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Warlock, Variant (3.5e Class)

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Created By
Tavis McCricket (talk)
Date Created: 04/21/10
Status: Complete, for now
Editing: Grammar only please.
Balance: Wizard

{{#set:Summary=A workable version of the Warlock that is not completely eclipsed at mid to high levels. |Length=20 |Base Attack Bonus Progression=Moderate |Fortitude Save Progression=Poor |Reflex Save Progression=Poor |Will Save Progression=Good |Class Ability=Invocations |Class Ability Progression=Full }} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Evil}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Neutral Evil}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Good}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Neutral}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Evil}}


"That's very cute dear. Now make sure you wash your hands before you come inside."

Sorcerers are not the only class with inborne magical talents that trace back to powerful ancestry. While not a spell caster in the truest sense, Warlocks can invoke many supernatural abilities that mimic spells. Unlike sorcerers, a Warlock's can find himself ruled by his forebearers, for better or for worse.

Rather than completely reworking the class, this variant attempts to improve what a warlock does best; blasting infidels in the face. Intended to significantly boost the warlocks damage and utility, this variant is tougher, has the potential to know more invocations, deals more damage per blast, and can even blast multiple times per round.

Making a WarlockEdit

Abilities: The strength of a Warlocks invocations is based off of his Charisma, while Dexterity increases the accuracy of his Elditch Blast. Like always, Consitution is not to be ignored.

Races: Warlocks are born, not made. Some societies value those with a fiendish streak, while others cast them out. Warlocks are likely found in positions of power in orcish or drow tribes and the like.

Alignment: Any evil or any chaotic.

Starting Gold: Not that much, tbh.

Starting Age: Simple.

Table: The Warlock

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Invocations Known
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Eldritch Blast 1d6, Invocation (least) 1+1
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Detect Magic, DR 1/Cold Iron 2+1
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Eldritch Blast 2d6 2+2
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Deceive Item, DR 2/Cold Iron 3+2
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Eldritch Blast 3d6, Supernatural Resilience 1, Eldritch Surge 3+2
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Invocation (lesser), DR 3/Cold Iron 4+3
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Eldritch Blast 4d6 4+3
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 DR 4/Cold Iron 5+3
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Eldritch Blast 5d6 5+3
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Rapid Blasting, Energy Resistance 5, DR 5/Cold Iron, Supernatural Resilience 2 6+4
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Eldritch Blast 6d6, Invocation (greater) 7+4
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Imbue Item, DR 6/Cold Iron 7+4
13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Eldritch Blast 7d6 8+4
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 DR 7/Cold Iron 8+4
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Eldritch Blast 8d6, Supernatural Resilience 5, Eldritch Potency 9+5
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Invocation (dark), DR 8/Cold Iron 10+5
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Eldritch Blast 9d6 10+5
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 DR 9/Cold Iron 11+5
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Eldritch Blast 10d6 11+5
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Energy Resistance 10, DR 10/Cold Iron, Supernatural Apotheosis 12+5

Class Skills (Skill Points::4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Knowledge (The Planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha)

Class FeaturesEdit

All of the following are class features of the warlock.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A warlock is proficient with all simple weapons, and all light and medium armor. Light and medium armors do not interfere with invoking, and a warlock may wear them without any chance of arcane spell failure.

Invocations: A warlock does not prepare or cast spells as other wielders of arcane magic do. Instead, he possesses a repertoire of attacks, defenses, and abilities known as invocations that require him to focus the wild energy that suffuses his soul. A warlock can use any invocation he knows at will, with the following qualifications:

A warlock’s invocations are spell-like abilities; using an invocation is therefore a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. An invocation can be disrupted, just as a spell can be ruined during casting. A warlock is entitled to a Concentration check to successfully use an invocation if he is hit by an attack while invoking, just as a spellcaster would be. A warlock can choose to use an invocation defensively, by making a successful Concentration check, to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity. A warlock’s invocations are subject to spell resistance unless an invocation’s description specifically states otherwise. A warlock’s caster level with his invocations is equal to his warlock level. The save DC for an invocation (if it allows a save) is 10 + equivalent spell level + the warlock’s Charisma modifier. Since spell-like abilities are not actually spells, a warlock cannot benefit from the Spell Focus feat. He can, however, benefit from the Ability Focus feat (see page 303 of the Monster Manual), as well as from feats that emulate metamagic effects for spell-like abilities, such as Quicken Spell-Like Ability and Empower Spell-Like Ability (see pages 303 and 304 of the Monster Manual).

The four grades of invocations, in order of their relative power, are least, lesser, greater, and dark. A warlock begins with knowledge of one invocation, which must be of the lowest grade (least). As a warlock gains levels, he learns new invocations, as summarized above and described below. A list of available invocations can be found Complete Arcane, Complete Mage, and Dragon Magic. At any level when a warlock learns a new invocation, he can also replace an invocation he already knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade. At 6th level, a warlock can replace a least invocation he knows with a different least invocation (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be either least or lesser). At 11th level, a warlock can replace a least or lesser invocation he knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be least, lesser, or greater). At 16th level, a warlock can replace a least, lesser, or greater invocation he knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be least, lesser, greater, or dark).

Finally, unlike other spell-like abilities, invocations are subject to arcane spell failure chance as described under Weapon and Armor Proficiency above. Warlocks can qualify for some prestige classes usually intended for spellcasters; see page 18 of Complete Arcane, for details.

Invocations Known: A warlock has a limited number of invocations that he can activate at will. In addition to the standard number of invocations a warlock usually knows, he also gains bonus invocations that can be used to pick from blast shape and blast essence invocations only. For example, a 5th level warlock can know three invocations of any type, plus two blast shape or essence invocations.

Eldritch Blast (Sp): The first ability a warlock learns is eldritch blast. A warlock attacks his foes with eldritch power, using baleful magical energy to deal damage and sometimes impart other debilitating effects.

An eldritch blast is a ray with a range of 60 feet. It is a ranged touch attack that affects a single target, allowing no saving throw. An eldritch blast deals 1d6 points of damage at 1st level and increases in power as the warlock rises in level. An eldritch blast is the equivalent of a spell whose level is equal to one-half the warlock’s class level (round down), with a minimum spell level of 1st and a maximum of 9th when a warlock reaches 18th level or higher. Unlike other spells and spell-like abilities, an eldritch blast has a x3 critical.

An eldritch blast is subject to spell resistance, although the Spell Penetration feat and other effects that improve caster level checks to overcome spell resistance also apply to eldritch blast. An eldritch blast deals half damage to objects. Metamagic feats cannot improve a warlock’s eldritch blast (because it is a spell-like ability, not a spell). However, the feat Ability Focus (eldritch blast) increases the DC for all saving throws (if any) associated with a warlock’s eldritch blast by 2. See page 303 of the Monster Manual.

Detect Magic(Su): Beginning at 2nd level, a warlock can use detect magic as the spell at will. His caster level equals his class level.

Damage Reduction (Su): Fortified by the supernatural power flowing in his body, a warlock becomes resistant to physical attacks at 2nd level and above, gaining damage reduction 1/cold iron. At 4th level and every other level thereafter, a warlock’s damage reduction improves.

Eldritch Surge (Su): Starting at 5th level, a warlock gains the ability to surge a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum of 1). When surging, a warlock can increase the damage dealt with his eldritch blast. The warlock can add a number of dice of damage up to the maximum available to the warlock (the most dice a 5th level warlock could add is 3d6). For every die extra the warlock adds, he in turn takes 1d3 damage. This damage cannot be prevented or reduced in any way. This damage is dealt to the warlock before the eldritch blast is resolved. A warlock can only surge if the eldritch blast requires a to hit check. Firing a surged eldritch blast is a standard action (And cannot be used as part of a full-attack).

Deceive Item(Su): At 4th level and higher, a warlock has the ability to more easily commandeer magic items made for the use of other characters. When making a Use Magic Device check, a warlock can take 10 even if distracted or threatened.

Supernatural Resilience (Su):Beginning at 5th level, a warlock knows the trick of supernatural resilience. A number of times per day equal to the warlock's charisma modifier, as a free action, he can enter a state that lasts for 3 + Charisma modifier rounds (minimum of 1 round). While in this state, the warlock gains fast healing 1. At 10th level, a warlock’s supernatural resilience improves. When in his supernatural resilience state, he gains fast healing 2 instead. At 15th level, a warlock’s supernatural resilience improves to fast healing 5.

Energy Resistance (Su): At 10th level and higher, a warlock has resistance 5 against any two of the following energy types: acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic. Once the types are chosen, this energy resistance cannot be changed. At 20th level, a warlock gains resistance 10 against the two selected types of energy.

Rapid Blasting (Su): At 10th level, a warlock gains the ability to take a full attack with his eldritch blast (A warlock benefitting from haste would also be allowed an extra eldritch blast).

Imbue Item (Su): A warlock of 12th level or higher can use his supernatural power to create magic items, even if he does not know the spells required to make an item (although he must know the appropriate item creation feat). He can substitute a Use Magic Device check (DC 15 + spell level for arcane spells or 25 + spell level for divine spells) in place of a required spell he doesn’t know or can’t cast. If the check succeeds, the warlock can create the item as if he had cast the required spell. If it fails, he cannot complete the item. He does not expend the XP or gp costs for making the item; his progress is simply arrested. He cannot retry this Use Magic Device check for that spell until he gains a new level.

Eldritch Potency (Su): At 15th level, the frequency of critical hits with a warlock's eldritch blast doubles. The threat range on his eldritch blast increases to 19-20 (this stacks with improved critical, for 17-20).

Supernatural Apotheosis (Su): At 20th level, the warlock is at the zenith of his power. He is forevermore treated as an outsider (an extra-planar creature) rather than as a humanoid for the purpose of spells and magical effects. For instance, charm person does not affect him. Unlike other outsiders, the warlock can still be brought back from the dead as if he were a member of his previous creature type. Furthermore, the warlock must pick one axis of his alignment (good, evil, law, or chaos). His eldritch blast is now aligned to that axis, and deals an extra 2d6 damage to enemies of the opposing axis. Lastly, the warlock is able to bypass immunity to critical hits with his eldritch blast. Against foes normally immune (Undead, Constructs, Fortification effects, etc), a warlock that confirms a critical does x2 damage, rather than x3.

Campaign InformationEdit

Kai Ebon
Warlocks can vary wildly both in style and functionality.

Playing a WarlockEdit

Other Classes: Paladins are likely to be in almost instant conflict with one, as are most good or lawfully aligned Clerics. Wizards will regard one with some suspicion, while Sorcerers and Bards will likely welcome the same gentleman with open arms. Barbarians would treat a Warlock the same as any Arcanist, albeit with a little more superstition. Druids and Rangers could go either way, although they will generally remain indifferent. Monks, Fighters, and Rogues have no particular feelings one way or another; Warlocks are just another caster, for better or for worse.

Combat: Warlocks make a very good mid-line character. They possess the armor and hit points to enter melee with foes, especially when backed with blast shape invocations like Hideous Blow or Eldritch Glaive. They can also engage at range, using Eldritch Cone or Eldritch line to spread out the love, or Eldritch Spear to snipe foes without penalty from a considerable range. Given their stellar UMD (Use magic device) usage (and the ability to take 10 on it no matter what), they can fill the support role with wands and staves not normally available to arcanists. A warlock overloaded with scrolls in a Belt of Many Pouches can do the work of a wizard and a cleric at the same time (slightly slower, of course).

However, when the chips are down, you likely want the warlock blasting, not healing.

Advancement: A warlock will benefit more from pursuing further levels in their own class than by branching out. Most of the time at least. Pursuing Eldritch Theurge and Eldritch Disciple are both viable paths, best pursued by first taking levels in sorcerer or favored soul, respectively. With no "dead" levels in the progression, every new level offers more power to a warlock.

Warlocks in the WorldEdit

Never-mind the blood on my hands or the dead sailor behind me. The important thing is that you are still alive, and I'm the one responsible for it. Grovelling is an acceptable response to this turn of events.
—Ebon, once human Warlock

Warlocks often find themselves in great demand, or completely unwelcome. While most of this depends on the reception they get from the locals when people discover a wielder of the dark arts in their midst, it often comes down to how the warlock carries himself. If he's a raving lunatic that threatens to drink the blood of the first yokel that bumps into him, he's not going to welcome in town much longer. That being said, most adventurers that have seen a warlock go to work in battle know the value of having one their side.

Daily Life: There is no typical warlock. Anyone who has the blood of the supernatural flowing through them is going to be a strange one, even more so if with that heritage comes the ability to smite your foes ruin upon the mountain-side. As varied as they may be, it's not uncommon to find them leading cults, plundering lost relics, hunting down other supernatural entities, or fleeing from lynch mobs. It's really all common-place for them.

NPC Reactions: Not everyone loves a warlock. In general, paladins and good or lawful aligned clerics can be expected to react one step closer to hostile than they normally would (before factoring in alignment). Likewise, blackguards and evil clerics are more receptive, reacting one step closer to friendly.

Warlocks in the GameEdit

Adaptation: Warlocks certainly don't have to have a fiendish or fey heritage. They could just as easily be the descendant of any magically inclined creature (dragons come to mind). Furthermore, they could simple be a replacement for the sorcerer in a standard campaign. The priest for an evil temple could turn out to be a warlock, as could the shaman that leads the barbarian hordes to the north.

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