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Grushvak
2009-11-17, 11:49 AM
I'm playing a level 2 kobold warlock in an evil campaign. I picked Eldritch Spear and Summon Swarm as my first two invocations.

I'm really loving the swarms, but my group is melee-heavy, and we haven't encountered a lot of ranged attackers so far, so there's not much room for me to use swarms. The DM has been extremely forgiving so far, but this will backfire eventually. The half-minotaur barbarian is already on the verge of splitting me in half with a greatsword because of the swarms frequently biting his ankles. And also because I Eldritch Speared him from afar after a loot sharing disagreement.

Is there a safe way to use swarms? I'd be willing to pick feats and even a PrC that gives me more control over swarms because honestly, I think they're the most interesting tool in any caster's arsenal.

If there is absolutely no way for me to control them, then... I guess I'll have to switch to sickening blast, won't I?

Also, can I control the placement of the swarm after having summoned it? Can one of the squares occupied by the swarm be outside of my casting range, as long as at least part of the swarm is inside?

Duke of URL
2009-11-17, 12:03 PM
The Warlock's swarm has a duration of Concentration. It shouldn't be nibbling your teammates (at least not often) unless you're being careless. That's the main advantage of a Warlock's version -- the spell version has a longer duration, but it can't be dismissed or controlled.

While the Warlock cannot control the shape once he has invoked it, he can always dismiss it by ending concentration on it.

The area of effect of any spell or invocation must exist within the spell or invocation range. Any part of the AoE beyond that range is simply "lost".

Grushvak
2009-11-17, 12:07 PM
The Warlock's swarm has a duration of Concentration. It shouldn't be nibbling your teammates (at least not often) unless you're being careless. That's the main advantage of a Warlock's version -- the spell version has a longer duration, but it can't be dismissed or controlled.

Are you serious? Goddamn, I completely missed that. Thanks a lot, that solves everything.

My DM's probably reading this right now so, sorry, looks like I cheated again. :smallconfused:

I can stop concentrating as a free action, right? So I can interrupt my swarm's action when it starts going towards my allies?

MichielHagen
2009-11-17, 12:15 PM
It's not cheating when you are not doing it on purpose.

RagnaroksChosen
2009-11-17, 12:15 PM
Are you serious? Goddamn, I completely missed that. Thanks a lot, that solves everything.

My DM's probably reading this right now so, sorry, looks like I cheated again. :smallconfused:

I can stop concentrating as a free action, right? So I can interrupt my swarm's action when it starts going towards my allies?

its one of those things that happens alot more then you would expect.

Grushvak
2009-11-17, 12:18 PM
its one of those things that happens alot more then you would expect.

Yeah, I tend to trust d20srd.com too much. I didn't bother reading the invocation further than "functions like the wizard spell".

Duke of URL
2009-11-17, 12:26 PM
I can stop concentrating as a free action, right? So I can interrupt my swarm's action when it starts going towards my allies?


A spell that depends on concentration is dismissible by its very nature, and dismissing it does not take an action, since all you have to do to end the spell is to stop concentrating on your turn.

Note, it's not an action, but you have to do it on your turn. Then again, the swarm should act on your initiative count in the first place.

Grushvak
2009-11-17, 12:36 PM
Alright. Now all that's left to do is to hope that the half-orc manages to fight off the Filth Fever he contracted from my swarm of rats. Sounds like as good a time as any to take 9 days off for my Draconic Rite of Passage (Power Word: Pain).

Could Healthful Rest allow two saves per day while fighting off a disease?

EDIT: I just rechecked Healthful Rest, and it doesn't work the way I thought. Disregard this question, I'm an idiot.

Mark Hall
2009-11-17, 12:40 PM
SRD aside, I'd let someone stop concentrating as an interrupt. Not thinking about things is even easier than actively thinking about something.

MichielHagen
2009-11-17, 01:01 PM
SRD aside, I'd let someone stop concentrating as an interrupt. Not thinking about things is even easier than actively thinking about something.

I doubt that.

If i could read minds, and i would say
"I am a mindreader, if you think of where you buried the treasure i will find it". You might try not to think of the location....but you will!

That said, i agree with the stopping it as an interrupt action ;)

Fortuna
2009-11-17, 01:04 PM
If i could read minds, and i would say
"I am a mindreader, if you think of where you buried the treasure i will find it". You might try not to think of the location....but you will!

That said, i agree with the stopping it as an interrupt action ;)

Are you saying that you can't not think of a pink rhinoceros? It doesn''t take much practice. At any rate, thirded on the interrupt (although I am far from expert).

Duke of URL
2009-11-17, 01:16 PM
While allowing it as an interrupt might be a sensible house rule, D&D is by its nature a turn-based game. On your turn, while having a summoned swarm, you may either extend the swarm for a turn (standard action to maintain concentration) or end the effect (no action needed).

However, you are unable to end the effect early, when not on your turn.

In practice, this makes little difference -- the swarm acts on your initiative count, so they can't do anything until it is your turn anyway. This is further magnified by the fact that [s]warms never make attacks of opportunity (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/swarm.htm) (according to the SRD), hence there is no reason to dismiss it early, even to let your own teammates pass through. (Oddly enough, there is no RAW penalty for moving through a swarm.)

Edit: Of course, if one tries hard enough, one can always find some way to make the difference relevant. The best I can think of is that you have an ally who wants to move into a square occupied by the swarm, and then a teammate uses White Raven tactics to give him another turn -- he would then be starting that turn within a swarm, and have to save vs. the distraction ability. Not exactly a common, or even likely, scenario, but I suppose possible.

Rainbownaga
2009-11-17, 06:50 PM
It may be worth it so that the archer gets a clean shot on the creatures you just swarmed.

The way I played it it seemed overpowered. d6 damage with no save to up to 4 contiguous squares with a bonus rider effect (including one that did 1 damage/round until healed). You don't even need to dismiss it, just stop concentrating and recast it the next round.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-11-17, 06:53 PM
It may be worth it so that the archer gets a clean shot on the creatures you just swarmed.

The way I played it it seemed overpowered. d6 damage with no save to up to 4 contiguous squares with a bonus rider effect (including one that did 1 damage/round until healed). You don't even need to dismiss it, just stop concentrating and recast it the next round.There's a reason it's recommended for every Warlock, and then swapped at 6th level for Glaive or similar.

awa
2009-11-18, 12:38 AM
my understanding is that it takes a full round to cast then appears on your next round. so you cant just cast and dismiss every round

Tokiko Mima
2009-11-18, 12:59 AM
my understanding is that it takes a full round to cast then appears on your next round. so you cant just cast and dismiss every round

That's the Druid spell. The Warlock version is much improved.

It's a standard action because it's an SLA and the description doesn't specify otherwise. Virtually all Warlock Invocations are standard actions, except for Eldritch Glaive.

Because its just a standard action, you don't have to wait till next round for the effect. As stated above, you can concentrate on it to continue the effect, but there's almost no reason to. They just cast it, get their damage/saves vs. suck in and move on. Because warlocks have unlimited casting they can cast it again next round to place it where ever they like.

The great part about being a warlock is it's rare for you to be stuck in place. You always have a free move action.

Akal Saris
2009-11-18, 01:00 AM
Damn it Tokiko, you're making me want to play a warlock now :P

Tokiko Mima
2009-11-18, 01:13 AM
Damn it Tokiko, you're making me want to play a warlock now :P

:smallbiggrin:

They're the superhero class. They fly, have laser beams, stick to walls, teleport, charm their way into any social situation, can limitlessly counterspell, breath/walk on water, and break down locked doors and shatter clothing all at will.

Baleful Utterance is my recommendation for a 3rd level invocation, BTW. It's a spell that's amazingly useful when you can cast it endlessly. Targeting a spell component pouch is a great way to quickly reduce the effectiveness of a spellcaster until you can deal with them directly.

I love warlocks. Especially Pixie Hellfire Glaivelocks. :smallamused:

PhoenixRivers
2009-11-18, 01:17 AM
I would strongly suggest against Power Word: Pain. It's one of the most unbalanced kill spells in the game.

dyslexicfaser
2009-11-18, 01:26 AM
Are you saying that you can't not think of a pink rhinoceros?
Dammit! Now guess what I can't stop thinking about?

Sliver
2009-11-18, 01:30 AM
Dammit! Now guess what I can't stop thinking about?

Cake? *wooooooooooo*

awa
2009-11-18, 01:37 AM
spell like abbilities take as long as the spell they mimic unless it says other wise and the summon swarm dosent. that means it should take a full round action just like the spell its copying

Eloel
2009-11-18, 01:55 AM
spell like abbilities take as long as the spell they mimic unless it says other wise and the summon swarm dosent. that means it should take a full round action just like the spell its copying
Except it does.

All invocations are standard actions, unless said otherwise.
Invocations are a subset of SLAs. Specific triumphs general.

Sliver
2009-11-18, 02:02 AM
It is hard to conclude either way. RAW agrees that it is always a standard, but they write it as "Invocations are SLA --> They take a standard action and provoke AoO" which sounds more like they didn't read what they write before, or they ment to overrule it but didn't say so specifically.
Now the invocations never specify the action it takes, so you could assume it is standard action, but a lot of them say "It works same as X except..." and they don't say it is a standard instead of w/e..

awa
2009-11-18, 02:11 AM
that's what i was looking at my specific is that a warlocks summon swarm works like normal but with a shorter duration. it says it works like the spell so it is specifying it takes longer

Eloel
2009-11-18, 05:01 AM
that's what i was looking at my specific is that a warlocks summon swarm works like normal but with a shorter duration. it says it works like the spell so it is specifying it takes longer

Firstly, try using your 'shift' key in conjuction with letters, and see the marvel of capital letters. Also, there are non-letter keys that are marvelous for different characters like dots and commas, you'll love using them.

Now, to the point; Summon Swarm invocation 'works like' the spell, it's not 'the' spell. Invocations, from Warlock in CArcane, state they are standard actions to use. If it says it's something, you're getting into homebrew territory when you go against it.

Sliver
2009-11-18, 05:13 AM
Now, to the point; Summon Swarm invocation 'works like' the spell, it's not 'the' spell. Invocations, from Warlock in CArcane, state they are standard actions to use. If it says it's something, you're getting into homebrew territory when you go against it.

While RAW correct, you can question their intent.. If they say "Invocations are SLA" and use it to conclude "It is a standard action and provokes AoO" there is something wrong, because SLA work like the spell they are based on and while usually take standard actions to use, it is not the case for everything. Either they didn't read their own stuff or they should have written that differently.

Like writing in a class that has to take VoP that it can use braces of armor to offset their lack of real armor.. They are doing something wrong..

dsmiles
2009-11-18, 07:05 AM
Whether summon swarm is too dangerous or not depends on your exact alignement.

Neutral Evil: If it furthers your personal cause...no problem. If causing mass destruction and hurting your so-called "allies" benefits you, go right ahead you bad-ass summoner, you!

Chaotic Evil: Go right ahead you bad-ass summoner, you!

Lawful Evil: You are a tyrant, and you must control EVERYTHING. You don't have enough control over the swarm, so ONLY use this method as a last resort.

Chaotic Neutral: Will you do it? Will you? Huh? Huh? The voices say you should, but the angel on your shoulder says, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!?!"

Chaotic Good: Nope. Can't keep it away from your allies, may cause collateral damage, not a good idea.

:smallbiggrin:

awa
2009-11-18, 01:52 PM
I apologize for the grammar it was 2 am or so, also a careful rereading seems to indicate that you are correct and it is a standard action.

Grushvak
2009-11-21, 11:43 PM
I had to look into the invocation Eldritch Glaive after reading this thread, and it made me regret making a warlock with 8 strength and the noncombatant flaw.

Don't suppose I'll ever be able to make good use of EG with those, uh?

sofawall
2009-11-21, 11:57 PM
It'll be slightly tougher, sure, but with weapon finesse, a decent dexterity and the fact that all your attacks are touch attacks, it's fairly easy, in reality.

Milskidasith
2009-11-22, 12:01 AM
All I can say is this thread made me lose the game.

Grushvak
2009-11-22, 12:06 AM
It'll be slightly tougher, sure, but with weapon finesse, a decent dexterity and the fact that all your attacks are touch attacks, it's fairly easy, in reality.

Wait wait wait. Weapon Finess can apply to Eldritch Glaive? What witchery is this?

Tavar
2009-11-22, 12:18 AM
It's a touch attack. Complete Arcane specifically says that weapon finesse applies to touch attacks.

Mongoose87
2009-11-22, 12:22 AM
All I can say is this thread made me lose the game.

I hate you.

AdamSmasher
2009-11-22, 01:01 AM
All I can say is this thread made me lose the game.

I just lost the game, too.

Mystic Muse
2009-11-22, 01:07 AM
I just lost the game, too.

I already won the game so I don't care.

Grushvak
2009-11-22, 01:11 AM
Please keep 4chan memes on /b/. This thread is getting derailed.

Optimystik
2009-11-22, 01:38 AM
Except it does.

All invocations are standard actions, unless said otherwise.
Invocations are a subset of SLAs. Specific triumphs general.

One could argue either way, but I see nothing wrong with your interpretation. Even making all invocations standard, Warlocks are still far from broken.


I doubt that.

If i could read minds, and i would say
"I am a mindreader, if you think of where you buried the treasure i will find it". You might try not to think of the location....but you will!

That said, i agree with the stopping it as an interrupt action ;)

That wouldn't fool any psionic character - so long as they are focused, at any rate.


Firstly, try using your 'shift' key in conjuction with letters, and see the marvel of capital letters. Also, there are non-letter keys that are marvelous for different characters like dots and commas, you'll love using them.

I'm as gung-ho for punctuation as the next English teacher, but did you have to be quite that snarky about it?

Sliver
2009-11-22, 02:16 AM
One could argue either way, but I see nothing wrong with your interpretation. Even making all invocations standard, Warlocks are still far from broken.

This is not an issue of broken or not. It is a matter of what is more specific, and if WotC wrote the invocation text after reading the definition of SLA..

You have 3 texts:

1)SLA are usually standard actions that provoke AOO

2)Invocations are SLA -> they are standard actions that provoke AOO

3)The Summon Swarm (and others) invocations work like the spells they are based upon, except for the detailed differences.

By RAW, 2 is a stronger ruling then 1 (more specific). RAI could be argued due to them concluding that invocations are standard actions because it is a SLA, but I guess it is just an overruling...

But 3 and 2 have problems.. 3 is more specific, and tells you it works like the spell but with the specific differences. The needed action is not listed as a difference, it never is, for no invocation.

While I myself would rule that all invocations are standard action.. I just wonder how RAW it is..

Sinfire Titan
2009-11-22, 10:06 AM
:smallbiggrin:

They're the superhero class. They fly, have laser beams, stick to walls, teleport, charm their way into any social situation, can limitlessly counterspell, etc.

1. If this is all it takes to be a superhero, then Incarnates, Totemists, and Binders would be gods.

2: Baleful Utterance only destroys the pouch itself, not the contents and the pouch. You don't have LoE to the contents. This is also a problem ffor Sundering.

Thalia
2010-04-06, 09:58 AM
Whether summon swarm is too dangerous or not depends on your exact alignement.

Neutral Evil: If it furthers your personal cause...no problem. If causing mass destruction and hurting your so-called "allies" benefits you, go right ahead you bad-ass summoner, you!

Chaotic Evil: Go right ahead you bad-ass summoner, you!

Lawful Evil: You are a tyrant, and you must control EVERYTHING. You don't have enough control over the swarm, so ONLY use this method as a last resort.

Chaotic Neutral: Will you do it? Will you? Huh? Huh? The voices say you should, but the angel on your shoulder says, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!?!"

Chaotic Good: Nope. Can't keep it away from your allies, may cause collateral damage, not a good idea.

:smallbiggrin:

Thank God I'm Chaotic Neutral... All though I should try to listen to the angel a little more often, LOL

Sinfire Titan
2010-04-06, 10:49 AM
Thank God I'm Chaotic Neutral... All though I should try to listen to the angel a little more often, LOL

Thank you so much for raising this thread. It made me lose the game again.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-06, 10:50 AM
Sinfire, you should have read that X-math comic: some of us won the game forever.

ericgrau
2010-04-06, 10:54 AM
A duration of concentration is actually a bit of a drawback. You need to spend a standard action each round to keep the swarm going.

Sinfire Titan
2010-04-06, 11:01 AM
Sinfire, you should have read that X-math comic: some of us won the game forever.

The Game isn't over yet though. The former British Prime Minister and/or Chuck Norris haven't acknowledged that they've lost yet.

Starbuck_II
2010-04-06, 11:17 AM
A duration of concentration is actually a bit of a drawback. You need to spend a standard action each round to keep the swarm going.

How often do you want to continue to let a swarm act and attack your allies?
Remember no one can control a Swarm (they aren't a Summon Monster spell).
Really, outside of Warlocks they are not Party friendly.

Warlocks can contain them as if the swarm even thinks about attacking your ally (you end them from being there).

Roland St. Jude
2010-04-06, 11:42 AM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Old thread is old. Please don't do thread necromancy.