear of R'lyeh: when you hit with this weapon, you can expend a spell slot to deal an additional 5 psychic damage to the target per spell level, up to a maximum of 25 damage, and you can force the target to make a Wisdom saving throw against your warlock spell save DC. If the target fails this save, they are incapacitated until the end of their next turn. Any creature immune to psychic damage is immune to this effect of the Spellstrike. If you have the Divine Smite class feature, you can not use Divine Smite and perform a Spellstrike on the same attack.

    Spine of Agony
    Prerequisite: The Undying patron or The Hexblade patron, Pact of the Blade feature

    You can create a whip resembling a long spinal column with a handle wrapped in rawhide known as the Spine of Agony using your Pact of the Blade feature. The vertebrae along the whip's length are each studded with four steel spikes. You can make grapple attempts using the Spine of Agony instead of a free hand; the weapon's reach is your reach for the grapple attempt, and you can use your warlock spell attack bonus in place of your Strength (Athletics) bonus. You can still use the Spine of Agony to attack a target you have grappled with it, and you have advantage on attack rolls using the Spine of Agony against a target you have grappled with it, but you may not attack any other targets with this weapon while using it to grapple. When attacking with the Spine of Agony, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls.

    You can also perform a Spellstrike with the Spine of Agony: when you hit with this weapon, you can expend a spell slot to deal an additional 5 necrotic damage to the target per spell level, up to a maximum of 25 damage, and you can immediately grapple the target with it without making a grapple check, though it is still able to escape as normal. If you have the Divine Smite class feature, you can not use Divine Smite and perform a Spellstrike on the same attack.

    Spoiler: Design Notes
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    While the entire text of Pact of the Blade is rewritten for the sake of professionalism, there are only two changes. First, you can create your pact weapon as an item interaction, as though drawing it, and second, the restriction on sentient magic items and artifacts is removed. The reason for the change from a full action to an item interaction is that I always thought it was lame that you could summon your pact weapon from thin air, but because it took an action to do so you had to create it ahead of time and carry it around. This change allows you to summon it at your whim when battle begins, and if you choose not to take a specific pact weapon, you have the flexibility to change it in the middle of a fight. The second change is mostly on account of The Hexblade patron's fluff; it struck me as stupid that your patron is a sentient magic weapon, but you can't wield that sentient magic weapon.

    The Spellstrike sub-feature of the invocations is named to give it a convenient shorthand to refer to it by at the table, and also in the rules text specifying that Spellstrike and Divine Smite can't be used on the same attack, nor can you Spellstrike twice using the Black Shield's effect. I felt it was important to specify how these effects interacted with each other.

    On Spellstrike as a whole, as I said in the opening post, I found it offensive how the original mechanic in the UA article was objectively much stronger than Divine Smite. By significantly cutting its damage, I have reduced this disparity and given the abilities different strengths and weaknesses. At any given level, a single-classed Warlock's Spellstrike deals more damage than the average of a single-classed Paladin's biggest Divine Smite, but the Divine Smite is more efficient, dealing a higher amount of average damage per spell level. Additionally, the Warlock no longer rolls dice on Spellstrikes, which means they are not multiplied by a critical hit; as a Paladin player, the most exciting moments in combat are when I roll a natural 20 and smite an enemy into dust, particularly if that shifts the momentum of the combat. Thus, the Paladin is more efficient, can spike harder, and if things are really, truly desperate, can throw out more smites without rest than the Warlock. However, the Warlock is better off than the Paladin if the goal is really just to deal as much damage as quickly as possible. This nerf to Spellstrike may make it so it rarely feels worth a full spell slot, as it's less efficient than Divine Smite and the Warlock has a better spell list competing for those spell slots than the Paladin in the first place. Frankly, I'm alright with that; I think most (but maybe not all) of these would be worth an invocation, at least to some builds, even without the Spellstrike feature.

    I made all of the weapons available to the Hexblade patron to expand their options, and because I felt it fitting. Hexblade is pretty obviously intended to be "Improved Pact of the Blade: the Patron" and I think the original fluff limiting the patrons to weapons forged in the Shadowfell is somewhat nonsensical. Their two unique options, Cursebringer and Black Shield, are designed not to be redundant with Hex Warrior. I shot for (and accomplished) two weapons for each officially released patron, plus two each for the two patrons in the UA that acted as inspiration.

    Each weapon allows use of Charisma for attack and damage rolls because I hate how single-classed Warlocks have to jump through hoops to make Pact of the Blade usable. By the official content, any non-finesse weapon is basically useless to a Bladelock without multiclassing or feats to get heavy armor proficiency, as they can't afford high scores in both Strength AND Dexterity. Making these weapons scale off Charisma allows them to use the weapon of their choice with their casting stat, ensuring they can still increase their Dexterity enough to have decent armor class, and still have a good spellcasting stat. Medium armor proficiency is still probably worth a feat to Warlocks that don't get it from their race or patron so they don't have to invest that much in their Dexterity, but one is a significantly lower barrier to entry than two.

    Cursebringer and Moonbow seemed like better names to me as single words, so I removed the spaces.

    Some thoughts/explanation on the mechanics of specific weapons:

    Blades of Winter's Mourning I think are fine. With the Lifedrinker invocation and the enhancement bonus invocations in the UA article, I think the simple fact that it allows you to have two pact weapons is fine. Still, I thought the pseudo-rend on the Spellstrike was a nice touch to set it apart from the other speed-0 Spellstrikes, even if it made for some slightly awkward rules text. The name came from the 4e Fey Pact Hexblade's pact weapon, though that was essentially a better rapier.

    Black Shield's mechanics are 90% "you can use a shield, even without Warcaster, and if you take Shield Master it still works with low Strength/Athletics." I gave it a Spellstrike so that if the Warlock chooses sword and board style they don't have to spend another invocation on a weapon. It is not necessarily intended to be worth taking both Black Shield and a weapon invocation, but I made sure to specify how they interact for clarity's sake and figured I'd give at least SOME benefit to having both. Black Shield can be replaced by a magic shield, unlike the other unique invocations, so the Warlock doesn't have to take (and I don't have to write) an invocation to give the shield an enhancement bonus.

    Of the weapons I made up, at least, a rapier is probably the least compelling weapon type to spend an invocation on, being one a Bladelock can already make fine use of by rules as written. This is why I tried to give Bloodthirster a really good property through its attached Haste spell. However, the ability to cast Haste using a Warlock spell slot would be worth an invocation by itself to many Bladelocks, which is why I added the fresh blood limitation to it. Naturally, the name comes from League of Legends.

    Claw of Acamar got the extra opportunity attack property because it felt lackluster compared to the weapons I made up with how it was presented in the UA, being a fairly weak weapon type compared to a two-hander or polearm. This makes it a strong control weapon.

    Other than the changes across the board to these weapons, Cursebringer is unmodified. It was plenty powerful as is.

    Destroyer feels somewhat uninspired to me. The advantage on vulnerable targets was something I gave it because I had to give it something to compare to Cursebringer. I would be happy to hear suggestions on this one. I do like the push on the Spellstrike, though; it's different from the others, and feels like something with raw power.

    Mace of Dispater suffers from a combination of the issue with Destroyer and the issue with Claw of Acamar; after I created the others, the original version felt weak, so I had to give it something extra. It had the strongest Spellstrike in the original UA article, so I tried to play off that, but I'm worried that it's uninspired and not quite enough.

    Moonbow already has a significant advantage over the others of being a ranged pact weapon; I don't know why a Bladelock would pick it when they could just spend one invocation on solid Eldritch Blast damage, but I figured there was no point in removing the option. It needed a little extra love, so it gets to ignore disadvantage from obscurement.

    The Raven Scythe is a scythe because of course one of the Raven Queen patron's weapons was gonna be a scythe. The expanded crit range is not THAT good when the weapon's damage doesn't spike that hard on a crit (with Spellstrike changed to static damage), but the glaive and halberd are widely regarded as the two best melee weapons in the game, thanks to the combination of Great Weapon Master and Polearm Master. I wanted to make sure one of the Raven Queen's weapons was still just as effective against undead for thematic purposes.

    The Shadowblades are inspired by the Shadowblade weapon from 4e's Assassin Paragon Path, and are mechanically intended to be throwable Blades of Winter's Mourning. Not much to say about them.

    The Spear of R'lyeh is somewhat inspired by the example pact weapon in the Player's Handbook in terms of appearance. It's the best type of melee weapon in the game, its Spellstrike deals one of the most reliable damage types, and incapacitated is a stronger debuff than any other Spellstrike even with a save allowed, so I don't think it needs anything else.

    I had fun making a whip you can grapple people with for Spine of Agony, but I am honestly unsure whether it's as good as the other options (most notably Claw of Acamar since they have similar roles as control weapons).

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Sariel Vailo's Avatar

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    Default Re: Pact of the Blade: Expanded [WIP]

    for fiirst question who in the nine hells is this wonderful guy. who made this.secondly id have thought that maybe one of the other arcfey patrons would have scimitar this is a prince of frost maybe a more royal or regal weapohn befitting his title.but otherwise i love the rest of these.scimitar feels more great old one adorn it tentaclees and eyeballs and such
    Skully boyfriend's lead to skully wendigo weddings.
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    linklele you have brought a beautiful and favorite character of mine as well as fluffy to life i wanted to thank you. i may never again switch my avatar

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Pact of the Blade: Expanded [PEACH]

    Invocations are finalized, at least until somebody suggests something I like better for Destroyer and Mace of Dispater. I would be happy to hear critique

    @Sariel Vailo, they're scimitars because ever since I watched Lord of the Rings as a kid I think of scimitars (especially slender scimitars without crossguards) as elven weapons, and I wanted to give options for dual pact weapons since there are popular builds that are either built around or benefit from asking your DM to allow you to have two pact weapons. Rapiers can't be dual-wielded without feat investment.

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    Default Re: Pact of the Blade: Expanded [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhaegar14 View Post
    Invocations are finalized, at least until somebody suggests something I like better for Destroyer and Mace of Dispater. I would be happy to hear critique

    @Sariel Vailo, they're scimitars because ever since I watched Lord of the Rings as a kid I think of scimitars (especially slender scimitars without crossguards) as elven weapons, and I wanted to give options for dual pact weapons since there are popular builds that are either built around or benefit from asking your DM to allow you to have two pact weapons. Rapiers can't be dual-wielded without feat investment.
    good pooint i see.all right
    Skully boyfriend's lead to skully wendigo weddings.
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    linklele you have brought a beautiful and favorite character of mine as well as fluffy to life i wanted to thank you. i may never again switch my avatar

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    Default Re: Pact of the Blade: Expanded [PEACH]

    I think this is an amazing collection of Invocations. I think it helps with the whole smiting issue by lowering the output while maintaining powerful ability, though I wonder over the impact...

    Average damage for a Paladin Smite, with a 5th level slot, using 6d8, is 27. Sure, the paladin could roll much higher or significantly lower. I know they get Improved Divine Smite to make all their attacks deal an extra bit of damage on top of it, but 25 damage feels awfully close.

    Though the fact that flat values don't get multiplied by critical hits certainly helps nerf the Warlock smite. Especially since Crits are when a paladin is most likely to utilize a smite to maximize their damage. This is not a situation, however, when a Warlock would do so.

    In that respect I feel that it might undermine the -intent- of a Smite, which is in large part to roll a big fistful of dice at a clutch moment and brag about the amount of damage you've just dealt.

    It also underscores the principal differences between a Paladin and a Warlock. A paladin's biggest (single Target) damaging spell is actually their first level spell Searing Smite with it's maximum of 5d6/turn damage. For Warlocks their biggest single target spell is Blight for 9d8, immediately.

    A Warlock who forgoes a 5th level slot is dropping 9d8 (40 average) potential damage. Where a Paladin is generally dropping 5d6 (Average 17.5 since intelligent creatures will put each other out, generally, if they don't make the Con Save).

    There's a significant difference between the two actions in cost and in result. And with Hexblade's Curse improving Crit Range, not getting to roll the extra dice seriously undercuts the ability.

    As an alternative: What if we were to tie a specific Smite spell to each of the Invocations? Still expending a spell slot, still doing less damage than the Paladin's Smite, but using both an ability to circumvent concentration issues (For Hex and the like) and the emphasis on Warlocks cursing beings in combat?

    That way they still get to roll extra dice, especially on critical hits, and inflict status effects on their foes?
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Not everyone has the resources or the ability to become a wizard or a sorcerer, after all. Warlocking just requires a pact, very democratic, really. Doesn't require wealth or a magical lineage, just a promise, and all of your problems will go away.

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    Default Re: Pact of the Blade: Expanded [PEACH]

    ...

    I also feel they should get the "Move the Curse" ability explicitly on the use of the smite rather than on reducing the target to 0.
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Not everyone has the resources or the ability to become a wizard or a sorcerer, after all. Warlocking just requires a pact, very democratic, really. Doesn't require wealth or a magical lineage, just a promise, and all of your problems will go away.

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    Default Re: Pact of the Blade: Expanded [PEACH]

    Thanks for the helpful feedback, Steampunkette, I appreciate it.

    First, some small corrections: the Paladin's Divine Smite explicitly caps at 5d8 extra damage, for an average of 22.5. Additionally, only Searing Smite's initial damage is improved by higher level spell slots, so it's only better than a same-level Divine Smite if the target continues burning for some time, and that costs you your Concentration.

    I also don't count Improved Divine Smite as part of the actual Smites, really; though it's called Improved Divine Smite, really, it's just what the Paladin gets for their power spike at level 11, where the fighter gets a third attack (the extra damage is similar before GWM/Sharpshooter if both the Paladin and the Fighter land all of their attacks) and the full casters get 6th level slots.

    As I laid out in the Design Notes, taking away the crit damage from the Warlock was intentional. I wanted to leave that part of Divine Smite unique to the Paladin. A large part of my motivation for making these was my salt as a Paladin player that they were taking my signature ability and giving the Warlock a strictly better version of it. The idea here was to make the Paladin's better in some ways (efficiency, crit damage) and the Warlock's better in others (straight damage).

    Your Blight comparison is a little off. When comparing Smite/Spellstrike to other spell options, you need to consider two things:

    1) Smite/Spellstrike is only used on a hit, so it's guaranteed. There's no save the enemy can make or attack roll you can miss to waste that spell slot.
    2) It doesn't cost you your Attack action.

    So really, instead of that 9d8 Blight, that Warlock is making two attacks plus an additional 25 damage from Spellstrike. Even if the target fails their save, the Warlock hit at least once in order to use Spellstrike. If they have Lifedrinker or are using a two hander the damage is going to be equivalent, and that's if they didn't hit with their second attack. Not to mention Hexblade's Curse or the Hex spell. Even Scorching Ray only gets 12d6 out of a 5th level slot, for an average of 42, and that's making the pretty daring assumption that all six of those rays hit.

    On Cursebringer specifically, I liked the way they had the curse move ability in the UA and left it unchanged. Burning a spell slot for that ability is pricey; remember, before level 11, they only get two of them each rest. Being able to bounce the curse around for its full duration is a powerful ability, at least before level 14 when they can use the curse at will, but with this batch of homebrew by taking Cursebringer they're choosing not to take Raven Scythe or Spear of R'lyeh and the Polearm Master feat those two weapons allow. Within that context, I feel Cursebringer's secondary ability is allowed to be powerful. Additionally, bouncing the curse on the Spellstrike makes that capability much harder to use, as you have to predict how much hp the target has remaining and time the Spellstrike correctly.

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    Default Re: Pact of the Blade: Expanded [PEACH]

    What do you think, instead, of moving the Smite Spells into the invocations as an option?
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Not everyone has the resources or the ability to become a wizard or a sorcerer, after all. Warlocking just requires a pact, very democratic, really. Doesn't require wealth or a magical lineage, just a promise, and all of your problems will go away.

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    Default Re: Pact of the Blade: Expanded [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    What do you think, instead, of moving the Smite Spells into the invocations as an option?
    It's not a terrible idea in theory, but in practice it's redundant with the fact that Hexblade already gets most of them in their expanded spell list (less an issue for non-Hexblade Warlocks), and I think it would require some homebrewed Smite spells. I don't think the Paladin list has anything appropriate for the Blades of Winter's Mourning off the top of my head, for instance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steampunkette View Post
    As an alternative: What if we were to tie a specific Smite spell to each of the Invocations? Still expending a spell slot, still doing less damage than the Paladin's Smite, but using both an ability to circumvent concentration issues (For Hex and the like) and the emphasis on Warlocks cursing beings in combat?

    That way they still get to roll extra dice, especially on critical hits, and inflict status effects on their foes?
    Can you elaborate on exactly how you mean for this to work with an example? I don't see how the invocations giving them Smite spells would circumvent the concentration issue.

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    Default Re: Pact of the Blade: Expanded [PEACH]

    By having it instantly trigger and explicitly not require concentration to continue it's effects.

    Hexblade with (invocation) has hex on the target. Decides to use Eldritch Strike tied to (Invocation). That eldritch Strike allows them to immediately use Blinding Smite without using concentration. The attack deals 3d8 extra damage and the target is blinded for up to 1 minute (save ends). Hex continues on the target.

    On a critical hit, 6d8 extra damage and save ends the blindness.

    It gives the Warlock -some- extra damage, the option to crit-smite, and doesn't compare in raw output to the Paladin while being more thematic to the Warlock ideal: Cursing and Spellcasting.

    Sort of like a limited version of the Eldritch Knight's ability to cast and attack in the same turn.
    Last edited by Steampunkette; 2017-02-16 at 09:45 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Not everyone has the resources or the ability to become a wizard or a sorcerer, after all. Warlocking just requires a pact, very democratic, really. Doesn't require wealth or a magical lineage, just a promise, and all of your problems will go away.

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    Default Re: Pact of the Blade: Expanded [PEACH]

    And while it WOULD be redundant with the Hexblade's extra spell options: If we're re-writing the Invocations we can certainly rewrite that, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Not everyone has the resources or the ability to become a wizard or a sorcerer, after all. Warlocking just requires a pact, very democratic, really. Doesn't require wealth or a magical lineage, just a promise, and all of your problems will go away.

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