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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    I just skimmed the post, but I didn't see another point on the familiar covered. It isn't what it is. You can re-summon your familiar and all of a sudden you have which ever of the familiars you want at this time. It's an imp today because your running Descent. Could be a sprite tomorrow or a quasit or whatever. What your familiar is isn't a choose once, stuck forever deal.
    Totally valid point. I just think folks tend to get attached to one form or another as part of character identity, but you are right.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by Evaar View Post
    Totally valid point. I just think folks tend to get attached to one form or another as part of character identity, but you are right.
    Totally. Our chainlock things of her familiar as an imp. To her, that's what he is. Part of his identity.

    On another comment, a chain lock can't cast rituals unless they take the ritual caster feat. So yes, it requires a slot. But it's a good slot on a prep day or if your imp does die.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  3. - Top - End - #63
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    On another comment, a chain lock can't cast rituals unless they take the ritual caster feat. So yes, it requires a slot. But it's a good slot on a prep day or if your imp does die.
    From Pact of the Chain's description:

    You learn the Find Familiar spell and can cast it as a ritual. The spell doesnít count against your number of spells known.

    When you cast the spell, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following special forms: imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite.

    Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one attack with its reaction.
    Last edited by RogueJK; 2021-04-13 at 05:35 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    OK, this seems to me to be a very clear instance of designer intent, between the wording of the spell and the invocation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Find Familiar
    Your familiar acts independently of you, but it always obeys your commands. In Combat, it rolls its own Initiative and acts on its own turn. A familiar can't Attack, but it can take other Actions as normal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Investment of the Chain Master
    As a bonus action, you can command the familiar to take the Attack action.
    So, normally, you give whatever commands you want to the familiar on your turn (not an action), and the familiar spends its turn using its own action, movement, abilities etc. following those commands; with the limitation that the familiar can't use the attack action. When you have the invocation, you can use a bonus action on your turn to remove that limitation.

    If you compare with the wording of the general Pact of the Chain ability:

    Quote Originally Posted by Pact of the Chain
    Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one Attack of its own with its Reaction.
    it's quite clear that if the developers had intended to grant an out-of-turn attack action to the familiar, they would have said so explicitly, either stating that it uses its reaction, or stating (to contrast with the pact boon) that the attack doesn't use its reaction. When they make a rule that gives an exception to an existing rule, they point to the portion of the rule that's being excepted, and the other portions are assumed to apply as normal. In this case, the rule being excepted is that the familiar, when acting on its turn, can't take the attack action. There's nothing in the text which states or implies that the general rule that a character or monster only acts on its turn in the initiative order is being excepted.
    -Christian
    "You're thinking of the 'peace and love' monks across the valley. We're the 'law and order' monks."

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by RogueJK View Post
    From Pact of the Chain's description:

    You learn the Find Familiar spell and can cast it as a ritual. The spell doesnít count against your number of spells known.

    When you cast the spell, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following special forms: imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite.

    Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one attack with its reaction.
    Nice! Not playing warlocks I missed that.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Greywander's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Yeah, I don't think chainlocks can normally cast Find Familiar using a spell slot. They have to do it as a ritual. Honestly, I wish they explored these kinds of things more. I'd like to see a spellcaster class built entirely around ritual casting, potentially including normally non-ritual spells that can be cast as rituals. It would be tricky to use in combat, but perhaps you could get around this by forgoing the normal concentration limits and/or extending spell durations so you can buff up at the start of the day. There's probably other things they could do to increase combat viability as well, but getting all your spells as rituals would be quite a nice out-of-combat utility boost, just look at how popular tomelock is.

    As for attacking with the familiar, I don't believe you can normally take actions outside of your turn, except for reactions. Using one of your attacks calls out that the familiar uses its reaction to attack. Using a bonus action to command your familiar to attack doesn't say it uses a reaction, nor does it say it can attack without needing to use an action. Making an attacking without spending any actions is a pretty unusual thing, and definitely not normally allowed, so if the ability allows your familiar to do such a thing then it should say so, and it doesn't. In fact, it specifically says you command them to "take the Attack action", which is something it can only do on its turn. Again, if the ability were supposed to allow them to take actions out of turn then it should have said so.

    Circling back around to the original topic, let's take a look at some of the things that makes each familiar unique.

    The imp has immunity to fire and poison, allowing you to send them into dangerous situations such as a burning building or a mine filled with poison gas. Niche, to be sure, but you'll be glad to have it should it come up. The imp also has Devil's Sight, which is also pretty niche, but worth pointing out. The imp has the weakest poison ability, only dealing damage, but it has the best shapechanger forms, as rats, spiders, and ravens are both very common and rather innocuous (people won't be surprised to see them, and also will tend to ignore them).

    Like the imp, the quasit has poison immunity, but only fire resistance. It can't fly, which is a pretty big hit, but it can turn into a bat. It's shapechanger forms aren't as good as the imp's, but it does include an aquatic form. It can inflict the poisoned condition for up to a minute, with a save every round. It also has a 1/day fear effect, which also offers a save every round. Now that I look at them, quasits are actually much better than I first thought.

    The sprite has no shapechanging and no damage immunities, so that's a big hit to them. They have one of the few ways in 5e that you can learn someone's alignment, though the usefulness of that will vary wildly. What makes them most interesting is their ranged attack that can inflict the poisoned condition for up to 1 minute, with no saves after the first. On a result of 5 or less, the target even falls unconscious, but many monsters will have at least a +5 to CON saves, making this impossible.

    The pseudodragon has no shapechanging, damage immunities, or invisibility, immediately setting them quite far back compared to other familiars. It makes up for this with hands down the best poison attack, inflicting the poisoned condition for up to 1 hour with no saves after the first. Unlike the sprite's poison, increasing the save DC also makes it more likely that you can knock the target out. I can't stress how potentially powerful this is; 1 hour of unconsciousness and/or the poisoned condition, with no further saves. It's limited telepathy and keen senses add a bit of utility to them as well.

    To summarize, the imp and quasit are surprisingly interchangeable, with the imp having slightly better out-of-combat utility while the quasit has some better combat options. The sprite has the only ranged poison attack, allowing them to inflict the condition without getting into melee, and offers no saves after the first. The pseudodragon is crucially lacking invisibility, but has the strongest poison ability, lasting up to an hour with no saves and actually having a decent chance of knocking someone out.
    Last edited by Greywander; 2021-04-13 at 09:46 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #67
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Iíll note that movement speed can be removed from the Familiar calculus as Investment gives all of them either 40ft flying or swimming speed (can you switch it up when you re-summon them I wonder?)
    Last edited by prototype00; 2021-04-13 at 10:37 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #68
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    Yeah, I don't think chainlocks can normally cast Find Familiar using a spell slot. They have to do it as a ritual. Honestly, I wish they explored these kinds of things more. I'd like to see a spellcaster class built entirely around ritual casting, potentially including normally non-ritual spells that can be cast as rituals.
    You might want to check out formula magic from the Cthulhu 5E book. It's skill-centric not class centric (and investing in Expertise for the relevant skills can indirectly drive you insane) but it emulates the feel of classic, trope-based ritual magic very nicely: formula backlash, special component types including time (equinoxes), place, and specific number of secondary casters, plus a metric ton of new spells in the book, many of which are formula magic spells. It even has a wizard subclass (Ritualist) which IIRC is oriented towards formula magic, although obviously Diviners have advantages there too (just as PHB enchanters have advantages at conjuration).

    Plus it's just a fantastic book for high-level campaigns, full of extremely scary elder evils.
    Purple text = personal judgment which I don't expect you necessarily to share. YMMV.

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  9. - Top - End - #69
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    Yeah, I don't think chainlocks can normally cast Find Familiar using a spell slot. They have to do it as a ritual.
    Nothing in Pact of the Chain's description states that they can only cast it as a Ritual:

    "You learn the Find Familiar spell and can cast it as a ritual. The spell doesnít count against your number of spells known."

    In fact, it explicitly says that they "learn the Find Familiar spell". When you learn a spell, it becomes a Spell Known, castable with slots like other spells known. They just also gain the additional ability "and can cast it as a ritual", unlike other Warlock spells known which normally cannot be cast as rituals. The "and..." is additive, not restrictive.

    Compare to something like the Totem Barbarian's Spirit Seeker ability, in which they "gain the ability to cast the Beast Sense and Speak With Animals spells, but only as rituals". They do not explicitly learn the spell, just gain the ability to cast it within the specific parameters that they can only cast those spells as Rituals. The "but only... is restrictive. (This means that even if they gain spell slots from multiclassing, they cannot use those slots to cast those spells, since they are not Spells Known and are only available as Rituals.)

    Or compare to the various Warlock Invocations that grant the ability to cast to additional non-Warlock spells, like Sculptor of Flesh or Thief of Five Fates. Those Invocations specifically give you the ability to cast a spell within certain parameters (must spend a Warlock spell slot and only usable 1x/long rest), but they do not learn the spell and it therefore doesn't become a standard Spell Known castable with slots freely.

    Also similar to Magic Initiate vs. Fey/Shadow Touched feats. MI grants the ability to cast a 1st level spell, but it does not become a Spell Known and is only castable within the specific restrictions of the feat wording (1x/long rest and only at 1st level). Whereas the other two feats specifically state that you learn the 1st and 2nd level spells, so they're also castable with slots as standard Spells Known (if you have spell slots), and are even upcastable with higher slots.
    Last edited by RogueJK; 2021-04-14 at 10:29 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Oct 2017

    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by Evaar View Post
    Yes, I went over that in the original post. The sleep effect is just a side benefit, we're mainly here for the poisoned condition.

    I don't see why the imp is better at this point. Before Tasha's, sure, but at this point the Sprite provides unmatched combat ability and it's still an invisible scout. The imp is more resilient, but I'm not clear what that resilience really does for us if it's not otherwise threatening.

    Also, I feel like this point isn't really sinking in - the poison has a duration of 1 minute with no follow up saves. Can anyone find another source of the poisoned condition that lasts for the entirety of combat that doesn't allow saves each turn? Or an equivalent effect like 1 minute blindness with no follow up saves?
    Not sure if it was resolved, but so we're all clear, a warlock taking attack action and bonus action can make familiar attack once during the Warlock's turn and once during the familiar's turn. With that in mind:

    Pseudodragon, with its blindsight, can freely attack under cover of darkness (moving without provoking AoO). Unlike the Sprite's poison, it lasts an hour with no repeat save. It Investment Invocation this save DC is now moved to your Spell DC, but key wording differentiates it from Sprite poison:

    "If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the target falls unconscious for the same duration, or until it takes damage or another creature uses an action to shake it awake." That is a massive improvement and by level 4 it can be ~45% of hits will sleep a target.

    If you can boost the PD's hp with Inspiring Leader, Chef treats, etc, the resistance can give it the durability to forego Darkness (or greater invis etc) and instead combine the PD with a Summoned Wretched Undead.

    In this way you can force a target to make 4 save or suck saving throws a round. If it doesn't fall unconscious but does get poisoned, every attack made by the undead has a chance to paralyze.

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by BerzerkerUnit View Post
    Pseudodragon, with its blindsight, can freely attack under cover of darkness (moving without provoking AoO).
    Good catch! It would also get advantage on those attacks, and it has a fly speed of 60 feet to help it get into melee and get sufficiently far away. With a some support the scaly little guy does better than I thought. If you decided to take the Mark of Hospitality Halfling as your race, you'd get access to Aid and at level 9 could increase its hit points by 20. Also worth noting the Celestial Pact gains the ability to give 1/2WarlockLevel + Charisma THP to creatures at the end of rests, too, if Inspiring Leader isn't available/desired.

    I still don't think it's worth sacrificing your own action to get an extra attack from the familiar, but maybe experience would prove me wrong on that.
    Last edited by Evaar; 2021-04-15 at 04:00 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #72
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Nov 2013

    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by Evaar View Post
    Good catch! It would also get advantage on those attacks, and it has a fly speed of 60 feet to help it get into melee and get sufficiently far away. With a some support the scaly little guy does better than I thought. If you decided to take the Mark of Hospitality Halfling as your race, you'd get access to Aid and at level 9 could increase its hit points by 20.

    I still don't think it's worth sacrificing your own action to get an extra attack from the familiar, but maybe experience would prove me wrong on that.
    Usually, it's not; but sometimes you can't attack, even with Eldritch Blast, and your more mobile Familiar can.

  13. - Top - End - #73
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by diplomancer View Post
    Usually, it's not; but sometimes you can't attack, even with Eldritch Blast, and your more mobile Familiar can.
    Makes sense. If someone has obscured the whole battlefield, maybe the psuedodragon is your best chance at getting things done.

  14. - Top - End - #74
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by Evaar View Post
    Makes sense. If someone has obscured the whole battlefield, maybe the psuedodragon is your best chance at getting things done.
    It actually works well with a character design I have been messing with focused around fog cloud as your main concentration spell (regardless of level). Basically, fog cloud prevents line of sight and grants big benefit to blindfighting characters (or enemies).

    You could fly a pseudodragon into the fog, use it to both attack with its bonus action and use its reaction to cast touch spells. If that spell is shocking grasp (and it hits) you can effectively just move away too, further reducing the risk to the little guy.

    Unfortunately there's not too many touch spells that are offensive in nature (Inflict Wounds & Bestow Curse (which you cant use at the same time as fog cloud until 5th level spells) are about all you get).

    Still it is an interesting way to CC a huge area of a fight and keep yourself relatively safe (though my current primary character idea is more of a melee guy). A genie warlock now gets fog cloud, so you can bask in the glory that is a 100ft radius sphere of doom (gloom?)... until someone casts gust of wind. :D

    That said, between the better base to-hit, ranged attack, and how easy it is to down a pseudodragon, I do think the sprite is the better all-around choice unless you know you'll be dealing with magical darkness or similarly blinding effects. Of course it dovetails perfectly into the Darkness warlock though.

  15. - Top - End - #75
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherlockpwns View Post
    It actually works well with a character design I have been messing with focused around fog cloud as your main concentration spell (regardless of level). Basically, fog cloud prevents line of sight and grants big benefit to blindfighting characters (or enemies).

    You could fly a pseudodragon into the fog, use it to both attack with its bonus action and use its reaction to cast touch spells. If that spell is shocking grasp (and it hits) you can effectively just move away too, further reducing the risk to the little guy.

    Unfortunately there's not too many touch spells that are offensive in nature (Inflict Wounds & Bestow Curse (which you cant use at the same time as fog cloud until 5th level spells) are about all you get).

    Still it is an interesting way to CC a huge area of a fight and keep yourself relatively safe (though my current primary character idea is more of a melee guy). A genie warlock now gets fog cloud, so you can bask in the glory that is a 100ft radius sphere of doom (gloom?)... until someone casts gust of wind. :D

    That said, between the better base to-hit, ranged attack, and how easy it is to down a pseudodragon, I do think the sprite is the better all-around choice unless you know you'll be dealing with magical darkness or similarly blinding effects. Of course it dovetails perfectly into the Darkness warlock though.
    Neat! I never thought to use Fog Cloud, now I can make a character whose Patron is one of the Dark Powers of Ravenloft, summoning the mists and having a horror within consume them (since you can deal absurd damage with Inflict Wounds, Empower Spell and Grave Domain Divinity).

  16. - Top - End - #76
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherlockpwns View Post
    You could fly a pseudodragon into the fog, use it to both attack with its bonus action and use its reaction to cast touch spells. If that spell is shocking grasp (and it hits) you can effectively just move away too, further reducing the risk to the little guy.
    If it's in a fog cloud, the enemy can't see it and it already can fly away without provoking an opportunity attack.

    Shocking Grasp would help if the enemy has blindsight, but then the fog cloud is pointless anyway.

  17. - Top - End - #77
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    The main issue of the fog cloud from a character angle is that it screws the warlock casting it unless they have Blindsight (either via the Martial Initiate feat or a level in fighter).

    I mean, itís nice that the pet gets to flex, but youíre the one doing the real damage!

  18. - Top - End - #78
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Sprite is pretty good (Chain Pact).

    IME it's best to get heavy obscurement from the party, for the party, e.g. warlock, enchanter, and moon druid cooperating on Summon Greater Demon + Conjure Animals + Pyrotechnics to get advantage and defensive benefits for the Pseudodragon, the wildshaped druid, a metric ton of Giant Poisonous Snakes, the warlock's Barlgura, any Tiny Servants the Enchanter precast, and to some extent the Enchanter himself if he invested in Alert. And the Enchanter still has his concentration free!

    Look for party combos--they are there.
    Purple text = personal judgment which I don't expect you necessarily to share. YMMV.

    Everything on the Internet is opinion but purple text is my way of highlighting that I am not interested in persuading you to share mine.

    This is the Most Important Video You've Never Seen About 5E Design. 5E designers Mike Mearls and Rodney Thompson tell you how game design was done, how classes were balanced against each other, etc.

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