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- Dec 2009
Warlock Patron: The Uttercold Legion [V.2]
War is expensive. The toll of war is the lives of soldiers, and the lives of soldiers take immense resources to mantain. With requirements like food, shelter and rest, the average man-at-arms is a very inefficient tool in the game of war. While some nations try to rectify this with the use of constructs, their outrageous price tags prove prohibitive to deploying them en-mass. While most nations live with the costs of fielding an entirely living army or using constructs, for a few wayward nations necromancy provides an alluring alternative.
When morality is set aside, the undead can make terrifically efficient soldiers. Fearless and untiring, undead don't require food, lodging or rest for their survival. They do not shrink at the prospect of taking life, and will obey orders without question. With their relatively cheap price, at least when compared to constructs, it is no surprise some desperate or amoral nations turn to raising the dead as a means of cutting down on the number of living troops they must provide for. However, while obedient, mindless undead are less than ideal in many respects, being unable to take initiative or respond to changing battlefield conditions. Sentient undead are therefore the pinnacle of soldiering, but since they are not mindless they have the capacity for disobedience. Thus, both shambling mindless grunts and elite intelligent shock troopers come with the same need: the need for leadership.
For political reasons, the undead are seldom permitted to serve as their own officers; instead, fearful mortal authorities insist that they must be placed under the command of the living. However, if such officers hope to win the respect of their troops, they must be magically powerful in their own right, as well as charismatic and subtly tainted by the touch of death. Such officers are thus vested with magical powers by the sovereigns of their nations, giving them quick and easy access to the fell talents needed to lead undead units on the battlefield. Often called "uttercold assault necromancers," the defining trait of these Warlocks is their ability to harness a twisted blend of ice and death-based magics to support the undead that fight under them and destroy their enemies.
The undead soldiers that uttercold assault necromancers lead are perfectly disciplined, and their nations thus expect the same level of discipline from them. In order to maintain this expected discipline, and in response to the hatred and fear in which their forces are held, uttercold assault necromancers are held to the highest standard of military ethics. A degree of political aptitude is also demanded of these officers, as their forces are almost guaranteed to be given the most dangerous and least desirable missions. The stringent requirements that come with being an uttercold assault necromancer demand commitment from a young age, so most who take up the path are apprenticed in their teens, and low level characters typically fall into this apprentice category.
The Uttercold Legion lets choose from an expanded list of spells when you select a Warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you:
1st: Heroism, Ice Knife
2nd: Aid, Enhance Ability
3rd: Crusader's Mantle, Sleet Storm
4th: Death Ward, Ice Storm
5th: Circle of Power, Cone of Cold
An Officer and a Gentleman
As an Uttercold Assault Necromancer, you are a recognized officer in a military force that has one or more undead detachments, one of which you are responsible for, or one day will be responsible for. Starting when you select this patron at 1st level you and up to 4 of your allies may gain free food and lodging while on a military installation within your nation. You also have advantage on all d20 rolls when gathering information from military members (active or retired) from your nation.
You gain proficiency in one versatile or one-handed melee weapon of your choice. Upon completing your training (or at character creation, if you received your training prior then the start of the campaign) your GM can have your millitary reward you with a weapon of that type, known as a Ceremonial Weapon. You may use you ceremonial weapon as an arcane focus for your Warlock spells and abilities. If you lose or break your Ceremonial Weapon you may get a replacement at any military installation within your nation. A Ceremonial Weapon can become a pact weapon. (Credit: Garfunion)
You also must abide by the officer's code, a set of exacting standards that your military and nation hold you accountable to. Your GM determines the exact punishment for defying this code.
Spoiler: Officer's CodeAs an Uttercold Assault Necromancer, you must conduct your villainous acts with restraint, good manners and aplomb. In addition, you must hold yourself to the following rules:
- You must avoid harming innocents and civilians, when feasible.
- You must be courteous and dignified of bearing (and towards the opposite sex, gallant) at all times.
- You must graciously accept the surrender of a defeated foe, and treat them with decorum and respect, which means absolutely no torture.
- You cannot summarily slay captured foes. You are permitted to test their worthiness by placing them in elaborate conditions almost certain to kill them, as long as those of sufficient character or cleverness might survive.
- You must always keep your word of honor.
You are also expected to ensure that all of your subordinates (including undead minions you raise or summon yourself) obey this code, and to discipline them if they do not. Note that other "dishonorable" actions, including attacks from ambush, torture of captured spies, and the use of poison, are perfectly permissible under the Officer's Code.
Also at 1st level, you learn how to bring the undead under your control. As an action you can expend a Warlock spell slot to take control of an undead creature. When you this, you target one undead creature you can see within 30 feet and force it to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the target must obey your commands for the next 24 hours, or until you use this feature again. Undead whose CRs equal or exceed your warlock level are immune to this effect. (Credit: Garfunion)
Chill of the Grave
Starting at 6th level, you are able to fuse reanimating magics with cold magics to deadly effect. When a creature dies from a spell you cast that deals cold damage, you may use your reaction to raise it as a skeleton or zombie under your control. Undead you raise this way remain animated for 1 minute or until end of combat (whichever comes first), and can be commanded as-if they where created by an Animate Dead spell cast by you. You can control an ammount of undead you create this way no higher than your Charisma modifier. Any undead you create with this feature over that limit are uncontrolled and hostile towards all living creatures. (Credit: Garfunion)
Starting at 10th level, you gain resistance to cold and necrotic damage, can hold your breath indefinitely, and don't require food, water, or sleep, though you still require rest to reduce exhaustion and still benefit from finishing short and long rests. In addition, you age at a slower rate. For every 10 years that pass, your body ages only 1 year, and you are immune to being magically aged.(Credit: Garfunion)
At 14th level, you learn how to draw upon the dual powers of frost and necromancy to devistate your foes. As an action you can create a burst of ice centered around you with a 20ft radius. Creatures caught within that radius must make a Dexterity saving throw against your Warlock spell save DC. On a failed save, they take 10d8 cold damage and become restrained. A restrained creature can spend their action to break the restrained condition. On a successful save, they take half as much damage, and are not restrained. If any creature is reduced to 0 or less hit points by this feature, they become skeletons or zombies (your choice, and not subject to change once chosen) under your control, as if you cast Animate Dead on their corpses. Once you use this feature, you cannot do so again until you complete a short or long rest. (Credit: Garfunion)
Spoiler: New InvocationsNew Invocations
The following invocations are added to those a warlock can choose from when they select their invocations:
Prerequisite: Chill Touch cantrip
When a living creature’s hit points are reduced to 0 or less from your Chill Touch cantrip a skeleton rises from its corpse. The skeleton has 1 hit point and has the same initiative as the creature. (It cannot gain hit points from other features) When the skeleton takes it’s turn, it will move to and attack the closest target that is an enemy to you (if it can). At the end of the skeleton’s turn its hit points are reduced to 0 and crumbles to pieces. (Credit: Garfunion)
Prerequisite: Chill Touch cantrip
When you hit a creature with your Chill Touch cantrip, that creature must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, it is frightened of you until the end of its next turn.
When you cast a spell that deals cold damage, that spell deals additional necrotic damage equal to your Charisma modifier against a single target. When you cast a spell that deals necrotic damage, that spell deals additional cold damage equal to your Charisma modifier against a single target. This effect cannot stack with itself.
The Dead Walk
Prerequisite: 5th level
You can cast Animate Dead at-will at your Pact Magic spell level without expending a spell slot. Skeletons and Zombies you create with Animate Dead spells cast this way remain under your control indefinitely, or until you dismiss them with a bonus action, meaning you do not need to re-cast Animate Dead each day to maintain control over them. However, you can only have a total number of skeletons and zombies created by Animate Dead spells this invocation let you cast no higher than half your Warlock level under your control at any given time. Any undead you create above this limit are uncontrolled and hostile towards you and all other living creatures.
Prerequisite: Uttercold Legion Patron
While you are wielding your Ceremonial Weapon, you can cast Green Flame Blade as a warlock cantrip, using your Ceremonial Weapon to make the required melee weapon attack. When you cast Green Flame Blade this way, it deals cold damage instead of fire damage, and you use your Charisma modifier in place of your Strength modifier on both the required melee weapon attack and its resulting damage roll.
Prerequisite: Frostbite cantrip
When you cast Frostbite as a Warlock cantrip, it can target one additional creature. Starting at 5th level, it can target 2 additional creatures instead. All creatures you target with a Frostbite cantrip this way must be no more than 10ft apart from each other.
Aura of Desecration
Prerequisite: 5th level
Friendly undead add your Charisma modifier to their damage rolls as long as they are within 30ft of you.
Prerequisite: 11th level
Choose one Warlock spell (which can be a mystic arcanum spell, if applicable) you know. You may use your Mystic Arcanum to cast that spell at a spell level equal to the Mystic Arcanum spent. (You do not also cast the expended mystic arcanum spell when you do this.) You can select this invocation multiple times. Each time you do so, you must choose a different spell. (Credit: Garfunion)
A big thanks to Garfunion of GITPG for inspiring and outright creating many of the mechanics used by these subclasses. Art courtesy of Granblu Fantasy.
Last edited by Giegue; 2020-09-09 at 11:29 AM.78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.
Mine started at a dinner party in the BBEG's estate.
- Join Date
- Oct 2018
Re: Warlock Patron: The Uttercold Legion [V.2]
I really like the flavor of this subclass. My main note mechanically, I think, is that it feels like it's missing an invocation that answers Felfrost: rather than adding necrotic damage to cold spells, it would add cold damage to necrotic spells. I might also suggest shifting Conscript Undead to scale directly off the level of the spell slot rather than off your warlock level, so that you're mostly limited to commanding lower-level/non-intelligent undead with it - perhaps make the max CR equal to twice the level of the spell slot used?
Last edited by theVoidWatches; 2018-10-31 at 11:42 AM.Hi, you can call me Void. I prefer she/her or they/them pronouns, please. Yes, "they" is a singular pronoun. I write a superhero webserial called Paternum - check it out!
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