PDA

View Full Version : [3.5]Warlocks, wtf



Arros Winhadren
2009-02-02, 03:12 AM
So one of my players is playing a Warlock and I'm a little flabbergasted at how powerful they are. I think I must be completely misreading the Invocation descriptions because I can't see any caveat such that they only have one invocation at once. So basically this 6th-level Warlock always has +6 to bluff, Spiderclimb and now a fly speed for as long as he wants? That seems way too good.

Kaiyanwang
2009-02-02, 03:21 AM
Every warlock invocation is at will. But the class is balanced, trust me. Just try.

hiryuu
2009-02-02, 03:23 AM
Warlocks have the lowest damage output in the game around that level, their maneuverability is their big schtick. Look out, a level 6 character has +6 Bluff. Be glad he's not a beguiler, who'd be damn near untouchable and have +30 to Bluff whenever he feels like it, or some other class that could turn into a bear that shoots lightning and summons other bears at that level.

Seriously. Warlocks suck. BAD.

Trust Kaiyanwang. He may have manipulated an amnesiac Parvati and some immortal regenerating dude into setting off a crazy Xanatos gambit that ended up spectacularly exploding in the face of everyone who tried to decipher it, but he knows what he's talking about.

Zergrusheddie
2009-02-02, 03:33 AM
At will Invocations are neat, and permanent fly is never bad. However, a level 3 wizard could use Alter Self to make himself a race that has wings and get Flight for 10 minutes/level. At level 14, Phantom Steed will give a 240 fly speed and would allow them to cast and move away.

Warlocks are very powerful 1-6 or around there. Their damage is enough that they will pump death into Colored Leads because the target will have lowish HP. But once the Fighter starts getting his +hit up high enough that he can Power Attack for 10 and still hit with a 2 on his first swing (2 with Haste), that Warlock will be put to shame. Warlocks are fun, but not incredibly powerful. They are great fun if you like to deal at least some damage every round, because not much has a great Touch AC.

Malacode
2009-02-02, 03:33 AM
Warlocks are in fact, the least powerful caster you're likely to come across. In terms of damage output, they're far behind most other characters. And Damage Output tends to be the way people define the game. It's all about how many mooks you can kill in a round to many people. The Warlock can't do that. He helps out other people by doing the things they can't do. Support caster, if ever there was one. The only remotely powerful thing they get is the ability to take 10 on any UMD check, and by the time you get that far, other characters are DMM Persisting spells and granting their Small Viper Familiars the Alter Form ability.

Tempest Fennac
2009-02-02, 03:36 AM
Eldrich Glaive can help a lot with damage output due to how you can full attack with it from 10 feet away (I'd class more then 1 touch attack which can do that much damage as being quite powerful).

Nerd-o-rama
2009-02-02, 03:39 AM
Warlocks look powerful on paper, because we're used to magical abilities being limited to per-day. However, when it comes down to it, they are still significantly less powerful than most spellcasters, because while their effects are useable at-will and often all day, the effects are far less actually powerful than those of casters.

Take for example your +6 Bluff invocation, Beguiling Influence. Yeah, that's on pretty much all the time. However, a Bard or Beguiler of the same level can just use Glibness and get a +20 (twenty!) to bluff whenever it actually matters, essentially guaranteeing success against anyone anywhere near their level. Same goes for other utility spells and wizards, or anything they can do for damage vs. a well-built fighter-type or a blaster caster who has any idea whatsoever what he's doing.

And remember, Warlocks will only get 16 invocations ever, four of each level, barring new ones picked from (precious, precious) feats. Compare this to any other spellcaster's spells known (except Duskblades), and it is laughably paltry. And their class features, while interesting, aren't really anything to write home about.

Bottom line is, Warlocks are pretty well-balanced and hard to break (they can be broken, but so can everything else.)

Kaiyanwang
2009-02-02, 03:52 AM
Trust Kaiyanwang. He may have manipulated an amnesiac Parvati and some immortal regenerating dude into setting off a crazy Xanatos gambit that ended up spectacularly exploding in the face of everyone who tried to decipher it, but he knows what he's talking about.

All the things I did, were to purify this corrupted world. Be prepared, because the universe will be remade.

KKL
2009-02-02, 04:00 AM
However, a Bard or Beguiler of the same level can just use Glibness and get a +20 (twenty!) to bluff whenever it actually matters

Isn't Glibness 30 to bluff?

JeminiZero
2009-02-02, 05:00 AM
And remember, Warlocks will only get 16 invocations ever, four of each level, barring new ones picked from (precious, precious) feats.


12 invocations actually. They only gain 3 for each level.

And as mentioned, what warlocks pack in stamina, they lack in firepower. They're not that powerful.

Nerd-o-rama
2009-02-02, 05:01 AM
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/glibness.htm

So it is. That just makes it a guaranteed success under almost any circumstance, barring lies so flagrant the DM just says no.

EDIT: I am 0 for 2 on numbers tonight. I think my points stand, though.

Tempest Fennac
2009-02-02, 05:59 AM
Apart from a 1 level Incarnum class dip for that ability which reduces stat damage by 1 with Hellfire Warlock levels, how else would you break a Warkock? (I'm only really asking out of curiosity.)

Malacode
2009-02-02, 06:04 AM
The Warlock Dual-Casting PrC's are able to be broken. An Eldritch Disciple with a coupla nightsticks and DMM: Persist can get his Cleric buffs persisted on himself along with his Invocations. It makes for a really good support character. Not the best in melee, but not the worst. Not the best caster, but not the worst. Not the best healer, but not the worst. It's all about how you buff yourself to fit what role your party most needs. Not broken unless you really cheese up DMM, but still very useful.

Arros Winhadren
2009-02-02, 07:08 AM
Hmm. I think the people on this board have a different idea of what constitutes "broken" than I do. Then again, I've never seen a wizard played correctly and I don't allow ToB.

I have to say I'm a little surprised by my Incarnate player too. 3d6 to any enemy that hits him and +3d6 to an enemy once/round? That's pretty good at level 6.

Bosh
2009-02-02, 07:14 AM
Hmm. I think the people on this board have a different idea of what constitutes "broken" than I do. Then again, I've never seen a wizard played correctly and I don't allow ToB.

I have to say I'm a little surprised by my Incarnate player too. 3d6 to any enemy that hits him and +3d6 to an enemy once/round? That's pretty good at level 6.

Yeah, but even a wizard played blasty-style will overshadow a warlock (in pretty much any adventure a wizard who just casts spells like fireball will do more damage than a warlock).

And no, a couple d6 isn't that much to talk about at level 6 :) Something as simple as a twf rogue with two short swords gets 8d6 total attack damage at level 6, (if he hits) and there's a lot of ways to push that higher.

BobVosh
2009-02-02, 07:22 AM
A wizard casting glitterdust and only glitterdust will outshine a warlock in a combat.

Tempest Fennac
2009-02-02, 07:23 AM
Why don't you allow ToB, Arros? Also, how did the Incarnate get that sort of damage in? (I could never figure out how Incarnum is meant to work.)

Eldariel
2009-02-02, 07:23 AM
That's one thing to remember, Warlock damage is just plain D6:s without bonuses. One d6 = average of 3.5 damage, so even though there's a huge number of them, the lack of bonuses means that the damage isn't really that big. It may seem intimidating with all the dice flying around, but if you focus on the numbers rather than the number of dice, you'll notice he isn't dealing any more than your melee types.

Fighter/Barbarian/Rogue on level 6 will have no trouble dealing ~50 damage on a good day. Warlock will be doing 11 per attack, so he needs 4-5 turns to deal the damage a melee type can deal in 1. Of course, the melee type's realistic expected damage is lower because he's not hitting with both and can't always charge/flank, but even then, 25-30 shouldn't be difficult to achieve. That's about the same as what ToB characters dish out; it's all around the same curve damagewise really.


EDIT: Just adding that when I first played with a Warlock, I thought they were damn strong. I was playing melee in the party and me rolling one die and him rolling a bunch just felt wrong, especially since he was making touch attacks. Then I started to pay attention to the damage he was dealing more closely; 11? 17? That's what I do with one hand's one strike in a two-weapon fighting build! It definitely seems like they're doing more with Eldritch Blast than they really are. Pay attention to the real numbers; they're far less overwhelming than the percieved ones, which are amplified by the amount of dice involved.

TomTheRat
2009-02-04, 01:52 AM
You know, I was looking at this a while back. Is there any reason a Warlock can't unleash his Eldrich Blasts through a whip? Touch attacks, trip attempts, 15 ft reach?

Aquillion
2009-02-04, 01:57 AM
Hmm. I think the people on this board have a different idea of what constitutes "broken" than I do. Then again, I've never seen a wizard played correctly and I don't allow ToB.

I have to say I'm a little surprised by my Incarnate player too. 3d6 to any enemy that hits him and +3d6 to an enemy once/round? That's pretty good at level 6.Don't compare a warlock to the wizard. Compare them to the rogue, a class that isn't primarily focused on melee, but who still gets far more damage when done right. Compare them to the fighter or to a decent archer build.

Seriously. They can't compete with an even slightly competent 'power-attack-for-full' fighter build. They can't compete with any archer that has a source of bonus damage.

They get a few nifty-on-paper abilities from their invocations, but the best of those can generally be gotten through magic items or spells (flying all day is not as hard to get as you seem to think -- Overland Flight, Phantom Steed, Wings of Flying, Carpet of Flying, etc.) In general, trading your class features for something you can get for gold or with a single spell slot is not a good idea. And even with that... when it comes down to it, their ultimate contribution to the party is going to be a blast every turn, usually. And those blasts are well behind just about anyone else who chooses to focus on damage.

Vanilla unoptimized warlocks are underpowered. It's not just that they're not broken, and I'm not just saying that they're underpowered 'for a caster' -- they are a flat-out weak class. They rank a bit above the Monk, because some invocations do let them do nice things and because their blasting is at least functional, but they have the same basic problem -- they've got nothing major to contribute to the party, and most of their best abilities (flight, invisibility, etc) are either defensive or available via magic items, or both.

They can still be fun, mind you, because they can contribute, and because hey, I can fly around invisibly breaking stuff. But if you break down the numbers, they're usually going to be contributing less than just about everyone else.

sonofzeal
2009-02-04, 02:09 AM
Hmm. I think the people on this board have a different idea of what constitutes "broken" than I do. Then again, I've never seen a wizard played correctly and I don't allow ToB.

I have to say I'm a little surprised by my Incarnate player too. 3d6 to any enemy that hits him and +3d6 to an enemy once/round? That's pretty good at level 6.
Warlocks get a bunch of neat toys, fight being the biggest, but that's really all they are - toys. I mean, flight is useful and all, but it doesn't win fights for you. His blast is reliable but mediocre, and he's stuck with whichever tricks he choses to pull off.

We generally use the word "broken" to represent either something that renders most challenges irrelevant or trivial, or something that completely overshadows its teammates in every possible way. A warlock is neither of those - flight works for some things and helps keep him safe, but is hardly a "win" button. And his damage output at level 6 (3d6 once per round) is less than a decent Barbarian should be doing, without rage, at level 1. He lacks the ability to take down enemies quickly, he lacks good "battlefield control", and with d6 HD and light armor, he lacks the ability to Tank too. He does things you wouldn't expect based on the base classes... but that's hardly uncommon; there's about a dozen classes out there that break the mold for what to expect, and pretty much all of them are entirely balanced in their own ways because they lack other abilities.

Zergrusheddie
2009-02-04, 02:33 AM
Fiery Burst: Complete Mage
Prerequisite: Ability to cast 2nd-level spells.
Benefit: As long as you have a fire spell of 2nd level or higher available to cast, you can spend a standard action to create a 5-foot-radius burst of fire at a range of 30 feet. This burst deals 1d6 points of fire damage per level of the highest-level fire spell you have available to cast. A successful Reflex save halves the damage.
As a secondary benefit, you gain a +1 competence bonus to your caster level when casting fire spells.

A Wizard could take one feat and play the Warlock's game. Hell, convince the DM to let you put in on a 'line' instead of a hex and you could probably get multiple hits. The Wizard would also Blind, Slow, and Haste.
Warlocks may even be underpowered; when a huge piece of your character is offered away by a feat, there is a problem.

Best of luck
-Eddie

Tokiko Mima
2009-02-04, 04:46 AM
If you know how to, it is possible to build a warlock that's up there with any optimized class. They aren't broken out of the box though. In fact, the only thing you could do (that I can think of off the cuff) with a Core + Complete Arcane Warlock that's remotely powerful is taking and combining Maximize SLA, Empower SLA, and Quicken SLA. That would give you a nice 3/day blast at least, though that won't come together until level 10 or so.

There's a couple more tricks you can have fun with once you access Dragon Magic, Magic of Incarnum, and Fiendish Codex II. A fully optimized Warlock will give almost any class except Batman a run for it's money.

And I have a question! Why would a warlock take Spiderclimb AND Fell Flight? One of those seems kinda redundant.

Bosh
2009-02-04, 05:09 AM
Tokiko Mima: right, but a fully optimized Commoner is damn powerful as well :) That doesn't mean that Commoner isn't a weak class...

Tokiko Mima
2009-02-04, 05:19 AM
Tokiko Mima: right, but a fully optimized Commoner is damn powerful as well :) That doesn't mean that Commoner isn't a weak class...

Yeah, but I wouldn't necessarily count Warlocks out, unless the Warlocks player makes very bad decisions with invocation choice (picking Fell Flight and Spiderclimb counts) and ability scores. A first level warlock with a Summon Swarm invocation is about the most powerful 1st level character you'll ever see, for example.

As a baseline, I would put them on approximately the same level as any other class up to level 8 or so, then after that depends on the choices the warlock makes for invocations and feats. I wouldn't necessarily call them weak, but it would depend on how many splat books they're allowed to use.

Kaiyanwang
2009-02-04, 05:20 AM
A Wizard could take one feat and play the Warlock's game. Hell, convince the DM to let you put in on a 'line' instead of a hex and you could probably get multiple hits. The Wizard would also Blind, Slow, and Haste.
Warlocks may even be underpowered; when a huge piece of your character is offered away by a feat, there is a problem.

I agree with you that reserve feats can be very powerful, but eldricht blast can be transformed in an area attack, can change energy type and the like. More, the "basic" blast is untyped damage bonus, useful if you fight monsters like outsiders. You point is still valid, anyway.

OP: I generally agree with people above the warlock is not so powerful. For a spellcaster is very limited, and Aquillion is right when compares him to melee characters works very similar.
Anyway, in my experience invocation-users are not so bad. One of my players plays with a Dragonfire Adept and, at least in the kind of campaign I run, the at-will thing is very useful (even you have to consider that area attacks are easier with DAdept and when high level spells enter in play things change a lot. Man: A LOT).

Further, you have to consider that people think that every class and every option must be always used. This is not always true. As an example, you could play a campaign whit Paladins, Hexblades, Rangers and Invocation Users as the only refluffed spellcasters. The world would work in a very different way, as well as PCs attitude toward magic, monsters and so on (this is IMO the advantage of subsystems but this could involve a whole thread).

Another thing: I think that in a gestalt campaign, a Warlok//Rogue could not be so powerful but very fun to play perhaps a tiefling :smallsmile:

Arros Winhadren
2009-02-04, 06:36 AM
I think I should clarify that I wasn't speaking about damage when I said that my Warlock is powerful. He doesn't do very much and isn't a huge help in fights. What is good about him are his bonuses that never go away - since I plan my world and then stick my players in it, there are a lot of situations where flying and spiderclimb at-will simply make what should be a hard encounter an easy encounter.

As for ToB, I simply don't like how powerful it makes people. Maybe I'll let my players use it sometime, but I find it a little too powerful.

Before you start going off about wizards, let me explain that I just don't understand the approach people take towards wizards on these boards. Whenever someone points out that a wizard can handle a certain situation with at spell, they automatically assume that the wizard knows the spell, the wizard has the materials for the spell and that the wizard prepared the spell. It seems that there's an unmentioned gap between what a wizard could theoretically do and what someone playing a wizard is going to be able to do on an average basis.

Tempest Fennac
2009-02-04, 06:45 AM
I've heard from a lot of people that ToB classes are about as powerful as Sorcerers. A couple of other people have said they are as broken as spellcasters supposedly are, though. I agree with you about Shroeder's Wizard coming into debates a lot. To be fair, if a Warlock had the sense to invest in plenty of scrolls (and some Unlimited Wands), they would be versatile enough to handle a lot of situations which their Invocations can't cover.

kamikasei
2009-02-04, 06:59 AM
What is good about him are his bonuses that never go away - since I plan my world and then stick my players in it, there are a lot of situations where flying and spiderclimb at-will simply make what should be a hard encounter an easy encounter.

Not to put to fine a point on it, if you decide what the players will face before you take account of their abilities, why is it the classes' fault that they don't match up with your notion of encounter difficulty?


Before you start going off about wizards, let me explain that I just don't understand the approach people take towards wizards on these boards. Whenever someone points out that a wizard can handle a certain situation with at spell, they automatically assume that the wizard knows the spell, the wizard has the materials for the spell and that the wizard prepared the spell. It seems that there's an unmentioned gap between what a wizard could theoretically do and what someone playing a wizard is going to be able to do on an average basis.

This is a valid criticism of many specific arguments, but in general it still holds that a wizard played with just some system skill and forethought (no need for precognition) can have a standing prepared spell list granting unbeatable versatility and utility surpassing that of near any other class.

It sounds like your approach is to decide on the challenges to be faced before you know what your players are capable of. That seems inevitably to require limits on what the players can do so that they line up with what you intend to be hard or easy encounters. The playstyle is a matter of taste, but it's not going to generate very useful results on whether a given class or build is in fact weak or powerful in itself.

Aquillion
2009-02-04, 08:47 AM
I think I should clarify that I wasn't speaking about damage when I said that my Warlock is powerful. He doesn't do very much and isn't a huge help in fights. What is good about him are his bonuses that never go away - since I plan my world and then stick my players in it, there are a lot of situations where flying and spiderclimb at-will simply make what should be a hard encounter an easy encounter.What will you do if a player chooses Overland Flight as one of his automatically-learned spells? It allows flying at-will, essentially, and is one of the wizard's most basic tools.


Whenever someone points out that a wizard can handle a certain situation with at spell, they automatically assume that the wizard knows the spell, the wizard has the materials for the spell and that the wizard prepared the spell.Wizards are automatically assumed to have all the non-costly materials for any spells they know as long as they have their spell component pouch. Those components are purely flavor text; the rules specifically say that you are not supposed to track them.

The problem is that if you actually pay attention, you'll notice that the "certain spells" people name tend to come from a fairly small pool of core utility spells -- Disintegrate, Grease, Glitterdust, Fly/Overland Flight/Phantom Steed, Haste, Slow, the Polymorph and Planar Binding lines, the Teleport lines, and so on. These spells are almost always applicable, and if used well, most of them can either instantly resolve a situation, or overwhelmingly tilt it in favor of the caster's side. These spells are so important not just because they're powerful (although they generally are), but because they're rarely useless.

The Warlock has access only to the most limited pool of such effects. They can contribute only in a small way, like an archer with a spare Wings of Flying and a Ring of Invisibility. Compare this to a wizard, who can easily turn the nastiest undead construct into a fraction of its former threat with a single third-level Slow spell, or contribute vastly more damage over the course of the battle with a well-placed Haste, and it's easy to see why the wizard comes out ahead -- and that's ignoring the really extreme things wizards can do with Teleport or the Planar Binding spells, things that can radically reshape the course of the entire plotline by granting them access to new abilities that no noncaster class can easily mimic (for these purposes, the Warlock is a noncaster, barring UMD tricks.)

Full casters can break the rules that apply to other classes, often in a very straightforward way that requires no complicated exploitation. Warlocks can't. (Do you ban Teleport in your games, say? It'd understandable if you do, but we're talking RAW here -- how is a Warlock supposed to compete with the Teleport line? A skilled wizard can go anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds.)

Many critics also fail to realize quite how many spells slots wizard ends up with. An 11th level specialist wizard with decent intelligence (say, 22 -- which is unoptimized; they could easily get it much higher) has 7/6/6/5/4/3 spells, for a total of 31. Given your typical four encounters per day, that's a bit under eight per encounter, with enough to lead with a sixth level spell for most of them, or a fifth at least -- and most encounters will be under control far before they've had a chance to use eight spells, letting them fall back on the first-level spells, or even just cantrips / doing nothing, once it's clear no further magic is needed. Often one high-level spell will be enough, and the rest can be minor first- or second-level effects, if further spells are needed at all. A sorcerer will lack sixth level spells, but will have even more spells of every other level.

(Part of the key to playing a good wizard is realizing when not to spend magic. A well-placed spell from your top-level slots should be able to get most situations under control; throwing around eight spells in a single encounter should only happen if it's a really epic confrontation. Once it's reached a point where your fighter-types are just cleaning things up, you don't really need to do anything else.)

Bosh
2009-02-04, 09:19 AM
He doesn't do very much and isn't a huge help in fights.
Aaaah, that explains things a bit. If your campaign is very low on the bloodshed (i.e. very different from the baseline of how D&D is balanced) then warlocks do a bit better since they have a number of cool utility tricks up their sleeves.

However, how anyone can call a class that "isn't a huge help in fights" overpowered is beyond me.


What is good about him are his bonuses that never go away
Three points:
1. A lot of other classes can do comparable things that never go away. For example overland flight has been mentioned and at level 8 a druid can be a bird 24/7. I really don't think that being able to fly all the time is anywhere near as powerful as you're making it out to be especially in a game with a lot of low ceilings (dungeons) and the inability to let others fly (who cares if a warlock can fly if he can't bring the rest of the party with him?).

2. Having a small boost on 24/7 isn't as good as having a big boost when you really need it. A warlock gets something that gives him a +6 to bluff all day but this isn't nearly as good as getting a +30 to bluff when you really really need it (glibness spell).

3. Warlocks are lacking in flexibility. They can get one ability that lets them fly and one ability that lets them spider climb. Compare to druids who can climb, fly, swim or turn into a freaking bear for most of the day without even spending any spell slots.


there are a lot of situations where flying and spiderclimb at-will simply make what should be a hard encounter an easy encounter.
Then you're banning overland flight and druids as well I assume?

Also if one person having spider climb on all the time breaks your encounters then a game with as much magic in it as D&D probably isn't the best fit for the sort of game you want to run, there's so many spells that break all kinds of encounters wide open...


As for ToB, I simply don't like how powerful it makes people. Maybe I'll let my players use it sometime, but I find it a little too powerful.

As people have said, the ToB classes are about on-par with Sorcerers and are weaker than Clerics, Wizards and Druids.


Whenever someone points out that a wizard can handle a certain situation with at spell, they automatically assume that the wizard knows the spell

Because most of the really good wizard spells are very general purpose.

Temp.
2009-02-04, 09:32 AM
I think I should clarify that I wasn't speaking about damage when I said that my Warlock is powerful. He doesn't do very much and isn't a huge help in fights. What is good about him are his bonuses that never go away - since I plan my world and then stick my players in it, there are a lot of situations where flying and spiderclimb at-will simply make what should be a hard encounter an easy encounter.

If this is enough to break your campaign, there's something wrong. D&D is all about spellcasting and the Warlock is the tamest of the spellcasting lot. If you can't deal with magic in any form, maybe you should consider a change. That might mean rethinking your campiagns, it might mean system-wide magic banning (which may as well be another system) or it may mean accepting the players' abilities to weasel around your craftily-laid plans.


Before you start going off about wizards, let me explain that I just don't understand the approach people take towards wizards on these boards. Whenever someone points out that a wizard can handle a certain situation with at spell, they automatically assume that the wizard knows the spell, the wizard has the materials for the spell and that the wizard prepared the spell. It seems that there's an unmentioned gap between what a wizard could theoretically do and what someone playing a wizard is going to be able to do on an average basis.

The key is that the Wizard doesn't have to prepare his daily spells all at once. You can get started with your day, send the Rogue ahead for a bit or cast a divination or two and adjust your spells as needed. In most combats you'll only be using a round or two's worth of spells so having all your slots filled all the time is a bit pointless. Better to leave half-2/3 free to adjust later on.

Person_Man
2009-02-04, 09:56 AM
Barbarian 2/Fighter 4: Power Attack, Leap Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Shock Trooper, Headlong Rush. Can easily deal over 100 damage on each charge, and has Pounce.

Paladin 6: Leadership. Essentially has a second PC that he controls (his Special Mount, which can be lots of things). If your DM disallows Leadership, you can still get a cool mount through various PrC starting at ECL 6 anyway.

Wizard or Cleric 6 (with Travel and Trickery Domains): Fly, Invisibility, Summon Monster.

Psion 6: Hostile Empathic Transfer, Forced Share Pain.

Psychic Warrior 6: Expansion, Claws of the Beast, Hustle.

Totemist 6: 5+ attacks per round.

Anything 5/Master of Masks 1: Can use every exotic weapon. Easy to have fun with (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88633).

Any Tome of Battle Class 6: Spend 10 minutes reading the ToB. You'll understand.

Kurald Galain
2009-02-04, 09:57 AM
1. A lot of other classes can do comparable things that never go away. For example overland flight has been mentioned and at level 8 a druid can be a bird 24/7. I really don't think that being able to fly all the time is anywhere near as powerful as you're making it out to be especially in a game with a lot of low ceilings (dungeons) and the inability to let others fly (who cares if a warlock can fly if he can't bring the rest of the party with him?).
While I do agree with you, I should point out that there is a school of thought that thinks flight is an extremely powerful uber-ability that should be very hard to get. Most obvious in this school of thought is WOTC, who nerfed most flight-related effects between 3E and 3.5 or made them more expensive, and who made flight a rare and high level ability in 4E.

On the other hand, compare this with e.g. Aberrant or Exalted, where any novice character can be given flight powers and that doesn't seem to bother anyone.

I suppose a game that focuses mostly on standard combat scenes and obstacles like cliffs and pits is affected (much) more strongly by giving a character flight, than a game focusing on character interaction and plot development would be.

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-02-04, 10:19 AM
I think I should clarify that I wasn't speaking about damage when I said that my Warlock is powerful. He doesn't do very much and isn't a huge help in fights. What is good about him are his bonuses that never go away - since I plan my world and then stick my players in it, there are a lot of situations where flying and spiderclimb at-will simply make what should be a hard encounter an easy encounter.

As for ToB, I simply don't like how powerful it makes people. Maybe I'll let my players use it sometime, but I find it a little too powerful.

Before you start going off about wizards, let me explain that I just don't understand the approach people take towards wizards on these boards. Whenever someone points out that a wizard can handle a certain situation with at spell, they automatically assume that the wizard knows the spell, the wizard has the materials for the spell and that the wizard prepared the spell. It seems that there's an unmentioned gap between what a wizard could theoretically do and what someone playing a wizard is going to be able to do on an average basis.

I can personally guarantee you that I can build a Sorcerer (NOT a Wizard) who can beat the pants off of this Warlock in any and every situation.

1st level spells:
Sonic Orb, Lesser
Shield
Magic Missile
Grease

2nd level spells:
Glitterdust
Mirror Image

3rd level spells:
Haste (replace with Slow or Stinking Cloud if there aren't many non-casters, depending on which save you encounter more)

Okay, let's talk Utility. He's got Bluff as a class skill, so he's got 9 ranks, plus his Charisma (which happens to be... his CASTING STAT). That beats out the Warlock, and we haven't even started with spells yet.

Can this Sorcerer fly? Not yet. But next level he's going to pick up Rope Trick, which means any chance of ambushing the party at night has gone to zero.

Okay, now let's look at damage output...

Warlock has a 3d6 Eldritch Blast which is a ranged touch attack.
Sorcerer has Magic Missile which is an auto-hit, Force damage (so it even hits incorporeal targets), and does 3d4+3, which can be split up in increments of 1d4+1. On average, they have the same damage, but the Magic Missile has much greater versatility and can be used to kill several small things or damage one bigger thing.

Be glad he didn't pick up Scorching Ray...

Now let's look at Combat Utility...

Warlock... has none.

Sorcerer has Grease (Ref save or loose, or no save and make a Balance check or loose) and Glitterdust (Will save (NOT MIND AFFECTING) or Blind, AND reveals invisible things)

Now let's look at Survivability...

Your Warlock has... not much. He can wear light armor without ASF. I'm assuming that means he has a Mithral Chain Shirt by now.

The Sorcerer, if he really wants AC, has Shield and can just as easily pick up a Twilight +1 Mithral Chain Shirt. However, he's got Mirror Image, which is pretty much the ultimate in "You Can't Hit Me", since he makes 1d4+2 images right now at level 6. That means 3-6 images. So your guys have anywhere from a 33% chance to a 16.6% chance of hitting him. Much better than AC, and beats Displacement with an ugly stick while he's at it.

But wait, there's more!

Sorcerer has some good choices for his 3rd level spell at 6th level.

If you're worried about saves, you grab Haste. All party members get an additional attack in a Full Attack at their highest Attack Bonus. If you've got two guys who hit/shoot for damage, this will always out-damage Eldritch Blast, because that one extra hit keeps going round after round, leaving the Sorcerer free to do other things.

If you find a lot of opponents have a low Will save, Slow can be more useful to the survivability of the party. Slow means either a Move action OR a Standard Action. That means, no matter what, the opponent cannot make a Full Attack. That means your tanks CAN close up and go toe to toe with just about anything they want to, because they're only getting, at most, one hit per round in return, wheras they're returning two hits right now (or more if your buddy does TWF), and 3 when you do pick up Haste.

Keep in mind that Slow is one of the few spells that is a Will save that is NOT Mind-Affecting, making it a very valuable spell vs mindless things.

Stinking Cloud is another very handy 3rd level spell he may decide to pick up if the party is dealing with a bunch of rogues sniping or opponent casters, because it targets a Fort save. In addition to Battlefield Control, this spell is also a Save or Loose.

And best of all... by 9th level, the Sorcerer will have all three of those spells, wheras the Warlock will have... two more Invocations known.

Burley
2009-02-04, 01:19 PM
Warlock has a 3d6 Eldritch Blast which is a ranged touch attack.
Sorcerer has Magic Missile which is an auto-hit, Force damage (so it even hits incorporeal targets), and does 3d4+3, which can be split up in increments of 1d4+1. On average, they have the same damage, but the Magic Missile has much greater versatility and can be used to kill several small things or damage one bigger thing.


Quick nit-pick: Magic Missile doesn't really have greater versatility. See, Magic Missile is a "target: creature" spell. Eldritch Blast is a "shoot what you want" invocation.

I agree that most of the time, a Warlock is gonna be weaker than his party members. Still, they're fun as hell, and can really mess with a DM. As a DM, pack things with Magic Missile and bows, slings, and the occasional net. Don't focus on the Warlock, but, always have something that'll have a chance at hittin'.

sombrastewart
2009-02-04, 02:26 PM
Okay, let's talk Utility. He's got Bluff as a class skill, so he's got 9 ranks, plus his Charisma (which happens to be... his CASTING STAT). That beats out the Warlock, and we haven't even started with spells yet.

Out of your post, I have no issues but this:

How exactly do you justify this part? Warlocks use Charisma to cast, Bluff is a class skill for them as well.

Oslecamo
2009-02-04, 02:54 PM
I suppose a game that focuses mostly on standard combat scenes and obstacles like cliffs and pits is affected (much) more strongly by giving a character flight, than a game focusing on character interaction and plot development would be.

Don't forget that many monsters can't fly, most traps are land based and many battle sites and spells/abilities affect only the fighting ground.

So indeed permanent flying is quite good, since it allows the player to go around a lot of obstacles, untill the DM gets full of it and starts sending monsters with flying of their own who always focus fire on the flying dude first. Remember that comic where Varsaavius's familiar gets shot down by a billion arrows as soon as it flies above the bandit acampment?

Plus I must say that D&D is very focused in character interaction and plot development. It just happens that said interaction and plot development goes trough beating/killing/mindraping other creatures and then taking their stuff for your own profit, wich is still interaction and plot development. Nobody saif it had to be pretty after all:smalltongue:

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-02-04, 02:56 PM
Out of your post, I have no issues but this:

How exactly do you justify this part? Warlocks use Charisma to cast, Bluff is a class skill for them as well.

I was under the impression that he was simply using the Invocation + Cha Mod to realistically bluff just about anything he's encountering at this level, since he's also wanting to pick up things like UMD.

Starbuck_II
2009-02-04, 03:04 PM
Cha helps their save-invocations.
Flight/spider climb/etc don't use Charisma.
Most Warlocks don't focus on Charisma as much as a caster due to most invocatioons care less if you have 3 Cha.

Yes, there is the blast essence ones like Hellrime and stuff that are affected, but not every Warlock uses those.

Adumbration
2009-02-04, 03:04 PM
I was under the impression that he was simply using the Invocation + Cha Mod to realistically bluff just about anything he's encountering at this level, since he's also wanting to pick up things like UMD.

Well, apart from UMD and Bluff, what skills do you realistically need?

Personally, though, I prefer the Knowledge Devotion + Otherwordly Whispers path. +6 to Knowledge checks that give boni to attacks is sweet.

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-02-04, 03:18 PM
Well, apart from UMD and Bluff, what skills do you realistically need?

Personally, though, I prefer the Knowledge Devotion + Otherwordly Whispers path. +6 to Knowledge checks that give boni to attacks is sweet.

Synergy bonuses are based on Ranks, not on bonuses...

Knowledge checks are good to determine what opponents are strong/weak against. Spellcraft, use is obvious. UMD is a requirement, of course. Concentration to SLA on the defensive. Sense Motive to avoid being bluffed.

And remember, they only have 2+Int Mod skills. So you get UMD and Spellcraft. How high is your Int? Can you really afford to get Bluff over, say, Concentration?

Fax Celestis
2009-02-04, 03:28 PM
I get the feeling that you need to worry more about your Incarnate than your Warlock. How is he getting those d6s? At ECL 6, he should only have an essentia capacity of 2 (maybe 3 if he gets the Expanded Essentia Capacity feature earlier than I remember), which means he can't put more than two essentia into anything--and he only get a max number of binds equal to his Con modifier or determined by level (whichever's lower). So, that being said, it sounds like he's not following the rules of incarnum very well.

Arcane_Snowman
2009-02-04, 04:22 PM
I get the feeling that you need to worry more about your Incarnate than your Warlock. How is he getting those d6s? At ECL 6, he should only have an essentia capacity of 2 (maybe 3 if he gets the Expanded Essentia Capacity feature earlier than I remember), which means he can't put more than two essentia into anything--and he only get a max number of binds equal to his Con modifier or determined by level (whichever's lower). So, that being said, it sounds like he's not following the rules of incarnum very well. Incarnates get Expanded Soulmeld Capacity at level 3, so 3d6 is correct.

Warlock is one of those classes that could actually work off of straight 10's, Charisma is only used for saves so it's rather limited what they actually would want it for; with 3/4 BAB, ranged touch attacks become relatively easy to succeed (you're still a bit behind the first levels); they've got enough "run away" utility, armor proficiency, and some DR to be able to survive without a high constitution (thought not for long) , and ranks + invocation can be used for social encounters and still be decent.

Core + Complete Arcane the Warlock can deal up to 18d6 per round (3/day), + 8d6 over 4 rounds: Quickened Eldritch Blast, followed by a Vitriolic Blast.

Let's also remember that a 12th+ Warlock is a very good item creator (when Artificer is not available), being able to take 10 on UMD checks (having one of the few abilities that allows that) and simulate any spell for the purpose of item creation, with a UMD check.

monty
2009-02-04, 05:07 PM
Core + Complete Arcane the Warlock can deal up to 18d6 per round (3/day), + 8d6 over 4 rounds: Quickened Eldritch Blast, followed by a Vitriolic Blast.

That's not really anything special. A blaster wizard does 15d6 with a 4th level orb, which by that level is a negligible resource investment, and does considerably more with higher level spells (for example, disintegrate). A non-blaster could singlehandedly take out an army by now, so there's not much point comparing them.

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-02-04, 05:39 PM
Warlock is one of those classes that could actually work off of straight 10's, Charisma is only used for saves so it's rather limited what they actually would want it for; with 3/4 BAB, ranged touch attacks become relatively easy to succeed (you're still a bit behind the first levels); they've got enough "run away" utility, armor proficiency, and some DR to be able to survive without a high constitution (thought not for long) , and ranks + invocation can be used for social encounters and still be decent.

Core + Complete Arcane the Warlock can deal up to 18d6 per round (3/day), + 8d6 over 4 rounds: Quickened Eldritch Blast, followed by a Vitriolic Blast. A more powerful setup would be Chain Utterdark Blast for 2 negative levels on every opponent, repeatable every turn.


Let's also remember that a 12th+ Warlock is a very good item creator (when Artificer is not available), being able to take 10 on UMD checks (having one of the few abilities that allows that) and simulate any spell for the purpose of item creation, with a UMD check.

If he's got a two-level dip in Chameleon, he gets a bonus feat he can change up every day, which means he can make literally ANY magic item he wants to with an investment of only a single bonus feat.

monty
2009-02-04, 06:01 PM
If he's got a two-level dip in Chameleon, he gets a bonus feat he can change up every day, which means he can make literally ANY magic item he wants to with an investment of only a single bonus feat.

Well, not ANY. There's a few he can't make without more feat investment; for example, metamagic rods require both Craft Rod and the appropriate metamagic feat.

Aquillion
2009-02-05, 12:52 AM
On the other hand, compare this with e.g. Aberrant or Exalted, where any novice character can be given flight powers and that doesn't seem to bother anyone.A novice character in Exalted can also start with the ability to create reality itself out of the chaotic nothingness at the edge of Creation. I'm not sure there's much comparison.

Rad
2009-02-05, 02:28 AM
If he's got a two-level dip in Chameleon, he gets a bonus feat he can change up every day, which means he can make literally ANY magic item he wants to with an investment of only a single bonus feat.

If I did that dip, I'd use the feat for a flexible extra invocation :smallwink:

KKL
2009-02-05, 02:36 AM
If I did that dip, I'd use the feat for a flexible extra invocation :smallwink:

You can do that too, since the feat is FREE FLOATING~

monty
2009-02-05, 12:51 PM
If I did that dip, I'd use the feat for a flexible extra invocation :smallwink:

You can still do that whenever you're not crafting. :smallwink: