Thursday, April 16, 2015

O is for Warlock

The Oṣó (Warlock)
A wizard kit for use with AD&D 2nd Edition.
An Oṣó, sometimes called a warlock, is a sorcerer who uses dangerous magic without the aid of the gods'’ wisdom. Oṣó learn spells and are granted the power to cast them by the Tanar'ri, the chaotic denizens of the underworld (demons, in other words). Their magic is unpredictable and despised by their countrymen. Magic-users who take this kit are almost exclusively male (exceptions might be made, but they are few). 
Like their female counterparts, the Witch, warlocks are primarily concerned with the lore and appeasement of their aspect of the netherworld. They serve and appease the angry, hostile, aggressive, and destructive natures of the Tanar'ri. They will promote a war if that is what a spirit wants, or if the oṣó, for their own purposes, desire it and can convince their followers that it is the spirits’ will. Of course, such deception depends on the warlock's alignment.
Base Requirements

  • Races: Any (male only)
  • Allowed Classes: Wild Mage†
  • Ability Requirements: None
  • Alignments: Non-Lawful
  • Starting Cash: By class

† An Oṣó must be a specialist in the school of Wild Magic (see the Tome of Magic).

Weapon Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: By class
  • Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Allowed Weapons: Spear (any), Club (any), Mace (any), Dagger (any), Bow (any)
  • Allowed Armors: By class

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:

  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class, plus Warrior
  • Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Artistic Ability, Disguise, Spellcraft
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Alertness, Astrology, Blind-Fighting, Bowyer/Fletcher, Cooking, Direction Sense, Endurance, Fire-building, Herbalism, Hunting, Intimidation, Netherworld Knowledge, Planes Lore, Psionic Mimicry, Set Snares, Singing, Somatic Concealment, Sorcerous Dueling, Tracking, Weaponsmithing
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: none

Oṣó go out of their way to disguise their nature, and dress in whatever fashion is appropriate to their current situation. However, all warlocks are afflicted with the curse of changing form. This curse causes the warlock to change his shape to that of another creature every night at midnight, the change lasting until the next night. No known magic, or even death, can prevent this change. Because these forms are often monstrous (trolls, ogres, or worse), the Oṣó usually keeps himself away from society in general.
The rare good-aligned warlock may serve the Tanar'ri unknowingly or unwillingly. They still do the will of the Tanar'ri simply by their existence, but attempt to subvert that will to do as little harm as possible, attempting to protect their communities from the predations of these evil spirits.
Warlocks are homeless wanderers, who study their art to gain power. Good or no, the warlock is hunted by his countrymen, not out of hatred of the warlock but because they fear the wrath of the gods, the elements, and all other spirits who desire the warlock's destruction. 
Special Abilities:

  • At 1st level, the warlock may select one weapon with which he is proficient as his "weapon of choice". He gains a permanent +1 bonus on all attack rolls with such weapons.
  • Warlocks may learn and cast priest spells from the Chaos and Necromantic spheres as wizard spells. They treat these spheres as bonus Paths (they do not count against the warlock's number of paths known). The warlock must abide by the normal restrictions regarding spells that belong to multiple spheres, race-specific spells, and religion-specific spells.
  • Warlocks treat all spells from the Chaos priest sphere as belonging to the school of Wild Magic for the purpose of their specialization bonuses. Thus they gain a bonus to their chance to learn spells from the Chaos sphere and can prepare Chaos sphere spells in their bonus specialist spell slots.
  • Warlocks are hardier than other wizards. They use six-sided dice for hit points instead of four-sided dice.
  • When a warlock reaches 4th level, he gains the power to summon massive magical energies that allow him to cast any one spell at maximum effect once per day. The spell must be at least one level lower than the highest spell level he can cast. The spell automatically has maximum range, duration, and effect.

Special Disadvantages:

  • If a warlock's true profession is known, the Oṣó suffer a -2 penalty on all NPC reaction rolls (even against other warlocks).
  • The Warlock must sacrifice the equivalent of one large domestic animal to the denizens of the underworld per level each time he increases a level. An Oṣó who fails to make the proper sacrifices does not gain the abilities of his new level until he does so.
  • The Tanar'ri, because of their chaotic nature, often place strange demands on a warlock. Each warlock must abide by certain taboos, though the taboos may seem trivial or even ridiculous to other characters, the warlock takes them quite seriously-violating a taboo causes the warlock to lose levels of ability, lose spells, become ill, or even die (the DM decides the exact penalty). A 1st-level a warlock has one taboo and gains an additional taboo every five levels thereafter. The player should develop his character's taboos in concert with the DM. Some suggestions might include:
    • Can't eat meat or animal products (including milk, eggs, and cheese).
    • Can't sleep within 20 yards of a member of the opposite sex.
    • Can't wear a certain color.
    • Can't carry gold (or other specific precious metal) on his person.
    • Can't bathe or must bathe frequently.
    • Can't cut his hair or fingernails.
    • Can't intentionally take the life of an insect.
    • Can't drink alcoholic beverages (or the reverse).
    • Can't sit facing the north (or other direction).
    • Can't speak after sunset (except to cast spells).
    • Or look at the suggestions for Witch Contracts.
  • The elements themselves abhor the art of the warlock. He cannot learn or cast any elemental spell-that is any spell that belongs to the Elemental Air, Elemental Earth, Elemental Fire, or Elemental Water schools of magic (see the Tome of Magic or consult your DM to see whether a spell is forbidden).
  • The Curse of Changing Form. Every day, the Oṣó must roll randomly to determine what form he takes that day. The table of available forms is different for each warlock, and it includes the warlock's true form plus random forms chosen from the reincarnation spell table in the Complete Book of Humanoids. A warlock has a number of forms equal to his level plus one (thus a 1st-level warlock has only two possible forms). Some distinguishing feature (eye colour, a particular scar or tattoo, etc. -- chosen by the player) is common to all forms. The warlock can speak and cast spells in all  forms. In other respects, this curse acts as a polymorph self spell.
    • For example, a 3rd-level warlock would have to roll 1d4 each day. On a roll of 1, he would maintain his true form, but rolls of 2 through 4 could correspond to gnoll, kobold, and troll forms respectively. He might have a white streak of hair in all forms.
  • The Curse of Refusal. Death has refused to allow the Oṣó entry to the realm of the dead, so all warlocks become undead upon their deaths. The exact form that an undead warlock assumes depends on the level that the warlock attained in life. Convert the character's level to hit dice and consult the Cleric's table for turning undead for the appropriate form. The warlock loses his spell-casting abilities upon death, unless the undead form taken is normally capable of casting spells.
    • For example, a 6th-level warlock would become a ghast or wraith when he dies. If the warlock is 11th level or higher when he dies comes back as a Lich and retains his spellcasting abilities.
    • Despite the character's new status, the Curse of Changing Form is still in effect. As a  result, the undead character may be a skeletal, zombie, or ghostly troll, orc, etc., on any given day. The character retains his undead abilities and immunities in any form. The DM is advised to make the undead character an NPC, if the warlock is not one already.