Monday, February 27, 2017

My Take on the Warlock

This is an adaptation of the Warlock class published for Pathfinder by Adamant Entertainment Group, itself an adaptation of the D&D v3.5 Warlock class which appeared in Complete Arcane. The intent is to revive some of the “otherworldly” feel of the original class and playing up the importance of the Warlock's extraplanar patrons, while keeping the elegance of the use of arcane school powers from the Adamant adaptation, and also exploiting mechanics that already exist in Pathfinder as much as possible.




Warlocks are seekers of the knowledge that lies hidden in the fabric of the multiverse, Through pacts made with mysterious beings of supernatural power, warlocks unlock magical effects both subtle and spectacular. Drawing on the ancient knowledge of angels, archons, devils, demons, and even stranger extraplanar beings, warlocks piece together arcane secrets to bolster their own power,

A warlock is defined by a pact with an otherworldly being, Sometimes the relationship between warlock and patron is like that of a cleric and a deity, though the beings that serve as patrons for warlocks are not gods, A warlock might lead a cult dedicated to a demon prince, an archdevil, or an utterly alien entity-beings not typically served by clerics. More often, though, the arrangement is similar to that between a master and an apprentice, The warlock learns and grows in power, at the cost of occasional services performed on the patron’s behalf.

Adventures: Warlocks are driven by an insatiable need for knowledge and power, which compels them into their pacts and shapes their lives, This thirst drives warlocks into their pacts and shapes their later careers as well. Stories of warlocks binding themselves to fiends are widely known, but many warlocks serve patrons that are not fiendish. Sometimes a traveler in the wilds comes to a strangely beautiful tower, meets its fey lord or lady, and stumbles into a pact without being fully aware of it. And sometimes, while poring over tomes of forbidden lore. a brilliant but crazed student’s mind is opened to realities beyond the material world and to the alien beings that dwell in the outer void.

Once a pact is made, a warlock’s thirst for knowledge and power can’t be slaked with mere study and research. No one makes a pact with such a mighty patron if he or she doesn’t intend to use the power thus gained. Rather, the vast majority of warlocks spend their days in active pursuit of their goals. which typically means some kind of adventuring. Furthermore, the demands of their patrons drive warlocks toward adventure.

Characteristics: Warlocks harbor great reserves of mystical energy. The touch of their patrons and the font of magic burning in their souls fundamentally alters them, not only cosmetically, but making them resistant to many forms of attack and arming them with dangerous power. Warlocks do not cast spells, instead learning a variety of spell-like and arcane powers from their patrons. What they lack in versatility, they make up for by being more resilient than wizards, sorcerers, or witches.

Alignment: Warlocks may be of any alignment. The powers they serve run the gambit from cruel and capricious, to sublime and benevolent, and everything in between. Most warlock patrons place limitations on whom they will form a pact with, but the full range of alignments are represented.

Other Classes: Warlocks have an interesting relationship with sorcerers, in that they are the source of many a sorcerer’s power. The changes to body and spirit brought on by a Warlock’s pacts practically ensures that any of a warlock’s offspring will be born with sorcerous blood. Thus sorcerers in particular (as well as bloodragers) are often viewed with contempt by Warlocks, like children playing with power they can’t possibly understand.

Because of their unusual relationships with their extraplanar patrons, Warlocks seldom get along with clerics, paladins, inquisitors, and similar servants of the divine. Likewise, while they are two sides of the same coin, Warlocks often view witches with the same disdain that they do sorcerers, because of the witch’s lack of direct knowledge of their patrons and need for the proxy that is a familiar.

Ability Scores: Charisma is the most important ability for a Warlock, as it controls how often they can use many of their abilities, as well as their save DCs. Intelligence is also important, as it determines how often a Warlock may use his eldritch talents. Dexterity affects the accuracy of a Warlock’s eldritch blast and also aids his AC due to his reliance on light armor.

Game Rule Information:
Warlocks have the following game statistics.
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d8.
Base Attack Bonus: Average.
Base Fortitude Saves: Poor.
Base Reflex Saves: Poor.
Base Will Saves: Good.
Starting Wealth: 3d6 x10gp
Starting Age: Moderate.

Table 1-n: The Warlock
Level Special
1 Patron, Patron Skills, Patron Spell, Eldritch Blast (1d6), Aura, Languages
2 Contact Patron (augury), Patronic Transformation
3 Eldritch Talent, Eldritch Blast (2d6)
4 Patronic Transformation, Eldritch Essence
5 Eldritch Talent
6 Patronic Transformation, Eldritch Blast (3d6)
7 Eldritch Talent
8 Patronic Transformation, Contact Patron (divination)
9 Eldritch Talent, Eldritch Blast (4d6)
10 Patronic Transformation, Patron Ability Bonus
11 Eldritch Talent, Advanced Eldritch Talents
12 Patronic Transformation, Eldritch Blast (5d6)
13 Eldritch Talent
14 Patronic Transformation, Contact Patron (commune)
15 Eldritch Talent, Eldritch Blast (6d6)
16 Patronic Transformation
17 Eldritch Talent
18 Patronic Transformation, Eldritch Blast (7d6)
19 Eldritch Talent
20 Patronic Transformation, Patron Ability Bonus

Class Skills:
A warlock’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge [arcana] (Int), Knowledge [the planes] (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features:
The following are class features of the warlock.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Warlocks are proficient with all simple weapons and one exotic weapon of their choice (in emulation of the strange weapons favored by their patrons). They are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

Aura: Regardless of the Warlock’s alignment, he always radiates an aura corresponding to the alignment of his Patron, as an outsider with Hit Dice equal to his Warlock level (see Detect Evil). Thus a Warlock with a Demon patron will always radiate an aura of Chaos and Evil, while a Warlock with an Aeon patron will never radiate an alignment aura.

Languages: A warlock’s bonus language options include Celestial, Abyssal, and Infernal (the languages of good, chaotic evil, and lawful evil outsiders, respectively). These choices are in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of her race.

Warlock’s Patron: At 1st level, a Warlock must select a Patron. A Warlock’s patron is a always a unique, specific outsider, typically a powerful member of one of the major races of outsiders (angels, demons, garudas, rakshasa, or similar creatures). The DM should develop the Warlock’s patron as an NPC. While the Patron cannot command the Warlock or dictate the Warlock’s actions, the Patron does serve as the Warlock’s mentor, teaching the Warlock his powers and offering advice when called on to do so.

The Warlock must select his patron from the list below. The Warlock’s choice of patron grants a number of abilities. At 1st-level, the Patron grants the warlock a single spell-like ability, which the warlock can cast a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1/day). The Patron also trains the Warlock in a number of skills. The Warlock automatically gains 1 rank in the two indicated skills at each Warlock level. These do not count against the number of skill-points the Warlock gains otherwise. The two indicated skills become class skills, if they are not already. At 10th level, the Patron grants the warlock a +2 increase to a specific ability score. This increase in permanent and functions exactly like the ability score increases a character gains every 4 levels. At 20th level, the Patron grants a +2 increase to a second ability score.

The caster level for all of a Warlock’s spell-like abilities is equal to his Warlock class level. The DCs of any saving throws against a Warlock’s spell-like abilities are always equal to 10 + 1/2 the Warlock’s level + his Charisma modifier.

Because Patrons are outsiders, they are strongly aligned and only allow Warlocks of similar disposition. At 1st level, a Warlock must select a Patron who’s alignment matches his own. A Warlock who later changes his alignment to one not allowed by his patron does not lose any of the abilities he has acquired, but may not advance further in Warlock levels. At the DM’s option, a Warlock who has changed his alignment may go on a quest to acquire a new Patron, in which case all bonuses granted by his former Patron (including skills, spells, and ability increases) are replaced by those of his new Patron.

Patron Allowed Alignments Patron’s Spell Patron’s Skills 1st Ability Increase 2nd Ability Increase
Aeon LN, NG, TN, NE, CN Calm Emotions Knowledge (religion), Sense Motive Wisdom Dexterity
Agathion LG, NG, TN, CG Summon Nature’s Ally II Handle Animal, Survival Constitution Charisma
Angel LG, NG, CG Alter Self Heal, Knowledge (planes) Charisma Strength
Archon LG, LN, NG Continual Flame Intimidate, Sense Motive Wisdom Constitution
Asura LN, LE, NE Hideous Laughter Appraise, Knowledge (local) Wisdom Dexterity
Azata NG, CN, CG Glitterdust Diplomacy, Perform (any one) Charisma Dexterity
Daemons LE, NE, TN, CE Death Knell Disable Device, Sleight of Hand Dexterity Intelligence
Demodand NE, CN, CE Bear’s Endurance Intimidate, Knowledge (religion) Constitution Wisdom
Demon NE, CN, CE Shatter Disable Device, Perception Strength Charisma
Devil LN, LE, NE Pyrotechnics Diplomacy, Sense Motive Wisdom Constitution
Div LE, TN, NE, CE Misdirection Diplomacy, Linguistics Charisma Dexterity
Ei’risai CG, CN, CE Blindness/Deafness Acrobatics, Escape Artist Strength Constitution
Garuda NG, CN, CG See Invisibility Acrobatics, Fly Dexterity Wisdom
Inevitable LG, LN, LE Hold Person Diplomacy, Intimidate Charisma Constitution
Kami LG, LN, NG, TN, CG, CN Speak with Plants Knowledge (nature), Perception Dexterity Wisdom
Kyton LN, LE, NE Web Escape Artist, Intimidate Constitution Charisma
Oni LN, LE, TN, NE, CN, CE Alter Self Disguise, Intimidate Strength Wisdom
Peri LG, NG, TN, CG Pyrotechnics Knowledge (planes), Spellcraft Intelligence Charisma
Protean CG, CN, CE Shatter Bluff, Knowledge (arcana) Strength Wisdom
Psychomomp LN, NG, TN, NE, CN Speak with Dead Knowledge (religion), Spellcraft Wisdom Constitution
Qlippoth NE, CN, CE Blur Escape Artist, Survival Wisdom Strength
Rakshasa LN, LE, NE Detect Thoughts Disguise, Sense Motive Charisma Dexterity

Eldritch Blast (Sp): Starting at 1st level, the Warlock learns to unleash baleful magical energy to deal damage to his foes. An eldritch blast is a ranged touch attack that affects a single target, with a range of 100 feet, plus 10 feet per Warlock level. On a successful hit, the eldritch blast deals 1d6 points of force damage (no save). This increases to 2d6 at 3rd level, plus 1d6 for every three levels thereafter. Using eldritch blast is an attack action, and is usable at will. Any time the Warlock would be able to make a weapon attack, he may choose to use eldritch blast. A warlock able to make multiple attacks per round as part of a full-attack action may fire multiple eldritch blasts, up to the limit of his normal number of attacks.

Eldritch Blast counts as a spell of the Evocation school, with a level equal to the number of damage dice for all effects that are dependent on spell-level or the school of magic. An eldritch blast is subject to spell resistance, although Spell Penetration and other feats and abilities that improve caster level checks also apply to eldritch blast. An eldritch blast deals half damage to objects. Using eldritch blast provokes attacks of opportunity as normal for a ranged attack. Any ability that allows ranged attacks to be made without provocation applies to eldritch blasts as well.

Contact Patron (Sp): Starting at 2nd level, the Warlock gains the ability to directly contact with his Patron in its outer-planar home for insight and advice. This acts as an Augury spell, cast at the Warlock’s level. This is a spell-like ability and does not require any material components. The Warlock may use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

As the Warlock advances in level, he is able to better communicate with his patron, gaining more detailed and longer term information. At 8th level, this ability acts as a Divination spell. At 14th level, it acts as a Commune spell.

Patronic Transformation (Su): Starting at 2nd level, the Warlock’s patron begins teaching him eldritch secrets, at the cost of the Warlock’s humanity—granting him powers similar to creatures with an extraplanar bloodline while dramatically altering his form over time. The Warlock has no control over what secrets his Patron teaches him, nor what changes such knowledge may wreak upon his body.

At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the Warlock must roll 1d100 to determine what abilities he gains. Warlocks with a good-aligned Patron roll on the Variant Aasimar Abilities table. Those with an evil-aligned Patron roll on the Variant Tiefling Abilities table. Those whose Patron is neutral-aligned with respect to good and evil may choose to roll on either table, but must use the alternate table every other roll (i.e. if he rolls on the Tiefling table at 2nd level, he must roll on the Aasimar table at 4th, and so on).

The Warlock gains the ability indicated by his roll, as well as the physical feature from the respective “Alternative Physical Features” table determined by the same d100 result. Any ability granted that has a limited numbed of uses per day is usable a number of times per day equal to the Warlock’s Charisma modifier, instead of the indicated number of uses (minimum 1/day). If the same ability is rolled more than once, the benefits stack (+2 to a skill becomes +4, Damage Reduction 2/magic becomes DR 4/magic, Spell Resistance 10 + 1/2 your level becomes 10 + your level, Energy Resistance 5 becomes Resistance 10, etc.). A spell-like ability rolled more than once grants an additional number of daily uses equal to the amount indicated normally.

Eldritch Talents: In addition to the powers granted by their Patron, Warlocks are students of the arcane arts. Their unrelenting pursuit of knowledge and power leads them to learn magical talents very similar to that wielded by specialist wizards, but with none of their limitations on schools. At 3rd level, and again at every odd level thereafter, the Warlock learns one Eldritch Talent from the list below. Any ability that triggers off of casting a spell or affects spells you cast applies to your spell-like abilities (including eldritch blast if appropriate), as well as spells you cast from other classes you may have.
Eldritch Essence (Sp): Beginning at 4th level, as a standard action, the Warlock may unleash his eldritch blast and add the effect of any single spell-like abilities he has access to to the blast. On a successful hit, the target of the eldritch blast also becomes the target of the spell-like ability used, and must make any appropriate saving throws against the spell-like ability included. If the spell-like ability used deals damage of a specific energy type (such as the Acid Dart conjuration school power). all damage dealt by the eldritch blast is changed to match that type. Regardless of whether or not the eldritch blast hits, a use of that spell-like ability is expended.

Even abilities that normally have a range of “touch” or “self” can be delivered in this fashion (thus the Warlock would be able to cast Alter Self on an enemy targeted by eldritch essence). If the spell has an area of effect, the effect is centered on the target of the eldritch blast. Eldritch Talents that are supernatural abilities cannot be combined with an eldritch essence. A Warlock able to make multiple attacks with his eldritch blast may still only make a single attack when using an eldritch essence.
Special: If the Force Missile eldritch talent is used with eldritch essence, the eldritch blast also hits automatically with no attack roll required.

Advanced Eldritch Talents: Starting at 11th level, any time the Warlock would learn an eldritch talent, he may choose one of the following advanced talents instead.