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BananaPhone
2014-12-13, 12:32 PM
I'm taking my first shot at designing a class for Pathfinder and it is inspired by my favorite blight-on-all-that-is-good from WoW - Warlocks. They may have gone from pushovers in early vanilla, to holy-****-run-away scary during BC to the abysmal state that they are in now as of writing this, but the theme for a dark, demonic-energy channeling magician is something I've always liked and felt hasn't been implemented in D&D/PF in an incarnation that I like (Diabolists being the exception). And thus I venture into the unexplored territory of Homebrew. Though I seek to make a flavorful and strong class, knowing me it'll probably turn out to be stupidly OP and requiring reigning in.

However, I envision this project taking a long time to complete - so there's lots of room for feedback to keep things under control! As you might tell from the quotes I use, I don't take myself too seriously.

Some things I plan on including are damage-over-time spells, the ability to drain life from their enemies, a high hit point pool which they'll need to power metamagic applications to their spells, summonable pets which give various buffs to the warlock and their party, special rituals etc. An important thing to remember, however, is that this class is inspired by warlocks, not a direct conversion. I'll be adding stuff so that they are comparable/competitive/helpful in later level play outside of just flinging around damage.

12/08/15 Update: I like where 90% of the class is as the moment.

The core abilities, Corruption, Curse of Agony and Siphon Life, are being discussed.

Also, the spell list will soon undergo pruning to tighten the themes.




The Warlock

http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh483/tempestII/341972__forsaken-warlock_p_zps510786b3.jpg?t=1418396707

"There exists no freedom from me. There is only freedom through me."




Power is a tempting, demanding mistress whose embrace many of the mortal races have striven for. Some have killed for it. Others have lied. Some turn inwards and train themselves in the pursuit of the excellence that they believe will grant them the power that they so desire. Then there are warlocks, for whom power just comes naturally.

A blessed, or some would say cursed, people, warlocks have at one point in their history been touched by the fel powers of the infernal planes. Whether an ancestor consorted with demonic agents or their studies of the magical lured them into the darker recesses of eldritch education, the result is the same. Like their sorcerous kin whose draconic influence permits them to manifest their will through the arcane, warlocks can entwine their fingers into the threads of reality and shift them into a form that they find most pleasing. Unfortunately for the world at large this form is all-too commonly one of dominance, anguish and subjugation.

A driven and willful breed of spellcaster, warlocks are masters of creation, shadow and hellfire. There are few hurdles that are sacred to them, as testified by their habit of sacrificing their own life essence to fuel their spells before ripping such precious residue from the souls of their enemies in order to make their foes pay the price for their own ambition. Unfortunately such self-interest is the hallmark of a warlocks attitude and though there are a rare few that look upon their mortal brethren with a protective eye, far too many see instead the future subjects of their dark kingdoms.

Typically blessed with powerful constitutions and forceful personalities, these infernal sorcerers take to imposing their will on others as naturally as the fighter swings a blade, and were it not for the call of magic such beings would surely come to dominate whatever social circle they so desired. But, blessed with the arcane they are, and as such the secret covens formed by these grim magicians are truly a nexus of political and magical power whose reach can extend much further than their enemies believe.



Adventures: The search for power and understanding is unending in the world of a Warlock. Whether they seek to further their mystical power, social potency or search for new and exotic demons to enslave to their will, Warlocks need little convincing to hit the road.

Alignments: Any non-good. Though self-interested and driven by ambition, an evil murderer this does not make (though they typically are). Likewise, self-discipline is a necessary trait for any warlock seeking to resist the enslavement of the very demons with which they traffic, and as such there are very few Chaotic warlocks. The most common alignment would be Lawful Evil, followed by Lawful Neutral.

Other Classes: A warlocks ability to synergise with other classes depends heavily upon the personality of the individual warlock. As a powerful spell-caster with a clearly hellish origin, they may be naturally devisive beings for good-aligned clerics and paladins to work with. Meanwhile wizards typically resent what they see as a lack of discipline while fellow sorcerers are usually suspicious of a fellow spontaneous caster whose magic speaks of a infernal legacy. However, the most successful warlocks are those who have learned the value in cooperation and in an environment free of egotism a warlock has a lot to offer to a party who will trust them.

Role: Warlocks command a host of vicious offensive spells and a respectable contingent of abilities that they can use to provide support and utility to their friends. As such, they are capable of being a primary caster within a group, where their higher hit point pool and life-draining abilities allow them a degree of autonomy from the healing and protection usually required to sustain a caster.

GAME RULE INFORMATION
Warlocks have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Warlocks have compelling personalities and powerful constitutions that they constantly torture to empower their spells. As such, Charisma is the primary spell-casting statistic for a warlock, while Constitution plays an invaluable role for providing the warlock with a large pool of hitpoints to employ metamagic.
Alignment: Any Non-good.
Hit Die: D12.
Starting Age: As Sorcerer.
Starting Gold: As Sorcerer.

Class Skills:
The Warlock's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are:
Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana, Planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at First Level: 4 + Int modifier
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier

Table; The Warlock





Saves

Spells Per Day


Level
BAB
Fort
Ref
Will
Special
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th


1st
+0
+2
+0
+2
Infernal Tongues
Life Tap
Corruption
Eschew Materials
Cantrips
Grimoire
1
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—


2nd
+1
+3
+0
+3

2
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—


3rd
+1
+3
+1
+3
Curse of Agony
3
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
—


4th
+2
+4
+1
+4

3
1
—
—
—
—
—
—
—


5th
+2
+4
+1
+4
Curse of Tongues
3
2
—
—
—
—
—
—
—


6th
+3
+5
+2
+5
Siphon Life
Macabre Thesis I
3
2
1
—
—
—
—
—
—


7th
+3
+5
+2
+5

3
3
2
—
—
—
—
—
—


8th
+4
+6
+2
+6

3
3
3
1
—
—
—
—
—


9th
+4
+6
+3
+6

3
3
3
2
—
—
—
—
—


10th
+5
+7
+3
+7

Bonus feat
3
3
3
2
1
—
—
—
—


11th
+5
+7
+3
+7
Fearless
3
3
3
3
2
—
—
—
—


12th
+6/+1
+8
+4
+8
Macabre Thesis II

3
3
3
3
2
1
—
—
—


13th
+6/+1
+8
+4
+8

3
3
3
3
3
2
—
—
—


14th
+7/+2
+9
+4
+9

3
3
3
3
3
2
1
—
—


15th
+7/+2
+9
+5
+9

3
3
3
3
3
2
1
—
—


16th
+8/+3
+10
+5
+10

3
3
3
3
3
3
1
1
—


17th
+8/+3
+10
+5
+10

3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
—


18th
+9/+4
+11
+6
+11
Macabre Thesis III
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
1


19th
+9/+4
+11
+6
+11

3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
2


20th
+10/+5
+12
+6
+12

3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3





Table: Warlock Spells Known


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Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
Warlocks are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor interferes with a warlock's gestures, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail (see Arcane Spells and Armor).

Warlock Spells:

A warlock casts arcane spells drawn primarily from the warlock spell list. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a warlock must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a warlock's spell is 10 + the spell level + the sorcerer's Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a warlock can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Warlock Spells Known. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).

A warlock's selection of spells is extremely limited. A warlock begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of her choice. At each new warlock level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Warlock Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a sorcerer knows is not affected by her Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Warlock Spells Known are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the warlock spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the Warlock has gained some understanding of through study.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered Warlock level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a Warlock can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the warlock loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell's level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. A Warlock may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.

Unlike a wizard or a cleric a warlock need not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her spells per day for that spell level. Additionally, a Warlock applies metamagic as would a sorcerer.

Warlock Spell List:

0-level Warlock Spells (cantrips)
Arcane Mark, Daze, Detect Magic, Light, Message, Putrefy Food and Drink, Read Magic, Resistance, Touch of Fatigue, Spark, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation.

1st level Warlock Spells:
Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Mage Armor, Comprehend Languages, Identify, Blood Money, Cause Fear, Command, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shadow Weapon, Sleep, Unseen Servant, Magic Missile, Touch of Combustion, Summon Monster I, Burning Hands, Feather Fall.

2nd level Warlock Spells:
Obscure Object, Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law Communal, Resist Energy, Create Pit, Dusk of Twilight, Fiery Shuriken, Hideous Laughter, Touch of Idiocy, Burning Gaze, Continual Flame, Darkness, Fire Breath, Flaming Sphere, Mirror Image, Scorching Ray, Scare, Sentry Skull, Summon Monster II, Spectral Hand, Blood Armor, Darkvision, Disfiguring Touch, Molten Orb, Pyrotechnics, Time Shudder.

3th level Warlock Spells:
Dispel Magic, Arcane Sight, Magic Circle against Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Nondetection, Protection from Energy, Resist Energy Communal, Ash Storm, Sepia Snake Sigil, Spiked Pit, Hold Person, Rage, Blacklight, Call the Void, Fireball, Accursed Glare, Aura of Cannibalism, Pain Strike, Howling Agony, Summon Monster III, Ray of Exhaustion, Flame Arrow, Slow, Water Breathing, Fly, Vampiric Touch, Vision of Hell

4th level Warlock Spells:
Dimensional Anchor, Fire Trap, Globe of Lesser Invulnerability, Communal Nondetection, Remove Curse, True Form, Acid Pit, Black Tentacles, Dimension Door, Detonate, Dragons’ Breath, Greater Flaming Sphere, Volcanic Storm, Wall of Fire, Phantasmical Killer, Bestow Curse, Symbol of Revelation, Bloatbomb, Contagion, Summon Monster IV, Enervation, Fear, Curse of Burning Sleep, Firefall, Obsidian Flow, Scorching Ash Form, Symbol of Slowing.

5th level warlock spells:
Break Enchantment, Dismissal, Cloudkill, Hungry Pit, Planar Binding Lesser, Summon Infernal Host, Dominate Person, Symbol of Sleep, Fire Snake, Summon Monster V, Mass Pain Strike, Black Spot, Phantasmical Grasp, Blight, Blood Boil, Feast on Fear, Magic Jar, Symbol of Pain, Hungry Earth, Vampiric Shadow Shield, Symbol of Striking, Teleport, Overland Flight.

6th level warlock spells:
Antimagic Field, Greater dispel magic, Globe of Invulnerability, Planar Binding, Chains of Fire, Contagious Flame, Symbol of Persuasion, Summon Monster VI, Hellfire Ray, Sirocco, Shadow Walk, Circle of Death, Greater Contagion, Major Curse, Symbol of Fear, Disintegrate, Tar Pool.

7th level warlock spells:
Banishment, Caustic Eruption, Create Lesser Demiplane, Instant Summons, Phase Door, Plane Shift, Greater Arcane Sight, Insanity, Summon Monster VII, Delayed Blast Fireball, Hungry Darkness, Scouring Winds, Epidemic, Finger of Death, Plague Storm, Symbol of Weakness, Firebrand, Mass Fly, Mass Planar Adaption, Greater Teleport.

8th level warlock spells:
Dimensional Lock, Mind Blank, Greater Spell Absorption, Create Demiplane, Incendiary Cloud, Maze, Greater Planar Binding, Rift of Ruin, Trap the Soul, Summon Monster XIII, Wall of Lava, Symbol of Insanity, Sunburst, Clone, Orb of the Void, Symbol of Death.

9th level warlock spells:
Freedom, Imprisonment, Mages Disjunction, Create Greater demiplane, Gate, Dominate Monster, Meteor Swarm, Weird, Astral Projection, Energy Drain, Summon Monster IX, Soul Bind, Etherealness, Fiery Body, Time Stop, Transmute Blood to Acid, Teleportation Circle.


Special Abilities:

Cantrips:
Warlocks learn a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table: Warlock Spells Known under “Spells Known.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again.

Eschew Materials:
At first level, Warlocks gain the feat Eschew Materials as a bonus feat.

Infernal Tongues:
During character creation, Warlock characters are also allowed to choose Infernal and Abyssal as bonus languages if they have the intelligence modifiers to choose bonus languages.

Shadow Damage:
A number of the Warlocks abilities inflict new type of energy damage, Shadow. Mechanically, Shadow damage is Negative damage, however beings usually healed by Negative damage are instead damaged as normal.

Grimoire:

Every Warlock possess a depository into which they pen their experiences, notes and discovered lore. This tome lacks the academic structure of a wizard's spell book as the contents of each book and its organisation is unique to the Warlock that created it. Make no mistake however, for these items are not merely textual accounts, but invaluable sums of the Warlocks knowledge.

Beginning at level 1 the Warlock owns a Grimoire, which costs and weighs the same as a wizards spell book. This book is the cornerstone of two area's of the warlocks expertise: Rituals and Macabre Thesis.

Macabre Thesis: Over the course of the Warlocks career they will develop several Macabre Thesis. Each thesis represents several chapters of ruminations and discussions involving the Warlocks growing understanding and power. The acquirement of each Thesis at level 6, 12 and 18 represents the completion of one such thesis. As long as the Warlock retains ownership of their grimoire then they retain the powers as bestowed by Macabre Thesis. Should their grimoire be removed from their possession however, then the abilities granted by Macabre Thesis will rescind from the Warlocks power until they are unable to exploit it. This is represented by the Warlock losing access to their Macabre Thesis III 24 hours after no longer possessing their Thesis, losing access to their Macabre Thesis II 48 hours after no longer possessing their grimoire and no longer possessing their Macabre Thesis I 72 hours after no longer possessing their grimoire. Should the warlock re-acquire their grimoire intact then they regain the use of their Macabre Thesis in the opposite order, so restoration of Macabre Thesis I 24 hours after re-acquiring their grimoire, etc.

Rituals: The warlocks developing experience is what allows them to formulate and design their rituals that they then meticulously catalogue within their grimoire. If a Warlock ever comes across a spell upon a scroll that is from the Wizard/Sorcerer spell list, they may scribe that spell into their grimoire at a rate of one hour per spell level. Henceforth they are able to cast that spell as a ritual.

To cast a spell as a ritual the warlock must gather the spell components that the spell would normally need. These are placed within a mastercrafted silver bowl of no less than 500 gp value. The warlock then strips themelves bare and draws a masterwork dagger across their body, causing their blood to spill forth into the silver bowl. This process requires the sacrifice of 3 hit points per level of the spell attempting to be cast. The lacerations the warlock performs on themselves will cease bleeding once the ritual commences.

The Warlock then chants uninterrupted for one hour per level of the spell attempting to be cast as a ritual. At the end of this time the Warlock makes a Caster Level check equal to 10 + (2 * the level of the spell). Passing this test indicates a sucessful ritual and the spell is cast as normal. Failure means that the ritual fizzles into nothing, with all the spell components being ruined in the process. The silver bowl and masterwork dagger, however, will remain unaffected and can be used for as many rituals as the Warlock desires.

There are several ways in which the Warlock can increase their chances of success in this endeavor, and may, if they so choose, do one of the following at the rituals completion but before they make their Caster level check:


Burn a bouquet of flowers (+1 to their CL check).


Drink a glass full of tears from a source of holiness such Lawful Good Paladins, Clerics and Oracles (+2 to their CL check).


Perform a ritualistic dance for the duration of the ritual. This requires a Fortitude save equal to the DC of the ritual being cast. Failure means that the warlock over-exerts themselves, becomes fatigued and is no longer able to continue (+3 to their CL check if successful).


Sacrifice a lamb, rabbit or some other symbol of good according to the Warlocks culture, draining the creatures blood into the bowl along with their own. Once this is done the contents of the silver bowl go up in a bluish flame that crackles with the laughter of demons and whose form shifts with their laughing skulls (+4 to their CL check).


Only a single bonus to the Warlocks Caster Level check may be acquired in this manner.

Replacement: Should a Warlocks grimoire ever be destroyed, then a terrible calamity has befallen the warlock. In order to restore their trove of knowledge, the Warlock must spend time in meditation and reflection in order to reconstitute their grimoire. To reflect this, the Warlock must obtain a new grimoire at the same cost as a wizards spell book. They may then begin re-writing their grimoire at a rate of one class level per month and a cost of 2,000 gc per month. Take note that the grimoire offers insight into the arcane, but it is not a magic item itself. Therefore if it is subjected to an antimagic field, Mage's Disjunction or other such magic nullifying process, the grimoire is unaffected.

Life Tap:
The Warlock sacrifices motes of their own life force to power their magic. As a free action a Warlock is able to sacrifice hit points in order to restore spent spells per day on a 3-hp-per-level basis. For example, in order to restore a 5th level spell-per-day, the warlock would have to sacrifice 15 hit points. A Warlock can do this a total number of times per day equal to 3 + their constitution modifier.

Additionally, a warlock may spend more hit points in order to reduce the action time required to apply metamagic to their spells. The number of hitpoints required to be sacrificed is equal to two times the level of the spell, multiplied by the level adjustment of the metamagic feat. For example, a warlock that wished to apply the Maximise Spell metamagic feat to a fireball has two options. They may apply it as normal and take a full round action to cast the spell. However, they could also use Life Tap to sacrifice 18 hit points (2 times 3rd level spell multiplied by 3 metamagic level modifier) in order to reduce the normal full round action to a standard action. The Warlock may also reduce the casting time a further step (so standard action becomes a move action) if they instead sacrifice triple they would normally forfeit. So in the previous example, the warlock decides to then cast their Maximised Fireball as a move action, sacrificing 54 hit points to do so.

The number of hit points required for sacrifice cannot be mitigated in any way, such as though Soul Collector or any form of Damage Reduction, for example.

Corruption:
The Warlock wills an affliction upon a chosen opponent and leaves them to rot away from its entropic touch. Corruption is a Spell-like Ability that takes a standard action to cast and has a range of 30 + 5 ft. per caster level that requires a Ranged Touch Attack to hit and inflicts 1d6 Shadow Damage per caster level (rounded down), to a minimum of 1d6. This spell remains on a target for 1 round per 2 caster levels (rounded down) for a minimum of 1 round. Only one corruption can be active upon a target at a time.

Corruption may also be modified by metamagic. If done so its "spell level" is considered one half of the Warlocks caster level, with a maximum level of 9. Corruption is subject to Spell Resistance. Corruption can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage's Disjunction or antimagic field. Corruption may only be cast once per round.

Curse of Agony:
The Warlock curses their target with a spell that twists nerves, twists muscles and oscillates bone for a period of terrible anguish. Curse of Agony is a Spell-like Ability with a range of 30 + 5ft. per caster level that require a Ranged Touch Attack to hit and inflicts 1d6 Shadow damage per 3 caster levels, for a minimum of 1d6. This spell remains on a target for 1 round per caster level and requires a standard action to cast. Only one Curse can be active upon a target at a time.

Curse of Agony may also be modified by metamagic. If done so its "spell level" is considered one half of the Warlocks caster level, with a maximum level of 9. Curse of Agony is subject to Spell Resistance. Curse of Agony can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Mage's Disjunction or antimagic field or remove curse. Curse of Agony may only be cast once per round.

Curse of Tongues:
The Warlock inflicts a curse upon their target that causes them to begin speaking gibberish in a guttural, alien language that is completely unknown to them. While the target is still able to fulfill the verbal component when casting their own spells, doing so takes greater time due to their gabled speech. As such, casting actions for the afflicted target require an increased level of action to complete. So a spell that normally takes a full round action would take two full round actions to cast, a standard action would instead take a full round action, a move action would take a standard action and a free action would take a move action.

This is a Spell-like Ability with a range of 30 + 5 ft. per caster level, remains on the target for 1 round per caster level, requires a standard action to cast and requires a successful Ranged Touch Attack to hit. Only one Curse can be active upon a target at a time. Curse of Tongues is subject to Spell Resistance. Curse of Tongues can be pre-maturely removed by a successful dispel, Mage's Disjunction, antimagic field or remove curse. Curse of Tongues may only be cast once per round.

Siphon Life:
The Warlock targets an opponent with a parasitic spell that rots away at the energies that give them animation and returns them to Warlock to supplement their own life force. Siphon Life is a Spell-like Ability that requires a standard action to cast, with a range of 30 + 5ft. per caster level that inflicts 1d6 Shadow damage per 3 caster levels. This spell remains on a target for 1 round per 2 caster levels. Damaged caused by this spell is then added to the Warlock in the form of hit points. This cannot increase the Warlocks hit point total above its maximum, unless modified by Macabre Thesis I (see below). Additionally, no hit points are returned to the warlock from damage caused to summoned creatures beneath the Warlocks control.

Siphon Life may also be modified by metamagic. If done so its "spell level" is considered one half of the Warlocks caster level, with a maximum level of 9. Siphon Life is subject to Spell Resistance. Finally, if the Warlock has an active, summoned demon then they too receive an equal amount of points from this ability. Siphon Life can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage's Disjunction or antimagic field. Siphon Life may only be cast once per round.

Bonus Feat:
At level 10, the warlock gains a bonus feat that they may choose from the Item Creation feats. The warlock must still meet the prerequisites to select the feat.

Fearless:
By 11th level, the Warlock has become so inundated with the infernal and the demonic, that very little is capable of frightening them. As such, Warlocks of this level and beyond are immune to Fear effects such as the spell Cause Fear, and intimidation skill checks. In addition, the Warlock receives +3 bonus to Willpower saves to resist Mind Affecting spells such as Dominate Person.


Macabre Thesis:


Macabre Thesis:

As the Warlock gains experience their knowledge of the tapestry that holds the infernal planes together increase by magnitudes - and knowledge is power. The Macabre Thesis represents the continued study and understanding of the Warlock and as such its prose represents growing personal aptitude.

Macabre Thesis I: The Warlock has advanced beyond the trappings of an acolyte. In some ways this is the greatest advancement for few of these dark casters survive to this level of competence. However, it is also a time of sober reflection in the prediction that their path is only going to become further cluttered with danger. Choose one of the following. Once chosen, the decision cannot be reversed.


Soul Leech: Whenever the Warlocks Corruption spell causes damage, half of this damage is returned to the Warlock in the form of hit points. This can increase the Warlocks hit point total above normal levels by maximum of 4 times their caster level as temporary hit points. So a Warlock of 10th caster level could increase their maximum hit point total by 40 temporary hit points. If the Warlock has an active, summoned minion from Summon Monster, Planar Binding or Gate spell line, then they also gain the healing benefits of this thesis. Additionally, no hit points are returned to the warlock from damage caused to summoned creatures beneath the Warlocks control.


Soul Collector: The Warlock can store a copy of a creatures personality within a gem of value no less than 10gp. Should the creature die, this gem can then be used as the material component for a resurrection spell. The gem is consumed during the spell. Additionally, while a creatures personality is stored, no single source of damage can cause more than 30 hit points of damage. Only one copy of a creature may be stored at a time.


Lingering Torment: Four times a day, whenever the Warlock inflicts hit point damage with a spell they may modify the spell to inflict half its damage again for as many rounds as the spell has levels. For example, a Fireball cast by a 6th level warlock would initially inflict 6d6 damage. If modified by Lingering Torment, this spell would then cause a further 3d6 damage each round for 3 more rounds. This additional damage is a continuation of the original spell and so subject to its same characteristics (such as Fireball inflicting fire damage, etc). Lingering Torment may not modify Corruption, Curse of Agony or Siphon Life.


Macabre Thesis II: The Warlock is now truly a powerful being in the world and an expert demonologist. They have florished in a merciless and unforgiving environment that has brought low stalwart heroes. Were this Warlock among the ranks of a wizardly academy, they should surely be a respected educator. Choose one of the following. Once chosen, the decision cannot be reversed.


Harvest Life: The warlock is capable of casting Harvest Life, ripping the life force from an enemy and drawing it into themselves in an impressive magical display which enriches the warlock and leaves the target numb and drained. The Warlock makes a ranged touch attack as a standard action with a range of 100 ft. +10 ft. per caster level, ignoring Spell Resistance and doing 1d8 Shadow damage per caster level of the warlock. For every point of damage inflicted in this manner the Warlock receives a hit point, up to their maximum hit points. Additionally, if the Warlock uses a full round action to cast this spell, they may instead make a ranged touch attach against as many targets that are within 50 ft. of the original target as the Warlock has caster levels, dividing the damage dice up per target as they see fit, to a minimum of 1d8 per target. Finally, any target hit by this spell must make a fortitude save against a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the Warlocks caster level + the Warlocks Charisma modifier. Failure means that the target may only make either a single move action or a single standard action until the start of the Warlocks next turn, while this aspect of the spell is negated if the test is passed. Additionally, no hit points are returned to the warlock from damage caused to summoned creatures beneath the Warlocks control.


Soul Link: The Warlock has developed a level of dominance over their enslaved demons to such a degree that they are capable of transferring their own inhibitions onto their pets, forcing them to act as sacrificial lambs. Whenever the Warlock has an active summoned creature from the Summon Monster, Planar Binding or Gate spell line they may transfer half of any final damage they receive onto their demon (ie. after damage reduction). Additionally, whenever the Warlock has an active demon summoned, they receive a +2 Insight bonus to their Fortitude, Reflex and Willpower, with an additional +1 per five caster levels.


Fire and Brimstone: The Warlock gathers their destructive power and spreads them across their enemies like a vile contagion. Four times a day the Warlock may modify any damage-dealing spell (whether hit point or statistic damage) to affect a number of other targets equal to their caster level that are within 50 ft. of the original target. These targets must make saves or must be hit as normal, however they take one half of the damage suffered by the original target. Spells with an area of effect (such as fireball) incur only damage and do not replicate the area of effect centering on the position of the new targets.


Macabre Thesis III: The Warlock has become a master of their shadow and hellfire. Their personal journey through the horrors of the world and the infernal planes that they manipulate has produced an individual of fantastic power and insight and whose name is most certainly known to the hellish overlords of such torturous places. Choose one of the following. Once chosen, the decision cannot be reversed.


Soulburn: The Warlocks spells have been tuned to such a malignant degree that they are capable of penetrating the most stalwart of defenses. The Warlocks Corruption, Curse of Agony and Harvest Life now ignore any form of Damage Reduction, Energy Resistance, and any other spell, spell-like ability, supernatural ability, extraordinary or feats or any other type of influence that would reduce its damage. Additionally, whenever a creature dies while a target of the Warlocks Corruption, Curse of Agony or Harvest Life it is treated as if having been targeted by the Triggered Object option of the 8th level spell Trap the Soul, with the targets soul being deposited into a gem on the Warlocks person of a value no less than 10gp.


Demonic Transfusion: The Warlock draws in the raw magical ether of the infernal planes and builds upon themselves a body that is not quite human, nor demon, but something else. The Warlock can take on their demonic form at will. This form takes the physical image of the players choosing which is determined when choosing this Thesis, however they remain medium-sized and their type is unchanged. When in their demonic form, the Warlock gains Immunity to fire and poison, resistance 10 to acid and cold, See in Darkness (Su), 100 ft. Telepathy, DR 15/Magic and Bludgeoning, a Natural Armor improvement of +10 and pair of wings that allow them to Fly at 60 feet per round with Perfect maneuverability.


Hellfire Mastery: The Warlock has mastered their destructive arts and becomes unto a painter exerting precise and expressive control over their devastating spells. First, the Warlock chooses a single spell that they can cast that causes damage. They can now cast this spell 3 extra times a day as a Spell-like Ability. Second, the Warlock is now able to substitute the energy type of their spells with that of another (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic) 4 times per day. Finally, the Warlock can also alter the area of effect of their spells as if under the effect of a Selective Spell metamagic feat 4 times a day.

BananaPhone
2014-12-14, 09:39 AM
Edit: Reserved

BananaPhone
2014-12-14, 11:46 PM
Edit: Reserved.

BananaPhone
2014-12-15, 10:37 AM
Right, I think I'm in a position where it can start receiving feedback (for better or worse). I'm still yet to add the stats for the companion demons and the whole thing needs proof reading to remove the myriad of typos, but with 130+ views so far I hope at least someone has some thoughts they'd like to share!:smallsmile:

Composer99
2014-12-15, 11:54 AM
Sorcerer-equivalent 9th level casting plus rituals plus demonic minionmancy seems pretty hefty. Overall I would say the class needs to be toned down as a whole.


Anyway, on to one specific comment:

I find Life Tap troubling. Having the ability to spend hit points for metamagic seems ripe for abuse. Especially with d12 hit dice and an in-class ability to recover hit points.

At the very least, if you insist on retaining this ability, it needs to be made clear that you can't increase a spell's effective level past 9th. And rather than trying it to hit points, I might suggest a daily limit of effective spell level increase equal to Constitution score - or if you want to restrict it further (which would still be reasonable IMO) you could go with the 3 + ability mod (Con in this case) that PF often uses.

EXAMPLE: Infernia the warlock as a Constitution of 14. She could use Empower Spell on fireball either (A) 7 times per day , or (B) twice per day (with 1 effective spell level left that she can use) [I], [I]because the feat adds 2 effective spell levels.

The substitution of hit points for gold value of material components is IMO not good either: it doesn't help the warlock appreciably with very expensive spells, but it trivialises the costs of low-cost spells, when they're already pretty minimal due to WBL. Heck, with enough healing a mid- or high-level warlock can eat even 1,000 gp in material component costs in hit points.

BananaPhone
2014-12-15, 04:25 PM
Hello :smallsmile:.


Interesting mention on Life Tap. My idea behind making it cost hit points was to make it painful to simply spam metamagic. I didn't even think of the "max level spell can go is 9", so that's a definite. When thinking of the risk-and-reward behind Life Tap, I was of the mind that by spamming metamagic, you could do some nuke damage fast, but even with D12 hit die and some self-healing abilities, losing 50 or so hp a turn (eg. empowered lvl 6 spell), combined with potential enemy damage and it would add up quickly. That was my idea anyway. You do put forward a good idea for limiting it, however, so that things don't get really out of control. What about taking your idea and altering it to the ability to apply a metamagic feat a max number of times per day equal to the Warlocks Constitution modifier? So Infernia the Warlock could apply metamagic feats to her spells only 2wice a day, paying the hit point price via Life Tap?

Hmm, allowing Life Tap to help out with material costs does seem like gravy on top of a gravy pie, doesn't it? The class can probably do without it.

BananaPhone
2014-12-16, 07:11 AM
So, an update:

- I cut the number of rituals the warlock gets over 20 levels in half. Hopefully this'll tune it down. The rituals are supposed to be flavorful ways to get some spells that aren't on the Warlocks spell list, so now only getting 3 minor rituals (out of possible 10), 3 rituals (out of possible 10), 3 greater rituals (out of possible 8) and only a single Prime Ritual (you want to be able to cast Wish, or Greater Teleport? Can't have both). So let's see how that goes.

- I nerfed Life Tap by setting a cap on the amount of metamagic modifications a warlock can make to their spells to a max of their constitution modifier per day. For most games this means a max of 2-3 modifications a day, and having to pay the HP for it. That should keep it in check. If the Warlock wants to focus on blasting, that's what the third option in the Macabre Thesis' are for.

- I added the summoned pets. I used the imp, succubus and bearded devil stats but reworked them, mostly to take out at will spells such as the greater teleports - or in the case of the bearded devil, removed all their spells. Each demon has its use, whether it's the Fel Imp to help boost dps or keep a watch out for invisible enemies/illusions and to act as a scout, the succubus for...well, where succubus' shine best, and the fel reaver to act as a meat shield to protect the warlock and act as a back up front-liner.


If any others are reading don't be afraid to say something. I don't have a interwebs disease, you won't die by saying something :smallsmile:.

Composer99
2014-12-16, 09:32 AM
You could probably move a few abilities around to reduce the "dead level" effect. For example, the warlock gets a couple of extra spells/day at 7th level, but gets a whole new spell level, plus a ritual, plus the succubus summon, at 8th level.

Regarding the summons, summon succubus at 8th level and fel reaver (based on barbed devil) are quite strong for the level at which they appear. (Incidentally the fel reaver entry needs some cleaning up for the name change. Also, did you mean felguard? (http://www.wowwiki.com/Felguard_(warlock_minion)))

Succubus
The succubus is a CR 7 creature, while most creatures one can summon with the 4th-level summon monster spells (which the warlock gets at the same level as of this writing) are CR3. The succubus can be summoned using summon monster VI (available at 11th level for most casters). So you could probably move this summon to level 12.

Fel Reaver
The fel reaver's template is a CR 11 creature, and is on the summon list for summon monster VIII (available at 15th level for most casters). So it could easily be a level 14-16 benefit, rather than level 12. Since you've removed its spell-like abilities, you could add some of the abilities the WoW felguard gets as compensation (and to make it resemble the WoW minion more, too).

Adding a New 8th-level Summon
If you make the moves as above, you're left with a summons gap around 8th level. You could use the hell hound as a template and replace its breath weapon, say, with one of the fel hunter's abilities.

Gwynfrid
2014-12-17, 12:48 AM
Hi,

I saw your proposal to enter this class in a game over in the recruitment subforum, and I must say, I was relieved when the DM decided to nix it. Obviously, you're not going to feel the same way. So, I thought it would be fair of me to try and explain why I feel the class is seriously overpowered relative to Paizo standards.

Also, it looks like you had a hunch that this might be the case:


Though I seek to make a flavorful and strong class, knowing me it'll probably turn out to be stupidly OP and requiring reigning in.

... So I have reason to hope you aren't going to resent the somewhat opinionated remarks below, and you won't find them overly patronizing :smallwink:

1) General

First, the obvious: If this class exists, there is virtually no reason anyone would want to play a Sorcerer. If a Sorcerer is in any group with a Warlock, then the Sorcerer will be hopelessly outclassed. This is because the Warlock has as many spells as the Sorcerer, with a d12 hit die, better saves, more skills, more add-on powers coming with higher levels, and no discernible weakness. Life Tap is not a weakness, when you consider that it doesn't need to be used at all - then all those hits points are simply there for the keeping. In front of this, the Sorcerer can only boast of a few more known spells (bloodline spells) and a wider overall spell choice. Even the latter is questionable: The Warlock spell list is limited, but not small, and it includes virtually all the mainstays of the Wizard spell list.

Second, the non-spell power progression is very impressive, just for the sheer number of them: A little more than one per level, on average. No other full caster class gets anywhere close to that amount.

2) Low-level offensive powers

Looking at things like Corruption, Siphon Life and the various Curses, I notice a few very unusual things:
- There is no apparent limitation on use: Did you really intent to make these at-will abilities?
- No saving throw.
- For some of them, not even magic resistance.
- The new (as far as I know) damage type, Shadow: This implies Resist Energy doesn't protect from it. Presumably, the Warlock's enemies would have to develop entirely new spells to counter it.

And all those powers are accessible at really low levels, too.

3) Life Tap

Sure, this is costly metamagic. But it has the unique property of violating the regular limits on metamagic: Namely, the Warlock's maximum spell level isn't a limit. It's possible to cast a metamagic-enhanced spell that would increase the spell's effective level to beyond anything the Warlock can cast, as long as it doesn't go above level 9. For example, he could use Quicken Spell at level 1, for a cost of 6 HP. I don't know of any feature of any class that can break the max spell level limitation in that way.

The only limit to Life Tap is, of course, hit points. The Warlock has more of those than a fighter, but could use them fast. However, it would be possible to circumvent a lot of the limitation, through in-combat healing, or by having a good supply of temporary hit points. Conveniently, a number of Warlock powers provide exactly that.

4) Rituals

Basically these provide temporary (but long-lasting) magic items, at a cost of zero gp and a little bit of time. Attempts would fail, but since failure has no penalty other than wasting a couple of hours, retrying will usually be no problem.

5) Summons

Equivalent to familiars, but way stronger, and they can't die (well, not for more than 24 hours). The Fel Imp is arguably weaker than a regular Imp because it has less hit points. But on the other hand, it casts Scorching Ray at will, at its master's level. In the very worst case, it guarantees a couple of rounds of a lot of free extra damage before the enemy eliminates it.

Of course when we move to the Succubus, we aren't anywhere near familiar territory anymore. And those minions come at negligible initial cost, which the DM is encouraged to minimize. Also, they have zero recurring cost, which is very unusual, considering they're demons.

6) High-level offensive powers (Macabre Thesis)

To be frank, I think the above are enough to prove my point, so I'm not going to go trough those in detail. Basically, they have many of the same issues as the low level offensive powers: Usable at will (or 4 times per day, meaning they will not often run out), have no saving throw and/or ignore spell resistance and/or cause Shadow damage bypassing any standard protection.

7) Defensive powers

... That's where the class isn't the most impressive. Sure, all the important defensive spells of the Wizard are there (Mage Armor, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Dispel Magic, Fly, Dimension Door, etc ), but that's about it. So, like the Sorcerer, the Warlock may suffer from glass cannon syndrome... Except, in all likelihood, his enemies will have died or fled in terror before they can uncover his weaknesses.

Conclusion

I believe you have put together a nicely written, very flavorful class. But in my humble opinion, you need to tone it way down, before it can play alongside more standard characters.

BananaPhone
2014-12-17, 02:11 AM
@Composer: I'll address those when I get home tonight.

@Gwinfrid:

Oh, as far as I interpreted his words of "Go with it, for now", he's allowing me to play test it. The very act of making a character from the class already highlighted some issues (which I brought up in character creation and that you've brought up in the mention of Life Tap) which I've made moves to fix. Play testing is the only way that it's going to become functional.


I can't address everything you've said yet because I'm soon driving back to my home city, but I will say 2 things. First is that the difference between a Sorcerer and this class is versatility and RP'ing. If you go a Warlock you'll be tougher and a better blaster, even if your full damage takes many rounds to take effect. However, even with rituals your spell selection is much more limited. With a sorcerer your damage isn't as far flung, but you can choose any wizard/sorcerer spell you want, warlocks can't do that. I've tried to leave out some of the "must have" wizard/sorc spell lines such as polymorph to both emphasise this and because they don't really fit the fluff, but more might be needed. Perhaps the invisibility line?

There is also the additional RP'ing reasons. I imagine members of this class, if as such is known, are going to be quite ostracized and looked upon with fear and suspicion by NPC's, particularly if they rock up to town with their summoned demon out or are spotted conducting their rituals that require them to spill blood and kill animals. This could even cause party friction, making a sorcerer a more versatile and safer option.

Like, take for example Curse of Agony. By its spell name the victim dies an agonising, painful death as their body is twisted and rended from within by this spell. Killing an orc with a sword is one thing, but watching your friend cast a spell on it that breaks its bones, twists its flesh and causes horrible pain that sends it to the grave is another. That's just an orc - imagine if you and your Warlock buddy were out hunting bandits, a bunch of young, misguided, angry men - is your character IC going to be totally cool with watching them die like that? It's an RP facet of this class that I don't want to have to enforce by rules, but that I'd like to bring players attention to for the RP value and flavor I'm hoping to give the class. (flavor that you think is currently there - thank you by the way :smallsmile:)

The second is Shadow damage bypassing defenses, such as Resist Energy. This was not my intention, as by one of the Macabre Thesis' I imagined that Shadow would be, in whatever world this class would be used, an energy type that would be added to such spells - they just wouldn't often be used. The higher level macabre thesis (the one at 18, Soulburn), allows a warlock to penetrate through this and do their damage unhindered, because I was under the impression that around this level the health pools and defensive spells of the enemies would be so large as to warrant the piddly 4d6 damage at lvl 18 of corruption per turn as a wet noodle compared to the Damage Reductions, Protections from Energy/Resist Energy etc

I've read your points though and I've got a long drive ahead of me to think about them, so I'll get back to them later tonight when I get home :smallsmile:.

BananaPhone
2014-12-17, 07:33 AM
So, I'm home and I thought up a few changes in consideration of some of the things you guys suggested. The thing that is a major change is the addition of a Grimoire. I've listed the changes I'm suggesting here to see what ya'll think:



Life Tap:
The Warlock sacrifices motes of their own life force to power their magic. Whenever a Warlock applies a Metamagic feat to their spells, instead of the spell taking up a higher level spell slot, the spell is cast as if it were its normal level. However, take the level that the spell should have been when increased by the metamagic feat and multiply that number by 5. That is the number of hit points that the Warlock must sacrifice in order to cast the metamagic-modified spell. The sacrifice of these hitpoints cannot be avoided or mitigated in any way, nor can any feats or abilities that would normally lower metamagic spell level adjustment be applied.

For example, a warlock applies the Empower Spell metamagic feat to Fireball. Normally this would require a level 5 spell slot. However, through Life Tap, the Warlock instead sacrifices 25 hit points to cast the modified spell.

Because of the sharp physical toll this takes upon the Warlocks body, a warlock may only apply metamagic to their spells a number of times per day equal to their Constitution modifier. Finally, even though the spell does not take up a higher slot, it cannot take up a slot of a level higher than the Warlock is capable of casting. For example, a 6 level Warlock could not apply a Empower Spell metamagic feat to fireball because this would usually take up a level 5 spell slot, when a level 6 Warlock only has level 4 slots available, whereas a level 18 warlock could not apply Extend metamagic feat to Gate because this would take up a level 10 spell slot.





Summons:
The demons conjured by the Warlocks summon class ability are no longer normal devils or demons. Instead their nature has been twisted and reworked by the vicissitudes of the Warlocks magic and have become slaves to their new masters will, ever loyal and ever obedient.

A material object that is partially responsible for this is a special trinket into which the remnants of the demons former essence has been stored. This could take the form of any bauble no bigger than a heart and worth no less than 5,000 gc. As long as the warlock retains this item, their summonable minions remain their loyal and devoted pets. Even if the warlock loses this trinket the demons remain theirs. However, should the item be destroyed, then the demons revert back to their normal nature - and the warlock does not automatically know this.

What the warlock does know, however, is that every time their summonable minion dies the hold their item has over the demons nature slips just a little bit more. As such, each summonable minion can "die" up to a maximum of 10 times. After the 10th time the demon is restored to their natural self in whatever material plane they were plucked from, with full memory of whatever deeds the warlock had them perform (however undignified).

Should such an event pass, then the Warlock is able to summon another minion by piecing together another bauble for 5,000 gc and conducting the summoning ritual once more. However, even a powerful warlock would be wise to remember the ire of their former servant whom now lingers in the very realms from which they eagerly draw recruits.



Rituals:
Rituals are spells as expressed in a less refined and expeditious form. They require meticulous planning, arrangement and spoken words in order to perform as desired. However, even a powerful Warlock can make mistakes, while new initiates are taking a great risk indeed by getting in over their heads.

When conducting any of the available to the Warlock through class levels, they make a Spellcraft skill check against the determined DC. If they succeed then the ritual functions as intended. However, if they fail then consult the chart below by how much they failed by.


0 - 5 - The ritual fizzles and nothing happens. All material components required for the rituals enactment are ruined and must be replaced.


6 - 10 - The ritual does not only fail, but through some error unwittingly conceived by the Warlock the runes of power, geometric patterns or some other arrangement explodes into a crackling display of hellish fire that burns those who bore witness to the Warlocks failure. All those within 10 feet of the failed Ritual must make a Reflex save against 10 + 1/2 the warlocks Caster level, or take 1d6 fire damage per the Warlocks caster level.


11 -20 - Not only does the ritual fail, but something has gone catastrophically wrong. From the infernal voids in which the warlock draws their power springs hellish beings who have taken opportunity at the temporary weakening of the veils between material planes. 1d10 devils of appropriate Challenge Rating spring forth within an area of 40 feet radius, centred upon the Warlock.




Shadow Damage:
Several Warlock class abilities result in the infliction of a damage type called Shadow. This damage type is an energy damage that can be resisted with such spells as Resist Energy, Protection from Energy and their Communal variants.




Grimoire:

Every Warlock possess a depository into which they pen their experiences, notes and discovered lore. This tome lacks the academic structure of a wizard's spell book, as the contents of each book and its organisation is unique to the Warlock that created it. Make no mistake however, for these items are not merely textual accounts, but invaluable sums of the Warlocks knowledge.

Beginning at level 1 the Warlock owns a Grimoire, which costs and weighs the same as a wizards spell book. This book is the cornerstone of three area's of the warlocks expertise: Rituals, his Macabre Thesis and summons.

Macabre Thesis: Over the course of the Warlocks career they will develop several Macabre Thesis. Each thesis represents several chapters of ruminations and discussions involving the Warlocks growing understanding and power. The acquirement of each Thesis at level 6, 12 and 18 represents the completion of one such thesis. As long as the Warlock retains ownership of their grimoire then they retain the powers as bestowed by Macabre Thesis. Should their grimoire be removed from their possession however, then the abilities granted by Macabre Thesis will rescind from the Warlocks power until they are unable to exploit it. This is represented by the Warlock losing access to their Macabre Thesis III 24 hours after no longer possessing their Thesis, losing access to their Macabre Thesis II 48 hours after no longer possessing their grimoire and no longer possessing their Macabre Thesis I 72 hours after no longer possessing their grimoire. Should the warlock re-acquire their grimoire intact then they regain the use of their Macabre Thesis in the opposite order, so restoration of Macabre Thesis I 24 hours after re-acquiring their grimoire, etc.

Rituals: The warlocks developing experience is what allows them to formulate and design their rituals that they then meticulously catalogue within their grimoire. To conduct a ritual, the warlock must possess their grimoire and it must be present during the ritual process on the Warlocks person. Should the Warlock ever lose their grimoire or have it stolen, they will no longer be able to conduct any of their minor rituals, rituals, greater rituals or prime rituals until their grimoire has been returned to their physical possession.

Summmons: Upon discovering the instructions for summoning each of their summonable minions, the Warlock transcribes a copy of this tuition into their grimoire in an exemplary display of exactitude. Once the warlock has summoned a minion for the first time, the elaborate instructions are no longer needed in their entirety. However, when the Warlock next summons the exact minion, they only need to speak several words, but these are words that link the power of the ceremony as described in their grimoire so the books presence is still a complete necessity. Should the Warlock ever lose their grimoire or have it stolen from them, they are no longer able to summon any of their summonable minions until the grimoire has been returned to their possession.


Should a Warlocks grimoire ever be destroyed, then a truly terrible calamity has befallen the warlock. In order to restore their trove of knowledge, the Warlock must spend time in meditation and reflection in order to reconstitute their grimoire. To reflect this, the Warlock must obtain a new grimoire at the same cost as a wizards spell book. They may then begin re-writing their grimoire at a rate of one class level per month and a cost of 2,000 gc per month. For example, a level 12 warlock would require 12 months to re-write their grimoire. After 6 months, the warlock would have re-written enough material to allow them to perform the three minor rituals that they knew and to resummon their fel imp, at the cost of 12,000 gc. Take note that the grimoire offers insight into the arcane, but it is not a magic item itself. Therefore if it is subjected to an antimagic field, Mage's Disjunction or other such magic nullifying process, the grimoire is unaffected.





You could probably move a few abilities around to reduce the "dead level" effect. For example, the warlock gets a couple of extra spells/day at 7th level, but gets a whole new spell level, plus a ritual, plus the succubus summon, at 8th level.

Regarding the summons, summon succubus at 8th level and fel reaver (based on barbed devil) are quite strong for the level at which they appear. (Incidentally the fel reaver entry needs some cleaning up for the name change. Also, did you mean felguard? (http://www.wowwiki.com/Felguard_(warlock_minion)))

Succubus
The succubus is a CR 7 creature, while most creatures one can summon with the 4th-level summon monster spells (which the warlock gets at the same level as of this writing) are CR3. The succubus can be summoned using summon monster VI (available at 11th level for most casters). So you could probably move this summon to level 12.

Fel Reaver
The fel reaver's template is a CR 11 creature, and is on the summon list for summon monster VIII (available at 15th level for most casters). So it could easily be a level 14-16 benefit, rather than level 12. Since you've removed its spell-like abilities, you could add some of the abilities the WoW felguard gets as compensation (and to make it resemble the WoW minion more, too).

Adding a New 8th-level Summon
If you make the moves as above, you're left with a summons gap around 8th level. You could use the hell hound as a template and replace its breath weapon, say, with one of the fel hunter's abilities.



Hmmm, what about bumping the Imp summon to level 8, the succubus to level 12 and the fel reaver to level 16? That way each minion is roughly as powerfully appropriate for their level.

I decided to drop the Fel hunter during a review, because by that point it seemed like the warlock could do too much. The Fel Imp is great for extra dps, scouting, Use Magic Device and a boost to party perception via its constant detect magic/see invisibility/true seeing - however its also supremely fragile. The Succubus is good for helping the party through social encounters, while the Fel Reaver is just a big slab of meat that stands between the warlock and hatchet wounds to the face - and can back up the front line fighter (who'll arguably be better because of their access to feats - I think it would be unfair if the warlocks melee minion was better than the parties fighter, though it would be funny, lol). However if we also added a Fel hunter with anti-magic user abilities then that might be too much.

What do you think of that reasoning?

Gwynfrid
2014-12-17, 10:46 AM
Oh, as far as I interpreted his words of "Go with it, for now", he's allowing me to play test it. The very act of making a character from the class already highlighted some issues (which I brought up in character creation and that you've brought up in the mention of Life Tap) which I've made moves to fix. Play testing is the only way that it's going to become functional.

I thought that when he said "Base, Hybrid, and Core Classes, only, please?" that was excluding your proposal. My mistake.



First is that the difference between a Sorcerer and this class is versatility and RP'ing.

Yes, of course. But, you see, you can't balance mechanics for RP. It's like I told you, you can play the specific kind of role you want, but you'll take a one-level penalty relative to the rest of the PCs. That wouldnt work, obviously.

So any homebrewed class needs to be mechanically balanced with the existing ones, or the whole game suffers.


However, even with rituals your spell selection is much more limited. With a sorcerer your damage isn't as far flung, but you can choose any wizard/sorcerer spell you want, warlocks can't do that. I've tried to leave out some of the "must have" wizard/sorc spell lines such as polymorph to both emphasise this and because they don't really fit the fluff, but more might be needed. Perhaps the invisibility line?

As far as I can see, virtually all the must-have Wizard spells are there. Polymorph isn't one of them, it's just nice to have imho (it was must-have in 3E and 3.5E before the polymorph erratum was published, but is no longer so after that, or in PF). But every one of the key life-saving and utility spells is included, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Resist and Protection from Energy, Dispel Magic, Fly, Dimension Door; Teleport seems to be the one exception.

EDIT: Correction, I just saw that See Invisibility, Clairvoyance and True Seeing aren't listed. So, there are some weaknesses in the divination department, at least.

And of course, all of the best offensive spells are there. It's striking how the list doesn't specialize in any theme: It covers pretty much every base, so the limitation of versatility isn't nearly as impacting as you might think at first glance. I suspect that in practice, the vast majority of Sorcerers pick at least 90% of their spells from this list.


The second is Shadow damage bypassing defenses, such as Resist Energy. This was not my intention, as by one of the Macabre Thesis' I imagined that Shadow would be, in whatever world this class would be used, an energy type that would be added to such spells - they just wouldn't often be used.

I saw the clarification you provided. However, that still makes Shadow a much more powerful means of attack than any of the other energies, because it is so rare. So you can't expect frequently finding Rings of Shadow Resistance and the like; virtually no monster can be expected to have resistance to it; etc. It's like Sonic, except even better. This rarity is why spells that do Sonic damage are always somewhat less potent than Fireball and so forth. The reasoning applies to Shadow, only much more so.


The higher level macabre thesis (the one at 18, Soulburn), allows a warlock to penetrate through this and do their damage unhindered, because I was under the impression that around this level the health pools and defensive spells of the enemies would be so large as to warrant the piddly 4d6 damage at lvl 18 of corruption per turn as a wet noodle compared to the Damage Reductions, Protections from Energy/Resist Energy etc

I didn't examine it in detail as high as level 18. Balance at super-high levels isn't much of a concern, when everybody (among casters, at least) has huge powers at their disposal. But the problems with the Curses and Thesis kick in at very low levels already. Basically, even with your modifications, the Warlock outclasses any caster offensively - he's a bit ahead at level 1, and plays in an entirely higher league by level 6.

To align the class' power with existing classes, I would think much more radical changes would be required. To begin with, there shouldn't be any at-will, no save, no SR, ranged offensive powers until the very high levels, if at all. Then, the sheer number of options should be cut somewhat. Don't make the Warlock a full caster, maybe? As it stands, I think you have simply more powers than you can make use of in a realistic round of combat: There are so many choices, it will never be possible to bring every option to bear. It would be much more reasonable if there weren't a boatload of spells in addition to great necromantic-like powers.

Another suggestion would be to come back to a more standard hit die, d6 or d8, and reduce the cost of Life Tap. As it stands now, it's extremely powerful but only usable once or at most twice a day, because it costs so many hit points. I think you would do much better justice to the spirit of the original concept if it were less powerful, less costly, and used frequently. Just for the sake of brainstorming, how about this: For every spell cast, the Warlock sacrifices 1 hp per spell level. Simple, painful but bearable, scales slowly with level; and you can still alleviate it through judicious use of temporary hit points. By the way, I am surprised that you didn't add False Life to the 2nd level spell list; it would be a very logical choice.

BananaPhone
2014-12-18, 07:08 AM
Ugh..

I had a massive post done and the house circuit breaker decided to go and die >_<.

/sigh, let's start from the beginning. I'm just going to cut down what I was saying.


The spell list should be the next area of revision. I don't want to hack and slash it out of a belief that the warlocks core abilities are "OP', because I'll soon demonstrate this is definitely not the case, and cutting away a heap of good spells and leaving the warlock hitting like a wet noodle is definitely not something I'm keen on doing. However spell pruning is necessary and should be the next area of review.

I disagree with your assessment that Shadow damage will be this overwhelmingly powerful source of strength. Are the core abilities good in the sense that the Warlock can just will them on an enemy? Yes. If those dots are left alone to do their damage, will the total be frighteningly large? Yes. But is the damage so low that any form of damage mitigation brought against it will cause the warlock to eat **** and become a poor mans sorcerer as they sacrifice huge chunks of HP to metamagic power their normal spells in order to be useful? Yes.

That damage mitigation is easy to acquire, as well. Resist Energy (Shadow) and Protection from energy (Shadow) will have warlocks tearing out their hair, as will any form of Damage Reduction that doesn't include "magic" on the other side of the /. Likewise, it takes multiple turns for the warlocks damage over time spells to come into their own - multiple turns which an enemy team can easily use Dispel, Restoration, globe of invulnerability or any spell absorption abilities etc to negate the warlocks effect, forcing the lock to spend more of their turns casting their dots again instead of backing up their small amount of damage each turn with their own normal spells.

Allow me to demonstrate with averages. This is a scenario in which a level 10 warlock and sorcerer only have access to Empower spell metamagic, and is completely off the top of my head. It completely ignores the Sorcerers bloodline powers as well as ignoring the warlocks macabre thesis, which puts the sorcerer at a disadvantage as a lot of their bloodline powers add damage to their spells, while only 1 of the macabre thesis' by this level does this for the warlock. Also any other tricky tricks that sorc players have learned to pull in order to do stupidly huge amounts of damage in a single turn via metamagic + bloodline power juggling aren't included here.

They come across a Big Scary Mob.


Warlock Turn 1:
Move action: Corruption - 3d6 - 9 damage total
Standard Action: Curse of Agony - 4d6 - 12 damage total
Imp action: Scorching Ray - 4d6 - 12 damage total

Total damage: 33 damage

Sorcerer turn 1:
Empowered Fireball - 10d6+15 - 45 damage

Total Damage = 45 damage

warlock turn 2:
Move action: Siphon Life - 3d6 - 9 damage total
Corruption - 9 damage total
Imp action - scorching ray - 12 damage total
standard action: Fireball 10d6 - 30 damage

Total damage: 60 damage

Sorcerer Turn 2:
Empowered fireball - 45 damage

total damage - 45 damage

warlock turn 3:
full action: empowered fireball - 45 damage
corruption - 9 damage
siphon life - 9 damage
curse of agony - 12 damage
imp action - 12 damage

Total damage = 87 damage

Sorcerer turn :
empowered fireball - 45 damage

total damage = 45 damage


So after three rounds:
warlock total damage: 180 damage, and lost 7 hit points (25 life tap - 18 from 2 rounds of siphon life = 7 hp).
Sorcerer: 135 damage


Well, the Warlock certainly seems ahead there. However, remember that 20% of that damage came from the Imp - a summonable minion that the warlock had to go on a quest to get and had to spend 5,000gc to get and that has supremely low HP and is liable to die pretty easily, and if it does so enough times the warlock is out of pocket another 5 grand. That's money and time and effort that the sorcerer can spend on stuff to boost themselves pretty easily. If the Imps damage isn't factored in, the warlock only does 144 damage compared with 135, a negligible amount.


But, along comes the players worst and best friend - Damage Reduction. So that the DR hits both characters let's say it's DR 10/slashing, something that's not that uncommon at level 10.


Warlock Turn 1:
Move action: Corruption - 3d6 - 9 damage total - completely negated
Standard Action: Curse of Agony - 4d6 - 12 damage total - 2 damage total
Imp action: Scorching Ray - 4d6 - 12 damage total - 2 damage total

Total damage = 4 damage

Sorcerer turn 1:
Empowered Fireball - 10d6+15 - 45 damage - 35 damage total

Total Damage = 35 damage

warlock turn 2:
Move action: Siphon Life - 3d6 - 9 damage total - completely negated
Corruption - 9 damage total - completely negated
Imp action - scorching ray - 12 damage total - 2 damage
standard action: Fireball 10d6 - 30 damage - 20 damage

Total damage: 22 damage

Sorcerer Turn 2:
Empowered fireball - 45 damage - 35 damage

total damage = 35 damage

warlock turn 3:
full action: empowered fireball - 45 damage - 35 damage
corruption - 9 damage - completely negated
siphon life - 9 damage - completely negated
curse of agony - 12 damage - 2 damage
imp action - 12 damage- 2 damage

Total damage = 39 damage

Sorcerer turn :
empowered fireball - 45 damage - 35 damage total

total damage = 35 damage


After three rounds:
warlock total damage: 65 damage, and took 25 hit point damage because of the empowered fireball.
Sorcerer: 105 damage


Well, the Warlock ended up with the **** end of the stick there. Let's say that Big Scary Mob just happened to have a Resist Energy (Fire) laying about as a 10th level caster. Now the Warlock does 19 damage over 3 rounds, while the sorcerer still puts out 45.

But, you say, that's not entirely fair as the Sorcerers spells can get Saved against, while the warlocks main abilities can't be. Yeah, that's true, but as we can see the warlocks fireball and their imps scorching ray factored as large amounts of their dps - and those can miss/get saved against, leaving the warlock with a damage output of 30 damage a round from Corruption, Siphon Life and Curse of Agony. And if you're a level 10 sorcerer whose main abilities are putting out 30 damage, on average, each round without encountering any type of damage reduction or saves, then it's time to retire because you suck.

But, you say, the Sorcerer in this example has a higher chance of coming across Resist (fire) than the warlock does. Well, yes. But, a) as most of the warlocks blasty spells are fire-based, we've seen that the warlock needs to combine both their core abilities and their blasty spells per round to be effective so that kind of common resist hurts warlocks as well, and c) Any sorcerer worth their salt has other energy types available that'll bypass it, the warlock, by my intention and hopefully final design, has mostly only shadow and fire damage spells (unless they're level 18), so they're hit a lot harder by Resist (fire) than a sorcerer is (unless the sorcerer is super specialised, like a cross-blooded Orc/Draconic fire sorcerer). Speaking of which, recall that the above doesn't even bring into bare the Sorcerers bloodline powers that boost their upfront damage, while the level 6 warlock macabre thesis for blasters (lingering torment) would only add 5d6 damage the following 1 round, which would result in an average of 5 damage after damage reduction.


So, to iterate, I don't share your opinion that Shadow damage combined with the ease of which the warlock can apply their damage of time spells, will make them this overwhelming force on the battlefield. If the Warlock is left alone to DoT everyone up and no enemy has any form of damage reduction against their spells (something that's less likely the more levels are gained), then yes, the Warlock can dish out a lot of damage, but Sorcerers have their own tricks that allow them to pump out large amounts of DPS per turn that'll rival it - and have greater spell selection variety while they're at it. Where the warlock triumphs is their larger hit die (but which they need for metamagic empowerment), and better skills and more skill points and a single better save.

So ultimately that's what it comes down to with this class. Do you want to do stupidly huge amounts of damage up front and in a short amount of time? If so, roll a sorcerer. Do you want to do huge amounts of damage over many rounds, but have the resilience to be around to see that damage come to fruition? If so, roll a warlock.

Gwynfrid
2014-12-18, 10:03 AM
All right, first, a couple of points about damage calculation:
- A minor one: At CL 10, the Scorching Ray damage is 8d6, no save. Maybe both rays don't hit. Still, many opponents will have a poor touch AC, so you can count on at least a 50% chance of hitting in a majority of situations.
- Another minor thing: In round 2, you forgot to add 4d6 for curse of agony.
- By the way, the average for 4d6 is 14, not 12 (3.5 per die, so 35 for 10d6, and so forth).
- A much bigger deal is your understanding of Damage Reduction. It only applies to weapons. (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/rules-for-monsters/universal-monster-rules#TOC-Damage-Reduction-Ex-or-Su-) A monster with DR/slashing will take just as much fire or shadow damage as the next guy. So, DR is irrelevant in a discussion of Shadow, which you defined as a unique type of energy. That means the number of monsters in the book with built-in protection against Corruption and Curses is exactly zero. That fact, alone, makes it severely overpowered and will force the DM to tweak encounters to adjust. This is why, in my opinion, one shouldn't ever create a new energy type: It alters the whole system's balance, not just that of the class you're creating.

Another big thing is, well, I had read your text too fast and... failed to notice that Corruption and Siphon Life require just a move action to cast! And my reaction upon realizing this is, well... Wow. To put it simply, I can't think of any offensive ability for any class or even any monster that functions as a move action. That means you can add this attack to anything you do, unless it is a full-round action or unless you must also move. In the case of the Warlock, it basically means anything except metamagic-modified spells; it is unclear whether Life Tap bypasses the increase in casting time. Whether or not it does, your example makes it clear how excessive this feature is: You're creating an addition to regular spellcasting power that basically lets you attack with magic twice per round, at no cost (and with no limits on daily use, too).

So, your example fight with the Sorcerer really works like this:

Round 1
Sorcerer: Fireball; let's assume he doesn't use metamagic this round.
Warlock: Fireball + Corruption + Scorching Ray

Round 2:
Sorcerer: Empowered Fireball
Warlock: Choice of Empowered Fireball + Scorching Ray; or regular Fireball + Siphon Life + effect of Corruption from last round + Scorching Ray. By the way, the warlock doesn't need to use Life Tap to do metamagics, since he has exactly the same spell slots as the sorcerer. But in any case, the Siphon Life and Corruption effects combine to 6d6, which is more than the additional damage from Empowering a 10d6 Fireball (ie 5d6), even if you assume a failed save for the latter. So, I think in a pure blasting fight, the warlock will just forgo metamagic, and will automatically do more damage than the sorcerer at every turn, even if the imp isn't in play.

Round 3:
Sorcerer: Hey, blasting is often not the most efficient way to win. Let's go for something else, like Black Tentacles, or Cloudkill, or Resilient Sphere, or Feeblemind, or Phantasmal Killer. Or maybe cast Haste to help my teammates.
Warlock: Whatever the sorcerer did + Siphon Life + Corruption + Scorching Ray.

Round 4:
Sorcerer: Ouch! I've got to get rid of this ongoing damage: Dispel Magic. Oh, and I had forgotten a detail here... I just took 6d6 (average 21) ongoing damage. So, I need to make a concentration check DC10+1/2damage taken+spell level in order to cast any spell.
Warlock: Siphon Life + Corruption + Scorching Ray. This resets all conditions back to where they were at the beginning of the round, thereby nullifying the Dispel, even if it was successful.

I think it is pretty obvious that the sorcerer doesn't stand a chance in this fight, unless he's got established protections against Shadow before the combat starts. This applies even if the imp isn't present; Scorching Ray every round is just gravy!

BananaPhone
2014-12-18, 11:21 AM
All right, first, a couple of points about damage calculation:
- A minor one: At CL 10, the Scorching Ray damage is 8d6, no save. Maybe both rays don't hit. Still, many opponents will have a poor touch AC, so you can count on at least a 50% chance of hitting in a majority of situations.

I know it does, but I'm going to be changing the Imps scorch to 4d6 cap. I should have said that, my bad.



- Another minor thing: In round 2, you forgot to add 4d6 for curse of agony.

Curse of agony lasts 1 round per 2 caster levels. It's also supposed to only damage an opponent once every 2 turns, so that's on me for missing that.



- By the way, the average for 4d6 is 14, not 12 (3.5 per die, so 35 for 10d6, and so forth).

Which changes almost nothing from the examples I gave :smalltongue:.


- A much bigger deal is your understanding of Damage Reduction. It only applies to weapons. (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/rules-for-monsters/universal-monster-rules#TOC-Damage-Reduction-Ex-or-Su-) A monster with DR/slashing will take just as much fire or shadow damage as the next guy. So, DR is irrelevant in a discussion of Shadow, which you defined as a unique type of energy. That means the number of monsters in the book with built-in protection against Corruption and Curses is exactly zero. That fact, alone, makes it severely overpowered and will force the DM to tweak encounters to adjust. This is why, in my opinion, one shouldn't ever create a new energy type: It alters the whole system's balance, not just that of the class you're creating.

In every game I've been in DR has also applied to spells, unless it has 'magic' or +1 etc as something that cancels it out. Perhaps every game I've ever been in has been doing it wrong, but that's the background I have. Likewise, in my first example I highlight when the pitiful amount of damage from each one of the core skills isn't so scary, even without DR, and it's only when they're felt together over multiple rounds do they matter. Furthermore, as I've already stated in the rules that Shadow is included in spells like Resist Energy and Protection from Energy, any GM in which this class is involved with will use them, making my point about the lower damage entirely valid, as even at caster level 7 of Resist Energy (DR 20), Corruption and Siphon Life will do nothing while Curse of Agony would do 4 damage at most. Considering that the combined damage of these abilities is supposed to sit in for the Warlocks lowered amount of metamagic damage boosting, that's a hefty hit.

I really lost as to the fixation on this "shadow" damage business. It's not there as my attempt to slip some unseen, super powerful force into the game. It's there because no other official energy type suits the spells that it is attached too, and with my statement that it's included in common spells like Resist and Prot fro En, and GM with half a brain will have such protections floating around their mobs. This is especially so with the very low damage that each core ability does.

The closest energy type that would even come close is Acid.



Another big thing is, well, I had read your text too fast and... failed to notice that Corruption and Siphon Life require just a move action to cast! And my reaction upon realizing this is, well... Wow. To put it simply, I can't think of any offensive ability for any class or even any monster that functions as a move action. That means you can add this attack to anything you do, unless it is a full-round action or unless you must also move. In the case of the Warlock, it basically means anything except metamagic-modified spells; it is unclear whether Life Tap bypasses the increase in casting time. Whether or not it does, your example makes it clear how excessive this feature is: You're creating an addition to regular spellcasting power that basically lets you attack with magic twice per round, at no cost (and with no limits on daily use, too).


The cost is low damage. At level 10 you're throwing out 3d6 damage. Any form of damage mitigation is going to laugh at that. And outside of 1 spell that is obtained at level 12, all the warlocks self healing relies on doing damage with those core abilities - core abilities that can be negated so laughably easily.

Their damage is pitifully low, but all three taken together do damage that brings the warlocks non-metamagiced spells up to respectable levels. Making the lock roll to hit, or that collection of spells getting saved against breaks the lock. They're now spending whole standard actions to put up spells which do 3d6 (at lvl 10) damage per round which can get saved against..so the lock has to spend at least 3 full turns just to get their core, low damage DoT's up on a single target. That's 3 ticks of coruption, 1 of siphon life and 1 of curse of agony, for 16d6 damage (56, taking the average). If the Imp has hit with all 3 scorches (and assuming it hasn't died, and it even hits) that's another 41 damage on average, bringing the total up to 97.

So in three turns the warlock may have been out-dps'ed by their own pet, and have only now just gotten themselves into a position to start flinging around their normal spells. That's assuming the enemy didn't Save against any of their core DoT's, because they'll have to spend at least another standard action putting those on. By this time the rest of the party is thinking "Why the hell did we bring this loser along with us again? Because the sorcerer one partyover dished out 120+ damage in this time with a few emp scorching rays and an easy +1 caster level boost."

This is only compounded when the GM turns around and says "Oh, by the way, those mobs had cast a level 2 spell Resist Energy (Shadow) for DR 10 against it. You effectively spent 3 full turns doing nothing, and you're the 'main party blaster', lolsuckstobeyou".




Round 1
Sorcerer: Fireball; let's assume he doesn't use metamagic this round.
Warlock: Fireball + Corruption + Scorching Ray

Why assume that?


Round 2:
Sorcerer: Empowered Fireball
Warlock: Choice of Empowered Fireball + Scorching Ray; or regular Fireball + Siphon Life + effect of Corruption from last round + Scorching Ray. By the way, the warlock doesn't need to use Life Tap to do metamagics, since he has exactly the same spell slots as the sorcerer. But in any case, the Siphon Life and Corruption effects combine to 6d6, which is more than the additional damage from Empowering a 10d6 Fireball (ie 5d6), even if you assume a failed save for the latter. So, I think in a pure blasting fight, the warlock will just forgo metamagic, and will automatically do more damage than the sorcerer at every turn, even if the imp isn't in play.

The warlock can't do an empowered fireball + the other stuff because doing adding metamagic to its spells takes a full round action. And yes, as I'm trying to infer the warlock must sacrifice hit points via life tap to cast metamagic.

So Round 2 goes exactly how I highlighted it goes.


Round 3:
Sorcerer: Hey, blasting is often not the most efficient way to win. Let's go for something else, like Black Tentacles, or Cloudkill, or Resilient Sphere, or Feeblemind, or Phantasmal Killer. Or maybe cast Haste to help my teammates.
Warlock: Whatever the sorcerer did + Siphon Life + Corruption + Scorching Ray.

Yes, the DoTs tick away each round instead of huge up front damage, allowing actions to be taken to bring the damage up to something comparable of their level, that's the nature of the beast.


Round 4:
Sorcerer: Ouch! I've got to get rid of this ongoing damage: Dispel Magic. Oh, and I had forgotten a detail here... I just took 6d6 (average 21) ongoing damage. So, I need to make a concentration check DC10+1/2damage taken+spell level in order to cast any spell.
Warlock: Siphon Life + Corruption + Scorching Ray. This resets all conditions back to where they were at the beginning of the round, thereby nullifying the Dispel, even if it was successful.

Wait, are you playing it out as if they're fighting each other? Because this isn't a pvp game where the Sorc could've just feebleminded the Lock in the first round then lolblasted his imp back to hell. This is about their performance in a party in relation to each other, which I've already demonstrated varies based upon important factors, such as the defensive abilities of the one they're fighting.


I think it is pretty obvious that the sorcerer doesn't stand a chance in this fight, unless he's got established protections against Shadow before the combat starts. This applies even if the imp isn't present; Scorching Ray every round is just gravy!

Well, seems as this isn't a pvp game the Warlock could 1 shot the sorc and it wouldn't matter as long as they're on a roughly similar tier in terms of performance in a group, which they are for reasons I've mentioned - Sorc does much more up front straight damage a lot quickier, while the lock does just as much damage but spread out over a lot more turns.

nobodez
2014-12-18, 12:02 PM
First off, I think you've done a lot of good work so far, but, you've got a few problems.

As others have said, you've got a massive hit die and full spellcasting. Plus, your companion creatures follow neither of the core rules for companion creatures (which all other classes fro Paizo have used, mostly the Animal Companion/Eidolon chart for combat companions and the familiar chart for minor non-combat companions). I think the Warlock would work better if instead of being based on the Sorcerer/Wizard framework, you instead based it on the Summoner/Bard framework. With 2/3 casting it's much easier to allow more powerful abilities.

Also, for the companion, I'd base it instead on the Animal Companion or Eidolon.

Honestly, I could almost see the Warlock work easiest as an Archetype of the Summoner.

BananaPhone
2014-12-18, 12:10 PM
Thank you for the compliment :smallsmile:.



Hmmm, what about actually taking away the demonic pets all together?


It robs the class of some of its flavor, yes, but I'd prefer to keep sorc casting as I feel a greater arcane mastery is more in line with the class than having a demonic pet - especially when they can already get a temporary one via planar binding or something. Instead of summons as perma-pets, there could be rules that allow warlocks to use planar binding and summon monster in conjunction with devils/demons, but enhance their ability to do so.

Gwynfrid
2014-12-18, 01:51 PM
Curse of agony lasts 1 round per 2 caster levels. It's also supposed to only damage an opponent once every 2 turns, so that's on me for missing that.

So it's a 2d6 damage base, every 2 rounds. While Corruption is 1d6 base, every round. This distinction feels complicated to me. What's the idea behind it?


In every game I've been in DR has also applied to spells, unless it has 'magic' or +1 etc as something that cancels it out. Perhaps every game I've ever been in has been doing it wrong, but that's the background I have.

Well, I'm going by RAW here. I have never met a GM who read it differently, fwiw.


I really lost as to the fixation on this "shadow" damage business. It's not there as my attempt to slip some unseen, super powerful force into the game. It's there because no other official energy type suits the spells that it is attached too, and with my statement that it's included in common spells like Resist and Prot fro En, and GM with half a brain will have such protections floating around their mobs. This is especially so with the very low damage that each core ability does.

That's what I said - you're forcing the GM to adjust the opposition to your special case. Now, some GMs might be happy to do so. But it strikes me as a surefire sign of an unbalanced solution.

I'm curious to know why you didn't consider the negative energy alternative. From a flavor perspective, it's pretty much the same thing. Mechanically, it would be much easier to integrate.


The closest energy type that would even come close is Acid.

Actually, that's not too far off. Corruption is more or less equivalent to Acid Arrow, with the following differences: Damage is a little less until level 6, and higher beyond that; range is short (still long enough for most fights); it lasts 3x longer; it can't miss; it's available at will; and it comes as an addition to the regular spell that a full caster can be expected to cast every round. Oh, and it's available from level 1, not level 3.


The cost is low damage. At level 10 you're throwing out 3d6 damage. Any form of damage mitigation is going to laugh at that.

I'd be curious to know what mitigation measure you would suggest, other than Resist/Protection from Energy/Globe of Invulnerability/Dispel, since those aren't available to the majority of monsters.


Their damage is pitifully low, but all three taken together do damage that brings the warlocks non-metamagiced spells up to respectable levels. Making the lock roll to hit, or that collection of spells getting saved against breaks the lock. They're now spending whole standard actions to put up spells which do 3d6 (at lvl 10) damage per round which can get saved against..so the lock has to spend at least 3 full turns just to get their core, low damage DoT's up on a single target. That's 3 ticks of coruption, 1 of siphon life and 1 of curse of agony, for 16d6 damage (56, taking the average). If the Imp has hit with all 3 scorches (and assuming it hasn't died, and it even hits) that's another 41 damage on average, bringing the total up to 97.

I'm under the impression you put a great premium, probably too great, on metamagics and blast spells that do a great amount of damage in one go. Like I said, those aren't usually the most powerful offensive weapons in an arcane caster's hand. In frequent circumstances, like monsters with SR, or enemies that are prepared with protection against his preferred type of energy, the sorcerer will have to resort to other steps. Absent those conditions, the better thing to do, before blasting, will often be to go for incapacitating or field controlling spells anyway, such as Glitterdust, Slow, Black Tentacles, Feeblemind, Solid Fog, etc. Also, there are situations when you want to cast a defensive spell in the first round. In all such cases, the warlock will simply do the same thing as the sorcerer + his free curses on top of that, and come out ahead every time.


Why assume that?

I just wanted to give an example of non-metamagic'd play. But if you put an empowered fireball instead, the result isn't that much better for the sorcerer: 15d6 compared to 10d6+3d6+4d6. Even if you take the imp out of the equation, the 5d6 extra fire damage, which can be halved by a save of nullified by SR, are in practice nearly always inferior to the 3d6 that aren't subject to save or SR and will continue in the next round.


The warlock can't do an empowered fireball + the other stuff because doing adding metamagic to its spells takes a full round action. And yes, as I'm trying to infer the warlock must sacrifice hit points via life tap to cast metamagic.

That's why my example was: empowered fireball + imp, OR regular fireball + curses + imp. And it showed that the latter is the better option. In other words: The sorcerer gets an advantage from metamagics, but the warlock can overcome it without trying to emulate it. Now that you've made the Life Tap cost mandatory to use it, metamagics will be all the more rarely in play (especially since you also added a limit to uses per day, so even a huge source of temp hp isn't going to let you do more metamagics). I suspect the better long-term solution for the warlock is to never take a metamagic feat in the first place.


Wait, are you playing it out as if they're fighting each other?

Yes, but it doesn't matter. The reasoning equally works when they're compared while fighting a generic opponent. I used the opposition only to illustrate what happens when the opponent is a caster and tries to use Dispel, the default solution, to get rid of the corruption/curses (Remove Curse would be treated the same way): The caster must roll for concentration, and the round spent doing that is just the right amount of time the warlock needs to reactivate the corruption/curses.

BananaPhone
2014-12-18, 02:38 PM
So it's a 2d6 damage base, every 2 rounds. While Corruption is 1d6 base, every round. This distinction feels complicated to me. What's the idea behind it?


I don't see it as that complicated. Curse of Agony is a curse, it does more damage when it hits but it's slower to hit, while Corruption hits more often but with lower dice each time. There's no special reasoning behind it other than that's the way I wanted it to roll. Curse of Agony also takes a standard action to cast but does more damage with each individual hit, while Corruption takes a move action but does lower damage with each individual hitt. Curse of Agony also competes with Curse of Tongues for a spot, particularly if fighting a caster, and it can be decursed, while corruption cannot.



That's what I said - you're forcing the GM to adjust the opposition to your special case. Now, some GMs might be happy to do so. But it strikes me as a surefire sign of an unbalanced solution.

I'm curious to know why you didn't consider the negative energy alternative. From a flavor perspective, it's pretty much the same thing. Mechanically, it would be much easier to integrate.

I'm not forcing the GM to do anything. By virtue of them accepting the homebrew class and reading it they can see that Shadow damage will be a thing and they've been told it's a part of the Resist/Protection line. If I was the GM I might give something like Shades an inherent Shadow resist, but I'm not going to see it as a problem because the damage is so low and it takes multiple rounds to have a real effect.

Negative energy crossed my mind, and it's still viable. I did not include it originally because I didn't want it healing undead. However a tooltip that the Cor, Siphon and Curse of Agony do their damage as normal against undead could alleviate that.



Actually, that's not too far off. Corruption is more or less equivalent to Acid Arrow, with the following differences: Damage is a little less until level 6, and higher beyond that; range is short (still long enough for most fights); it lasts 3x longer; it can't miss; it's available at will; and it comes as an addition to the regular spell that a full caster can be expected to cast every round. Oh, and it's available from level 1, not level 3.


Perhaps. But say that it was swapped to acid. Want to know who the warlock is gimped fighting? Why, Devils and Demons with their blanket Acid Resist 10 :smalltongue:. Better off going for Negative damage with the tooltip that these spells hurt undead instead of heal them.



I'd be curious to know what mitigation measure you would suggest, other than Resist/Protection from Energy/Globe of Invulnerability/Dispel, since those aren't available to the majority of monsters.

What, completely nullifying 1 of the 2 schools of magic you rely upon to do damage isn't enough? The other school of magic being the most common type to encounter Resistance? Resist Energy isn't rare. Any level 3 wizard can cast it and survive a few rounds receiving the core damage spells of a level 14 warlock. In fact, a level 3 wizard could cast on themselves Resist (Shadow), gain DR 10 against it, and then sit there and laugh at a level 14 warlock for roughly 4 rounds before dying. Taking it one step further, a lvl 5 wizard could cast Resist (Shadow) and Protection from Energy (Shadow), and sit there and laugh for 14-15 rounds before dying.

I'd venture to say that the majority of monsters don't have such protections against Fire, Cold, Acid, Electricity and Sonic damage either. Some of them do, in which case it's a bad day to be someone relying on them for damage - that is, if they can't just cast a different spell that deals damage. When a warlock meets someone that uses any of the above mitigation against Shadow and/or fire, then they're really up ****-creek as they can't do jack except put out debuffs.



I'm under the impression you put a great premium, probably too great, on metamagics and blast spells that do a great amount of damage in one go. Like I said, those aren't usually the most powerful offensive weapons in an arcane caster's hand. In frequent circumstances, like monsters with SR, or enemies that are prepared with protection against his preferred type of energy, the sorcerer will have to resort to other steps. Absent those conditions, the better thing to do, before blasting, will often be to go for incapacitating or field controlling spells anyway, such as Glitterdust, Slow, Black Tentacles, Feeblemind, Solid Fog, etc. Also, there are situations when you want to cast a defensive spell in the first round. In all such cases, the warlock will simply do the same thing as the sorcerer + his free curses on top of that, and come out ahead every time.


I usually play wizards so I'm aware of the arcane classes capabilities. Wizards, if they're smart, usually invest in battlefield control/buff/debuff and utility, and leave blasting to the Sorcerers. Sorcerers, if they're the main caster, should carry around other options, but are in their prime when acting as the artillery, with all their bloodline powers and easier-time of metamagic enhancement leading them in such a direction.




I just wanted to give an example of non-metamagic'd play. But if you put an empowered fireball instead, the result isn't that much better for the sorcerer: 15d6 compared to 10d6+3d6+4d6. Even if you take the imp out of the equation, the 5d6 extra fire damage, which can be halved by a save of nullified by SR, are in practice nearly always inferior to the 3d6 that aren't subject to save or SR and will continue in the next round.

It'll be 10d6+15 damage compared to 10d6+3d6+4d6. If the mob has no form of damage mitigation on it (which, if it's an important fight at level 10, it will), then the odds favor the warlock of coming out ahead in damage. If there is mitigation on there, however, then the warlocks damage gets hit heavily, and seems as they're not receiving their proper self-healing the option of buffing their damage via metamagic is a risky one. Thus against naked mobs the warlock has the edge in damage, while against mobs with defenses the sorcerer will come out ahead. I see no problem with this.




That's why my example was: empowered fireball + imp, OR regular fireball + curses + imp. And it showed that the latter is the better option. In other words: The sorcerer gets an advantage from metamagics, but the warlock can overcome it without trying to emulate it. Now that you've made the Life Tap cost mandatory to use it, metamagics will be all the more rarely in play (especially since you also added a limit to uses per day, so even a huge source of temp hp isn't going to let you do more metamagics). I suspect the better long-term solution for the warlock is to never take a metamagic feat in the first place.

But again, any form of mitigation is going to **** the warlock hard because they rely on lots of little packets of damage to add up to something large, while the sorcerer goes Boom in one big hit. And, if Mad Hatter accepts me, I'm still going to play-test the warlock with metamagic, because there might be a time when a dazing Fireball, or an empowered Enervate or something will come in handy and paying the extra HP to use it will be necessary. The warlock faces the real danger of damage mitigation heavily hurting their damage output, and so will rely on damage-boosting metamagic to compensate - but they'll need to be careful about when and where they apply it because, unlike the sorcerer, doing so hits them with lots of HP (that they're not getting back if their dots aren't doing damage) and has a daily limit.

This is an alternative style of damage delivery that has its pro's and con's just the way dealing huge damage right up front does, and the only way to see how it stacks up is to play-test it, which I'm hopefully going to get the chance to do if Hatter has me along.



Yes, but it doesn't matter. The reasoning equally works when they're compared while fighting a generic opponent. I used the opposition only to illustrate what happens when the opponent is a caster and tries to use Dispel, the default solution, to get rid of the corruption/curses (Remove Curse would be treated the same way): The caster must roll for concentration, and the round spent doing that is just the right mount of time the warlock needs to reactivate the corruption/curses.

I don't see the problem here. The warlock is focusing on attacking the enemy caster and shutting them down...they're succeeding at their job. While they're focusing on that task their DoT's or spells aren't affecting any of the minions the enemy caster no doubt has surrounding them. If the party sorcerer were to do the same thing then they'd use different tools to do it, like a metamagiced Save or Suck targeted to Reflex or Fortitude, or Feeblemind, or something else that'd be equally as effective. One method will take the enemy caster out quickly, the other will take them out slowly and make their attempts to cast spells a pain in the ass. They're both doing the same job but they're using different tools to do it.

BananaPhone
2014-12-18, 03:53 PM
As a log for a change, I decided to drop the Hit Die to D10's, and see how that goes. I also changed the Life Tap entry to say that feats/abilities that lower metamagic level adjustments can be applied but the minimum number of hit points a metamagic-altered spell will cost is 10.

Gwynfrid
2014-12-18, 03:56 PM
Negative energy crossed my mind, and it's still viable. I did not include it originally because I didn't want it healing undead. However a tooltip that the Cor, Siphon and Curse of Agony do their damage as normal against undead could alleviate that.

So you really want nobody to be immune to it, then :smalltongue:

I do see the potential problem with it healing undead, but since you don't have undead creation or control spells in your list, it's probably not a huge deal.


Perhaps. But say that it was swapped to acid. Want to know who the warlock is gimped fighting? Why, Devils and Demons with their blanket Acid Resist 10 :smalltongue:.

Exactly my point: He'd be no more and no less gimped than the sorcerer with the elemental earth bloodline. That's the very definition of game balance :smallsmile:


What, completely nullifying 1 of the 2 schools of magic you rely upon to do damage isn't enough? The other school of magic being the most common type to encounter Resistance? Resist Energy isn't rare. Any level 3 wizard can cast it and survive a few rounds receiving the core damage spells of a level 14 warlock. In fact, a level 3 wizard could cast on themselves Resist (Shadow), gain DR 10 against it, and then sit there and laugh at a level 14 warlock for roughly 4 rounds before dying. Taking it one step further, a lvl 5 wizard could cast Resist (Shadow) and Protection from Energy (Shadow), and sit there and laugh for 14-15 rounds before dying.

... So, wizards can resist it. So can most casters. That's still a small minority of the opposition the warlock will meet over his career. You said "any form of damage mitigation is going to laugh at that". The reality is much more narrow in scope: Casters will laugh at that, provided they cast their protection against shadow. And even then... when they do, they haven't cast their protection from fire yet; so, you can roast them at will. You enjoy a major advantage, as a pure blaster, that you're able to use 2 different energy types at the same time, while everybody else uses only one. This gives you an edge over casters; and anybody who's not a caster is doesn't get any chance to defend against it.


I'd venture to say that the majority of monsters don't have such protections against Fire, Cold, Acid, Electricity and Sonic damage either.

Entire monster types and subtypes. You just named two yourself.


It'll be 10d6+15 damage compared to 10d6+3d6+4d6. If the mob has no form of damage mitigation on it (which, if it's an important fight at level 10, it will), then the odds favor the warlock of coming out ahead in damage. If there is mitigation on there, however, then the warlocks damage gets hit heavily, and seems as they're not receiving their proper self-healing the option of buffing their damage via metamagic is a risky one. Thus against naked mobs the warlock has the edge in damage, while against mobs with defenses the sorcerer will come out ahead. I see no problem with this.

The likelihood of mitigation (or complete immunity) against fire is much higher than the likelihood of mitigation against shadow. Also, SR is not uncommon, starting at medium high levels. So, you have it upside down here: The sorcerer is even worse off against protected opponents.


I don't see the problem here. The warlock is focusing on attacking the enemy caster and shutting them down...they're succeeding at their job. While they're focusing on that task their DoT's or spells aren't affecting any of the minions the enemy caster no doubt has surrounding them.

They are totally affecting the minions at the same time, because they can both cast their highest level blast spell and corrupt/curse the caster in the same round. Heck, if the minions are surrounding the caster, then the caster gets to eat both the blast spell and the corruption/curse. The warlock doesn't have to be focused on a single task, because you gave him the unique ability to cast two attack spells per round - the only class able to do that, until Quicken comes into play at very high levels.

Conclusion... Right now, I think I should rest my case. It doesn't sound like I'll convince you, but I think I have been able to share my concerns. Thanks for listening!

BananaPhone
2014-12-18, 04:02 PM
Though we disagree I like to think neither of our positions are unreasonable and that someone looking at them can both see where we're coming from.

The only way we're going to get to see how it plays out in practice is by play-testing it, which I'm hoping to get the chance to do in Hatters game (if I get in - every chance I won't).

WhatsWithCanada
2014-12-18, 05:09 PM
I'll be reading through this more as my day goes on and updated more of a response but:

My immediate concern that has not been addressed is Shadow Damage. Right now it's the most powerful damage type in the game except for maybe untyped/divine, since nothing would have natural resistances to it. The only way it can be protected against is through the use of spells, which don't come up as often as outright resistances and immunities.

My suggestion is to leave shadow damage as a descriptor but have it deal half of it's damage as cold damage and half of it's damage as negative energy. That way you don't have to shoehorn a whole new damage type into the game and it's still quite powerful since again nothing has resistance to negative energy but atleast they can soak half of the spell with cold resistance and immunities. (It would also keep things thematic.)

BananaPhone
2014-12-19, 02:07 AM
Oo that's an interesting idea. Half cold half negative damage. That's very thematic. It's like the cold void is draining the life from you!

I'd still have to include a tooltip that it doesn't heal undead. This means Undead would have a natural DR against the core abilities, and there's a chance that they'll have resistance against Cold as well. But if that's the case, there's still the Fire spells of the locks normal progression for those dark times.

Yes, I'll put that in and see how it goes. Thanks :smallsmile:

Gwynfrid
2014-12-19, 10:39 AM
My suggestion is to leave shadow damage as a descriptor but have it deal half of it's damage as cold damage and half of it's damage as negative energy. That way you don't have to shoehorn a whole new damage type into the game and it's still quite powerful since again nothing has resistance to negative energy but atleast they can soak half of the spell with cold resistance and immunities. (It would also keep things thematic.)

Yes, that's a good one. It would check one item off the issues list. There's no logical reason why it should not heal undead, however.

BananaPhone
2014-12-19, 11:34 AM
Because undead were never intended to be the achillies heel of this class. I agreed to cold and negative because thematically its the closest to the "overpowered" shadow. As a consequence, all members of a monster type that player parties come across with disturbing frequency now have an inherent resilience against the warlock at levels where they don't have the tools to creatively circumnavigate it. Taking away the healing component changes Warlocks from "a liability when fighting undead" to "a non-preferred choice". There's a reason a party doesn't want an evil cleric with when fighting undead, and it's a characteristic I never intended for the class.

Gwynfrid
2014-12-19, 01:00 PM
Because undead were never intended to be the achillies heel of this class. I agreed to cold and negative because thematically its the closest to the "overpowered" shadow. As a consequence, all members of a monster type that player parties come across with disturbing frequency now have an inherent resilience against the warlock at levels where they don't have the tools to creatively circumnavigate it. Taking away the healing component changes Warlocks from "a liability when fighting undead" to "a non-preferred choice". There's a reason a party doesn't want an evil cleric with when fighting undead, and it's a characteristic I never intended for the class.

I disagree with this at so many different levels, it's just amazing :smallsmile:. I'm not going to address the main ones, because that would bring us back to the above discussion. But your last point, while not directly relevant to the debate, intrigues me: Why on earth would a party not want an evil cleric when fighting undead?

BananaPhone
2014-12-19, 01:48 PM
My point is that Negative damage gives a commonly faced enemy an inherent damage reduction against the warlocks main abilities which, as I've demonstrated, is a severe hindrance because of their low damage. Now if the locks ability also healed said enemy, then 1 out of the 2 damaging schools of magic they rely upon is gone. This is an enemy that I never intended for the class to be especially weak towards and speaking from experience, having to spend the first few levels of a game doing nothing because nothing you have can effect the enemy is any way, is a stake to the heart of fun.

The Mad Hatter
2014-12-19, 05:59 PM
Half-Negative half-cold cast on an undead would heal the undead for half the damage done, in my personal opinion, as a DM.

BananaPhone
2014-12-20, 10:57 AM
Right, I got rid of the permanent summons and replaced it with something more precarious. Tell me what ya'll think:


Summoning Amulet:

Warlocks are demonologists without compare. While other paltry casters may weave minor parlor tricks to conjure a devil in order to ask nicely for a favour, a warlock instead enslaves and demands obedience.

Upon reaching level 10, when a warlock conjures a devil, demon or daemon via the Planar Binding series of spells they have the option of betraying their summoned guest and forcing their obedience. This takes place in two stages.

In the first the warlock must prepare a Summoning Amulet. The form of this prison can take almost any form, as long as it is roughly fist-sized and etched with infernal runes. Once ready, the warlock follows the same procedure as they would for making Wand of Magic Jar, with only a single charge and caster level equal to the Hit Dice of the creature they intend to imprison, paying the price in raw materials and meeting the Spellcraft DC check as normal. The warlock does not need the Craft Wand creation feat to do this nor need to know the Magic Jar spell, as this ability provides all the expertise required.

Once the warlock has prepared their Summoning Amulet, they cast the necessary Planar Binding spell and conjure the devil, demon or daemon by the usual rules for the Planar Binding spell they are using. Once materialised, the creature is allowed an opposed Sense Motive check. If they succeed then the creature is alerted to some type of foul play, and so the warlock and their allies are denied a surprise round. Once this has been determined, the Warlock can turn on their conjured guest at any time, during which the summoned creature is allowed to use their abilities to fight back or attempt an escape. Should the creature be reduced to 0 hit points while in the presence of the Summoning Fetish, they are immediately drawn within the items dimensions and trapped there. The magic of the Summoning Amulet compels obedience within its inhabitant and for 2 months after the creatures entrapment, it can be conjured from within the Summoning Amulet for 1 minute per caster level of the Warlock per day. This time does not have to be consecutive, but unused time does not carry over to the next day.

While summoned from the Summoning Amulet, the creature acts as if under the effects of Dominate Monster spell as if cast by the Warlock that created the Summoning Amulet, even if normally immune.

The warlock should not become complacent, however, for they are not assured complete control. There are three ways in which the imprisoned creature may break their bondage an visit revenge upon their captor.

First, should the creature ever make its willpower save against resisting commands that would be against its nature in two consecutive turns then it has broken free from the Summoning Amulet. It must then either be defeated once more (which does not reset the creatures entrapment time) or it will do as it desires.

Secondly, if the Summoning Amulet is broken then the magic that keeps the creature trapped will immediately be undone and the creature will be free to do as they will.

Third, should 2 months pass since the creatures first entrapment within the Summoning Amulet, the amulet will crumble to dust and the creature will be set free. The only way to avoid this method of release is to either pay the raw materials necessary in stage 1 to reinforce the Summoning Amulets magic wards for another 2 months, or dispose of it within a Bag of Holding or Handy Haversack and hope that the creature has neither the means of escaping once released nor the ill will to seek vengeance (though that seems unlikely).

A warlock may only possess one Summoning Amulet containing a single entrapped creature at a time.

Gwynfrid
2014-12-22, 07:08 AM
If I read this right, it is a method to modify Planar Binding in such way that the control exerted is absolute; while the regular spell is a form of imprisonment that gives negotiating leverage. With Planar Binding, when successful, the creature renders a single service. With this, it becomes a slave. So, this is a great boost in power.

Relative to this, cost seems paltry: 75gp per hit dice, plus a fight that shouldn't be a great problem, given the warlock has all the time in the world to prepare it, and shouldn't be so foolish as to pick too powerful a target in the first place. Poor die rolls can always derail the best of plans, but success seems fairly assured.

Note that among the three ways the creature can be set free, only one is a true limitation: Breaking the amulet. The other two are entirely under the control of the warlock, so they shouldn't be a factor. So, the protection of the amulet is pretty much the only caveat in the entire scheme. In most cases, I expect the only reason the creature would ever be set free is when the warlock, having gained a few levels, decides to seek a more powerful replacement for her slave. In effect the warlock gets full control of an outsider for 1 minute per level, per day (by the way, the type of action necessary to summon the creature from the amulet and send it back should be spelled out).

Conclusion: Add this to the long list of things that make the class unbalanced, in comparison to other arcane full casters.

BananaPhone
2014-12-22, 08:47 AM
I can never make you happy, can I? :smalltongue:

But, no, it's not 75g per hit dice. Making a wand costs 375 gp Χ the level of the spell Χ the level of the caster. So to make a Summoning Amulet to hold something like, a succubus, by a level 12 warlock needs the Planar Binding spell to conjure it. That's 375 x 6 x 12 = 27,000 gold. That's a serious chunk out of their WBL every two months for something that at some point will get free and turn against them.

Gwynfrid
2014-12-22, 09:32 AM
Hey, you asked for opinions, I'm giving you an opinion. Nothing to do with my happiness. Except that I'm happy to offer an opinion :smallsmile:

My calculation for the cost was off, though - my bad. I saw it this way : "Wand of Magic Jar, with only a single charge and caster level equal to the Hit Dice of the creature". Magic Jar is a level 5 spell, so this means 375 x 5 / 50 per hit dice, or 37.5 per hit dice (I said 75, but that's the price not the cost). However, this is wrong, since it's not possible to craft a wand with just 1 charge. So the cost is more like 1875 per hit dice, which is rather hefty. So, indeed, gold is a real limitation on this power.

BananaPhone
2014-12-22, 09:36 AM
I put the "1 charge" thing in there as a bit of a brainfart mistake. I think I was of the mind that someone might try to twist it that one summoning amulet could be used multiple times for different demons, when that wasn't the intent. On reflection the mention of Charges isn't really needed.

Gwynfrid
2014-12-22, 11:33 AM
Right. So, in order to compare power, we should simply see this as equivalent to a wand of Summon Monster, since summoned monsters are effectively slaves for a short while:
- Duration comparison: 1 minute per day per level for 2 months, that's a lot more than 50 times 1 round per level.
- Monster power comparison: Planar Binding will call 12HD outsiders, that's more than Summon Monster VI which offers 8HD to 10HD outsiders. For example, a glabrezu is much superior to a succubus.
- The only redeeming factor for the wand of Summon Monster is the flexibility to call the monster best adapted to the situation, but I don't think it compensates for the difference in raw power.
- Cost comparison: A wand of Summon Monster VI will cost 375x6x11 = 24750gp, while the warlock's summoning amulet for a 12HD outsider will cost 375x5x12 = 22500gp. That's more or less a wash. At higher levels however, for example for a 15HD outsider, the amulet will cost 375x5x15 = 28125gp, while a wand of Summon Monster VIII will cost 375x8x15 = 45000gp.
- Opportunity cost comparison: A sorcerer who wants a wand at cost needs to take the Craft Wand feat, while the warlock gets the summoning amulet as a class feature, i.e. for free.

My conclusion still stands, I'm afraid.

BananaPhone
2014-12-22, 01:05 PM
No, it costs more because Planar Binding is needed to summon a 12HD creature and Planar Binding is a lvl 6 spell, not a lvl 5, meaning it cost 27,000, making it more expensive than a wand of summon monster VI (which the Sorc can get for 24,750 bucks from a level 11 wizard that's feeling nice, or make themselves).

Secondly the Sorc doesn't have to pay this same amount every 2 months. The warlock has to, lest what they've trapped comes back to eat their face. On an annual basis alone this costs 162,000 gold. In addition to this, the Sorc doesn't have to worry about their minion passing a couple of will saves and then turning on them, or that their wand will break causing their minion also turning on them (in the middle of a fight which was so unfavorable that their wand was broken, to boot). Finally, the lock also runs the risk of their grimoire being stolen before the 2 month expiry date on their summoning amulet thus disabling them from reaffirming the amulets magics (and thus, freeing the demon within), even if they do have the money for it.

Thus the Sorcs item is safer to use, cheaper, works for an amount of time that would be all that's necessary, has greater variety in what it can summon and doesn't have a minimum annual maintenance cost of 112,500 gold at least. Oh and the Sorc, if they so choose, could sell their wand if they wanted to to make back some money The Warlocks got the advantage of being able to typically bring in creatures of a few more HD than the comparable Summon Monster spell of the Sorcs wand.

Gwynfrid
2014-12-22, 02:16 PM
No, it costs more because Planar Binding is needed to summon a 12HD creature and Planar Binding is a lvl 6 spell, not a lvl 5, meaning it cost 27,000, making it more expensive than a wand of summon monster VI (which the Sorc can get for 24,750 bucks from a level 11 wizard that's feeling nice, or make themselves).

Secondly the Sorc doesn't have to pay this same amount every 2 months. The warlock has to, lest what they've trapped comes back to eat their face. On an annual basis alone this costs 162,000 gold. In addition to this, the Sorc doesn't have to worry about their minion passing a couple of will saves and then turning on them, or that their wand will break causing their minion also turning on them (in the middle of a fight which was so unfavorable that their wand was broken, to boot). Finally, the lock also runs the risk of their grimoire being stolen before the 2 month expiry date on their summoning amulet thus disabling them from reaffirming the amulets magics (and thus, freeing the demon within), even if they do have the money for it.

Thus the Sorcs item is safer to use, cheaper, works for an amount of time that would be all that's necessary, has greater variety in what it can summon and doesn't have a minimum annual maintenance cost of 112,500 gold at least. Oh and the Sorc, if they so choose, could sell their wand if they wanted to to make back some money The Warlocks got the advantage of being able to typically bring in creatures of a few more HD than the comparable Summon Monster spell of the Sorcs wand.

Well, the amulet cost is pegged to Magic Jar, a level 5 spell. If you peg it to Planar Binding (and later, Great Planar Binding) the cost difference will shrink. The other differences remain, notably the difference in summoned creature power.

For your second point: Of course the warlock doesn't have to pay that cost every 2 months. It's only necessary if she's doing very active adventuring during that time. Presumably, the sorcerer would use up his wand within these 2 months if he was doing just as active adventuring. Now, in between two adventures, the warlock simply needs to get rid of the outsider. Easy enough, since she can decide exactly of the moment she wants to destroy the amulet and begin the fight that will send the slave back to whence it came. Anyway, for this whole thing the work in the first place, the warlock must first have won a fight against the minion with a reasonable safety margin, so I assume she will be able to do it again, especially with the benefit of surprise. Once that's done, a normal outsider doesn't have means to come to the Material Plane without being called there, so the risks of delayed revenge are rather low.

BananaPhone
2014-12-22, 02:27 PM
The part about Magic Jar/Planar Binding I was mistaken, I did write Magic Jar as the spell it's based off, so I was wrong there.

But the lock does have to either renew the magic every 2 months (costing the same amount of money to do so), or build a new one for a new minion (costing the same amount of money to do so). That's how I've written it and if that is unclear then I'll edit it. Either way the locks option is far more expensive and carries more risks and is less versatile, but comes with the reward of potentially getting a higher HD minion (but that also has the risk that it'll turn on them at a lousy time).

Gwynfrid
2014-12-22, 02:39 PM
But the lock does have to either renew the magic every 2 months (costing the same amount of money to do so), or build a new one for a new minion (costing the same amount of money to do so). That's how I've written it and if that is unclear then I'll edit it.

I just don't get why? As far as I can see, renewal is only necessary if the warlock has further use for a minion. In that case, the comparable sorcerer needs a new wand too: If we assume equally active adventuring where the summoning power would be used appx every day, he'll have exhausted the charges after less than 2 months. Now, if the warlock doesn't need the minion for some time, a quick fight, on her terms and at the time of her choosing, is all it takes to get rid of the problem.

So, discussion of annual cost isn't relevant: This situation is not the same as your cellular phone contract :smalltongue:

Now, this is a fun debate, but I think it leads to the same conclusion as before: Let's agree to disagree, OK? Anyway, the summoning amulet isn't the biggest of the class' balance issues in my opinion - just a minor contributor to the larger problem.

BananaPhone
2014-12-22, 03:03 PM
I don't really get why you're comparing a sorcerer with a wand to this ability either :smalltongue:.

It's gone from being a minion-mancy aspect of the class that definitely boosted its power to just a fun, flavorful ability that costs money and takes time but comes with a lot of risk for the reward, and that frankly most players probably wouldn't bother with. I think the idea of a warlock strolling about with their little demon-infested pokemon ball that could turn on them in a stroke of bad luck is pretty funny. I don't see how a Sorc player could look at it and think oO(Damn those locks have it good).

I mean, if someone wants to point out something I can't see, like some tricky trick that can get pulled with it, or how it has some unseen consequence I'm not aware of like having a pet pit fiend by level 10 or something, then awesome, tell me, because so far everyone in this thread has convinced me to change something.

Gwynfrid
2014-12-22, 03:13 PM
I don't really get why you're comparing a sorcerer with a wand to this ability either :smalltongue:.

It's gone from being a minion-mancy aspect of the class that definitely boosted its power to just a fun, flavorful ability that costs money and takes time but comes with a lot of risk for the reward, and that frankly most players probably wouldn't bother with. I think the idea of a warlock strolling about with their little demon-infested pokemon ball that could turn on them in a stroke of bad luck is pretty funny. I don't see how a Sorc player could look at it and think oO(Damn those locks have it good).

I mean, if someone wants to point out something I can't see, like some tricky trick that can get pulled with it, or how it has some unseen consequence I'm not aware of like having a pet pit fiend by level 10 or something, then awesome, tell me, because so far everyone in this thread has convinced me to change something.

Well, it gives you a hezrou by your side in more or less every fight at level 10, with near total control (there's Will saves if you make it do things that are against its nature, but it's not like fighting was against its nature, right?) That's not earth-shattering; it's just, more than most characters of that level will be able to do. But in the grand scheme of things, it's not a huge deal. It doesn't compare with what happens when you use Corruption along with regular spells at level 1, for example.

BananaPhone
2014-12-22, 03:21 PM
Again with the Corruption dislike :smalltongue:. I've explained my idea behind it, now I need to see it in play-testing to see how it goes.

BananaPhone
2014-12-24, 11:44 AM
So, the thing remaining on the "to do" list is to review and revise the rituals. After that I'll be relatively happy with where the class stands, and will just need to play test it at various levels to see how well my idea/hopes translates into practical applications.

In the mean time I'm working on my first adventure module - hooray :smallbiggrin:. It's called "Along the Smokey River" and it features insane cannibal gnomes, pathfinder hillbillies, riverboats and party acid trips! All it needs now is a sliding guitar theme. Hopefully I can get a pdf together in a few months time and hand it out to see if people like it.

*rubs hands together*

BananaPhone
2015-01-05, 08:47 AM
So, christmas and new years and a stupidly huge work week meant I got nothing done on this. Such as the saying - if you want to see gods sense of humor, make plans!

But, I've managed to find a game in which the DM is willing to let me test the class. Excellent.

I'll update as I find the time to do so.

JackPhoenix
2015-01-08, 12:49 PM
Just an advice for playtesting: You shouldn't be player or GM doing the testing. Why? You have a certain idea how this class SHOULD work, and propably won't try different ways to play it. You can see results of this attitude in 3e/3.5e D&D, which was tested with assumption that wizards should be blasting with fireballs and clerics should be healbots.

Gwynfrid
2015-01-08, 12:57 PM
Is your playtest over PbP, and if so, would you mind giving us a link? I'd be interested to see the outcome.

(Good point by JackPhoenix, btw.)

BananaPhone
2015-01-08, 03:29 PM
I have to be one of the ones who'll play it...no one else will :smalltongue:. Getting a homebrew class approved by a GM when the class looks pretty strong is like getting blood from a stone as it is, but at least as the creator of the class I can express to any prospective DM my idea's, concerns and area's of interest.

If other people want to test it then hellyeah, tell me how it goes, please.

And I shall be logging fights and events here, dear Gwynfrid!

Almarck
2015-01-10, 01:31 AM
Hm, I actually think that demon summoning should be more like it is in MMO games, like an animal companion like effect or ability which summons a permanent, but unkillable (sent to the amulet) companion creature.

Granted, I understand why this was done. Such a thing would arguably be harder to balance since it means A. writing up a ministat block for each demon and B. define a universal progression all demons share.

It would also limit the types of demons the player can interact with and summon, since not providing stats would remove the option to take a creature as a companion. But isn't necessarily a bad thing from a game balance stand point.

I would offer assistance in this area if you'd desire it.
In theory, it shouldn't be hard, but practice may say otherwise.
I do understand if you do not like this option.

Now, onto the things I actually like. Well, I liked Warcraft's Warlocks and this does a good job of representing them. Ritual magic is also always a plus in my book and I quite like having the option to have long to conduct cememonies to have some big effect rather than just waving a wand around. I love that part of magic.

BananaPhone
2015-01-14, 08:51 PM
Thanks Almarak :smallsmile:.

Sorry about being late to reply but I've been distracted elsewhere on strange and arcane lands (a.k.a other boards).

Glad you like the flavor, that's definitely a big part of it for me as personally I'm often turned off by classes that I just don't get "into", if that makes sense, because their characterization is bizarre, weak or meh.

With the summons, ultimately it's about trying to retain a semblance of balance. I'd love for this class to be able to have a permanently summoned minion, but it's already a full caster with a chunky hit die, good skills and 2 good saves and some good in-class abilities. Having a permanent summon on top of that would either be over-kill if the summons were worth having around, or it would be a waste of time because the summonable demons would be nerfed for the sake of balance. So at the moment, the best bet I've gone for is having summonable pet that costs a ****-load to get (money that could be better spent elsewhere, such as a mercenary army lol) and will ultimately turn on you.

What are your thoughts?

Almarck
2015-01-14, 10:57 PM
So in other words, it's the animal companion dilemma? I can see your point, especially since demons are not the primary focus of the class. And well, animal companions are kinda a poor choice for druids most of the time, since the druid needs to then buy gear for the pet....

Granted, I do think I most people might accept some nerfing if it meant having a companion that can do more than just be usable for a few minutes. Certainly, I wouldn't mind a void walker to act as a body guard for me in a group that lacks a fighter and healing.

Hm, so what about 2 modes?

A "fettered" state usable all day where the demon is usable for longer, but weaker and only capable of using weak ability. You can even then justify putting summon amulet down earlier level and treating it a demon companion with some scaling.

Contrast with "unfettered" which unshackles the demon and allows it to run rampant. Once a demon has been unfettered though (or maybe if you run out of time?), you lose his service for the rest of the day. This should be part of the level 10 advancement in this proposed model.

To display the difference in stat changes, give an "unfettered" stat block.

Have the other rules, particularly for upkeep and replacing the amulet the same?

BananaPhone
2015-01-22, 06:36 AM
Woop, sorry! Did not seen you had replied :smallsmile:.

Hmm, I'm thinking of what you're saying and ways to keep a 'summonable demon' pet in outside of the Summon Monster spell-line, but the more I think about the benefits of such on top of the goodies that the Warlock already gets, the more I think it'd probably be a better idea to just scrap the whole idea. Or maybe just nerf it so that it's a passive bonus to the warlock and their interactions with demons, particularly when they use Planar Binding or something. That probably might be better than adding in different stat blocks and more rules on top of an already goodies-rich class.


It makes me chuckle now thinking that, at one point, I was thinking of ways for lvl 13 or so to be a level where the warlock gets their own keep/castle/cave as a class feature with men at arms, just like the Warrior in AD&D because I was concerned whether the class would have enough going for it.

Do you hear that sound? That's the sound of Gwynfrid bursting out into laughter :smalltongue:.

Gwynfrid
2015-01-22, 06:58 AM
Do you hear that sound? That's the sound of Gwynfrid bursting out into laughter :smalltongue:.

You, Sir, have keen ears :smallbiggrin:

The cake is already crumbling under the 3 layers of frosting and the many cherries. Add anything more and it becomes a black hole :smalltongue:

BananaPhone
2015-01-22, 07:10 AM
Haha, I think by that point it would pretty much just be a solo class :smalltongue:, because I can just hear other players chiming in as the levels progress.

"Oh you're a full caster with demon pets above your CR that are your slaves huh...groovy..."

"Oh, you can conduct a cool ritual that gives you a flying horse locked inside a gem huh..."

"Oh, and you get your own castle with a free army huh...of course you do..."

"Shutup already and just give me the application to warlock school!"

Almarck
2015-01-23, 12:21 AM
So, I guess maybe you should drop the summoning amulet all together then? I feel it comes too late for my tastes. I'm thinking that maybe it would make sense. I mean, Demon summoning at least in the WoW sense is specific to WoW, and that's a whole beast of its own that probably needs its own archetype.

But I am thinking, perhaps it'd be a smart idea to have Rituals specific to summoning in a manner similar to summon monster I to IX, but with its own list of demons or other creatures that break the traditional mold of summoning.

It'd all be rituals still, but the summoning amulet is more of a focus item that store's the ritual's effects for until the next day or whatever rather than a permanent magic item that holds a demon hostage but needs upkeep.

Mostly, this is to address 2 things. That campaign time scales are variable and keeping warlock day to day for the amulet might make it easier for campaigns that have yearly breaks.

The other is that, well, technically, Warlocks summoned more than demons. If I recall, warlocks also did necromancy and in WoW, they summoned other people to them, not just demons.


Hm, that's an idea. A reverse teleport ritual. Summon someone you know to your position.

Well, I guess if we do nothing about summoning amulets, I think we should have Summon other person within the plane ritual.

I think I'll just drop conversation about summoning amulet from here on out if you don't want it. I feel I may be overly fixated on adjusting it.

BananaPhone
2015-02-01, 10:12 PM
Had a RL mid-level game session recently to test this out recently and during that 1 session the results were...less than impressive. As I had previously believed, the myth of this class having so many goodies that it's OP didn't really stand up to reality.

It didn't help that 90% of the enemies were undead and devils. That meant that both the 'locks core abilities only did half damage (i.e got crippled by damage mitigation, just like I thought they would), but against the devils they fared even worse - the cold resistance once again crippled their main abilities and all of their blasty spells deal only in fire damage, against which devils are immune. This sidelined the class as a spectator during these fights.

In early levels the Macabre Thesis I proved a very valuable decision to make. Going with Soul Collector proved the superior choice, as enemies dealing 30+ damage per hit became more common, thus making its damage cap more valuable compared to the 1/2 of the damage of 3d6 per turn returned as hp (so getting an average of 5 hp back per corruption tick at lvl 12).

Furthermore the lack of defensive spells meant the lock had to really rely on their team-mates for support. The D10 hit die only amounts to, on average, 2 extra hp per level - an advantage which evaporates in 1 hit from enemies at around the lvl 12+. Combine that with having to pay large chunks of hp to even use metamagic (and only being able to use metamagic 3-5 times a day), damage mitigation being a constant thorn in the side and the one-flavor-blasty-spells and very few defensive spells and so far the class has under-performed. Much as I had originally pontificated on earlier, the spell versatility of the wizard or sorcerer would've helped them contribute to the party, while the lock just got sidelined. I think the only thing they could do is throw out a Summon Monster.

If I was going on this session alone (which I'm not) then this class would be one of those classes that looks awesome, but once you actually play it the adamantium Abrams tank turns out to be a good looking paper mace replica. This has been caused by enemies gaining, around lvl 8+ or so, more inherent resistances and immunities to things like cold and fire (two really common element resistances/immunities), which really **** this class in the ass.

However, making this call right now would be like putting up a rogue relying on sneak attack damage against enemies against which sneak attacks can't be used and declaring from the predictable results that the Rogue sucks. So I'll see how it fares next session as I think we'll be encountering less Scissor enemies to the warlocks paper.

BananaPhone
2015-06-30, 06:43 AM
Oh my poor warlock, how I have neglected thee...

*squats near the broken corpse of the Warlock*

I ran many simulations with you and found that while you were solid and strong in the early levels, once enemy resistances/immunities came along you dropped faster than the fat man that sat down too fast. You had one blasty element, fire, against which immunities/resistances are more common than chlamydia on spring break. Your stock spells did half negative and half cold damage, yet guess what resistances demons/undead/devils/dragons have in mid-to-later levels...yes. You did indeed turn out to be a paper tiger in the end.

No matter. When I have time in the coming months, after I have established a good rhythm in my solo game, I will tend to your wounds. I can rebuild you. I have the technology.

*gathers up corpse in arms and flies away into the heavens*

BananaPhone
2015-08-11, 02:10 AM
Took me a while, but I spent a couple of hours and changed things about.


Changes I made:


Cut their number of spells-per-day in half.


Removed Diplomacy from their skill list.


Bumped their HD back up to D12.


Completely changed how life tap works. It is now used to restore spells-per-day at a hefty cost of HP, thus justifying the bigger HD and making the life-draining siphon life/corruption/harvest life more appealing.


Got rid of rituals entirely and reworked it so that they are normal Wizard/Sorcerer spells that can be acquired, scribed into their grimoire and cast as a lengthy ritual that requires hit point sacrifice and lots of time and a Caster Level check.


Changed Shadow damage. It's now straight Negative damage and beings normally healed by Negative damage are damaged as normal. This was a major drawback of the class, as Corruption/Siphon Life/Agony are this classes main damage dealers, yet any type of damage mitigation against Cold damage or negative damage (and god help you, immunity) royally screwed this class in this ass, and their fall-back Fire-based spells came up against even more resistance/immunities. This way, the clas can do what it was supposed to do - long term DoT damage with reserve fire-spells. If someone is on the receiving end of shadow damage and they get wise to what type of damage it is, they could throw up a Resist (negative) damage ward or protection, which would royally burke the Locks damage, but can't have everything.


Added Teleport, Greater Teleport, Teleportation Circle, Overland Flight and Mirror Image to their spell list. During playtesting this class was in desparate need of some defensive spells. Though I don't want to give them the whole shebang, Mirror Image at least was a small mercy and fit in with their warping of reality. The Teleportation spells were originally Rituals, but given how much I changed them, I gave them in as base spells.




And that's about all the changes I can think of at the moment. As usual feedback is loved, while I try to find some place to field test this.

Gwynfrid
2015-08-11, 09:02 AM
It's interesting to see the evolution of your design ideas. I see you edited your OP, so it's not possible to fully track the changes, but, when reading my initial list of objections, I can see that the majority of them don't apply anymore. It means you have had to deeply nerf the class to get it back to a more comparable power level to standard classes. It take it that playtesting or comments by others ended up supporting the points I and others were making on this thread.

I also note you had to add a couple of defensive spells, thus confirming the risk we had identified early on: That the warlock would be a glass cannon.

What's left after all these changes? The class can no longer claim to be everything the sorcerer is plus a lot more. For one thing, the extras have been reduced, and you have cut the number of spells per day, not quite revoking the full caster status, but still reducing it considerably. In spite of the d12 HD, Life Tap is only a very partial compensation for that amount of nerfing, since it corresponds to an average 3 extra HP per level (compared to sorcerer), allowing to pay for only one spell level per class level.

This, of course, changes radically at level 6 when Siphon Life comes in play, allowing restoration of spent spells with impunity, as long as there are enemies around. When no enemy is around, summoned monsters will do the trick. All you have to do is sacrifice 3 HP to restore Monster Summoning I, cast it, use Siphon Life to drain the monster of its HP, restoring more than what the spell cost (siphoning a dog will get you 6 HP for example). Repeat until at max hit points, then use Life Tap to restore any other spell cast that day. Repeat until at max hit points, and max spells slots.

Level 6 is also when Soul Leech becomes available, meaning that the warlock between fights will now automatically restore himself to full spell slots and full + 4/level hit points. Nice.

So, as far as spellcasting is concerned, my conclusion is that the class is much less rich than it was, until level 6. After level 6 it is still a lot stronger than any sorcerer, with the limited drawback of needing a few minutes between each fight to restore himself to max power (yes, it's theoretically possible to use all spells in a single fight, but that situation should be rather rare; I have played a sorcerer all the way to level 18, and from mid-levels, needing more than half my spells in a single fight was exceptional).

Then, there's the matter of the iconic class features. On those, my earlier comments are unchanged. You still have several at-will, unfaillible abilities (meaning that they succeed automatically, no roll of any kind needed: No attack roll, no save and no SR), that deal a type of damage against which 95% of enemies have no defense (constructs, and pretty much nothing else until Death Ward comes into play at level 9), and these abilities take only a move action to use. I understand the intent, but this remains fundamentally unfair to the rest of the game.

BananaPhone
2015-08-11, 09:08 AM
Well if it isn't my old friend Gwyn!

I was curious if you were going to show up or not :smallwink:.

Gwynfrid
2015-08-11, 09:32 AM
I subscribed to the thread long ago, because I thought the debate was interesting. As you can see, I still do...

I also am under the impression that your changes vindicate a lot of my past remarks. That's always good for the ego :smalltongue:

BananaPhone
2015-08-11, 10:25 AM
It's interesting to see the evolution of your design ideas. I see you edited your OP, so it's not possible to fully track the changes, but, when reading my initial list of objections, I can see that the majority of them don't apply anymore. It means you have had to deeply nerf the class to get it back to a more comparable power level to standard classes. It take it that playtesting or comments by others ended up supporting the points I and others were making on this thread.

I also note you had to add a couple of defensive spells, thus confirming the risk we had identified early on: That the warlock would be a glass cannon.

What's left after all these changes? The class can no longer claim to be everything the sorcerer is plus a lot more. For one thing, the extras have been reduced, and you have cut the number of spells per day, not quite revoking the full caster status, but still reducing it considerably. In spite of the d12 HD, Life Tap is only a very partial compensation for that amount of nerfing, since it corresponds to an average 3 extra HP per level (compared to sorcerer), allowing to pay for only one spell level per class level.

This, of course, changes radically at level 6 when Siphon Life comes in play, allowing restoration of spent spells with impunity, as long as there are enemies around. When no enemy is around, summoned monsters will do the trick. All you have to do is sacrifice 3 HP to restore Monster Summoning I, cast it, use Siphon Life to drain the monster of its HP, restoring more than what the spell cost (siphoning a dog will get you 6 HP for example). Repeat until at max hit points, then use Life Tap to restore any other spell cast that day. Repeat until at max hit points, and max spells slots.

Level 6 is also when Soul Leech becomes available, meaning that the warlock between fights will now automatically restore himself to full spell slots and full + 4/level hit points. Nice.

So, as far as spellcasting is concerned, my conclusion is that the class is much less rich than it was, until level 6. After level 6 it is still a lot stronger than any sorcerer, with the limited drawback of needing a few minutes between each fight to restore himself to max power (yes, it's theoretically possible to use all spells in a single fight, but that situation should be rather rare; I have played a sorcerer all the way to level 18, and from mid-levels, needing more than half my spells in a single fight was exceptional).

I was thinking of ways to include Constitution as a necessary stat, at least in the mechanical sense rather than the desired sense.

To this end I was thinking about limiting the number of times Life Tap can be used to replenish spells per day to be equal to 3 + Constitution modifier. For a lock of say, 12th level and 16 con, this means that they could, theoretically, use Life Tap to get back 6 lvl 6 spell slots, but that would cost them 108 hit points in total over the day.

Sure, they might be able to get this back from Siphon Life, but:


They're still massively behind the sorcerer for total spells per day, they just made the sacrifices to cast a few more of their top range spells


and


In Theory the Lock could just Life tap away happily to both get back a few spells and to metamagic up their own spells and get it back from Siphon Life. But in practice, most casters don't want to give up huge chunks of their HP when surrounded by enemies 4 times a day - all it would take is a couple of bad rolls and they'd be skewered. So there's going to be both a tactical element as to when to use Life Tap and a big risk-reward factor that I like. Considerably more so than its previous iteration.


Yes, I think giving a constitution cap pretty much solves that issue.



Then, there's the matter of the iconic class features. On those, my earlier comments are unchanged. You still have several at-will, unfaillible abilities (meaning that they succeed automatically, no roll of any kind needed: No attack roll, no save and no SR), that deal a type of damage against which 95% of enemies have no defense (constructs, and pretty much nothing else until Death Ward comes into play at level 9), and these abilities take only a move action to use. I understand the intent, but this remains fundamentally unfair to the rest of the game.



I'd still like to go through the current spell list and do a bit of pruning. But with the locks small number of spells per day, those core abilities will be its bread-and-butter against just about all enemies. They'll be casting them lots and relying on them to get HP back for their life tap/metamagic use in what'll be a balancing act, imo. That their DoT's can also get removed/cleansed by a dispel or something similar, and the idea of then making the lock roll to hit, or overcome a SR hurdle or something along those lines when the machinery of the class requires them sticking those DoTs on people, and what is intended to be a "balance" could instead turn into a major impediment. This is compounded by the nature of a DoT spell, that is, it takes time for them to do their damage, so every round counts - particularly as these abilities count on adding up lots of small amounts of damage per round (at lvl 12, for example, Corruption is only doing 9 damage from 3d6 on average). Losing multiple rounds to failed To Hit rolls or failed SR penetration checks or some other hurdle would just throw a spanner in the whole works.

The nature of their main damage abilities, being damage over time, also add in another tactical element, imo. Once again, theoretically, the lock could get lucky and just sit back, dot up every enemy, and watch as they do massive amounts of damage across the board. But until those monsters reach 0 hp, they're still just as effective at hurting the lock and their party. Doing DoT damage to them will give them a few more turns to inflict pain on the party, where as with a sorcerer or blasty wizard they're going to die much quicker.

So, the lock decides to do a mix - they dot a few enemies up and then burn a heap of HP on a metamagic fireball to help kill the enemies quicker. There goes 18 HP plus the 9 HP to get that spell slot back. Assuming they were lvl 6 with 16 con and average hp rolls, they just went from 60 hp down to 33 - almost halving their HP pool, and that's not counting any stray attacks from enemy creatures that might come in before Siphon life can give that hp back (or assuming they had the HP to do it in the first place). And that was just to throw off 1 maximised fireball in the hope that it ended the encounter earlier than their DoTs would usually assist.

So, as it stands, I think there's a lot of synergy between the Locks core damage dealing abilities, its grimoire abilities, and its ability to replenish spell slots/metamagic with the cost of doing so (and ways of getting that back).

I haven't had a chance to play this new version, but at the moment I think the Lock is in a good risk-reward situation. Under the right circumstances they could be pretty tough with lots of HP, good saves and a parasitic relationship with enemies - slowly melting them while replenishing their own hp. If something goes wrong, however, they could get splattered after using Life Tap at the wrong time, or they might not be doing damage fast enough to save their team.

I would like to prune the spell list though, tighten the themes a bit more. Hellfire, Shadow (illusions/charms), Creation/Reality warping (teleporting/fly), etc..



I subscribed to the thread long ago, because I thought the debate was interesting. As you can see, I still do...

I also am under the impression that your changes vindicate a lot of my past remarks. That's always good for the ego :smalltongue:


The humility on this guy :smalltongue:.

Gwynfrid
2015-08-11, 11:44 AM
I was thinking of ways to include Constitution as a necessary stat, at least in the mechanical sense rather than the desired sense.

To this end I was thinking about limiting the number of times Life Tap can be used to replenish spells per day to be equal to 3 + Constitution modifier. For a lock of say, 12th level and 16 con, this means that they could, theoretically, use Life Tap to get back 6 lvl 6 spell slots, but that would cost them 108 hit points in total over the day.

This is a good idea, to kill off the infinite loop I was describing. However, I suggest the correct way to recover your high-level spells is this: You take 5 6th level slots and one Summon Monster VI, summon a triceratops and siphon it. Your net result is 5 slots with zero HP sacrificed.

In other words, the true cost of Life Tap can be as low as you want, down to zero. With your cap, it is true that the spell slots per day will be seriously reduced - possibly to a point the class is no longer viable to go on a day-long adventure with other characters, in spite of all the rest. I see this as a case of trying to compensate excess power with excessive constraints: It's very difficult to balance, because there's so much weight on both ends of the scale.




In Theory the Lock could just Life tap away happily to both get back a few spells and to metamagic up their own spells and get it back from Siphon Life. But in practice, most casters don't want to give up huge chunks of their HP when surrounded by enemies 4 times a day - all it would take is a couple of bad rolls and they'd be skewered. So there's going to be both a tactical element as to when to use Life Tap and a big risk-reward factor that I like. Considerably more so than its previous iteration.
[/list]

I think the correct time to use Life Tap to recover spells isn't in question: It's between fights. So, it's not a tactical concern. Maybe, occasionally you'll want to burn HP to power some metamagic. But that should be rare. In most situations you're better off using metamagic in the normal way, by using a higher slot.

On the other hand, once you have Soul Leech the equation changes: you have 4/lvl temp HP to burn, potentially you will use those for metamagic.




I'd still like to go through the current spell list and do a bit of pruning. But with the locks small number of spells per day, those core abilities will be its bread-and-butter against just about all enemies. They'll be casting them lots and relying on them to get HP back for their life tap/metamagic use in what'll be a balancing act, imo. That their DoT's can also get removed/cleansed by a dispel or something similar, and the idea of then making the lock roll to hit, or overcome a SR hurdle or something along those lines when the machinery of the class requires them sticking those DoTs on people, and what is intended to be a "balance" could instead turn into a major impediment. This is compounded by the nature of a DoT spell, that is, it takes time for them to do their damage, so every round counts - particularly as these abilities count on adding up lots of small amounts of damage per round (at lvl 12, for example, Corruption is only doing 9 damage from 3d6 on average). Losing multiple rounds to failed To Hit rolls or failed SR penetration checks or some other hurdle would just throw a spanner in the whole works.

The nature of their main damage abilities, being damage over time, also add in another tactical element, imo. Once again, theoretically, the lock could get lucky and just sit back, dot up every enemy, and watch as they do massive amounts of damage across the board. But until those monsters reach 0 hp, they're still just as effective at hurting the lock and their party. Doing DoT damage to them will give them a few more turns to inflict pain on the party, where as with a sorcerer or blasty wizard they're going to die much quicker.

So, the lock decides to do a mix - they dot a few enemies up and then burn a heap of HP on a metamagic fireball to help kill the enemies quicker. There goes 18 HP plus the 9 HP to get that spell slot back. Assuming they were lvl 6 with 16 con and average hp rolls, they just went from 60 hp down to 33 - almost halving their HP pool, and that's not counting any stray attacks from enemy creatures that might come in before Siphon life can give that hp back (or assuming they had the HP to do it in the first place). And that was just to throw off 1 maximised fireball in the hope that it ended the encounter earlier than their DoTs would usually assist.

I don't think I can debate you much further on these abilities. The problem with them is not in-context, it's fundamentals. You're giving the class powers that have no comparable in any other class. 1) No one can do damage, however little, at will without any die roll whatsoever. 2) There are no ways to do damage, however little, on less than a standard action, before Quicken Spell shows up. It's that simple.


So, as it stands, I think there's a lot of synergy between the Locks core damage dealing abilities, its grimoire abilities, and its ability to replenish spell slots/metamagic with the cost of doing so (and ways of getting that back).

Sure there is synergy. It's basically, let's use whatever high-damage spell the sorcerer/wizard can do, plus inescapable ongoing damage. That's why it's not workable, imho. By the way, ongoing damage to enemy casters mean they need a concentration check to cast, every round. It's pretty much a Win button.


The humility on this guy :smalltongue:.

I know, right? :smallbiggrin:

BananaPhone
2015-08-11, 07:32 PM
This is a good idea, to kill off the infinite loop I was describing. However, I suggest the correct way to recover your high-level spells is this: You take 5 6th level slots and one Summon Monster VI, summon a triceratops and siphon it. Your net result is 5 slots with zero HP sacrificed.

In other words, the true cost of Life Tap can be as low as you want, down to zero. With your cap, it is true that the spell slots per day will be seriously reduced - possibly to a point the class is no longer viable to go on a day-long adventure with other characters, in spite of all the rest. I see this as a case of trying to compensate excess power with excessive constraints: It's very difficult to balance, because there's so much weight on both ends of the scale.

Then a small caveat saying that you can't drain hp from your own summoned minions should solve taht.




I think the correct time to use Life Tap to recover spells isn't in question: It's between fights. So, it's not a tactical concern. Maybe, occasionally you'll want to burn HP to power some metamagic. But that should be rare. In most situations you're better off using metamagic in the normal way, by using a higher slot.

On the other hand, once you have Soul Leech the equation changes: you have 4/lvl temp HP to burn, potentially you will use those for metamagic.

Given the cost, and that in practice, not theory, targets to drain your hp back will not be as a densely populated as you believe, and I still think that yes, Life Tap does have a tactical element to it.

I do like Soul Leech for its ability to help Siphon Life give you some more HP back. But alongside Soul Leech is Soul Collector and Lingering Torment, both of which, I think, are also good choices depending on what type of warlock you want to make.

Soul Leech is better for the idea of being a parasite that feeds off your enemies. Soul Collector is better for making a tougher warlock (particularly in later levels), and Lingering Torment puts out more dps to its precious few spells per day, giving you more umph. I haven't had the chance to playtest them all, but I think they're all viable choices for how you want to customise your Lock.




I don't think I can debate you much further on these abilities. The problem with them is not in-context, it's fundamentals. You're giving the class powers that have no comparable in any other class. 1) No one can do damage, however little, at will without any die roll whatsoever. 2) There are no ways to do damage, however little, on less than a standard action, before Quicken Spell shows up. It's that simple.


I don't think it is that simple though. When you tell me that no other class can deal damage as a move action my reaction is:

...and?

And I don't mean that dismissively towards you - I mean, it doesn't bother me that the class ability sets a precedent if there is the justification for it.

The simple fact is that no one, and I mean no one, wants to play a "main caster/blaster" who, at level 12, has to spend their whole turn doing 9 damage to a single enemy.

Add in there both the chance "to miss" and the chance not to beat Spell Resistance, and you've got 3 core damage dealing abilities that suck so hard.


Let's say Mr Level 12 Warlock and his party are facing down 8 lvl 14 orc tribe champions. Everyone else does their thing, while Mr Loc spends a Standard Action to cast Corruption on 1 of the orcs. Oh fiddlesticks, he rolled crap so he missed. Guess he spends this turn doing nothing. Then he tries again next turn, he hits and deals 9 damage from the first corruption tick. Yay, he's done an average of 4.5 damage a round...as the main caster.

Then the next round he casts Siphon Life on the same orc. He hits. Great! Now he did 12 damage from Siphon Life and another 9 damage from Corruption. Great, in 3 rounds he's done 30 damage, or 10 damage a round. At level 12. To a single enemy.

That is beyond pathetic to the point that no one would want to play the class if they ever realised this. I've got a level 10 evoker admixture wizard in my stable who, at 2 levels lower, could throw out roughly 162 damage in that same amount of time. Let's be generous and say all their enemies made the high save DC each round (not likely) - they'd still pump out 80 damage, almost 3 times that of the higher level warlock in a comparable amount of time.

So who would you rather beside you if you were a team mate? Be honest. Don't come up with some tricksy loophole that the majority of players won't know about - be honest, you'd give the warlock the arse and you'd get someone else in.

Oh, but you say, the Lock can then throw their own fireballs/lightning bolts etc out into the field! Yeah, okay, they can - but a sorcerer/wizard can do that better, as I've just explained, either by bloodline powers or arcane school powers.


However, if the Lock can cast their corruption/siphon life/curse of agony as currently written, then things are a bit more attractive.

In the first round they can put a Corruption + Curse of Agony on one of the orcs, that'll tick for 27 damage. Next round they put a Siphon Life on the same one, and then a Corruption on a second orc - the total round damage tick is 30. Then the next round they put Curse of Agony and Siphon Life on that second orc, both orcs now tick for 39 damage. After 3 rounds the first orc has taken 87 damage (3 ticks of corruption, 2 ticks of curse of agony, 2 ticks of siphon life), and the second orc has taken 48 damage (2 ticks of corruption, 1 tick of curse of agony, 1 tick of siphon life). Assuming the orcs started off with around 117 HP (13 levels of average fighter HP, 1 level max, + 14 levels of +3 con modifier), the Warlock spent three rounds to do 74% damage to one orc and 41% damage to the other orc - and they haven't even touched the other 6 orcs yet. They'll most likely throw out an empowered fireball or some such the next round, or round after that, to help make up for it to supplement their main DoT damage.

Meanwhile, my lvl 10 evoker admixture fireball-specialised wizard threw 3 empowered fireballs at the orcs for the cost of 3 level 3 spell slots, doing 162 damage in total, turning every single orc in a 20 foot radius into ash. Unless the orcs roll a 16 on their ref save (+4 ref + 1 dex = +5 for lvl 14 fighter), 3 times in a row (something like a 1% chance) then they're all toast. All of them. Not just 2 are "almost" dead, all of them are dead at minimal cost to the wizard that was 4 levels lower than all of them.


I could go on with more examples, but this is not the game breaking apocalypse that you think this is. It breaks convention, yes. Under the right circumstances and if given time to sit back and dot lots of opponents up, the Warlock could possible do a lot of damage. But the nature of the damage over time spells in a game where killing-the-enemy-as-fast-as-possible is the more efficient method of character preservation than healing, in practice it's nowhere near as OP/unfair as you believe it is - it's just different.

Gwynfrid
2015-08-12, 07:17 AM
Well, of course I didn't suggest that you change the at-will abilities to totally nerf them. That would make sense if they were just complementary abilities to a full caster, but this is clearly not the intent of the class. I'll admit that I have the comfortable seat of the critic, and haven't made any positive suggestions, I only raised concerns: I'm not writing the class, you are. But naturally, I can offer suggestions if you'd like me to.

But when I say that there are fundamental issues there, I don't mean it's because you are breaking new ground. I mean it's because you are going in a direction that's very difficult to balance. Difficult to balance isn't a euphemism for overpowered: It means it's either overpowered or underpowered, and it's hard to adjust the parameters to will make it just right. This sort of thing happens when you ignore one of more of the standards of the rules, such as: Every method of doing damage has some sort of counter to it; very few magical actions, and none at low levels, bypass SR; you get one damaging attack per round; etc.

So, yeah, if you don't bypass SR, you have entirely wasted a round. Guess what, this is the case for every caster in the game. Nobody is singling you out...

Going back to your example of a combat against some big orc fighters: First, you will only rarely encounter such basic opponents at level 12. If you do, then methods for dispatching them will be so many, it doesn't really matter who has the best. In real games, you will see much more variety, including monsters with SR, protection from fire and what have you.

Let's say that you encounter a CR12 monster, since your party is level 12. The sorcerer or wizard will try to blast, enchant, polymorph etc. This may or may not work well depending on the monster's defenses, the party's tactical position around the monster, terrain, etc. In the case of the warlock, the play is simple:
- Round 1, Corruption + Curse of Agony on the monster.
- Round 2, Dimension Door away (taking with him the rest of the party, if they have any sense of what's good for them).
- Round 13, walk back and search the lifeless husk for loot.

During rounds 1-12, you have done a total of 54d6 damage, if my reading of your abilities is correct. That's 189 average damage, while the vast majority of CR12 monsters have 130 to 170 HP. There is no chance of failure. There is no defense either, other than dispelling. If the monster is a caster with Greater Dispel at its disposal (a small minority of enemies will have that) then they need a caster level check against 11+warlock's CL, and a Concentration check, DC10+6+damage received in that round, in order to survive (the very rare enemy with Anti-Magic Field needs only the Concentration check). Good luck with that. And even then, Dispel will only deal with one of the two active curses, which means the monster could very well die anyway if it's not at the top of the HP range. Only 2 types of monsters can resist this tactic: Those with fast healing (and it better be a high number) or constructs. Everybody else - dragons, demons, elementals, humanoids, you name it - is done for.

This isn't some tricksy loophole. It's a straightforward tactic that ends any fight against a single monster of CR equal to the party.

BananaPhone
2015-08-13, 12:40 AM
I'll admit that I have the comfortable seat of the critic, and haven't made any positive suggestions.

You don't say...:smalltongue:


So, yeah, if you don't bypass SR, you have entirely wasted a round. Guess what, this is the case for every caster in the game. Nobody is singling you out...

I still think you're not 100% grasping the consequences of a Damage over Time ability.

You have done so for the application of tactics and ways it can be exploited, but not in its vulnerabilities.

For a Sorcerer, if they fail to pierce SR, it sucks, yes, but next round they can pass it again at which point they do a lot of damage, or put out a debilitating effect, i.e they're still contributing in the way that's expected of them.

However, the locks dots are particularly hurt by not sticking from round 1. Spending 2 rounds as a main caster doing 9 damage to a single target makes you dead weight.

Going with the level 12 example again, going by the way you want it, if a lock spent 3 rounds putting all of their DoTs onto a single target and managed to get passed To hit, SR and any saves, then they, over 3 rounds, would have done 69 damage. 3 corruption ticks, 2 siphon life ticks and 1 curse of agony tick. So at level 12, the Lock, would have done 23 damage.

To a single enemy.

That.Is.Terrible.

No one would want to play that when they can play a sorcerer and do almost 3 times that to every enemy within a 20 foot radius.

The only way to make the DoT's work in accordance with what you want would be for them to do more upfront damage, but over a lower time period. Like at lvl 12 instead of doing 3d6 damage every round for 12 rounds, they do 6d6 damage every round for 1/2 the caster level (so 6 rounds) or every 2 rounds. That at least makes it somewhat worth it if the lock misses but gets it off again in the proceeding rounds.


If you like the idea of it, that's the closest to a compromise that keeps the class viable and competitive for their tier.

Every DoT requires a Ranged Touch Attack and a Standard Action to cast and is effected by SR. Corruption deals 1d6 per 2 caster levels for 1 round per caster level. Siphon Life does 1d6 per 3 caster levels for 1 round per 2 caster levels, and damage done is returned to the Warlock as Hit Points. Curse of Agony does 1d6 per 3 caster levels for 1 round per caster level.

This way, at level 12:

Corruption does 6d6 damage every round for 6 rounds.

Siphon Life does 4d6 damage every round for 6 rounds, and damage done is returned to the Lock has Hit Points.

Curse of Agony would do 4d6 damage every round for 12 rounds.


Getting each DoT off requires a standard action, is affected by SR and requires a ranged touch attack.

What are your thoughts?

Now is your chance to add something positive :smalltongue:.

Edit: In fact, I like that idea so much I'm going to change it right now.


Going back to your example of a combat against some big orc fighters: First, you will only rarely encounter such basic opponents at level 12. If you do, then methods for dispatching them will be so many, it doesn't really matter who has the best.

It was just an example to demonstrate DPS. I didn't think I'd need to reconstruct a lvl 12 encounter, down to using each ability of a monster in a tactical game of chess against myself :smalltongue:.



Let's say that you encounter a CR12 monster, since your party is level 12. The sorcerer or wizard will try to blast, enchant, polymorph etc. This may or may not work well depending on the monster's defenses, the party's tactical position around the monster, terrain, etc. In the case of the warlock, the play is simple:
- Round 1, Corruption + Curse of Agony on the monster.
- Round 2, Dimension Door away (taking with him the rest of the party, if they have any sense of what's good for them).
- Round 13, walk back and search the lifeless husk for loot.

During rounds 1-12, you have done a total of 54d6 damage, if my reading of your abilities is correct. That's 189 average damage, while the vast majority of CR12 monsters have 130 to 170 HP. There is no chance of failure. There is no defense either, other than dispelling. If the monster is a caster with Greater Dispel at its disposal (a small minority of enemies will have that) then they need a caster level check against 11+warlock's CL, and a Concentration check, DC10+6+damage received in that round, in order to survive (the very rare enemy with Anti-Magic Field needs only the Concentration check). Good luck with that. And even then, Dispel will only deal with one of the two active curses, which means the monster could very well die anyway if it's not at the top of the HP range. Only 2 types of monsters can resist this tactic: Those with fast healing (and it better be a high number) or constructs. Everybody else - dragons, demons, elementals, humanoids, you name it - is done for.

Do you honestly believe the GM is going to sit there, clean shaven and with a grin on his face, as you pull this tactic for every single monster, in every single encounter?
Do you really think that the rest of your party is going to be A-Okay with watching you teleport them back and forth, ensuring that they do nothing but observe, and then thank you OOC for the wonderful way in which they've just spent the past 6 hours of their lives watching you play a single-player game of Dungeons and Teleport Ganks?

Unless you game with emotionless machines that enjoy having all the fun sucked out of their game and having it replaced with a cold and hollow victory, then the answer to that question is "no".

This is a case of "In Theory" encountering "In Practice".

"In Theory" I could bring along a Blockbuster Wizard and clear every room of enemies in the first 2 rounds, for every encounter, rendering every other party member superfluous. "In Theory" I could use the Craft (Alchemy) skill + a bunch of skilled hirelings to make dozens of thousands of gold a week and break the game economy. "In Theory" I could bring along a two-handed charging fighter/paladin build and 2 shot the BBEG. "In Theory" I could bring along a half-elf sorcerer that Paragon Rushes themselves into casting any spell they want ever.

"In Theory" you could DoT a single enemy creature up, Dimension Door away, and then come back and repeat the same process to every monster in the group (who're, for some reason, dumb enough to just stand around as if nothing happened).

But in practice you'll probably get away with that 1ce before coming down with a serious case of Books-thrown-at-your-face-by-the-GM-itus and Every-other-player-is-bored-and-hates-you-orea.

This is because in a role play game like Pathfidner and D&D, the power of a class is only half limited by its mechanical abilities, as it is also limited by the creativity of the player using it. The current game is riddled with cheap I'm-going-to-win tactics and combos and builds, but they aren't nerfed, because game designers know that a pencil and paper RPG is organic and that they can't nerf an ability based solely on a creative way a handful of players have devised to exploit it. Heck, the existence of the Tier system of classes not only exists, but it is acknowledged as the norm, indicating that there already exists a wild imbalance that the majority of people are comfortable with for a variety of reasosn. It's why Pun-Pun still exists, or the Ominificer, because they know that nerfing something based upon a scenario that realistically is never going to happen is a blunt way of dealing with something.

Gwynfrid
2015-08-13, 09:12 AM
The only way to make the DoT's work in accordance with what you want would be for them to do more upfront damage, but over a lower time period. Like at lvl 12 instead of doing 3d6 damage every round for 12 rounds, they do 6d6 damage every round for 1/2 the caster level (so 6 rounds) or every 2 rounds. That at least makes it somewhat worth it if the lock misses but gets it off again in the proceeding rounds.


If you like the idea of it, that's the closest to a compromise that keeps the class viable and competitive for their tier.

Every DoT requires a Ranged Touch Attack and a Standard Action to cast and is effected by SR. Corruption deals 1d6 per 2 caster levels for 1 round per caster level. Siphon Life does 1d6 per 3 caster levels for 1 round per 2 caster levels, and damage done is returned to the Warlock as Hit Points. Curse of Agony does 1d6 per 3 caster levels for 1 round per caster level.

This way, at level 12:

Corruption does 6d6 damage every round for 6 rounds.

Siphon Life does 4d6 damage every round for 6 rounds, and damage done is returned to the Lock has Hit Points.

Curse of Agony would do 4d6 damage every round for 12 rounds.


Getting each DoT off requires a standard action, is affected by SR and requires a ranged touch attack.

What are your thoughts?

Now is your chance to add something positive :smalltongue:.

Edit: In fact, I like that idea so much I'm going to change it right now.


And my thoughts are... That this is an excellent step! Because you're getting back to something that can be integrated with the existing world of rules, and therefore, it is possible to adjust the parameters in such a way that it achieves balance with other classes.

It is, naturally, just a first step, as you still need to compare it to abilities / spells that other classes use, at the same levels, and assess if you're being reasonable in relation to them. But, since you have removed a lot of what made them incomparable, this task is now feasible.


Do you honestly believe the GM is going to sit there, clean shaven and with a grin on his face, as you pull this tactic for every single monster, in every single encounter?
Do you really think that the rest of your party is going to be A-Okay with watching you teleport them back and forth, ensuring that they do nothing but observe, and then thank you OOC for the wonderful way in which they've just spent the past 6 hours of their lives watching you play a single-player game of Dungeons and Teleport Ganks?

I don't believe for a nanosecond that the DM and players are going to let you get away with it, and this is exactly why I'm making those comments.


But in practice you'll probably get away with that 1ce before coming down with a serious case of Books-thrown-at-your-face-by-the-GM-itus and Every-other-player-is-bored-and-hates-you-orea.

Precisely. What I'm doing here is playing pretend-DM, and virtually throwing the book at you, before your actual DM does it for real. And by the way, it looks like it's working, since you've just made this big change to your concept, after having made a number of smaller changes in response to my feedback... Thus proving there probably is a little bit of a tiny amount of a minuscule chance that maybe, in some small way, I wasn't entirely, vastly, egregiously in the wrong. Just, possibly. :smallamused:


Now is your chance to add something positive :smalltongue:.

Well, after so much direct criticism, I can certainly make suggestions (sorry for the implied criticism in some of them, it's hard to avoid).

Specifically regarding the Corruption line of abilities, there are a few more things I would do:
- First, obviously, look at the damage type. Negative-energy-except-it-hurts-undead is such a special snowflake, it's begging for nerfing by the DM, and especially, the notion of siphoning life from undead is just too much of a contradiction. I'm not saying making it just negative energy is the best way to go. Alternatives are (I'm sure I can think of more): Fire at level 1, that can evolve to something better at higher levels (I think this was how the original 3.5E Warlock's blast worked); or, half-negative and half-cold, which you had suggested a while back; or, half-something basic and half-divine (this would require the class to have some sort of patron, which maybe isn't the flavor you were going for).
- Look at max damage per level per round, compared to other damage over time options from existing spells, feats, etc.
- See if it makes more sense to have a saving throw, or an attack roll, or both. I'm not sure... Maybe no initial save, but later a save per round to end the ongoing effect could be warranted.
- Check what it does to casters. If it means an impossible Concentration check to cast anything, then it's too much.
- Is it an at-will power? In that case it should be much less powerful than a spell available only a limited number of times per day at the same level. If however it is a big damage machine, then you likely need to restrict uses per day.
- Check for the use of metamagic. It shouldn't allow you to increase damage much over what a blaster with the best feats and racial optimization could.
- Do you need a whole line of themed abilities, or just one ability that scales and evolves over levels? If it's a line of powers, then I would suggest more differentiation between them than you have now.

More generally, for the class as a whole, I would look at it from the big vision perspective first, before going to the detail:
- What are the iconic things you want the class to be known for? I think it's 1) damage over time and 2) sacrifice HP for arcane power. All the rest, I believe, is secondary. Am I correct? I think you don't want too long a shopping list, or the idea becomes diluted.
- Do you want your iconic attack mode to be your main damage dealing method, or is it just something on the side? If it's a main attack, then I think you need to make choices : Either 1) you can't be a full caster at the same time, or 2) this ability is no more than a spell (maybe it should be just a spell?). Not being a full caster isn't the end of the world. You can be a half-caster, which lets you have some critical utility and defensive spells. If however you go full caster, than I recommend you reinstate your spells/level to be equivalent to either the sorcerer (if you don't prepare) or the wizard (if you prepare). A full caster with half a spell complement is a problem for the party, because he will unavoidably slow them down, and that's really impractical.
- I would suggest building the class on the model of the existing Base Classes in Pathfinder (Witch, Alchemist, Oracle, Summoner etc). I mean, they have some sort of iconic thing (Hex, Bomb, Mystery, Eilodon, etc) and then they add new and more to those things as they acquire levels (new Hexes, Discoveries, Revelations, Eilodon evolutions). This is a logical way to build a progression and allow for frequent player choices (every other level is typical). I'd suggest you could integrate the Macabre Thesis concept into such a method. It makes it easier to compare, as well as easier to understand what the class offers. It also will give you a lot more flexibility in choices; naturally, the strongest Theses will need to be restricted to higher-levels only, in the same way the higher Discoveries and Revelations are.

BananaPhone
2015-08-14, 08:24 AM
That's it? That's your idea of "positive contribution"? Nothing you like about it - just busting my balls more :smalltongue:?

Tsk tsk tsk! lol. I'll respond tomorrow.

umbrapolaris
2015-08-14, 09:55 AM
in fact in WoW , Warlocks are prime DoT dealers , they just do that all the time (ok, they have a pet but it is just a canon-fodder) ; so i think focusing on DoT as main offense while being half-caster or full caster with few schools (say necromancy and invocations for more DoT spells :smallbiggrin: ) will be a better and simpler choice.

BananaPhone
2015-08-15, 09:13 AM
And my thoughts are... That this is an excellent step! Because you're getting back to something that can be integrated with the existing world of rules, and therefore, it is possible to adjust the parameters in such a way that it achieves balance with other classes.

It is, naturally, just a first step, as you still need to compare it to abilities / spells that other classes use, at the same levels, and assess if you're being reasonable in relation to them. But, since you have removed a lot of what made them incomparable, this task is now feasible.


I'm thinking of putting Corruptions damage at 1ce every 2 rounds.


This way:

- Corruption does more damage upfront damage. In the long run it does more than Siphon Life, but less than Agony.

- Curse of Agony does lower upfront damage, but it does it every round and does more in the long run.

- Siphon life does the least damage over-all, but every point it does it returns to the warlock as HP.




I don't believe for a nanosecond that the DM and players are going to let you get away with it, and this is exactly why I'm making those comments.

Precisely. What I'm doing here is playing pretend-DM, and virtually throwing the book at you, before your actual DM does it for real. And by the way, it looks like it's working, since you've just made this big change to your concept, after having made a number of smaller changes in response to my feedback... Thus proving there probably is a little bit of a tiny amount of a minuscule chance that maybe, in some small way, I wasn't entirely, vastly, egregiously in the wrong. Just, possibly. :smallamused:


Claiming "you're right" because of changes made as a result of a collaborative process such as a homebrew class is pretty low hanging fruit :smalltongue:.

Plus in the Warlocks previous iteration you claimed them to be clearly OP, yet when I play tested them at mid-levels they turned out to be paper tigers that were utterly useless. So I wouldn't be keeping score if I were you :smalltongue: lol.





- First, obviously, look at the damage type. Negative-energy-except-it-hurts-undead is such a special snowflake, it's begging for nerfing by the DM, and especially, the notion of siphoning life from undead is just too much of a contradiction. I'm not saying making it just negative energy is the best way to go. Alternatives are (I'm sure I can think of more): Fire at level 1, that can evolve to something better at higher levels (I think this was how the original 3.5E Warlock's blast worked); or, half-negative and half-cold, which you had suggested a while back; or, half-something basic and half-divine (this would require the class to have some sort of patron, which maybe isn't the flavor you were going for).


It does have the special snowflake thing to it, but I tried originally to put it as straight "Shadow" damage and have it be known that Shadow damage was just another energy type, like sonic, and that it could be resisted via Resist etc like normal.

Buuut people whined at me that a new energy type was "too powerful" because there weren't any creatures in the book that had immunity/resistance to it already.

So, we went with Half-cold and Half-negative damage. Only that didn't work either, because it makes the class screwed against Undead (a very common enemy type of heroic characters) and as Cold is a relatively common resist/immune type (particularly as levels progressed into mid and high) then they became doubly screwed. Then, as most of the warlocks back up spells were Fire-based (an even more commonly resisted type), they were triple ****ed as the levels progressed. I witnessed this repeatedly during my playtesting.

So, when I came back recently to the class I had a look at the problem again. The problem was amplified when I decided to cut the spells-per-day in half, because the emphasis on those core abilities to do damage and give HP back became even more pronounced. These three abilities, as far as damage and keeping the cylce of HP/Spells per Day going goes, are the cogs of the class - if they **** up, the class takes it up the arse without lube pretty badly.


At the moment I'm thinking of something like Acid/Negative variation. So the spells deal Acid damage or Negative, and if the Warlock wants to change between the two when they cast it they can sacrifice HP to do so.

Perhaps even building on that if with an ability that costs HP but allows the warlock to put a DoT onto all enemies within 20 ft radius or something, doable a number of times per day equal to Con modifier or something.





- Look at max damage per level per round, compared to other damage over time options from existing spells, feats, etc.

As far as I know there are very few DoT spells in the game, and there certainly aren't classes built around using them.



- See if it makes more sense to have a saving throw, or an attack roll, or both. I'm not sure... Maybe no initial save, but later a save per round to end the ongoing effect could be warranted.

Oh, more barriers :smalltongue:.

As I've said before, a damage comparison between a warlock and a sorcerer or a wizard isn't as clear cut as a comparison of numbers, as time is also a massive difference.

Once again, a sorc can go "boom!" with a fireball, do huge damage even if their opponents fail their save, and do it to lots of enemies at once, and can do it more times per day than they need.

The lock can go "die!" with their Dots, do huge damage to a single target, but requires time for that damaged to be realised - time that their enemies still get to use to hurt the party.

I know on paper that doesn't sound much, but when you can get rid of a roomful of enemies with 2 fireballs over 2 rounds, or you can get rid of all of them in 10-20 rounds, guess which one is better.



- Check what it does to casters. If it means an impossible Concentration check to cast anything, then it's too much.


I don't see how that matters. Casters trying to make a concentration check against some crazy dps barbarian or from an empowered fireball or from a sneak attack rogue aren't in any better position to complain.


- Is it an at-will power? In that case it should be much less powerful than a spell available only a limited number of times per day at the same level. If however it is a big damage machine, then you likely need to restrict uses per day.

Why?

The fighter can swing his swords however many times per day as he wants, why can't someone like the lock use one of their core, class abilities as many times a day as they want?

The wiz/cleric/sorcerer/oracle etc class abilities like Arcane Dart or something are just extra abilities that supplement their normal spells. It doesn't matter if they use them or not all day (circumstances pending, of course). That's not so for the Lock, who has to use these abilities otherwise their class doesn't function.



- Check for the use of metamagic. It shouldn't allow you to increase damage much over what a blaster with the best feats and racial optimization could.


I...don't really like that idea :smalltongue:. Comparing something to the most optimised example isn't the most stable of comparisons.

And in any case, as I've said earlier I've got a wizard in my stable who can throw out 162+ damage every three rounds at lvl 10, and can do so for each fight they're in. So I'd say that the damage the Warlock can do at the moment is okay when compared to the optimised side of the spectrum.



- Do you need a whole line of themed abilities, or just one ability that scales and evolves over levels? If it's a line of powers, then I would suggest more differentiation between them than you have now.

I kind of like the difference between them now.

To copy and paste what I said above:


- Corruption does more damage upfront damage. In the long run it does more than Siphon Life, but less than Agony.

- Curse of Agony does lower upfront damage, but it does it every round and does more in the long run. Curse of Agony also shares the "curse" spot with Curse of Tongues.

- Siphon life does the least damage over-all, but every point it does it returns to the warlock as HP.


I think this gives a good amount of tactical and mechanical variety as is.




More generally, for the class as a whole, I would look at it from the big vision perspective first, before going to the detail:
- What are the iconic things you want the class to be known for? I think it's 1) damage over time and 2) sacrifice HP for arcane power. All the rest, I believe, is secondary. Am I correct? I think you don't want too long a shopping list, or the idea becomes diluted.

Well they were originally meant to have a demonic pet, but look how that turned out :smalltongue: lol.


But in seriousness, they're a like an infernal sorcerer in fluff, in that they themselves or one of their ancestors consorted with devils/demons and now that fornication has manifested in their hellish abilities.

They're known for having to sacrifice their own lifeforce to power their spells in a tricky balancing act that, if they pull it off, see's them being like a malignant parasite that feeds off of their enemies and rots them away.

Mechanically, they're known for their core damage over time abilities, sacrificing HP for power, and for their enhanced abilities from their macabre thesis (which can make a huge difference to playstyle).



- Do you want your iconic attack mode to be your main damage dealing method, or is it just something on the side? If it's a main attack, then I think you need to make choices : Either 1) you can't be a full caster at the same time, or 2) this ability is no more than a spell (maybe it should be just a spell?). Not being a full caster isn't the end of the world. You can be a half-caster, which lets you have some critical utility and defensive spells. If however you go full caster, than I recommend you reinstate your spells/level to be equivalent to either the sorcerer (if you don't prepare) or the wizard (if you prepare). A full caster with half a spell complement is a problem for the party, because he will unavoidably slow them down, and that's really impractical.


It's only really a problem, imo, if they don't have other things to make up for it. They still get access to the levels of spells a sorc gets access to, and at the same time. They can still cast level 9 spells on time. They just can't cast as many across the board, but if they can find the HP to sacrifice they can potentially cast a few more of the spells that they need through Life Tap (but at a cost of HP).

Where they make up for it is their ability to keep going. They're tougher and the good damage dealt from their core abilities, that they're able to keep casting throughout the day, allows them to keep going where a sorcerer would run out of spells.

So once again it comes back to the question: do you want bigger up-front boom, or do you want someone that'll go all night?



- I would suggest building the class on the model of the existing Base Classes in Pathfinder (Witch, Alchemist, Oracle, Summoner etc). I mean, they have some sort of iconic thing (Hex, Bomb, Mystery, Eilodon, etc) and then they add new and more to those things as they acquire levels (new Hexes, Discoveries, Revelations, Eilodon evolutions). This is a logical way to build a progression and allow for frequent player choices (every other level is typical). I'd suggest you could integrate the Macabre Thesis concept into such a method. It makes it easier to compare, as well as easier to understand what the class offers. It also will give you a lot more flexibility in choices; naturally, the strongest Theses will need to be restricted to higher-levels only, in the same way the higher Discoveries and Revelations are.


Well I've gotten this far and close to completion...to overhaul everything right now to just make it all again...

But at its core the class has been built along similar lines. They had more "given" in the form of rituals, but they're been reworked completely. The Macabre Thesis gets given every 6 levels because they're solid abilities that also dramatically change the way the class is played.

On top of that I didn't give the class any more abilities because I felt it had enough as it was.



in fact in WoW , Warlocks are prime DoT dealers , they just do that all the time (ok, they have a pet but it is just a canon-fodder) ; so i think focusing on DoT as main offense while being half-caster or full caster with few schools (say necromancy and invocations for more DoT spells :smallbiggrin: ) will be a better and simpler choice.


I am trying to tighten up the spell list at the moment to go along with something you're suggesting :smallsmile:.

The three dot abilities being their main way of dealing damage, and then using some other spells to either supplement that damage if need be (a well-timed empowered fireball can often save the day...) or bring utility.

It's just a matter of keeping the themes together. Haven't gotten around to it yet though!

Gwynfrid
2015-08-15, 03:39 PM
Claiming "you're right" because of changes made as a result of a collaborative process such as a homebrew class is pretty low hanging fruit :smalltongue:.

Yep, that was a cheap shot. Doesn't make it any less valid :smallbiggrin:


Plus in the Warlocks previous iteration you claimed them to be clearly OP, yet when I play tested them at mid-levels they turned out to be paper tigers that were utterly useless. So I wouldn't be keeping score if I were you :smalltongue: lol.

Without a complete view of the PCs and enemies used for this playtest, I don't think I can answer that point. For all I know, the other PCs might have had crazy-powered classes as well; or, the DM might well have calculated the encounters to make sure you wouldn't run roughshod over every one of them. It's also possible we aren't talking about the same rules. For example, I remember when, at one point in our dialog, you said that DR applies to energy damage: If that sort of houserule is being played, then all bets are off.


It does have the special snowflake thing to it, but I tried originally to put it as straight "Shadow" damage and have it be known that Shadow damage was just another energy type, like sonic, and that it could be resisted via Resist etc like normal.

Buuut people whined at me that a new energy type was "too powerful" because there weren't any creatures in the book that had immunity/resistance to it already.

Yes, that was my point as well. And that's not whining, that's like game balance 101: Don't give anybody something no one else can resist.


So, we went with Half-cold and Half-negative damage. Only that didn't work either, because it makes the class screwed against Undead (a very common enemy type of heroic characters) and as Cold is a relatively common resist/immune type (particularly as levels progressed into mid and high) then they became doubly screwed. Then, as most of the warlocks back up spells were Fire-based (an even more commonly resisted type), they were triple ****ed as the levels progressed. I witnessed this repeatedly during my playtesting.

Yes, but that problem happens to every pure blaster in the game - that's kind of how the game keeps them in check. The way to solve this isn't to just say, hello, mine is a special technology that circumvents the game designers' intent.


At the moment I'm thinking of something like Acid/Negative variation. So the spells deal Acid damage or Negative, and if the Warlock wants to change between the two when they cast it they can sacrifice HP to do so.

A good idea, I think. I was suggesting using an expansion of the Thesis as a mechanism to let you evolve the energy type as you gain levels. It's a similar concept.


Perhaps even building on that if with an ability that costs HP but allows the warlock to put a DoT onto all enemies within 20 ft radius or something, doable a number of times per day equal to Con modifier or something.

Also a good idea. Again, the expanded Thesis appeals to me as a flexible mechanism to open such options up along with level progression.


As far as I know there are very few DoT spells in the game, and there certainly aren't classes built around using them.

Sure, but that's why your class is unique, and that's a good thing. Being unique doesn't eliminate the onus to compare with the existing material, though.


I don't see how that matters. Casters trying to make a concentration check against some crazy dps barbarian or from an empowered fireball or from a sneak attack rogue aren't in any better position to complain.

You might want to take a look at this rule (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic#TOC-Concentration), in particular, this:
If you are taking continuous damage, such as from an acid arrow or by standing in a lake of lava, half the damage is considered to take place while you are casting a spell. You must make a concentration check with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the damage that the continuous source last dealt + the level of the spell you're casting. If the last damage dealt was the last damage that the effect could deal, then the damage is over and does not distract you.
This thing about Concentration applies to damage over time, every round. It doesn't apply to the barbarian attack or the fireball.


The fighter can swing his swords however many times per day as he wants, why can't someone like the lock use one of their core, class abilities as many times a day as they want?

Er... If don't know if you're serious or tongue in cheek here, frankly. Maybe you could refer to every other caster class? Because magic is so much more powerful than weapon swinging, that the vast majority of magic capabilities in the game are restricted in uses per day?


The wiz/cleric/sorcerer/oracle etc class abilities like Arcane Dart or something are just extra abilities that supplement their normal spells. It doesn't matter if they use them or not all day (circumstances pending, of course). That's not so for the Lock, who has to use these abilities otherwise their class doesn't function.

Thanks for proving my point. No one cares if Arcane Dart or cantrips are at-will: They're sideshows. But you can bet that the core abilities of the wizard/cleric/etc aren't at-will, not anywhere close. So there's no reason whatsoever the warlock's core abilities should be at-will.

What would you think if I built a Grillin n' Chillin Sorcerer (TM) with a more narrow spell list and maybe less spells/day, but Fireball and Cone of Cold at-will?


I...don't really like that idea :smalltongue:. Comparing something to the most optimised example isn't the most stable of comparisons.

I'm not sure why it's not stable? All I'm saying is: Your baseline, unoptimized class feature shouldn't be superior to a wholly optimized existing ability from another class. That's an incredibly low bar. If you aren't even willing to concede that as a relevant guideline, then you might as well admit that your goal is to blow everyone else out of the water.


And in any case, as I've said earlier I've got a wizard in my stable who can throw out 162+ damage every three rounds at lvl 10, and can do so for each fight they're in. So I'd say that the damage the Warlock can do at the moment is okay when compared to the optimised side of the spectrum.

That's all right, then. But your wizard has to rest after a few fights...


- Corruption does more damage upfront damage. In the long run it does more than Siphon Life, but less than Agony.

- Curse of Agony does lower upfront damage, but it does it every round and does more in the long run. Curse of Agony also shares the "curse" spot with Curse of Tongues.

- Siphon life does the least damage over-all, but every point it does it returns to the warlock as HP.


I think this gives a good amount of tactical and mechanical variety as is.

That's a matter of taste, then. If I were to play the class, I think I would get mixed up between those 3, and constantly have to refer to the written description. To each their own, I suppose.


But in seriousness, they're a like an infernal sorcerer in fluff, in that they themselves or one of their ancestors consorted with devils/demons and now that fornication has manifested in their hellish abilities.

They're known for having to sacrifice their own lifeforce to power their spells in a tricky balancing act that, if they pull it off, see's them being like a malignant parasite that feeds off of their enemies and rots them away.

Mechanically, they're known for their core damage over time abilities, sacrificing HP for power, and for their enhanced abilities from their macabre thesis (which can make a huge difference to playstyle).

Right, I think I had read you correctly on intent.


It's only really a problem, imo, if they don't have other things to make up for it. They still get access to the levels of spells a sorc gets access to, and at the same time. They can still cast level 9 spells on time. They just can't cast as many across the board, but if they can find the HP to sacrifice they can potentially cast a few more of the spells that they need through Life Tap (but at a cost of HP).

Maybe... I'm not sure. Let's put it this way: If you're out of spells, are you going to stop? If the answer is yes, then cutting the spell slots in half is a problem. That said, anyway, since you're looking at the Corruption family to be your main weapon, then I don't think the warlock should be a full caster, period.


Where they make up for it is their ability to keep going. They're tougher and the good damage dealt from their core abilities, that they're able to keep casting throughout the day, allows them to keep going where a sorcerer would run out of spells.

So once again it comes back to the question: do you want bigger up-front boom, or do you want someone that'll go all night?

I agree, that's the correct question. It's your call. If what you want is to go all night, then I think your baseline damage per round should be roughly half that of someone who can't go all night. Otherwise it makes no sense being anything other than a warlock.


On top of that I didn't give the class any more abilities because I felt it had enough as it was.

My suggestion wasn't to add, but to have more options to chose from, at more levels - I thought the total number of abilities at level 20 would be about the same. But then, that was only a suggestion for you to deal with as you please.

Southern Cross
2015-08-16, 09:51 PM
If I remember from my 2nd ed Manual Of The Planes. the Plane of Shadow is formed from both positive and negative energy. Therefore if that is still true in this campaign, shadow damage should be half negative energy damage and half positive energy damage. In such a case any spell that protects against negative energy would only be 50% effective, and only a spell that protects against both positive and negative energy would have full effect.

BananaPhone
2015-08-18, 08:24 AM
Yes, but that problem happens to every pure blaster in the game - that's kind of how the game keeps them in check. The way to solve this isn't to just say, hello, mine is a special technology that circumvents the game designers' intent.


No it's not...this keeps coming up time and again, the locks reliance on DoT's makes them a different type of blaster. A sorc can get resisted one turn no worries because they can still throw out huge damage the next round. The Lock? Nope.

Besides, with bigger up-front damage, and acid/negative variation this problem will be solved.


A good idea, I think. I was suggesting using an expansion of the Thesis as a mechanism to let you evolve the energy type as you gain levels. It's a similar concept.

Of course it's a good idea, I thought of it :smalltongue:.

Har har, kidding. But seriously, it'd be nice to expand the Thesis with some small, but useful and universal effects. At the moment there are 3 steps in the Thesis and each dramatically changes the playstyle of the Lock, every 6 levels.

Maybe something a bit smaller every 3 or 4 levels or something could be good. Energy variation, maybe at lvl 9 the ability to spread a COrruption cast onto X number of enemies in X amount of yards etc



Sure, but that's why your class is unique, and that's a good thing. Being unique doesn't eliminate the onus to compare with the existing material, though.

No, but it does make it a lot harder to compare. This is evident by us still talking about it after 3 pages of discussion :smalltongue:.




You might want to take a look at this rule (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic#TOC-Concentration), in particular, this:
If you are taking continuous damage, such as from an acid arrow or by standing in a lake of lava, half the damage is considered to take place while you are casting a spell. You must make a concentration check with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the damage that the continuous source last dealt + the level of the spell you're casting. If the last damage dealt was the last damage that the effect could deal, then the damage is over and does not distract you.
This thing about Concentration applies to damage over time, every round. It doesn't apply to the barbarian attack or the fireball.


I don't see how taking a greatsword to the face is less distracting than a spell that'll that's eating away at you. So the nature of the spell has an advantage? It's got disadvantages as I've mentioned earlier.




Er... If don't know if you're serious or tongue in cheek here, frankly. Maybe you could refer to every other caster class? Because magic is so much more powerful than weapon swinging, that the vast majority of magic capabilities in the game are restricted in uses per day?


Bit half and half :smalltongue:.

I've always hated Vancian-style casting, with the restrictions per day. However that's just my visceral reaction.

My more reasonable reaction is a concern that a class whose whole selling point is a caster that can "go all day" is undermined by having their ability to do so taken away.

So possibly it could be done by having a large pool to begin with...something to do with Constitution modifier. After that they can be cast using a number of hit points per cast.




What would you think if I built a Grillin n' Chillin Sorcerer (TM) with a more narrow spell list and maybe less spells/day, but Fireball and Cone of Cold at-will?


...awesome? :smallbiggrin:



I'm not sure why it's not stable? All I'm saying is: Your baseline, unoptimized class feature shouldn't be superior to a wholly optimized existing ability from another class. That's an incredibly low bar. If you aren't even willing to concede that as a relevant guideline, then you might as well admit that your goal is to blow everyone else out of the water.


I'm not too worried about it because I'm from the "In Practice" school of balancing and I think of how much damage the warlock does in conjunction with how long it takes to do it. A fighter can do more damage than a super-crowbared-optimised-death-boner-sorcerer...if you give them enough rounds to take a swing and do damage. It'll all add up eventually.

The Warlock could have a touch attack that did a million damage in precisely one years time, but it wouldn't matter because no one would care.



That's all right, then. But your wizard has to rest after a few fights...

What's that, "practice" coming from Mr In-Theory :smalltongue:. There are only 4 encounters per day, 3 empowered fireballs each one, that's 162 damage each that's 648 damage at level 10 and, most likely, ended each fight. Who cares if they had to rest afterwards? They did their job of serving up the boom and ending all fights in 3 rounds, ensuing the rest of the party took nary a scratch.




Maybe... I'm not sure. Let's put it this way: If you're out of spells, are you going to stop? If the answer is yes, then cutting the spell slots in half is a problem. That said, anyway, since you're looking at the Corruption family to be your main weapon, then I don't think the warlock should be a full caster, period.

Probably just put it up to personal opinion then.



I agree, that's the correct question. It's your call. If what you want is to go all night, then I think your baseline damage per round should be roughly half that of someone who can't go all night. Otherwise it makes no sense being anything other than a warlock.


So not only will it take, say, 12 rounds for a lvl 12 warlocks dots to do full damage, giving their enemies 12 rounds of tearing-off-their-face-and-that-of-their-parties, but now they only do half their damage?

Sorry, but no. I keep coming back to this point because I don't think you're fully grasping this concept and its full ramifications. Please don't take that the wrong way, I'm really glad we've having this conversation - positive, good change is happening and the end is in sight. But I keep having to repeat myself on this idea: The warlock can do a lot of damage.

But it takes time.

This is once again "in practice" vs "in theory".

In Practice, the Warlocks dots don't exist inside a vacuum where time freezes in the outside world and things just get fast forwarded how-ever many rounds is needed.

The rest of the party still has CR X monsters to deal with - monsters that aren't dying as fast as they would if Blow-You-Up-This-Instant Sorcerer was around. Monsters that have their own damage-dealing abilities that they now get to visit upon the rest of the group for X amount of rounds longer than they normally would. Now the pay off for that is that, in the long run, the Lock is probably going to do more damage and can fight more often than a wizard or sorcerer could per day.

But "the long run" is a pretty perilous road to go down when you're a party stuck in a room with monsters that are supposed to be a challenge for you. Given that the most practical and accepted way of "healing" damage is not taking it in the first place, this is a big deal.

Now if what you're saying happens, the "pay off" has now just been halved. So the rest of the party and the warlock has to take more punishment from the monsters for half the pay off because that's what they get for not taking a sorcerer or wizard. The Warlock is not not only a useless class, it's an active liability.

I don't want to sound unappreciative or snappy or anything like that, I'm grateful for our talk. It's just I don't think you're considering the full ramification of relying on damage over time spells in regards to party composition, health and the pro's/con's of giving monsters more time to hurt everyone.



My suggestion wasn't to add, but to have more options to chose from, at more levels - I thought the total number of abilities at level 20 would be about the same. But then, that was only a suggestion for you to deal with as you please.


Some more things would be nice, butI don't want to give them too much - at least not with putting in some risk/reward elements to balance them out.

Like we were saying earlier the Acid/Negative variation, and the Cast-Corruption-on-a-group - but doing so takes a decent amount of HP so they can't just do it willy nilly.

Something like their abilities do Negative damage baseline, but for Caster Level * 2 HP, they can cast it as Acid damage.

Or Corruption can usually only be cast on a single enemy, but if the caster pays (Number of Targeted Enemies * Half Caster Level) in HP, they can cast it on a number of additional enemies with a max of twice their constitution modifier?

What else would you have in mind if you were coming up with ideas?


If I remember from my 2nd ed Manual Of The Planes. the Plane of Shadow is formed from both positive and negative energy. Therefore if that is still true in this campaign, shadow damage should be half negative energy damage and half positive energy damage. In such a case any spell that protects against negative energy would only be 50% effective, and only a spell that protects against both positive and negative energy would have full effect.


Hmm...positive energy doesn't really suit the theme of the class, though, that's the problem.

Maybe that's just me being a stickler...the Locks are supposed to be able to shape/warp reality. Maybe I just need to get used to it - could you elaborate on it a bit more, please?

Urist Mcmage
2015-08-18, 03:45 PM
Why not divide the warlocks core abilities into three different archetypes: destruction, demonology and affliction. taking the affliction archetype would give access to a DotS, but you would lose your ability to to summon demons. demonology would buff your your demon, but you would not have acess to curses, and destruction would have access to improved evocation spells, but no demon or curses.

Gwynfrid
2015-09-01, 07:41 AM
Hi,

I've been too busy to reply faster. but since you seem to enjoy the discussion, I'm back. :smallsmile:


No it's not...this keeps coming up time and again, the locks reliance on DoT's makes them a different type of blaster. A sorc can get resisted one turn no worries because they can still throw out huge damage the next round. The Lock? Nope.

Sure he can. He just needs to throw Corruption again. No problem, since it's at will, while others will eventually run out. Seriously, let's compare. As presently written, Corruption does 1d6/level, per round, for 1 round per 2 levels. A Fireball does 1d6 per level, on an area, but with a save for half. And the Fireball is capped at 10d6. How isn't Corruption vastly superior? In fact, a better comparison is Polar Ray: Single target, ranged touch attack, no save, 1d6/level capped at 25d6 (ie not capped, for practical purposes). OK, Polar Ray has a longer range and a side effect of Dex damage which doesn't really matter here. So, what you got is more or less a Polar Ray that repeats its damage every round.

It might be that you really intended to write 1d6 / 2 levels, as you did above in the thread. That wouldn't make it anywhere close to reasonable. The scaling per level needs to be way slower and/or have a save per round to end the effect.

Now, on top of that, there's metamagic. You write that Corruption can be modified with metamagic. I'm afraid the example given isn't very clear, I suggest you look to streamline description. But it appears that the normal metamagic cap (ie you can't raise a spell level beyond the maximum you can cast) doesn't exist for Corruption. This means you can do a lot more damage even in the first round than any competing spellcaster using maximized Fireball and whatnot. You have to use Lifetap for that, I guess (?) but that's not a true limitation. If you win the fight over the first 2-3 rounds (and you will) then it doesn't matter how much damage you inflicted to yourself. Moreoever, working from a d12 HP baseline, it more or less means you bring yourself back to the HP total a sorcerer would have in the first place.


Besides, with bigger up-front damage, and acid/negative variation this problem will be solved.

Correct. You haven't edited the Shadow thing in the OP, though, so I thought that decision was still open in your mind.


No, but it does make it a lot harder to compare. This is evident by us still talking about it after 3 pages of discussion :smalltongue:.

It's not that difficult. For starters, don't have the warlock do auto-repeating damage equal to the damage a sorcerer does by casting a spell every round.


I don't see how taking a greatsword to the face is less distracting than a spell that'll that's eating away at you. So the nature of the spell has an advantage? It's got disadvantages as I've mentioned earlier.

And you're calling me "Mr In-Theory"... You've got to be kidding me... :smallsigh:

I don't think I need to elaborate: The fighter vs wizard fight is more than well documented enough, and has been tested in practice abundantly enough.

It is obvious that repeating, automatic 1d6/level damage is well beyond anything else in the game and, from mid-low levels onwards, will incapacitate any caster, once you've made the initial ranged touch attack successfully. The closest comparison is Acid Arrow, which doesn't scale with level, for good reason. Corruption as written is a "I win the caster duel" button.


I've always hated Vancian-style casting, with the restrictions per day. However that's just my visceral reaction.

Look at the original 3.5 warlock, then. It does away with Vancian casting. But it also loses a lot of flexibility. You're trying to keep both... Can't have your cake and eat it, not if you want to play by the same rules as the rest of the players.


My more reasonable reaction is a concern that a class whose whole selling point is a caster that can "go all day" is undermined by having their ability to do so taken away.

Here again, you must choose. Go all day = do much less damage in a short time. That means the class needs to look for ways to make the fight longer, by have a lot more defensive abilities. Or, do big damage = you have to stop to rest sometime.


Sorry, but no. I keep coming back to this point because I don't think you're fully grasping this concept and its full ramifications. Please don't take that the wrong way, I'm really glad we've having this conversation - positive, good change is happening and the end is in sight. But I keep having to repeat myself on this idea: The warlock can do a lot of damage.

But it takes time.

No, it doesn't. Not with Corruption as written. Your point would be valid, if it did take time for Corruption to do as much damage as a Fireball - then the debate would be a matter of degree, counting total output damage per round, how many rounds does it take to make things equal. But that's not where we are, yet.

And yes I do understand the ramifications. That why I bring up the matter of the ongoing damage requiring Concentration checks from casters.


Some more things would be nice, butI don't want to give them too much - at least not with putting in some risk/reward elements to balance them out.

Like we were saying earlier the Acid/Negative variation, and the Cast-Corruption-on-a-group - but doing so takes a decent amount of HP so they can't just do it willy nilly.

Something like their abilities do Negative damage baseline, but for Caster Level * 2 HP, they can cast it as Acid damage.

Or Corruption can usually only be cast on a single enemy, but if the caster pays (Number of Targeted Enemies * Half Caster Level) in HP, they can cast it on a number of additional enemies with a max of twice their constitution modifier?

What else would you have in mind if you were coming up with ideas?

- Change damage type
- Increase range
- Make the ray a cone (then all in range have a save)
- Increase duration
- Add side effects, such as blindness, sickened, shaken...
- Make it a shock wave with side effect of Bull Rush
- Encompass all of your existing Thesis effects, at the appropriate levels. This way, you have the flexibility to take more than one of them as you acquire levels, rather than making an irreversible choice between 3 options.

Of course, with this I'm assuming like 1 Thesis effect per two levels, which probably means the ones you have written should be either scaled down a bit or left to really high levels. Actually, I would suggest both: Keep them very powerful for high levels and also have one or two scaled down versions of each, available at lower levels.

ylvathrall
2015-09-05, 09:35 PM
So a while ago this class was requested for a game I was GMing, and I said that I would come here and give some feedback on why I turned it down. Well, it took a while, but I'm here to give that feedback. It might not be entirely welcome, but that's the nature of homebrew material.

A couple of notes before I start. One, I can't keep track of everything that's been changed and changed again throughout the course of this thread, so I'm basing my comments off the version of the class currently outlined in the OP. Second, I am a harsh reviewer, in general. I might come across as excessively harsh or critical as a result. If so, this is not my intention, and certainly none of this is intended as a personal attack; this is purely my review of the class as a GM.

Okay, now on to my actual comments:


The first thing I look for when I look at a new class, regardless of where it came from, is not mechanical. It's fluff. I look for what its role is in-universe, how other characters would think of it, and how it fits into the world. I also look for how it interacts with other classes, and particularly whether it occupies the same niche as another class. If so, that's an issue for me.

And in this case, I think it does. The warlock reads, in terms of fluff, like a witch. The whole "deal with the devil" concept, the rituals, the at-will abilities, it all reads like a witch. I suppose that if you're playing up the idea that the demonic power was inherited instead of bargained for, it could also have overlap with a sorcerer with either the Abyssal or Infernal bloodline; in that case, I don't understand the alignment restriction. Either way, I'm not seeing how this is treading new ground on a fluff level.

Looking at the table, there are way too many empty levels. This is one of the things that Pathfinder changed from 3.5, and in my opinion it is a good change. If you gain a level in a class, you should get something new out of it. Looking at this, it seems like a lot of the levels don't really have much in the way of new abilities. You also get most of the big ones on the same levels as you get new spell levels. In the ACG section on designing classes, one of the things they point out is that casters should alternate new class features with new spell levels, that way every level provides some kind of new ability or improvement. That is, in my opinion, a good guideline to follow.

Shadow damage needs to change. Yes, making it a normal energy type means that it sometimes doesn't contribute to a fight. That's the point. The game is balanced with the idea that any given ability has ways to counter it, and ways to make it just not work. No character should be able to function at their best in every encounter. That's why it's a team game. Negative energy damage that also harms undead is very nearly untyped damage. You will note that there are very few ways to do untyped damage. There's a reason for that.

You can make it regular negative energy. You can make it another energy type. You could make it "choose the energy type at 1st level; once made, this choice cannot be changed." Any of these could work. But "special damage type that only I get and that hurts everything ever period" does not work.

Losing the grimoire is too crippling. Players complain about jerk GMs taking away their spellbooks (or familiars, for witches), but that option exists for a reason. It's a way to meaningfully hurt the character without doing them irreparable harm, mechanically. There are also ways to prepare for it if need be; you can have backup spellbooks. By making the grimoire so hard to replace, you're effectively making losing it worse than death. Based on how most campaigns' timelines work out, you will never be able to replace it. At 2000 gp per level, it's also impossible to pay for it until level 5 under WBL rules. Realistically speaking, if a warlock loses their grimoire, the player will probably drop the character entirely rather than try and deal with it, and they might well drop the game entirely. That isn't a good thing.

This has been mentioned already, but the damage over time is too high. You can say that it takes too long to matter, but that isn't true. You're doing damage comparable to most spells (more than most spells at lower levels), you're doing it at will, and you're doing it for multiple rounds. Plain and simple. The damage is too high to be balanced. It's also ridiculously easy to deal with the fact that it takes multiple rounds to bring down an enemy. The Corruption + Dimension Door example has already been brought up here, but there are others that come to mind. Things like forcecage. Or create pit. Or having the melee person just keep tripping them. Or, hell, why not just hit them and run away? With an unarmored mount, you can move faster than many enemies, and you were at range to begin with.

You say that this makes the game less fun, and thus people wouldn't do it. Again, that's the point. Your character should be making the game more fun, not less. If I can't use my core class abilities effectively without ruining the game for everyone else, then there is a problem with those class abilities.

This one is a bit more of a conceptual issue, but you keep saying that there aren't many damage over time abilities in Pathfinder. That's true. There's a reason for it. Damage over time abilities are a pain in the ass for GMs. It's one more thing that I have to keep track of every round, and remember what the duration is for all of the enemies you've tagged with it. It isn't as bad in a play-by-post game, but in real time? It makes every round of combat harder to manage, and it makes every round of combat take longer to run.


Also, I feel I should point out that it comes across very much like you're considering the class in a vacuum. You say that you've done playtesting on it; I don't really know what that entailed, but from what you've said about it so far, I feel like you're not really looking at it in the context of the game as a whole. I haven't seen any consideration of how it might interact with other classes. Things like other spell lists, or multiclassing. Speaking of, is it just me or is this class a spectacular one-level dip, especially for a caster who already has Quicken Spell? Sure, I don't have the spell slots to be casting many quickened spells, but that's okay because I can use corruption as a swift action every turn anyway. Getting 1d6 extra damage every round, two good saves, a d12 hit die, cantrips, and Eschew Materials for one level? That's a pretty good deal, I think.

On that note, and again related to considering the class in a vacuum, I haven't seen any discussion of what this would be like as an NPC. My rule as a GM is that if you get to use something, so do I, so I would have to be considering that aspect as well. And, again, it doesn't hold up well. Those awesome abilities that are basically impossible to deal with are going to be much less popular when they're used against the PCs. Honestly, if I put the average party up against a warlock of equal level, and I played that warlock like it had a brain, I don't know that the PCs would be able to win. It can get close using Stealth (or invisibility; sure, it isn't on their spell list, but a warlock gets UMD as a class skill, and wands are cheap), quickened Corruption, dimension door or run action. Rinse and repeat until they're weak enough to take down directly. That's rather hard to deal with. And, again, this is a jerk move and not something I would do, and again, that's the point. If a class is so powerful that I am not willing to include it as an NPC, it is too powerful.

So now that I've gotten that out of the way, here is what I would suggest to make this class actually workable:


Change the way Shadow damage works. There are a lot of ways to go about this that would fix it, but it needs fixed.

Make the Macabre Theses weaker, make there be more to choose from, and give them out more frequently. You might also make the current core abilities Macabre Theses that have to be chosen like any other, rather than having them be part of the automatic progression. Maybe you have to take them multiple times to increase the damage and/or duration of the damage over time. That, in itself, would solve a lot of the problems with those abilities.

Weaken the damage over time abilities. My suggestion would be to make it 1d6/2 levels damage on impact, and damage equal to either the warlock's level or the warlock's Charisma bonus every turn thereafter, minimum 1. If you leave it at high damage over time, there has to be some kind of save to end it early, probably either a Fortitude or Will save every round.

BananaPhone
2015-09-05, 10:14 PM
You know after typing what is close to 5 or so pages worth of a class, having worked on it for almost a year, undergone a few revisions and changes...it'd be nice if someone came in and said "hey, X is really cool about this, i like it!"

Instead I manage to attract another harsh reviewer. Because getting my balls broken by one just wasn't enough! I'm not getting paid to have high blood pressure :smalltongue:.

I'll need a bit longer to respond to Gwyn, but I'll give a quick answer:


Change the way Shadow damage works. There are a lot of ways to go about this that would fix it, but it needs fixed.

I'm changing it to Acid or Negative, with the ability to sacrifice HP to change it between one or the other.


Make the Macabre Theses weaker, make there be more to choose from, and give them out more frequently. You might also make the current core abilities Macabre Theses that have to be chosen like any other, rather than having them be part of the automatic progression. Maybe you have to take them multiple times to increase the damage and/or duration of the damage over time. That, in itself, would solve a lot of the problems with those abilities.


Gwyns put up for some suggestions for an expanded Thesis, and I've mentioned a few a bit earlier.

Something I'm thinking of is having Level 6 or 5 be the beginning of the Macabre Thesis, and then every few levels you get a nice addition that shapes the way you play the class. Maybe even starting at level 1 in that case.

Perhaps something small-ish on their own, but when taken all together offer three styles of play.


Weaken the damage over time abilities. My suggestion would be to make it 1d6/2 levels damage on impact, and damage equal to either the warlock's level or the warlock's Charisma bonus every turn thereafter, minimum 1. If you leave it at high damage over time, there has to be some kind of save to end it early, probably either a Fortitude or Will save every round.


This has been the biggest issue.

Perhaps something like 1d6/2 levels damage on impact, then every round thereafter is 1d6 or 1D3*Warlocks Charisma modifier, Fort save for half.

ylvathrall
2015-09-05, 11:16 PM
You know after typing what is close to 5 or so pages worth of a class, having worked on it for almost a year, undergone a few revisions and changes...it'd be nice if someone came in and said "hey, X is really cool about this, i like it!"

Instead I manage to attract another harsh reviewer. Because getting my balls broken by one just wasn't enough! I'm not getting paid to have high blood pressure :smalltongue:.


Yeah, sorry. It's nothing personal; I review everything this harshly. I'm the kind of person that can and does spend half an hour griping about a book, with maybe one or two nice comments thrown in, and then give it a four-star review. It's just how I look at things, I guess.

I'm not very good at being nice, so I'll just put it like this: If I didn't think there was something here worth doing, I would not have taken the time to write up that commentary. You've got the concept. You just need to refine it and balance it if you want it to work in an actual game.


I'm changing it to Acid or Negative, with the ability to sacrifice HP to change it between one or the other.

Okay, good. That makes it much less game-breaking.


Gwyns put up for some suggestions for an expanded Thesis, and I've mentioned a few a bit earlier.

Something I'm thinking of is having Level 6 or 5 be the beginning of the Macabre Thesis, and then every few levels you get a nice addition that shapes the way you play the class. Maybe even starting at level 1 in that case.

Perhaps something small-ish on their own, but when taken all together offer three styles of play.

I would recommend you start at level 3 or earlier if you want it to be a main class feature. In fact, the best way might be to look at witch hexes, since that seems to be the closest thing to what you're going for here. Make them individually pretty weak, but you get one every other level. That way you're consistently getting new abilities, and you don't risk any single ability being outlandishly powerful.


This has been the biggest issue.

Perhaps something like 1d6/2 levels damage on impact, then every round thereafter is 1d6 or 1D3*Warlocks Charisma modifier, Fort save for half.

First off, I would recommend against the multiplicative thing. It's swingy. With a lot of dice, like the 10d6 from a fireball, they tend to average out. With only one die, it doesn't work like that. 1-6 is a reasonable amount of swing, but when you multiply it by another number the variation gets pretty high.

Second, that's still high damage. If we assume a Charisma modifier of +10 at level 20 (not unreasonable in my experience, not even really that impressive), and using the 1d6*Cha value, the damage works out as 20 * 3.5 * 10 =700 damage. For comparison, a wyrm red dragon (CR 20) has 391 HP. If the save DC is 10 + Cha + 1/2 level (pretty standard DC for this sort of thing), that's a total of DC 30. The dragon needs to roll a 7 to make the save, not difficult, but also not guaranteed. If we assume that it will fail one round in 4 (which is slightly less than it actually would) it would take full damage on the first 175 points of that 700, half damage on the rest. That comes to 175+262.5=437.5 points of damage.

And yes, it has ways of limiting that damage, but then the analysis gets complicated with it wasting actions mitigating your ability and you hitting it again. Bottom line is this: At level 20, you can do more damage with one use of your ability than is required to kill a level-appropriate encounter. That is not low damage.

In spite of that, though, I disagree with you about this being the biggest issue. I think that position goes to letting the damage over time abilities be affected by metamagic. First off, that is wildly unusual. There have been official FAQs to clarify that metamagic feats and metamagic rods cannot affect spell-like abilities. There is an entirely different set of metamagic feats for spell-like abilities. They're in the Bestiary, meaning that they aren't assumed to even be available to PCs, and they're much more limited than the regular version.

Second, it's confusing, at least to me. How does the metamagic feat apply to the SLA? It doesn't have a spell slot to increase. I don't understand how it works.

Third, it's excessively powerful. Like, if it works the way I think it does, I can make every use of Corruption a quickened maximized empowered use? That's ridiculous. Suddenly the damage I estimated earlier more than doubles, and I can use all three of my DoT abilities every round. And that's without getting into the numerous other metamagic feats that I could be applying to it. Such as Dazing Spell. Or Extend Spell. Or Piercing Spell. Or Elemental Spell. And yeah, that means I basically took nothing but metamagic feats, but who cares? I can kill everything.

BananaPhone
2015-09-05, 11:37 PM
Yeah, sorry. It's nothing personal; I review everything this harshly. I'm the kind of person that can and does spend half an hour griping about a book, with maybe one or two nice comments thrown in, and then give it a four-star review. It's just how I look at things, I guess.

I'm not very good at being nice, so I'll just put it like this: If I didn't think there was something here worth doing, I would not have taken the time to write up that commentary. You've got the concept. You just need to refine it and balance it if you want it to work in an actual game.


Aye, I don't take it personally. Most of the time I even have a bit of impish fun with Gwyn :smallwink:. But occasionally, with all the effort I've sunk into it, some reassurance would be nice.


I'm in-and-out of the boards today, so I'm just going to respond to one of your points:



I would recommend you start at level 3 or earlier if you want it to be a main class feature. In fact, the best way might be to look at witch hexes, since that seems to be the closest thing to what you're going for here. Make them individually pretty weak, but you get one every other level. That way you're consistently getting new abilities, and you don't risk any single ability being outlandishly powerful.


I'm not sure the witches hexes are the most apt comparison, but I can definitely see where you're coming from.

What I'm going to attempt to do is offer three branches of playstyle for the class which revolve around what choices are made in regards to the grimoire.

The three styles can be summed up as:
- Parasitic; This branch will get Siphon Life and the bit-of-corruption-damage-heals-you, and the harvest life etc they'll rely more on their DoT's to do damage and will have the greater ability to steal HP from the enemy but will require more HP sacrifice to fuel their abilities, thus more parasitic.

- Devil/demon: This is more of a demonologist, and will have abilities that help them with summons and turning them into something that more resembles the caster-and-pet combo. They won't have the life-stealing ability of the parasite or the firepower of the hellfire warlock, instead they'll be using more of a combo of their summons and spells.

- Hellfire: They'll get abilities that help up their damage output to be a bit more immediate. Where parastic gets siphon life and devil/demon gets a pet, they'll get Curse of Agony, and some other abilities that helps the raw damage output of them and their party.



That's what I'm going to gun for at the moment.

Gwynfrid
2015-09-06, 09:06 PM
I guess it won't come as a surprise that I agree 100% with every single thing steinulfr wrote. Yeah, it's a bit harsh, but I've known worse, and the point is to help you, not to break your balls (although it may provoke similar feelings). Let me assure you we're less harsh than your fellow players would be, if your character was allowed in a playtest next to their by-the-book PCs.

If you really have three fairly different concepts in mind, then I recommend you develop only one fully, and make sure it is balanced. Then you add the other two as archetypes. This way, it will be less work, because there will be less moving parts to manage at a time. Your archetypes, based on a solid foundation, will be easier to balance.

Finally, to address the perennial issue of your Corruption damage, let me borrow from steinulfr, with a twist: I suggest you model this on the alchemist's Bomb damage. That's 1d6, plus 1d6 every other level above 1 (2d6 at level 3, 3d6 at level 5 etc), plus your Cha bonus. Then, instead of the alchemist's splash damage, you get recurring damage equal to the minimum damage of the initial hit. This lasts for 1/level rounds or until a Fort save is made, whicever is earlier. Also, do away with the restriction that only one Corruption works at a time: If you throw it again, it does its inital damage, and resets the round counter. Make that ability usable a number of times per day equal to level + Cha (like the alchemist bomb). Keep the ranged touch attack, no save for the initial hit (again similar to the alchemist's Bomb).

Then as you build your Thesis, you can modify this initially modest class feature so it becomes increasingly impressive. For example you can throw more than one per round, you can add debilitating effects, change the damage type, make it a cone area of effect, etc.

ylvathrall
2015-09-06, 09:52 PM
I guess it won't come as a surprise that I agree 100% with every single thing steinulfr wrote. Yeah, it's a bit harsh, but I've known worse, and the point is to help you, not to break your balls (although it may provoke similar feelings). Let me assure you we're less harsh than your fellow players would be, if your character was allowed in a playtest next to their by-the-book PCs.

If you really have three fairly different concepts in mind, then I recommend you develop only one fully, and make sure it is balanced. Then you add the other two as archetypes. This way, it will be less work, because there will be less moving parts to manage at a time. Your archetypes, based on a solid foundation, will be easier to balance.

Finally, to address the perennial issue of your Corruption damage, let me borrow from steinulfr, with a twist: I suggest you model this on the alchemist's Bomb damage. That's 1d6, plus 1d6 every other level above 1 (2d6 at level 3, 3d6 at level 5 etc), plus your Cha bonus. Then, instead of the alchemist's splash damage, you get recurring damage equal to the minimum damage of the initial hit. This lasts for 1/level rounds or until a Fort save is made, whicever is earlier. Also, do away with the restriction that only one Corruption works at a time: If you throw it again, it does its inital damage, and resets the round counter. Make that ability usable a number of times per day equal to level + Cha (like the alchemist bomb). Keep the ranged touch attack, no save for the initial hit (again similar to the alchemist's Bomb).

Then as you build your Thesis, you can modify this initially modest class feature so it becomes increasingly impressive. For example you can throw more than one per round, you can add debilitating effects, change the damage type, make it a cone area of effect, etc.

Oddly enough, I think this is actually nerfing the Corruption ability a little bit too much. I agree with the damage amount, but I would not do the number of uses that way. Alchemist gets it like that because that class has a lot of other things going on with extracts and mutagens.

Although I guess this does bring up the issue with spells again. At this point, I feel like there are really three analogues to this in published classes. Witch has at-will abilities and a full casting progression, but most hexes are very focused on debuffs and not as strong as spells at comparable levels. There's only one hex that does actual damage, it only does 3d8 Fortitude half, and it isn't available until level 10 minimum. Hexes are also not spammable on one target, so there is a distinction there as well.

You could also compare it to alchemists with their bombs and extracts. But bombs are limited per day, and extracts aren't a full casting progression. So again, not a straight comparison.

And then there's kineticist, which I think is probably the best analogue. Kineticist does the same base damage as what you're proposing, without the damage over time addition, and they can do it completely at-will. But they have no casting, and only very limited ability to mimic spells.

So, comparing it to these three, it seems like it's head and shoulders above any of them. It seems like to bring it down to that level it would need to either make Corruption limited in uses per day or drop the casting and go somewhere like the kineticist with macabre theses providing limited spell-like abilities.

Gwynfrid
2015-09-07, 08:00 PM
Oddly enough, I think this is actually nerfing the Corruption ability a little bit too much. I agree with the damage amount, but I would not do the number of uses that way. Alchemist gets it like that because that class has a lot of other things going on with extracts and mutagens.

Correct. I wrote it that way under the assumption that the warlock remains a full caster class. If he were a half-caster like the alchemist, then he would need either more abilities or a more powerful version of Corruption (at-will would probably be all right).


Although I guess this does bring up the issue with spells again. At this point, I feel like there are really three analogues to this in published classes. Witch has at-will abilities and a full casting progression, but most hexes are very focused on debuffs and not as strong as spells at comparable levels. There's only one hex that does actual damage, it only does 3d8 Fortitude half, and it isn't available until level 10 minimum. Hexes are also not spammable on one target, so there is a distinction there as well.

You could also compare it to alchemists with their bombs and extracts. But bombs are limited per day, and extracts aren't a full casting progression. So again, not a straight comparison.

And then there's kineticist, which I think is probably the best analogue. Kineticist does the same base damage as what you're proposing, without the damage over time addition, and they can do it completely at-will. But they have no casting, and only very limited ability to mimic spells.

So, comparing it to these three, it seems like it's head and shoulders above any of them. It seems like to bring it down to that level it would need to either make Corruption limited in uses per day or drop the casting and go somewhere like the kineticist with macabre theses providing limited spell-like abilities.

I like the kineticist comparison. This is a new class, I haven't tried, or even fully understood it yet. But it's the closest PF has to the old-school 3.0 warlock. Definitely an option to examine: If he has no spells at all, then the justification for at-will, serious damage dealing abilities is strong. On the other hand, when we see a strong Corruption ability next to "oh, and by the way I can also Fireball like anybody else" then we tend to want to nerf it.

BananaPhone
2015-09-07, 11:36 PM
If you really have three fairly different concepts in mind, then I recommend you develop only one fully, and make sure it is balanced. Then you add the other two as archetypes.


Archetypes are for dorks!

I'm thinking of the ways I can approach this but I haven't had time to pen my thoughts just yet.

Something I am thinking about, however, is restricting the base class spell list to spells available to the wizard/sorcerer from Transmution, Abjuration and Divination school. Then, depending on which path of power the player pursues through their macabre thesis, they either add onto that Necromancy (parasitic), conjuration (demonologist) or evocation (hellfire). As they advance levels they'll gain abilities/buffs/boosts that help them get the most out of their playstyle.

It'll also help the problem of something like, the parasitic warlock that's got siphon life/corruption/harvest life giving them huge amounts of HP back but then throwing fireballs around - they won't be able to do it. But the warlock that's chosen the hellfire path that doesn't have the hp-stealing abilities of the parasite has more upfront boomage instead.

I'll try and write it out in the coming days when I don't have other things tugging on my attention.

BananaPhone
2015-09-18, 11:26 PM
I haven't forgotten about this. Unfortunately I haven't had the time to devote much to it recently.

I am slowly making progress on coalescing a direction for the grimoire. I started with the idea of it enabling a player to branch into three different styles of play. But as fun as that idea is, I'm struggling to make the time just for the main class.

So what I've decided to try and focus on is have it diverge into two different styles of play and join that with what spells they have access to. All Warlocks have access to the wizard/sorc spells from the abjuration, divination and transmution spell schools, and depending which way you go with your grimoire you get 2 more.

On one hand you've got the parasitic, life-stealing, debuffing style of play which includes siphon life, harvest life etc. Best thought of as a parasitic debuffer, it also includes the necromancy/illusion spell schools. Thematically they're more in tune with the Void, with the darkness between the stars and the madness within.

On the other will be the demonologist which is more of a minion-mancer blaster. They'll have their familiar, summons/callings and link their ability to soak damage with their pets. They'll get the conjuration/evocation spell schools. Their studies have conduced them more into bringing order and control to the raw ether of magic to be found in the infernal and abyssal planes.

That's what I'm hoping to do anyway. I'm gm'ing a game and playing in a couple others, plus I've got postgrad and a personal writing project and a gf I'm contending with, and I play WoW on the side lol so I've got a lot on my plate atm.

Gwynfrid
2015-09-19, 07:14 AM
Looks like you're in for a complete overhaul. At this stage, I can only give you a general opinion:
- You're thinking of this based on the class' theme rather than mechanics. That's the right approach, imo.
- Now, about mechanics: If it is a full caster, no matter how restricted the schools are, then any additional capabilities should be commensurate with that of full casters, for example the witch's hex or the sorcerer's bloodline powers.
- If less than full caster (ie half caster or not caster at all) then you have much more room for iconic abilities like Corruption, Siphon etc to be truly powerful, as opposed to just side shows.

BananaPhone
2015-09-19, 07:33 AM
I'm playing around with the idea of using the Summoner spell progression.

ylvathrall
2015-09-19, 03:26 PM
I'm playing around with the idea of using the Summoner spell progression.

I would support moving to a half-caster progression, but beware of actually mimicking summoner. That class is possibly the single most frequently banned one Paizo has made (the only one which is more frequently banned in my experience is gunslinger, and that's for reasons of setting rather than power). Even after they nerfed it (sort of) in Unchained, it's still a divisive class.

TheifofZ
2015-09-19, 05:40 PM
Oh hey, this is nifty, and it's headed in a cool direction.
I'd agree on going half progression; the At-will SLAs are very strong already (you still need to update those in the OP if you were planning on nerfing them, I think?)
Corruption: SLA, Ranged touch, 1d6/caster level initial damage (up to 20d6? that's really high for an at will.) and persists for 1 round per 2 caster levels.
That comes out to, on an At-will effect, a max damage of 200d6 to a single target of Shadow Damage. Taking the 3.5 average... 700 damage over 20 rounds.
With a single standard action.
True, DoT effects are hard to balance for, but in general, a front-loaded ability should have about 2/3rds to 3/5ths the total damage of a DoT, balancing action economy against sustained resource consumption. Consider Changing Corruption to 1d6/2 caster levels and 1d6/3 caster levels DoT.
(D&D 3.5e Warlock's Eldritch Blast did 1d6/2 caster levels with no DoT, so this is still fairly strong.)
Of course, this means you'd have to change Curse of Agony to keep it's identity. Make it a single Will Partial/ turn based Fort half, and add on a damage amplification effect of, say, 1d6/5 caster levels (will negates) that occurs whenever the target takes damage from any other source. With the saves attached, you could remove the Ray and subsequent required attack roll completely.

Then, since there's still plenty of damage from the built-in class abilities, you could reduce the spell progression and tweak the spell list to include more debuffs and a few secondary offensive options.

BananaPhone
2015-09-19, 11:51 PM
I would support moving to a half-caster progression, but beware of actually mimicking summoner. That class is possibly the single most frequently banned one Paizo has made (the only one which is more frequently banned in my experience is gunslinger, and that's for reasons of setting rather than power). Even after they nerfed it (sort of) in Unchained, it's still a divisive class.

Isn't the controversy surrounding the speed at which they get spells? Like, the Summoner gets Haste as a level 2 spell that they'll have access to at level 4, one level before a wizard?

I know there's a lot of...caution surrounding the synthesist summoner and the master summoner because one churns out huge amounts of natural attacks or something and the other breaks the action economy of the game.



Oh hey, this is nifty, and it's headed in a cool direction.


*ears perk*

What's that? Positive feedback?!

*basks*



I'd agree on going half progression; the At-will SLAs are very strong already (you still need to update those in the OP if you were planning on nerfing them, I think?)
Corruption: SLA, Ranged touch, 1d6/caster level initial damage (up to 20d6? that's really high for an at will.) and persists for 1 round per 2 caster levels.
That comes out to, on an At-will effect, a max damage of 200d6 to a single target of Shadow Damage. Taking the 3.5 average... 700 damage over 20 rounds.
With a single standard action.

Hmm, that is strange. It's supposed to be 1d6 per 2 caster levels, thus why I added on there "to a minimum of 1d6" for 1st level.

It should be 1d6/2 class levels ever other round for 1 round/2 class levels. So at level 10 your DoT will do 5d6 damage every 2 rounds for 10 rounds. If they make none of their saves over 10 rounds that'd average 87.5 damage (or 8.75 damage a round), if they make all of their saves it'd average 43.75 damage (or 4.75 damage a round).


Of course, this means you'd have to change Curse of Agony to keep it's identity. Make it a single Will Partial/ turn based Fort half, and add on a damage amplification effect of, say, 1d6/5 caster levels (will negates) that occurs whenever the target takes damage from any other source. With the saves attached, you could remove the Ray and subsequent required attack roll completely.


It's possible. I'm probably going to give Agony to the Demonologist branch and have it do less damage but it does it every round. Demonologists will have Corruption + Agony as their damage dots and the parasite will have Corruption + Siphon Life.


Then, since there's still plenty of damage from the built-in class abilities, you could reduce the spell progression and tweak the spell list to include more debuffs and a few secondary offensive options.

At the moment what attracts me to the summoner progression is that you could end up being a lvl 20 lock and have access to those really cool and thematic end-game spells, like Create Greater Demiplane, Gate, Symbol of Insanity etc It's going to take a bit of work to figure all of that out so I'm leaving it till last, but I think it's worth it.

TheifofZ
2015-09-20, 03:31 AM
Copy/Pasted from the original post:
"Corruption:
The Warlock wills an affliction upon a chosen opponent and leaves them to rot away from its entropic touch. Corruption is a Spell-like Ability that takes a standard action to cast and has a range of 30 + 5 ft. per caster level that requires a Ranged Touch Attack to hit and inflicts 1d6 Shadow Damage per caster level (rounded down), to a minimum of 1d6. This spell remains on a target for 1 round per 2 caster levels (rounded down) for a minimum of 1 round. Only one corruption can be active upon a target at a time."

I did note that you were talking about bringing those down, hence the mild confusion when I recalled it said '1d6 shadow damage per caster level (rounded down)'.
I'll probably keep one eye tilted in this general direction to see where this goes, because I am pretty excited about it.

... Even if I did like the Mage class better, back when I did play. :smallbiggrin:
Single Target Fire spec for days.

BananaPhone
2015-09-27, 02:43 AM
This is what I've got written so far for the "parasite" branch of the Warlock path, which I've called Path of the Void.

It's not polished yet and it's in draft form. This is a little rushed as a) I want to keep this discussion alive and felt I had to put something here sooner rather than later, and b) I've got to go to the movies tonight and am a little hurried as of posting this >_<. I've tried to put some pictures in as a feeling for the "ambiance" this path of power has. Unfortunately because I'm in a rush I could only put in 3 >_<.

I also found this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hctYB7Lpppo to be really cool to listen to when thinking of things as well.



Path of the Void


Monikor: Voidlocks

http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh483/tempestII/TheVoid.jpg?t=1443251876



The Void is a concept not fully understood by the mortal denizens of the material plane. To the uninitiated it is less a thing as much as it is a plug used to fill the exposed gaps of ignorance in those who encounter things outside their understanding. For those who have pledged themselves to its study, however, the void is so much more. Its influence is felt in everything and its presence resides in the darkness between stars, the layers of reality and the paradigms of time and space. Indeed, it is claimed that all that can be beheld is a manifest extension of the Voids omnipresence and that without its encompassing influence no plane of existence would be held together.

Therefore the possibilities open to one who could reach into the tapestry of existence and rework its threads for their own ends are nearly limitless. Or so believe the Voidlocks. Like engineers that study the mechanical so that their understanding could lead to further innovation and control, a Voidlock sifts through the building blocks of existence in search of power and knowledge. Whether benign or selfish the Voidlock will inevitably develop powers that are frightening to the common man, powers that may even worm their way into the Voidlocks mind and twist their mental perspective into something truly alien. Whether their actions make them an engineer or a parasite is up the Voidlock in question, but one thing is certain to those that walk this perilous path of power: the Void is greater in magnitude than any mortal mind could ever hope to comprehend.




Soultear


The Voidlock directs a sliver of their attention into the matrix that holds their enemies physical form together and begins to twist, tear and rend. Excruciating pain rips across the targets body as they are pulled apart on a spiritual level, their soul screaming silently in agony and their body rotting from within. The cold menace of the Void seeps into their muscles and worms its way inside their mind, slowing their reactions and freezing their brain.

Soultear replaces Corruption and is gained at level 3.

Soultear is a Spell-like Ability that takes a standard action to cast and has a range of 30 + 5 ft. per caster level that requires a Ranged Touch Attack to hit and inflicts 1d6 Force Damage for every 2 class levels (rounded down), to a minimum of 1d6, once every 2 rounds. This spell remains on a target for 1 round per 2 caster levels (rounded down) for a minimum of 1 round. Only one Soultear can be active upon a target at a time.

Every time the target takes damage they are permitted a Fortitude or Willpower save (whichever is lower) to reduce the damage by half.

Additionally, every time a target takes damage from Soultear they must succeed on a Fortitude or Will save (whichever is lower) against a DC of 10 + ½ the Warlocks Class Levels + the Warlocks Charisma Modifier, or be Sickened for 1 round.

Soultear can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage’s Disjunction or antimagic field.


Phantasmical Reality


The Voidlock has reached a point of understanding that they are no longer entirely bound to the Material plane. For short-lived moments of ecstasy, the Voidlock can extend themselves between dimensions, reality and even space and time, putting them outside the reach of those who would seek them harm. Their image flickers with ethereal static, and to their companions they may seem to occasionally materialise in and out of existence as washed down shadows of their former selves. However, for all their growing insight the Voidlock is, ultimately, mortal, and as yet has not fully mastered his gateway into the void, and thus his extensions remain capricious at best.

Phantasmical Reality is gained at level 5.

Phantasmical Reality is a Spell-like Ability that the Warlock casts on themselves as a standard action an amount of times per day equal to 3 + the Warlocks charisma modifier. Each casting lasts for 1 round per class level. During this time the Warlock gains total concealment with an enemy miss chance equal to 1d100%.



http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh483/tempestII/dark_sorcerer_29_picture_fantasy_06_201-2_hd-wallpaper-1098425.jpg?t=1443251963


Nightmare


From the infinite Void the Voidlock calls a servant, his lone companion. Answering his summons is a spectral horse whose cold temperment is matched only by its swift beauty.

Nightmare is gained at level 5.

The warlock can cast Phantom Steed as a Spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his class level. If the Phantom Steed ever dies it does not actually die as much as it is temporarily sent back to the Void. Thus when the Voidlock recalls his servant, the Phantom Steed summoned will be the same one as before.


Parasite


The Voidlock summons forth from the Void a parasite that burrows into the targets soul and eats away at the stiches that hold their material form together. As the parasite gorges itself it shares its feasts with the Voidlock, returning its digested meal through a spiritual bond that reinvigorates the Voidlocks body and fills them with life.

Siphon Life is gained at level 6.

Siphon Life is a Spell-like Ability that requires a standard action to cast, with a range of 30 + 5ft. per caster level that inflicts 1d6 Force damage per 3 caster levels. This spell remains on a target for 1 round per 2 caster levels. Damaged caused by this spell is then added to the Warlock in the form of hit points. This cannot increase the Warlocks hit point total above its maximum. No hit points are returned to the warlock from damage caused to summoned creatures beneath the Warlocks control.

Parasite can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage’s Disjunction or antimagic field.

Gift of the Old Ones

The Voidlock reaches into the targets brain and impresses upon it a sliver of the Voids cold menace that seizes their faculties and stupefies their wits. When the target speaks they no longer talk in their native language and instead babble in what others can only think of as incoherent gibberish. These phonetics are not the ramblings of a madman, however, as they are instead a small sample of the alphabet employed by the Old Ones that reside at the centre of the Void. To the target this may seem as a curse, but in fact it is merely a temporary instinct into their perspective which could allow them to achieve heights of insight previously out of their reach. Afterall there is a fine line between genius and madness.

Gift of the Old Ones is gained at level 7.

Gift of the Old Ones is a Spell-like Ability that requires a standard action to cast. It has a range of 30 + 5 ft. per class level and requires a successful Ranged Touch Attack and is subject to Spell Resistance. Randomly determine one of the following: attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks. To one of these the target receives a bonus equal to ½ your warlock level (minimum +1) and a penalty to the other two types of rolls equal to ½ your Warlock level (minimum –1). This effect fades after 3 rounds. The Warlock is aware of what receives the bonus and what receives the penalty. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.


Fold Space


The Warlock begins to see the tapestry of reality all about him and how he, with practised skilled, can fold two pieces of that cloth together so that he may move between them, covering a great distance with only a single step.

Fold Space is gained at level 7.

The Warlock becomes able to cast Dimension Door as a Spell-like ability a number of times equal to 3 + their Charisma modifier. The warlocks class level substitutes for caster level.

At 9th level, the Warlock is able to cast Teleport with the same conditions applied.

At 13th level, the Warlock is able to cast Greater Teleport with the same conditions applied.

At 17th level, the Warlock is able to cast both Teleportation Circle and Interplanetary Teleport with the same conditions applied.



https://qph.is.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-fdcb45cd1c3c73e7d49d4e7d812e6816?convert_to_webp=t rue


Touch of Madness

An ability preserved for those who truly displease the Voidlock, Stupify opens a miniature gateway inside the targets mind and allows a modicum of the Void to flood inside. The result is nothing short of a harrowing, mind-bending horror visited upon the unfortunate target that only they can see and comprehend, as a world of nightmares grasps their mind and anchors it into the pit of madness, leaving them a blissfully gurgling labotomised mess whose eyes stare into the distance at objects only they can see.

Touch of Madness is gained at level 9.

Touch of Madness is a Spell-like Ability with a range of 30 + 5 ft. per class level that requires a standard action to cast and a successful Ranged Touch Attack to hit, and is subject to Spell Resistance. Targets are allowed a Will save equal to 10 + ½ your warlock + your charisma modifier.

On a failed save, the target loses 3d10 points of Intelligence which will return at a rate of 1 every 2 days. Those reduced to 0 intelligence by this spell are not dead, but are instead lobotomised and comatose until they recover. Those who are not reduced to 0 intelligence by this are subject to the Confusion spell. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.


The Great Devourer

The Voidlock tears a hole into reality that draws in everything within its influence: material, mind and soul. Those trapped inside the ever shifting folds of space-tear are twisted and warped, their minds bending and their bodies torn as all that they are is chewed and swallowed by the shapeless maw and fed into the great beyond and the soul of the Warlock.

The Great Devourer is gained at level 11.

The Great Devourer is a Spell-like Ability with a range of 10 feet per class level. The Voidlock choses a designated target and makes spell resistance rolls as normal, and from that chosen point all targets within a 20-ft. radius spread are subjected to The Great Devourer and take 1d6 Force damage per caster level, with those affected permitted a Fortitude or Willpower save (whichever is lower) to take half damage. In addition, those who fail the save are considered Nauseated for the duration of the spell. The Great Devourer stays in existence for 1d3 rounds, after which it dissipates.

Those reduced to 0 hp by The Great Devourer are sucked into the Void, never to be seen again.

Finally, the Warlock gains half the total hp damage caused by The Great Devourer. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.



Eye of the Void

The Warlock has become a master of the Void to such a point that the material reality has little concern for them. They see the tapestry of existence and can reach forth to pluck at its strings and retailor it to functions that they find most pleasing.

Eye of the Void is a passive ability acquired at level 17.

The Warlocks class abilities are no longer subject to any form of Energy Resistance, Damage Reduction or any other spell, spell-like ability, supernatural ability, extraordinary ability, or feat or any other influence that would reduce their damage or effectiveness as written, with the exception that targets are still allowed saves as normal. In addition, Warlocks consider targets Spell Resistance as ½ of what it normally is, and can ignore Spell Resistance/Magic Immunity for 1 round per day equal to their Charisma Modifier.

ylvathrall
2015-09-27, 03:35 AM
So I feel like this is a step in the right direction in some ways, and a step in the wrong direction in others.

First off, the good. I'm finally getting the feeling that this class has a really interesting concept that's not expressed well by another class. A character built entirely around a connection to the void? There's a strong theme there, it's interesting, and it's very hard to get at with any of the existing classes that I can think of. That's huge. That makes me think this class is finally going in the right direction. The degree of damage inflicted by the damage over time abilities is scaled back a little, to a more reasonable value. There are more interesting abilities, and fewer levels which don't get anything fun. These are all very good things.

But, because there's always a but, it also has some problems.

First off, I'm still getting something of the impression that this class's abilities are a little too hard to resist. For one thing, force damage is a short step below untyped damage in terms of being very hard to stop. It's very rare to find something that has any way of specifically negating force damage. Second, forcing someone to use the lower of two saves is extremely harsh. Between that and the high save DC, probably most of the things you hit with this ability will have to get very lucky to have a chance of making their saves.

Second, some of the wording is odd or imprecise. Total concealment of 1d100, for example, is a weird thing to say; I'm not sure how I'm supposed to implement that. Total concealment has very specific effects which go beyond just a miss chance; are those effects included? Because if so this ability is quite strong. Also, is that d100 roll made once when the ability is used, once every round, or once against each attack? Later on, the line in the Great Devourer ability "Those reduced to 0 hp by The Great Devourer are sucked into the Void, never to be seen again" is annoyingly vague. I see this being used by rules lawyers in both directions. On the one hand, I could make the case that I was actually reduced to negative hit points, so this effect doesn't activated. On the other, a literal reading of this line suggests that not even a deity could bring this person back, in which case the ability is pretty incredibly strong. Even disregarding everything else it does, being able to eradicate an enemy beyond literally any way of it coming back is probably the equivalent of a ninth level spell at the least. Your notes about not recovering hitpoints from summoned creatures under the warlock's control is a nice attempt to limit exploitation, but it doesn't account for a whole lot of other ways around this. I could have someone else summon the monster, for example. I could use undead. I could use followers.

Third, and somewhat related to the earlier two, some of these are just too strong. Fold Space is worded in an unclear manner, but if I'm reading it right you get a whole lot of spell-like abilities out of it. And they're spells that are competitive for your level, too. Even just being able to dodge the material component of teleportation circle isn't insignificant. Touch of Madness does way too much Int damage (especially if I were to, say, maximize it), and I don't get why it comes back more slowly than normal ability damage. At least I'm presuming this is damage, because if it's drain then it needs even more of a nerf. Applying confusion (a spell one level below the max available at level 9, by the way) on top of this is just too much.

Eye of the Void, though, takes the cake. It's worded so vaguely that it lets me do almost anything. I could plausibly say something like, "Well, hit point damage reduces my effectiveness, so that dragon's breath weapon doesn't actually work against me." Or, hey, I'm a vampire! Sunlight definitely makes me less effective, and the sun counts as an "other influence," so I get to ignore the sun! Even if it only lets me bypass energy resistance, immunity to magic, and all other forms of resistance except one save that I already get to penalize heavily, it's still too much, even for a level 20 ability.

I know this is a draft form, of course. Consider this my suggestion of what needs to be addressed before the final version.

BananaPhone
2015-09-27, 06:31 AM
Great! I'll have some responses when i get home (Im typing from a phone at the moment).

BananaPhone
2015-09-27, 09:09 AM
Well, I'm back from seeing the Maze Runner 2! And can now address things.



So I feel like this is a step in the right direction in some ways, and a step in the wrong direction in others.

First off, the good. I'm finally getting the feeling that this class has a really interesting concept that's not expressed well by another class. A character built entirely around a connection to the void? There's a strong theme there, it's interesting, and it's very hard to get at with any of the existing classes that I can think of. That's huge. That makes me think this class is finally going in the right direction. The degree of damage inflicted by the damage over time abilities is scaled back a little, to a more reasonable value. There are more interesting abilities, and fewer levels which don't get anything fun. These are all very good things.

Excellent, I'm glad things are taking shape. I hope to do this for the demologist path of power that'll come along once we've got this one down.




First off, I'm still getting something of the impression that this class's abilities are a little too hard to resist. For one thing, force damage is a short step below untyped damage in terms of being very hard to stop. It's very rare to find something that has any way of specifically negating force damage. Second, forcing someone to use the lower of two saves is extremely harsh. Between that and the high save DC, probably most of the things you hit with this ability will have to get very lucky to have a chance of making their saves.

While writing the new damage-dealing abilities I was scratching my head thinking of an appropriate damage type.

I had a look at some of the Void spells (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/wizard/arcane-schools/paizo---arcane-schools/elemental-arcane-schools/void-elemental-school) and things like Twilight Knife did Force damage. Call the Void did untyped damage. Orb of the Void simply took peoples levels away (i.e deals with negative damage). So I figured that Force was the most compatible both in terms of theme/fluff, and mechanics.

The reasoning behind the two saves was that each attack attacks someone in both the physical and mental sense. So even if someone passed a fort save, their mind is being rotted away by an effect.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, that sort of thing.

I also pinned it on the foundation that Fort and Will tend to both be monsters strongest saves (or at least, they're better than reflex, on average). So as the levels progressed the difference between Fort/Will of those they were encountering were, typically, within about 1-5 of each other.

What are your thoughts?




Second, some of the wording is odd or imprecise. Total concealment of 1d100, for example, is a weird thing to say; I'm not sure how I'm supposed to implement that. Total concealment has very specific effects which go beyond just a miss chance; are those effects included? Because if so this ability is quite strong. Also, is that d100 roll made once when the ability is used, once every round, or once against each attack?

Ah yes, I see.

Yes, I erred in writing it (first draft and all).

Essentially it's supposed to be Displacement. But. At the beginning of each round the player rolls 1d100, and that's the % miss chance someone has when targeting them with attacks, spells etc (which they can still do, even if it is total concealment).

So Sally the Voidlock casts Phantastimical Reality and rolls 63, for example. Now any attack she takes she's got 63% chance of it missing. Next round she rolls 18, so now any attack has 18% chance of missing etc

So yeah, it's just like Displacement, except it has a 50/50 chance of being better or worse, and things like True Seeing don't work against it.




Later on, the line in the Great Devourer ability "Those reduced to 0 hp by The Great Devourer are sucked into the Void, never to be seen again" is annoyingly vague. I see this being used by rules lawyers in both directions. On the one hand, I could make the case that I was actually reduced to negative hit points, so this effect doesn't activated. On the other, a literal reading of this line suggests that not even a deity could bring this person back, in which case the ability is pretty incredibly strong. Even disregarding everything else it does, being able to eradicate an enemy beyond literally any way of it coming back is probably the equivalent of a ninth level spell at the least.


Ah, whoops! Hah, that part about "never to be seen again" was the story-teller in me speaking up. I figured it'd be a cool after-effect that those the ability kills get sucked into the Void, "never to be seen again" spooky-like :smalltongue::. It was more of the fluff speaking than mechanics.

I figured that it was a frightening property of the ability for someone who was facing a voidlock. Do you know that spell, Hellfire Ray or something? To me that is the most terrifying spell in the wizards list because it states that anyone who dies to it has their soul sent to the infernal plane.

No ifs. No buts. Doesn't matter what your deity says. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Go straight to hell (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXnsEDxxKB0).

That's...****ing terrifying.

I know for characters of that level it's just a fluff consideration on the peripherals of the chessboard. But I read that sentence and could only imagine the pants-****ting terror anyone would have of that ability and the idea of dying to it and having their soul go to the infernal planes to get tormented by devils/demons. Imagine being a normal person in that kind of world? A normal person that didn't have buddies to resurrect them or Deities paying attention to their deads. Refuse to wash the car of the the local dark wizard and you spend eternity in torment.

So I guess I wanted to add similar fluff to this ability, something to make it very scary to face, not just mechanically but story wise as well.

However, I see what you're talking about though in regards to interventions, resurrections etc.

So would the solution be to state that "for those reduced to 0 hitpoints or less", and then add a clause saying that a resurrection spell alone won't bring someone back? They have to be located first by other means.

Now that you know my intention behind that addition, what are your thoughts? How would you word it?



Your notes about not recovering hitpoints from summoned creatures under the warlock's control is a nice attempt to limit exploitation, but it doesn't account for a whole lot of other ways around this. I could have someone else summon the monster, for example. I could use undead. I could use followers.


What other things do you think should be added?

I ask that because there is the danger of over-thinking safeguards and trying to counter every possibility crafty/nasty combo and sterilising it in the process.



Third, and somewhat related to the earlier two, some of these are just too strong. Fold Space is worded in an unclear manner, but if I'm reading it right you get a whole lot of spell-like abilities out of it. And they're spells that are competitive for your level, too. Even just being able to dodge the material component of teleportation circle isn't insignificant.


Reading Circle of Teleportation again, it's probably better off being taken out of "Fold Space".

What if each successive spell replaces the last?

So, initially the Voidlock can cast Dimension Door as a SLA. Then once they advance to level 9, that ability gets replaced with Teleport and so on and so forth.


Touch of Madness does way too much Int damage (especially if I were to, say, maximize it), and I don't get why it comes back more slowly than normal ability damage. At least I'm presuming this is damage, because if it's drain then it needs even more of a nerf. Applying confusion (a spell one level below the max available at level 9, by the way) on top of this is just too much.

Oh, none of the Voidlocks abilities can be modified with metamagic. So you can't maximise empower a Touch of Madness to take away 45 intelligence points :smalltongue:. You're a Voidlock, not Jersey Shore. You're not that evil.

The "more slowly than ability damage" was me making a typo (that was supposed to be 1 point per day, not per 2 days). Normal rate of 1 per 8 hours does seem fine though instead!

Oh? Applying Confusion is too much?

Hmm, well I figured it was a good way of replicating someone just getting almost lobotomised by the spell if they failed the save. But if it is just salt-in-the-wounds then the ability can still remain good without it, so it can get removed.



Eye of the Void, though, takes the cake. It's worded so vaguely that it lets me do almost anything. I could plausibly say something like, "Well, hit point damage reduces my effectiveness, so that dragon's breath weapon doesn't actually work against me." Or, hey, I'm a vampire! Sunlight definitely makes me less effective, and the sun counts as an "other influence," so I get to ignore the sun! Even if it only lets me bypass energy resistance, immunity to magic, and all other forms of resistance except one save that I already get to penalize heavily, it's still too much, even for a level 20 ability.

Ahh, this was a similar ability to "Soulburn", one of the capstone Macabre Thesis abilities. Basically, the idea behind it is to keep all of the warlocks abilities competitive in the levels where something like 5d6 damage means nothing and creatures carry a boatload of immunities that makes the debuffing of the warlock useless ("Your Touch of Mandess does intelligence damage? Well who cares this level 19 creature is immune to ability damage"). The spirit behind it is to keep these abilities competitive and relevant.

They're definitely not intended as a means of someone going "The dragons breath reduces my effectiveness so I ignore it, hur hur hur!" before that person gets shot by the GM with a hammergun.


How would you word it to accomplish that without opening the gates for abuses such as you're concerned about?


I know this is a draft form, of course. Consider this my suggestion of what needs to be addressed before the final version.

Not at all, I'm glad we're getting there :smallsmile:


Two abilities that I am wanting to put in (but didn't have the time to type), was a permanent Arcane Sight (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/a/arcane-sight) to represent the Voidlocks ability to 'see' the multifaceted nature of reality, space and time, as well as a Clone-like (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/c/clone) spell where the Voidlock stores an astral copy of themselves in the Void that awakens when their former self dies. Also a spell that temporarily imprisons someone in the Void would be awesome - like Maze. (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/maze.html)

Gwynfrid
2015-09-27, 10:39 AM
I agree with steinulfr on all counts. Especially, the abilities are now more focused around the theme. That's great.
In addition, I see you've taken a serious look at defense, a wise move.

On the negative side, I also agree with him, and will add a few more things.

1) Force damage is unreasonable. If you look at spells that do force damage, most are weapon-like (such as Twilight Knife), which mean they don't scale per level. Those that do, scale like d4/level, with a low cap. There's a reason: It's because force damage cannot be countered. You mentioned Call the Void, a great spell that does untyped damage, but it doesn't scale at all.

2) "Whichever is lowest" on two types of saves smacks of power grab. It disrupts game balance in a unique way. It's also tricky to justify from a flavor perspective, but I see you've thought of it:



The reasoning behind the two saves was that each attack attacks someone in both the physical and mental sense. So even if someone passed a fort save, their mind is being rotted away by an effect.
Interesting. Why not. But in that case it should be half mental damage (such as, Dazed effect? Off the cuff, I can't recall a Will-based spell that does hp damage, although there certainly are some); and half should be physical damage (not Force, which isn't the right flavor for that; negative energy sounds like the most likely option).

3) It's unclear which abilities are not subject to spell resistance, but I'll assume those where SR isn't mentioned are not. That's not reasonable. I'd make a blanket statement that everything that targets a creature is subject to SR (they're all spell-like abilities after all), unless otherwise mentioned (if any, and those should be exceptional and have a much lower damage base).

4) Which of these are at-will? From the lack of mention of a limit, I take it Soultear and Parasite both are. While you have reduced damage significantly, both remain serious damage-dealers. This makes adjustment difficult.

5) I think you're stacking a little too many abilities too close together between levels 5 and 7. Conversely, levels above 11 are sparsely populated.

6) Is Gift of the Old Ones intended as a debuff, or a buff? The random element means it's not a reliable buff, I wouldn't use it. As a debuff, it's rather risky, so I think it will be hard to use.

7) One thing strikes me: All of these things, except the Eye of the Void, are spell-like abilities. It looks like you'd have a much easier time making them new spells, and putting them in a new spell school. As written, it's a little unclear why you need a new class at all.

8) Eye of the Void made me laugh. You might as well have written it as "Eye of the Void: At 17th level, I shan't be denied. Ever." :smalltongue:

About Phantasmical Reality:


Essentially it's supposed to be Displacement. But. At the beginning of each round the player rolls 1d100, and that's the % miss chance someone has when targeting them with attacks, spells etc (which they can still do, even if it is total concealment).
This strikes me as more complicated than it needs to be. The average is the same as regular Displacement, but requires rolling more dice. There are 2 big ways to make yourself unpopular with your DM: One is to bring a vastly overpowered ability to the table; another is to make his/her life more complicated than it already is. By adding dice rolls and changing the parameters every round, you do the latter.



So yeah, it's just like Displacement, except it has a 50/50 chance of being better or worse, and things like True Seeing don't work against it.

Wow! So, this ability scores on both ways to make yourself unpopular with your DM :smallamused:


So would the solution be to state that "for those reduced to 0 hitpoints or less", and then add a clause saying that a resurrection spell alone won't bring someone back? They have to be located first by other means.

Now that you know my intention behind that addition, what are your thoughts? How would you word it?
I guess that could be OK, if the ability was 17th-level or so. Also, it shouldn't be "reduced 0 hp or less" but "killed". Otherwise, this is too much.

(One thing you really, really want to consider: If your DM is deserving of that role, then your group will face an enemy with the same class, only a couple of levels higher than you, at some point. Think about what it means for your teammates and your own survival.)

About Parasite as a self-healing tool on summoned monsters, etc:

What other things do you think should be added?

I ask that because there is the danger of over-thinking safeguards and trying to counter every possibility crafty/nasty combo and sterilising it in the process.
I think the best way to ensure this is to give it a limited number of uses per day. Then you can use it for healing without creating a balance problem. I would still restrict that use to living victims, though (that excludes constructs and undead). Energy-drain-like, similar to Vampiric Touch, is the cleanest option.


Reading Circle of Teleportation again, it's probably better off being taken out of "Fold Space".
I agree.


What if each successive spell replaces the last?
That's still a lot of teleportations per day, much more than a wizard would have. Maybe you could move those abilities 2 levels higher. With 1 level higher, you would be superior to a sorcerer of the same level, and you also have a bunch of other top-level abilities. So, I think 2 levels higher is a decent balance point.


The "more slowly than ability damage" was me making a typo (that was supposed to be 1 point per day, not per 2 days). Normal rate of 1 per 8 hours does seem fine though instead!
You'd benefit from using standard language, such as "suffers 3d10 Intelligence damage" instead of "lose 3d10 Intelligence". Then you don't need to specify a recovery rate at all.


Oh? Applying Confusion is too much?

Hmm, well I figured it was a good way of replicating someone just getting almost lobotomised by the spell if they failed the save. But if it is just salt-in-the-wounds then the ability can still remain good without it, so it can get removed.

Confusion is a huge side effect. In fact, on everybody but the wizard, it would be the main effect, before Int is reduced to 0. I would remove it.


Ahh, this was a similar ability to "Soulburn", one of the capstone Macabre Thesis abilities. Basically, the idea behind it is to keep all of the warlocks abilities competitive in the levels where something like 5d6 damage means nothing and creatures carry a boatload of immunities that makes the debuffing of the warlock useless ("Your Touch of Mandess does intelligence damage? Well who cares this level 19 creature is immune to ability damage"). The spirit behind it is to keep these abilities competitive and relevant.

They're definitely not intended as a means of someone going "The dragons breath reduces my effectiveness so I ignore it, hur hur hur!" before that person gets shot by the GM with a hammergun.

How would you word it to accomplish that without opening the gates for abuses such as you're concerned about?


I don't think you need this "remove all limits" ability at all. Either your regular abilities are balanced (not overpowered and not underpowered) against a Core caster of the same level, all the way to level 20, and then you don't need this sort of escape hatch... or they aren't, and then you need to work on them until you can be up to snuff. You wouldn't want to be all like "man, I really suck, but wait until I'm level 17 and you'll see..." In the same way, you wouldn't want to be in a position to say "I hope this guy in front of us isn't 17th level, because if he is, our defenses are all voided" either.

ylvathrall
2015-09-27, 01:00 PM
I agree with all of Gwynfrid's comments here, which probably isn't a huge surprise. I'll go ahead and mention some of the points in specific.

1) I know of only one creature offhand that specifically resists force damage, and it's a CR 26 undead kaiju (http://www.archivesofnethys.com/MonsterDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Agmazar%20the%20Star% 20Titan). Short of that, it's pretty much untyped damage for most purposes, except that it also affects incorporeal creatures normally. I would suggest either negative energy or cold damage for the void theme. Looking at class abilities which are sort of similar (the Dark Tapestry oracle mystery in particular), it seems like cold damage is the standard choice for most of them. That kind of makes sense, given that the void is leeching away heat. Negative energy damage would be similar, except leeching away life instead of heat.

2) Seconding the comment about extra work being obnoxious for the GM. If I were running this in real time, I would probably tell the player to just use 50 all the time and save myself another die roll every round. Really, it might be easiest to just say that this ability acts as displacement for all purposes; that way you don't need to worry about the language or it being overpowered.

3) Lowest of two saves is obnoxiously powerful. In particular because while Fortitude and Will are strong on high CR monsters on average, that doesn't mean that any given monster has both of them as good saves. Also imagine this as a player. Your wizard's good Will save and your fighter's good Fort save will both be irrelevant. That would be frustrating to me as a player.

If you want to go this route on fluff, I would recommend that either you use the higher of two saves, or the two saves are against different effects.

4) The Great Devourer ability should indeed read "killed." That simplifies it a lot. Also, include exactly what can bring them back. Raise dead doesn't work since you don't have a body, but what about resurrection? True resurrection? Miracle/wish? Is there something I need to do before I can resurrect them? Look at some abilities that do similar things (imprisonment, disintegrate, soul bind, and the sort) and see how they specify what does and does not work to counter them. Include similar language here and you will head off many, many arguments at the table.

5) You can't get around every way someone will come up with to get free healing, you're right about that. I would suggest either sharply limiting uses per day to keep it from being free infinite hitpoints, or make it give you temporary hitpoints that last like a minute or so, so that it's only really viable to use it during the fight. Or both.

6) Eye of the Void is just too much. As it is, it's worded so vaguely that you will get people trying the stuff I mentioned, if not even more absurd shenanigans. No question about it. If you must have this ability, it shouldn't be available earlier than as a level 20 capstone. Even then, the wording needs to be made a lot more specific. Don't just say "class features;" almost everything is technically a class feature, including HP, skill points, and base attack bonus. Say exactly what abilities are affected. Also, cut down what it bypasses. At the very least you should remove the "any other influence" part, and I might limit it to just energy resistance, damage resistance, and making it easier to get through spell resistance. I would also suggest that you drop the bit about bypassing magic immunity. There are very few creatures with that ability, and in every case it's an important part of their defenses that forces players to adopt different tactics than they would normally use. Getting by it is another "my character should be good against every enemy" sort of thing, which quite simply isn't how the game works. If a caster is fighting an enemy immune to magic, they either need to get clever or else accept that they won't contribute much. Warlocks should not be an exception to that.

BananaPhone
2015-09-29, 06:05 AM
I agree with all of Gwynfrid's comments here, which probably isn't a huge surprise. I'll go ahead and mention some of the points in specific.

I agree with steinulfr on all counts.

I assume this to be the case as much as I assume the sun to set :smalltongue:






1) Force damage is unreasonable. If you look at spells that do force damage, most are weapon-like (such as Twilight Knife), which mean they don't scale per level. Those that do, scale like d4/level, with a low cap. There's a reason: It's because force damage cannot be countered. You mentioned Call the Void, a great spell that does untyped damage, but it doesn't scale at all.

2) "Whichever is lowest" on two types of saves smacks of power grab. It disrupts game balance in a unique way.



1) I know of only one creature offhand that specifically resists force damage, and it's a CR 26 undead kaiju (http://www.archivesofnethys.com/MonsterDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Agmazar%20the%20Star% 20Titan). Short of that, it's pretty much untyped damage for most purposes, except that it also affects incorporeal creatures normally. I would suggest either negative energy or cold damage for the void theme. Looking at class abilities which are sort of similar (the Dark Tapestry oracle mystery in particular), it seems like cold damage is the standard choice for most of them. That kind of makes sense, given that the void is leeching away heat. Negative energy damage would be similar, except leeching away life instead of heat.

3) Lowest of two saves is obnoxiously powerful. In particular because while Fortitude and Will are strong on high CR monsters on average, that doesn't mean that any given monster has both of them as good saves. Also imagine this as a player. Your wizard's good Will save and your fighter's good Fort save will both be irrelevant. That would be frustrating to me as a player.


Well the problem is that this is venturing back into the "so easy to resist its useless" territory I was so worried about earlier in the thread.

Like, let's say we change it thus. It does half cold/half negative damage, and Fort or Will for half, whichever is higher.

Already the abilities is completely useless against undead - a pretty common and major monster type.

Against Devils and Demons, many of which have cold immunity/high resist, the abilities take a massive nerf in damage output. Again, devils/demons are fairly common monster type as the levels progress. That they also have great will and fort saves and get to use the best out of those two to resist the effect means that there is another major enemy type that you're useless against.

And that's the second affront - willpower and fortitude are the two saves that progress the best on average. Steinfur said himself that, on average, monsters typically have good good fort/will saves as the levels progress.

So now you're main class abilities are targeting not just typically good saves, but what will usually be the best save a monster has.

Added on top of this Cold being a fairly common immunity/high resist that monsters have and negative healing a major and common enemy type, and the class abilities have now gone from "a little hard to resist" to "nearly useless" as the levels continue.

I mean if you want to talk about frustrated players, give them this interesting, unique class with a connection to the Void only for their unique class abilities to mostly be useless a good chunk of the enemies they face as levels go on and it won't be long until they re-roll another character.

"Oh but you could use Gift of the Gods to nerf their save for 3 rounds!" not reliably, because the nerf/buff is random. Something I deliberately chose. There's 1/3 chance you might even end up boosting their saves. When your abilities are targeting the lowest of Fort/Will save then this is an added random, chaotic element of the Old Ones giving you the middle finger- it's part of the fun as you're still competitive. But when you were struggling to land things in the first place and your one hope ends up boosting their best save by +5 then it's not long until you ragequit.

So, come'on guys, meet me half way here.

If we keep the damage as Force damage but have it target the best of Will/Fort then it accomplishes the balance you want while retaining the abilities competitiveness.

Not many things have Force resist. That's okay, the abilities are resisted by what is most likely the monsters best save. Plus it serves the fluff because the Void includes what holds the planes together - the warlock is using abilities that pull those threads apart, so it makes sense few things have an inherent resistance against that.

That sounds like a perfectly fair trade off to me.




2) Seconding the comment about extra work being obnoxious for the GM. If I were running this in real time, I would probably tell the player to just use 50 all the time and save myself another die roll every round. Really, it might be easiest to just say that this ability acts as displacement for all purposes; that way you don't need to worry about the language or it being overpowered.


About Phantasmical Reality:

This strikes me as more complicated than it needs to be. The average is the same as regular Displacement, but requires rolling more dice. There are 2 big ways to make yourself unpopular with your DM: One is to bring a vastly overpowered ability to the table; another is to make his/her life more complicated than it already is. By adding dice rolls and changing the parameters every round, you do the latter.



Because it's supposed to have a bit of a chaotic, unpredictability to the ability. You know, a bit of fun :smalltongue:. All the book-keeping is on the player. They roll their D100% at the start of the turn and that's their miss chance for the turn. That's it. They're not card counting at a casino so it's not much book-keeping imo. Their ability isn't an illusion or something so True Seeing doesn't effect it.

If it's too much hassle then we can just say "this ability is just like the spell Displacement" save it adds +miss chance equal to 2% or 3% per class level and True Seeing doesn't matter because the spell isn't an illusion it's the caster existing in multiple dimensions at once. Perhaps True Seeing negates the additional miss % gained per level.




4) The Great Devourer ability should indeed read "killed." That simplifies it a lot. Also, include exactly what can bring them back. Raise dead doesn't work since you don't have a body, but what about resurrection? True resurrection? Miracle/wish? Is there something I need to do before I can resurrect them? Look at some abilities that do similar things (imprisonment, disintegrate, soul bind, and the sort) and see how they specify what does and does not work to counter them. Include similar language here and you will head off many, many arguments at the table.


I guess that could be OK, if the ability was 17th-level or so. Also, it shouldn't be "reduced 0 hp or less" but "killed". Otherwise, this is too much.


I'd rather list what can't bring them back because the rules are always going to change...just saying that Raise Dead can't bring them back is probably sufficient and accomplishes the intent behind the ability.

It'd probably be better to state that a fine dust or residue or vapor etc lingers in the air for several rounds after the GD has gone. This allows people to collect it and use it as a component for Resurrection, as Disintergration is a 6th level spell and its fine powder can be used to resurrect people.

So we can go with that. Can't be returned via Raise Dead, but the vaporous residue can be used as a material component for Resurrection+ spells.




5) You can't get around every way someone will come up with to get free healing, you're right about that. I would suggest either sharply limiting uses per day to keep it from being free infinite hitpoints, or make it give you temporary hitpoints that last like a minute or so, so that it's only really viable to use it during the fight. Or both.


About Parasite as a self-healing tool on summoned monsters, etc:
I think the best way to ensure this is to give it a limited number of uses per day. Then you can use it for healing without creating a balance problem. I would still restrict that use to living victims, though (that excludes constructs and undead). Energy-drain-like, similar to Vampiric Touch, is the cleanest option.


Hmmm...could just go for standard 3 + Charisma modifier times per day.




6) Eye of the Void is just too much. As it is, it's worded so vaguely that you will get people trying the stuff I mentioned, if not even more absurd shenanigans. No question about it. If you must have this ability, it shouldn't be available earlier than as a level 20 capstone. Even then, the wording needs to be made a lot more specific. Don't just say "class features;" almost everything is technically a class feature, including HP, skill points, and base attack bonus. Say exactly what abilities are affected. Also, cut down what it bypasses. At the very least you should remove the "any other influence" part, and I might limit it to just energy resistance, damage resistance, and making it easier to get through spell resistance. I would also suggest that you drop the bit about bypassing magic immunity. There are very few creatures with that ability, and in every case it's an important part of their defenses that forces players to adopt different tactics than they would normally use. Getting by it is another "my character should be good against every enemy" sort of thing, which quite simply isn't how the game works. If a caster is fighting an enemy immune to magic, they either need to get clever or else accept that they won't contribute much. Warlocks should not be an exception to that.


I don't think you need this "remove all limits" ability at all. Either your regular abilities are balanced (not overpowered and not underpowered) against a Core caster of the same level, all the way to level 20, and then you don't need this sort of escape hatch... or they aren't, and then you need to work on them until you can be up to snuff. You wouldn't want to be all like "man, I really suck, but wait until I'm level 17 and you'll see..." In the same way, you wouldn't want to be in a position to say "I hope this guy in front of us isn't 17th level, because if he is, our defenses are all voided" either.


8) Eye of the Void made me laugh. You might as well have written it as "Eye of the Void: At 17th level, I shan't be denied. Ever." :smalltongue:


Well, in my defense I was in a hurry and what you saw was the first draft of the new path of power. So with that in mind, it's not the greatest of sins if I didn't put that much thought into this ability :smalltongue:, because it was a carry over from when the locks core abilities were doing negative/cold/acid/whatever juggling. But if we keep the damage Force damage then the ability could even be modified enormously.

Perhaps something like...a number of sell casts (including class abilities) per day equal to 3 + charisma modifier you gain 1/2 your warlock level in Spell Penetration?




3) It's unclear which abilities are not subject to spell resistance, but I'll assume those where SR isn't mentioned are not. That's not reasonable. I'd make a blanket statement that everything that targets a creature is subject to SR (they're all spell-like abilities after all), unless otherwise mentioned (if any, and those should be exceptional and have a much lower damage base).

They're all supposed to be subject to spell resistance.


4) Which of these are at-will? From the lack of mention of a limit, I take it Soultear and Parasite both are. While you have reduced damage significantly, both remain serious damage-dealers. This makes adjustment difficult.

All of them are, though most are limited to times per day use.


5) I think you're stacking a little too many abilities too close together between levels 5 and 7. Conversely, levels above 11 are sparsely populated.


This is a valid concern, and I've added some other abilities for level 11+ to the bottom of this thread.

From 11+ onwards, though, you gain 2 different at-will limited-times-per-day teleports (greater and interplanetary), you also gain eye of the void which (as of writing this) is a healthy boost to your spell penetration. That's, on average, 1 ability every 3 levels. As a player I'd be happy with that.


6) Is Gift of the Old Ones intended as a debuff, or a buff? The random element means it's not a reliable buff, I wouldn't use it. As a debuff, it's rather risky, so I think it will be hard to use.


It's supposed to be both. I took it from "Touch of Madness" from the Madness domain, however I changed it to state that you randomly determine which of the 3 gets buffed and which gets debuffed. I left this deliberate for three reasons. One, the ability has no save - but it could be a buff or a debuff. Two, when the rest of the warlocks abilities are targeting the lowest of Fort/Will, having an ability that they could lay on that had no save and inflicted a hefty penalty to what will be the lower of two saves was too much. Third, I liked it that way because it added in an unstable element that suited the Old Gods. They might help you. They might give you the middle finger. You just don't know.



7) One thing strikes me: All of these things, except the Eye of the Void, are spell-like abilities. It looks like you'd have a much easier time making them new spells, and putting them in a new spell school. As written, it's a little unclear why you need a new class at all.


Oh okay. Well, guess we should pack this thread up and go home then. After almost a year of making this class, all the writing, all the idea's...let's just make a few spells instead and call it a day :smalltongue:.



That's still a lot of teleportations per day, much more than a wizard would have. Maybe you could move those abilities 2 levels higher. With 1 level higher, you would be superior to a sorcerer of the same level, and you also have a bunch of other top-level abilities. So, I think 2 levels higher is a decent balance point.


Hmm, perhaps, but I don't really see it as game-breaking. I just see it as a goodie that the Voidlock gets in their class showbag - the ability to teleport at the same time as a wizard and more times per day. They're the party Uber :smalltongue:.



You'd benefit from using standard language, such as "suffers 3d10 Intelligence damage" instead of "lose 3d10 Intelligence". Then you don't need to specify a recovery rate at all.

Groovy, I'll make that change.



Confusion is a huge side effect. In fact, on everybody but the wizard, it would be the main effect, before Int is reduced to 0. I would remove it.


Well I figured getting lobotomised would be a drag on someones day :smalltongue:, but if it is that bad it can get taken out.



So, as I mentioned earlier I had a few other abilities in mind:



Voidsight:

As the Voidlock progresses through their understanding of the tapestry that holds together reality, space and time, they develop an intuition for its influence. Like a mortal would view the world based upon the electromagnetic spectrum, the Voidlock can see the seams that mark the joints of all creation.

Voidsight is available at level 7.

Voidsight functions as a Spell-like ability that functions as Arcane Sight for 1 minute per Warlock level. This time need not be consecutive.


Nihilism:

The Voidlock focuses upon a target and impresses upon them tendrils of the Void that seep into reality and drag the victim into another state of time and space. Torn from what they know the target is hurled into an empty, repeating labyrinth of oscillating shadow where every corner leads back to where the target entered and the laws of physics are constantly shifting.

Nihilism is gained at level 15.

Nihilism is a Spell-like ability that functions as Maze and can be cast a number of times per day equal to 1/2 the Warlocks charisma modifier.


Paradigm:

The Voidlock prepares an area with incense, charms and talismans and sets to meditation. During this time the Voidlock draws pieces of himself from the multitudinous strands of time in which other versions of himself exist and uses these tiny motes of his own essence to form a new paradigm and implant it within the womb of the Void. There it will grow until maturity, at which point its mind will lay dormant until the Voidlocks current physical form is slain. At that point the paradigm will awaken and the Voidlock will live once more.

Paradigm is available at level 16.

Paradigm functions as the 8th level spell Clone, with the exceptions that the newly created character does not endure 2 negative levels. Instead they are a copy of the original character as they were when this ability was first used. Additionally, there is no need for preserving the body as it is instead kept in stasis within the Void but it still requires 2d4 months before being able to receive the original characters soul like normal.

Finally, a Voidlock can only have one Paradigm prepared at any given time. If they have a Paradigm already prepared and they attempt to prepare another, the previous one dies immediately and is lost to the Void.

ylvathrall
2015-09-29, 01:28 PM
See, I feel like you aren't hearing what I'm saying. Yes, a character that does primarily cold or negative energy damage is weak against the undead. So is an enchanter, or a character that does a lot of necromancy debuffs, or a character that focuses on nonlethal damage. That's the point. I do not know how to state it any more clearly than that. I get that it can be frustrating to have no ability to deal with a situation. And yeah, if the campaign is particularly heavy on undead I probably wouldn't want to play a warlock, in the same way that I wouldn't want to play my favorite enchantment-based sorcerer in that campaign. And if the GM doesn't tell you that the campaign is focused around one enemy type that might influence your choices like that, the GM is not being very pleasant to play with and you might consider leaving the game as a result.

But the assumption of the game is that any given class, and any given character, will be unable to contribute to some encounters. Your melee fighter will have a hard time hitting the flying enemy. Your enchanter will flounder against constructs. The rogue hates aberrations. And so on. If your character does a type of damage that is equally effective against everything, that is excessively powerful.

Also, on a side note, yes, on average at higher CRs Fortitude and Will saves are higher than Reflex on monsters. You ever notice that most of the serious spells target either Fortitude or Will? Not a coincidence, actually. There are very few save-or-die spells that target Reflex, in part because it's supposed to be hard to get one of those spells to work.

And you'll note I didn't say that you had to target the higher of two saves. That was one way I mentioned that this could be handled, and I don't think it's the best one. I would probably say that the best way is to make some of the abilities target Fortitude and some target Will.

Regarding the Phantasmical Reality ability, I assure you that it's still obnoxious. I don't care if the player is the one rolling the die; I still have to keep track of the number, remember to roll it every round, and so on. It's annoying having a wildly swingy variable that important. Also, if your intention is that the warlock is actually gone part of the time, wouldn't it make more sense to run it like blink? Complete with the miss chance on your own attacks?

As to the warlock getting more teleportation than the wizard...why? Is there a reason they get to be better at travel than the wizard? Because it does feel like moving away from the core concept here. It seems like the class is focused around debuffs and save-or-dies, and then it's all "here, have this random and incredible utility ability for no apparent reason!" I don't get it.

For the new abilities, arcane sight is reasonable but, again, feels out of place. Maze should not be usable more than once per day. This is an 8th level spell we're talking about here. Getting 5 of them per day (and a Charisma modifier of +10 is quite doable by that level) is excessive, especially at a level where that spell level is just coming online. The clone effect should be killed with fire. That spell is already one that makes your GM hate you. Bypassing the material cost and the preservation aspect will not make you any friends, and will likely end with your character being plane shifted to Hell to discuss the ramifications of their poor life choices with Asmodeus in person.

BananaPhone
2015-09-29, 10:49 PM
See, I feel like you aren't hearing what I'm saying. Yes, a character that does primarily cold or negative energy damage is weak against the undead. So is an enchanter, or a character that does a lot of necromancy debuffs, or a character that focuses on nonlethal damage. That's the point. I do not know how to state it any more clearly than that. I get that it can be frustrating to have no ability to deal with a situation. And yeah, if the campaign is particularly heavy on undead I probably wouldn't want to play a warlock, in the same way that I wouldn't want to play my favorite enchantment-based sorcerer in that campaign. And if the GM doesn't tell you that the campaign is focused around one enemy type that might influence your choices like that, the GM is not being very pleasant to play with and you might consider leaving the game as a result.

But the assumption of the game is that any given class, and any given character, will be unable to contribute to some encounters. Your melee fighter will have a hard time hitting the flying enemy. Your enchanter will flounder against constructs. The rogue hates aberrations. And so on. If your character does a type of damage that is equally effective against everything, that is excessively powerful.


No, I understand what you're saying, I just don't agree with it. Gwyn and I had this discussion ages back. I play-tested the old version of the class when it was doing half-negative/half-cold damage with its DoTs and it was a miserable experience. And that was before having to both roll to hit and over-come what'll probably be the monsters best save.

And the three "specialisations" that you mention (enchanter, necromancy, non-lethal damage spec) supports my point: almost no one plays them because they suck.

Oh the can be great when the stars align, or in lower level campaigns when pitted against the right enemies. But take them out of that niche and they struggle. Player frustration grows. People abandon the class. You have what you have now: a dearth of people playing enchanters, arcane necromancers and non-lethal damage specs.

And why? Because commonly accepted wisdom is not "how can we keep this classes abilities fun for the player and relevant to the game?" but it is instead "that's the way it is, dealwithit.jpeg".

I'm sorry but I don't share that philosophy.



Also, on a side note, yes, on average at higher CRs Fortitude and Will saves are higher than Reflex on monsters. You ever notice that most of the serious spells target either Fortitude or Will? Not a coincidence, actually. There are very few save-or-die spells that target Reflex, in part because it's supposed to be hard to get one of those spells to work.

But this point is moot as no "save-or-suck/die" spell the Lock throws out doen't have a fort or will save attached to it, just like normal save-or-suck/die spells so they're exactly the same in that regard. (at least in my head - the draft could have typoes I've overlooked which lord knows I've done before :smallwink:)


And you'll note I didn't say that you had to target the higher of two saves. That was one way I mentioned that this could be handled, and I don't think it's the best one. I would probably say that the best way is to make some of the abilities target Fortitude and some target Will.


Well this is the crux of the issue, really. I know that Force has few things that inherantly resist it. To me this is perfectly fine because a) it suits the fluff, and b) by being resisted by typically a monsters best save there's a good chance the damage dealing abiliteis are going to be doing half damage anyway.

In my mind that's fine, and personally I'd rather play-test it and see how things work out in practice than relying on hypotheticals.

So that's where it stands: I want to playtest it to see how it turns out.

However, there is an alternative:

We go back to the solution to the negative/cold that Gwyn and I came to last time, and that was the abilities do Negative damage as a base, but by spending some HP a casting can be altered to do Acid damage instead - or in this case, Cold damage. This way undead still remain a pain, but they're not as overwhelming horrible to the Locks player, while Cold resist doesn't become a liability as levels progress.

It also brings back the relevence of the lock having a larger HP pool than most casters and makes their castings of parasite/great devourer more strategically important.

Though I'm unhappy with this solution removing a part of the Voidlocks novelty of having Force-damage dealing abilities, it is an acceptable solution for playtesting.


Regarding the Phantasmical Reality ability, I assure you that it's still obnoxious. I don't care if the player is the one rolling the die; I still have to keep track of the number, remember to roll it every round, and so on. It's annoying having a wildly swingy variable that important. Also, if your intention is that the warlock is actually gone part of the time, wouldn't it make more sense to run it like blink? Complete with the miss chance on your own attacks?

Hmm, having a look at Blink and it does seem more in tune with the idea behing the ability. The miss chance on your own spells I'm fine with.

The lock can enter Blink-mode as a move action and end it as a swift action for 1 min/class level per day, with the time not needing to be consecutive.


As to the warlock getting more teleportation than the wizard...why? Is there a reason they get to be better at travel than the wizard? Because it does feel like moving away from the core concept here. It seems like the class is focused around debuffs and save-or-dies, and then it's all "here, have this random and incredible utility ability for no apparent reason!" I don't get it.


That's the way they affect their enemies, yes, predominantly through debuffs/save-or-dies-or-suck/damage over time. But the Void theme is about time, space, reality and the elemental school that seems to bind everything together. Being able to alter that to travel great distances is part and parcel.

I think so anyway. So does the Void School that has all the Teleports listed under school spells (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/wizard/arcane-schools/paizo---arcane-schools/elemental-arcane-schools/void-elemental-school).

Granted, Interplanetary teleport isn't there - but I imagine that's a spell that fits some settings but doesn't fit others.

As to the number of times a day, if it is a big problem the Charisma modifier could be removed from the equation. So they can use the ability 3 times per day?




For the new abilities, arcane sight is reasonable but, again, feels out of place.


Out of place? How so?

It's not like arcane sight fluff wise, but for all intents and purposes its a mechanical replication.


Maze should not be usable more than once per day. This is an 8th level spell we're talking about here. Getting 5 of them per day (and a Charisma modifier of +10 is quite doable by that level) is excessive, especially at a level where that spell level is just coming online.

Fair enough.

So something like 1ce per day cast at level 15, and 2twice a day at level 18 or something?


The clone effect should be killed with fire. That spell is already one that makes your GM hate you. Bypassing the material cost and the preservation aspect will not make you any friends, and will likely end with your character being plane shifted to Hell to discuss the ramifications of their poor life choices with Asmodeus in person.

Hmm? Bypassing material cost? I don't believe I mentioned that.

*looks again*...nope. Says it works like Clone except where noted, which means there's still a material cost.

I figured the most touchy aspect would be bypassing the gain of negative levels. This wasn't entirely sidestepped as the lock is making an exact copy of themselves at the time of casting. So if they make a copy of themselves at level 16 and then they go and die at level 19, then they wake back up as a level 16 character - they've lost three levels instead.

If that's "too much", then the negative levels could be reinstated. If that's the case the ability is exactly like Clone except they don't have to cast Gentle Repose every few months.

ylvathrall
2015-09-29, 11:53 PM
So first off, your comment about no one playing enchanters, necromancers, and nonlethal specialists is inaccurate. I haven't done a quantitative analysis or anything, and anecdotal evidence is always suspect, but in my experience all three of those are fairly common builds.

Moving on, though, you seem to be overlooking the larger issue, which is that this is extremely common. Almost any given character will have things they just are not good at. There are enemies against which they flounder. So when I say that your class should have weaknesses, that isn't me saying "that's the way it is, dealwithit.jpeg." That's me saying that you're allegedly writing material to fit into an existing game, and when that's the case you should try to work within the framework of the established game. In this case, much of Pathfinder's balance and party dynamics are dependent upon the fact that individual characters have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes they dominate, sometimes they stand around twiddling their thumbs because they can't accomplish much. If you aren't okay with not being the star of the show against every type of enemy, then I don't really know what to tell you. I think at that point your issues are running much deeper than can be solved with a homebrew class, and I guess I would have to suggest that you look into a different game, because it seems like you aren't on board with some of the most basic assumptions of this one.

And don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of keeping the class relevant and interesting. I'm just trying to do so in a way that meshes with the existing game rather than superseding it.

All right, now that's out of the way on to specific comments.

1. The teleportation thing just feels random. It's like, for the first 6 levels of the class I get the theme. I feel like I have a handle on what it does, how it functions. It seems powerful but tightly focused, the concept is coming across as being all about draining and destroying things. And then it comes out of nowhere with an incredibly good utility power and I'm just going "Bluh? Where did that come from?" And yes, the Void school has teleportation...but it doesn't have much in common with your class other than a name, so I wasn't really considering that to be a great predictor of what might be here.

The arcane sight ability is the same thing. It just feels...random. I don't get the feeling of it fitting into a coherent whole. If anything it comes across as though you needed to put an ability at that level and picked that one out of a hat. I don't get the connection to the theme, I don't get how it fits into the role of the class.

2. Spell-Like Abilities (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic#TOC-Spell-Like-Abilities-Sp-) never require components, including costly material components. That's a baseline assumption written into the description of the ability type. So while you might have intended it to have the component, as written it does not. And yes, I would definitely switch back to the negative levels. The alternative is annoying and would ensure that the ability is never, ever used.

Gwynfrid
2015-09-30, 08:52 AM
So now you're main class abilities are targeting not just typically good saves, but what will usually be the best save a monster has.

If we keep the damage as Force damage but have it target the best of Will/Fort then it accomplishes the balance you want while retaining the abilities competitiveness.
I disagree on both counts. Best of both saves is just as unbalanced and illogical as worst of both saves. That mechanic breaks a major tenet of the game, ie that different creatures resist different attacks in different ways. By merging two save types, you break that, and you can't repair it by using an unbalanced damage type. The only way Force is balanced is by making it do less damage, and less scalable damage than any other type, across the game. That's clearly not what you want to do here. Hence, you need to use a more common damage type.

In other words, you can't put two unbalanced things together and hope that it works.


Added on top of this Cold being a fairly common immunity/high resist that monsters have

Not so common at all. I'm not sure how you're counting this, but I don't see it, especially at low to mid levels.


"Oh but you could use Gift of the Gods to nerf their save for 3 rounds!"
I certainly won't make that suggestion, because this isn't an ability I would ever use. More on that later.


So, come'on guys, meet me half way here.
This isn't a negotiation, you see. It's just 2 experienced DMs giving you feedback. You're free to ignore it, but if you do, I predict you'll run into trouble at your game table. Assessing that risk is on you, but no amount of negotiation with us on this forum is going to change it one way or the other: It's not us you're selling this to.


Not many things have Force resist.

Allow me to correct you: Nothing has force resistance. The CR26 unique monster that steinulfr found doesn't count, since the most you'll ever meet it is once in the combined lifetimes of all your characters.

Here's a proposal. It's not something I would say is final, as you'll have to look at the damage amounts, and the level of the abilities in relation to the rest, etc. But it could be useful as a guideline.

Level 1 - cold damage, Fort save 1/2.
Level 3 - reduce damage by 1d6 to add a Shaken effect, 1 round, Will save.
Level 5 - ability to swap for negative energy damage.
Level 7 - reduce damage by 2d6 to add a Frightened effect, 1 round, Will save.
Level 9 - ability to swap for negative energy damage, reduce damage by half and siphon it back to you as temp hp. You can do this a X limited times per day. (This simplifies the class description, because then you don't need Parasite as a separate ability).
Level 11 - reduce damage by 3d6 to add a Dazed effect, 1 round, Will save.
Level 13 - ability to swap for negative energy damage, and siphon half of it back to you as temp hp. You can do this a X limited times per day. (Same as level 9 except you do full damage).
Level 15 - reduce damage by 4d6 to add a Paralyzed effect, 1 round, Will save.

Thoughts?


Because it's supposed to have a bit of a chaotic, unpredictability to the ability. You know, a bit of fun :smalltongue:. All the book-keeping is on the player. They roll their D100% at the start of the turn and that's their miss chance for the turn. That's it. They're not card counting at a casino so it's not much book-keeping imo. Their ability isn't an illusion or something so True Seeing doesn't effect it.
I don't agree with any of this, but it doesn't matter: Changing it to a Blink effect is a good solution thematically and mechanically.


So we can go with that. Can't be returned via Raise Dead, but the vaporous residue can be used as a material component for Resurrection+ spells.
That works.


Perhaps something like...a number of sell casts (including class abilities) per day equal to 3 + charisma modifier you gain 1/2 your warlock level in Spell Penetration?
Still hugely and needlessly powerful. Why don't you take regular Spell Penetration like anybody else? Now, if this is what you want as your capstone, why not, but I'm sure you can think of something more interesting.


They're all supposed to be subject to spell resistance.
Good.


All of them are, though most are limited to times per day use.
By "at-will" I mean unlimited. It looks like, at present, Soultear is the only one that is unlimited. So it will warrant the most scrutiny.

That said, we also need to watch the accumulation of per-day abilities, because:
- 3+Cha bonus is a big number
- These are all top-level abilities: They are pegged to the level a wizard of the same level would acquire something roughly equivalent, and you're scaling the save DC to 1/2 warlock level. That's appropriate, but remember that wizards have only 2 or 3 spells of their highest level available per day.


It's supposed to be both. I took it from "Touch of Madness" from the Madness domain, however I changed it to state that you randomly determine which of the 3 gets buffed and which gets debuffed. I left this deliberate for three reasons. One, the ability has no save - but it could be a buff or a debuff. Two, when the rest of the warlocks abilities are targeting the lowest of Fort/Will, having an ability that they could lay on that had no save and inflicted a hefty penalty to what will be the lower of two saves was too much. Third, I liked it that way because it added in an unstable element that suited the Old Gods. They might help you. They might give you the middle finger. You just don't know.

I wouldn't use this at all. When you do that, you're going to mightily annoy, maybe even kill, either the melee guy or the wizard in your party. Not the way to go in a team. The Madness domain is fine for crazy NPC enemies. For PCs, I would use one of the subdomains that wisely substitute this ability.


Hmm, perhaps, but I don't really see it as game-breaking. I just see it as a goodie that the Voidlock gets in their class showbag - the ability to teleport at the same time as a wizard and more times per day. They're the party Uber :smalltongue:.

I'm not sure how "party Uber" fits with the theme of the class?


Voidsight functions as a Spell-like ability that functions as Arcane Sight for 1 minute per Warlock level. This time need not be consecutive.
Not clear how this fits, either.


Paradigm functions as the 8th level spell Clone, with the exceptions that the newly created character does not endure 2 negative levels.
See, what you're doing here strikes me as a tendency you have shown before: You take the cool ability of another class, which is fine in itself, but you don't want to take the constraint or limitation that comes with it. That approach is going to trip you up, all the time. There's a reason the original designers added these limitations. Remove them at the game's risk.


No, I understand what you're saying, I just don't agree with it. Gwyn and I had this discussion ages back. I play-tested the old version of the class when it was doing half-negative/half-cold damage with its DoTs and it was a miserable experience. And that was before having to both roll to hit and over-come what'll probably be the monsters best save.

And the three "specialisations" that you mention (enchanter, necromancy, non-lethal damage spec) supports my point: almost no one plays them because they suck.

Very, very questionable. There is one thing that's correct here: A one-trick pony will suck. That's why, if I build an enchanter or necromancer, I make sure I have a backup plan in case I meet enemies that resist my core abilities. Typically, my enchanter will not have Evocation as an opposed school, and he will carry a wand of Scorching Ray, or something like that. I will have a plan for most contingencies like this. In such cases I will not be at my best; but I will be able to give support to the party. Worst case, I will revert to buffing my teammates.

So when you build the class, you shouldn't build it in such a way that it bypasses every conceivable defense. That style of design will never pass muster. But you need to be careful to not make it a one-trick pony, either.

That's why I recommend in your next post you update the entire description of the class, not just the modifications from the past posts. This way, we can look at it as a whole.

BananaPhone
2015-10-01, 12:53 AM
I disagree on both counts. Best of both saves is just as unbalanced and illogical as worst of both saves. That mechanic breaks a major tenet of the game, ie that different creatures resist different attacks in different ways. By merging two save types, you break that, and you can't repair it by using an unbalanced damage type. The only way Force is balanced is by making it do less damage, and less scalable damage than any other type, across the game. That's clearly not what you want to do here. Hence, you need to use a more common damage type.

In other words, you can't put two unbalanced things together and hope that it works.


I really think you guys are too conservative and making too big of a deal of Force damage. It isn't this nuclear option that'll steamroll all opposition, and I think if given the chance to watch a few levels of play-testing you'd see that.



Moving on, though, you seem to be overlooking the larger issue, which is that this is extremely common. Almost any given character will have things they just are not good at. There are enemies against which they flounder. So when I say that your class should have weaknesses, that isn't me saying "that's the way it is, dealwithit.jpeg." That's me saying that you're allegedly writing material to fit into an existing game, and when that's the case you should try to work within the framework of the established game. In this case, much of Pathfinder's balance and party dynamics are dependent upon the fact that individual characters have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes they dominate, sometimes they stand around twiddling their thumbs because they can't accomplish much. If you aren't okay with not being the star of the show against every type of enemy, then I don't really know what to tell you. I think at that point your issues are running much deeper than can be solved with a homebrew class, and I guess I would have to suggest that you look into a different game, because it seems like you aren't on board with some of the most basic assumptions of this one.




I respectfully disagree. I know what you're getting at, but there is no reason for a void-themed caster to be useless against Undead. There is no reason for a void-themed caster to have major difficulties against devils, demons and daemons. One of those is a common and pretty major enemy at all levels. The latter becomes more common as levels progress. Nevermind sitting out any adventure that takes them into cold lands. That these enemies would be the Achilles heel of a caster who works an elemental of magic that "binds everything together" makes no sense, but that it is enforced that way for the sake of upholding some intangible idea about the game irks me even further.

But, you (hopefully), understand the source of my consternation and I yours, so we'll try to make the best of it.





Here's a proposal. It's not something I would say is final, as you'll have to look at the damage amounts, and the level of the abilities in relation to the rest, etc. But it could be useful as a guideline.

Level 1 - cold damage, Fort save 1/2.
Level 3 - reduce damage by 1d6 to add a Shaken effect, 1 round, Will save.
Level 5 - ability to swap for negative energy damage.
Level 7 - reduce damage by 2d6 to add a Frightened effect, 1 round, Will save.
Level 9 - ability to swap for negative energy damage, reduce damage by half and siphon it back to you as temp hp. You can do this a X limited times per day. (This simplifies the class description, because then you don't need Parasite as a separate ability).
Level 11 - reduce damage by 3d6 to add a Dazed effect, 1 round, Will save.
Level 13 - ability to swap for negative energy damage, and siphon half of it back to you as temp hp. You can do this a X limited times per day. (Same as level 9 except you do full damage).
Level 15 - reduce damage by 4d6 to add a Paralyzed effect, 1 round, Will save.

Thoughts?


This seems fairly reasonable. I would, though, prefer to keep Parasite, as it represents a decent chunk of the VL's dps and self-healing.

I do really like the idea of being able to take away damage dice and add in debuff effects though, as I imagine at a higher level adding a Paralyzed effect onto an enemy for 1 round is more beneficial to the party than 4d6 of damage.

I'm perfectly okay with this write up.




Still hugely and needlessly powerful. Why don't you take regular Spell Penetration like anybody else? Now, if this is what you want as your capstone, why not, but I'm sure you can think of something more interesting.

There are lots of things you could put in instead...like, the ability to remove a single enemies Immunities for 1 round 3 times a day or some such. Spell Pen isn't set in stone.



I wouldn't use this at all. When you do that, you're going to mightily annoy, maybe even kill, either the melee guy or the wizard in your party. Not the way to go in a team. The Madness domain is fine for crazy NPC enemies. For PCs, I would use one of the subdomains that wisely substitute this ability.


I've explained my reasoning behind keeping it random under the old premise of their DoTs targeting the best of Will and Fort - because then being able to heavily nerf one of those seemed like being able to have ones cake and eat it too.

If that is getting removed though, the Gift of the Old Gods could be substituted for the Wizard Void subschool ability "Reveal Weakness" which I've always loved:

Reveal Weakness (Su):

When you activate this school power as a standard action, you select a foe within 30 feet. That creature takes a penalty to its AC and on saving throws equal to 1/2 your caster level (minimum –1) for 1 round. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence bonus.



That could take GotOG's place nice enough, with a new name ("Dilapidation" or "Putrefy" or some such) and have it doable 3 + Charisma modifier times per day.

Plus it fits with the classes main abilities of debuffing and stripping down enemies, as well as helping out the party melee.



1. The teleportation thing just feels random. It's like, for the first 6 levels of the class I get the theme. I feel like I have a handle on what it does, how it functions. It seems powerful but tightly focused, the concept is coming across as being all about draining and destroying things. And then it comes out of nowhere with an incredibly good utility power and I'm just going "Bluh? Where did that come from?" And yes, the Void school has teleportation...but it doesn't have much in common with your class other than a name, so I wasn't really considering that to be a great predictor of what might be here.



I'm not sure how "party Uber" fits with the theme of the class?


It was a joke, Gwyn :smalltongue:

I still contend though that teleportation fits in the theme of a class whose theme revolves around understanding and manipulating time, space and reality - space, the lock uses their understanding to fold the fabric of space together and step between them, achieving the effect of a teleportation. To answer your concern, Stein, it sort of "comes out of nowhere" at level 7 because that's the earliest access someone has to Dimension Door. Going over the wizard/sorc spell list (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/spell-lists-and-domains/spell-lists---sorcerer-and-wizard) again and it still seems that way - nothing before level 4 to replicate the effect.



The arcane sight ability is the same thing. It just feels...random. I don't get the feeling of it fitting into a coherent whole. If anything it comes across as though you needed to put an ability at that level and picked that one out of a hat. I don't get the connection to the theme, I don't get how it fits into the role of the class.


Not clear how this fits, either.


I'm not 100% set on it. I figured it a nifty ability that would help build on the idea that the Lock is sharpening their perception on the tapestry and threads that hold dimensions together. It can be removed if it sticks out too much. Arcane Sight can probably be just added to the classes spell-list to serve that end anyway.





See, what you're doing here strikes me as a tendency you have shown before: You take the cool ability of another class, which is fine in itself, but you don't want to take the constraint or limitation that comes with it. That approach is going to trip you up, all the time. There's a reason the original designers added these limitations. Remove them at the game's risk.


Or rather I try to take an existing ability that fits and add on a unique effect to distance it a bit from being an exact replica (no pun intended :smalltongue:). Replicating Clone but making its levels lost potential worse (or better), runs with what I've done for other abilities I've taken from elsewhere such as Displacement and Gift of the Gold Gods - using it could turn out better, or it could turn out worse.

Maybe it's the poker player in me :smalltongue:.


2. Spell-Like Abilities (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic#TOC-Spell-Like-Abilities-Sp-) never require components, including costly material components. That's a baseline assumption written into the description of the ability type. So while you might have intended it to have the component, as written it does not. And yes, I would definitely switch back to the negative levels. The alternative is annoying and would ensure that the ability is never, ever used.

Ahh well that's no worries, that wasn't my intention to deprive the ability of its material cost. It's probably easier and better to just write it as Clone.



Very, very questionable. There is one thing that's correct here: A one-trick pony will suck. That's why, if I build an enchanter or necromancer, I make sure I have a backup plan in case I meet enemies that resist my core abilities. Typically, my enchanter will not have Evocation as an opposed school, and he will carry a wand of Scorching Ray, or something like that. I will have a plan for most contingencies like this. In such cases I will not be at my best; but I will be able to give support to the party. Worst case, I will revert to buffing my teammates.

So when you build the class, you shouldn't build it in such a way that it bypasses every conceivable defense. That style of design will never pass muster. But you need to be careful to not make it a one-trick pony, either.


Yes but we haven't decided what the spell list of the Voidlock is, have we? Outside of its core abilities which we're discussing now we haven't determined what it can normally cast. I was thinking of having Slow be a spell-like ability, but figured that Slow and Haste would be better on their spell list rather than as core abilities. So we have no idea how versatile it can be - something that would be determined by the final state of its core abilities.





That's why I recommend in your next post you update the entire description of the class, not just the modifications from the past posts. This way, we can look at it as a whole.

That seems suitable. I've got to head off now to a wretched seminar at my lab (some boring windbag speaker whose work I don't care about), so I'll put that together and post it when I get back.

ylvathrall
2015-10-01, 02:05 AM
I really think you guys are too conservative and making too big of a deal of Force damage. It isn't this nuclear option that'll steamroll all opposition, and I think if given the chance to watch a few levels of play-testing you'd see that.

Maybe. But there's no way that I would run a playtest for this class as written. Not going to happen. As written, I feel that the warlock is too powerful to function alongside existing classes, even in a playtest environment. I don't know how much more clearly I can phrase it than that.

Also, think about this from the perspective of a player confronted with a warlock enemy. Let's assume you know how the class abilities work, and you have time to prepare. It doesn't really matter. I don't know of any spells that give resistance to force damage. I don't know of any items, or class abilities. As far as I can tell this situation boils down to "you're going to take a lot of damage and there isn't jack **** you can do about it."

Now, there are two things to keep in mind about this. 1) Odds are good this exact situation will come up. As a GM my rule is that if you can use it I can use it, so if you want to run a warlock odds are good you'll end up fighting a warlock. 2) As a GM, this is going to be my reaction any time I'm trying to provide you with a meaningful challenge.


I respectfully disagree. I know what you're getting at, but there is no reason for a void-themed caster to be useless against Undead. There is no reason for a void-themed caster to have major difficulties against devils, demons and daemons. One of those is a common and pretty major enemy at all levels. The latter becomes more common as levels progress. Nevermind sitting out any adventure that takes them into cold lands. That these enemies would be the Achilles heel of a caster who works an elemental of magic that "binds everything together" makes no sense, but that it is enforced that way for the sake of upholding some intangible idea about the game irks me even further.

But, you (hopefully), understand the source of my consternation and I yours, so we'll try to make the best of it.

Respect is always appreciated and typically reciprocated. Question for you, though: what should a void-themed caster have major difficulties against? Because thus far it seems like every suggestion that your class should have any kind of weakness at all is met with violent opposition. If you're truly so against the idea that the game is written with the assumption that characters have weaknesses, I don't know what I can do beyond reiterate my suggestion that you look into another game system.


I've explained my reasoning behind keeping it random under the old premise of their DoTs targeting the best of Will and Fort - because then being able to heavily nerf one of those seemed like being able to have ones cake and eat it too.

If that is getting removed though, the Gift of the Old Gods could be substituted for the Wizard Void subschool ability "Reveal Weakness" which I've always loved:

Reveal Weakness (Su):

When you activate this school power as a standard action, you select a foe within 30 feet. That creature takes a penalty to its AC and on saving throws equal to 1/2 your caster level (minimum –1) for 1 round. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence bonus.

That could take GotOG's place nice enough, with a new name ("Dilapidation" or "Putrefy" or some such) and have it doable 3 + Charisma modifier times per day.

Plus it fits with the classes main abilities of debuffing and stripping down enemies, as well as helping out the party melee.

Reveal Weakness is a rather strong ability to sub in for what was at best a situational and largely useless debuff. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's awesome and thematic and all...but it isn't even close to being an equal trade for what you're taking out.


I still contend though that teleportation fits in the theme of a class whose theme revolves around understanding and manipulating time, space and reality - space, the lock uses their understanding to fold the fabric of space together and step between them, achieving the effect of a teleportation. To answer your concern, Stein, it sort of "comes out of nowhere" at level 7 because that's the earliest access someone has to Dimension Door. Going over the wizard/sorc spell list (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/spell-lists-and-domains/spell-lists---sorcerer-and-wizard) again and it still seems that way - nothing before level 4 to replicate the effect.

I didn't think it came out of nowhere because there were no teleportation effects before it. You're right on that one; 7 is as early as those come online for anyone short of a teleportation-school wizard. The reason it felt out of place to me is that you have a class that seems to be all about debuffs, damage over time, and generally being nasty to their enemies. And then you suddenly get an extremely powerful utility ability. It's just...confusing in terms of what this character's role is. It's a core class ability that does not seem to fit the role or the mechanical concept of the class.

Also, this ability is extremely powerful. I mean, it comes online at the same level a fast-progression caster gets spells of that level, and you can use it more times per day than a caster gets spells. That might be a little much.


Yes but we haven't decided what the spell list of the Voidlock is, have we? Outside of its core abilities which we're discussing now we haven't determined what it can normally cast. I was thinking of having Slow be a spell-like ability, but figured that Slow and Haste would be better on their spell list rather than as core abilities. So we have no idea how versatile it can be - something that would be determined by the final state of its core abilities.

Wait. Waitwaitwait. This thing gets spells? Banana my friend, you've already given it more SLAs than a caster has spells of equal level for a lot of levels. If the thing's a caster, you can take those off and just give it things like dimension door on its spell list. Failing that, it has way more abilities than a full caster ought to. Maybe a 6-level spell progression.

Also, how are you complaining about it failing at undead because all its damage is cold or negative energy? Give it a spell that does a different damage type! It is really that simple! You don't need to make all of its abilities do an extremely uncommon damage type; give it the handful of spells that do force damage and call it good.

BananaPhone
2015-10-01, 02:44 AM
Maybe. But there's no way that I would run a playtest for this class as written. Not going to happen. As written, I feel that the warlock is too powerful to function alongside existing classes, even in a playtest environment. I don't know how much more clearly I can phrase it than that.

Also, think about this from the perspective of a player confronted with a warlock enemy. Let's assume you know how the class abilities work, and you have time to prepare. It doesn't really matter. I don't know of any spells that give resistance to force damage. I don't know of any items, or class abilities. As far as I can tell this situation boils down to "you're going to take a lot of damage and there isn't jack **** you can do about it."

Now, there are two things to keep in mind about this. 1) Odds are good this exact situation will come up. As a GM my rule is that if you can use it I can use it, so if you want to run a warlock odds are good you'll end up fighting a warlock. 2) As a GM, this is going to be my reaction any time I'm trying to provide you with a meaningful challenge.


We'll hopefully move on from this with Gwyns recent suggestion for Soultear. Half negative/half cold in one damage I'm really not comfortable with because it goes in the opposite direction - but being able to swap between the two (for a HP cost) is better imo.




Respect is always appreciated and typically reciprocated. Question for you, though: what should a void-themed caster have major difficulties against? Because thus far it seems like every suggestion that your class should have any kind of weakness at all is met with violent opposition. If you're truly so against the idea that the game is written with the assumption that characters have weaknesses, I don't know what I can do beyond reiterate my suggestion that you look into another game system.


I wouldn't say "violently" opposed :smalltongue:. Strongly, yes, because I saw how much the half/half castrated the class during my last playtests.

At the moment Undead are still not the Voidlocks favourite enemies because of cold resist/immunity (Skeletons of any type are flat out immune to all the voidlocks damage dealing SLA's) and constructs. But with how it's written at the moment I can live with it.


And I know that you mean well :smallwink:. I'm not under any illusion that you're seated at your desk, glaring at the monitor and furiously stabbing the keys on your keyboard while uttering "this'll ****en show him...". As back and forth and, at times, outlandish as our dance is we're getting closer to a resolution!



Reveal Weakness is a rather strong ability to sub in for what was at best a situational and largely useless debuff. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's awesome and thematic and all...but it isn't even close to being an equal trade for what you're taking out.

Well what about it adding to the DC of the Locks next spell against the target?

Reveal Weaknesses real power comes when the rest of the party gets a free -5 debuff (if we're going as lvl 10 as the average) to the opponents AC and all their saves. That's essentially a free power attack for the melee and a ticket to pound town for the other casters.

But if it's just a harder DC for the monster to roll against for the Locks next spell, it's still thematic, awesome and a good ability for a debuffer, but it's not the death warrant it would be with the rest of the party getting in on the action.

Thoughts?




I didn't think it came out of nowhere because there were no teleportation effects before it. You're right on that one; 7 is as early as those come online for anyone short of a teleportation-school wizard. The reason it felt out of place to me is that you have a class that seems to be all about debuffs, damage over time, and generally being nasty to their enemies. And then you suddenly get an extremely powerful utility ability. It's just...confusing in terms of what this character's role is. It's a core class ability that does not seem to fit the role or the mechanical concept of the class.

Also, this ability is extremely powerful. I mean, it comes online at the same level a fast-progression caster gets spells of that level, and you can use it more times per day than a caster gets spells. That might be a little much.


What if we go with Gwyns suggestion earlier to boost the level it's acquired at? So the ability first comes in at level 9 for dimension door, then at 11 for teleport etc.




Wait. Waitwaitwait. This thing gets spells? Banana my friend, you've already given it more SLAs than a caster has spells of equal level for a lot of levels. If the thing's a caster, you can take those off and just give it things like dimension door on its spell list. Failing that, it has way more abilities than a full caster ought to. Maybe a 6-level spell progression.


Yeah, remember? A page or two back I said I was going to look at reducing its Full Caster to instead the summoner caster progression - 6 levels of spells over 20 levels. This "thing" (:smalltongue:) was going to have spells from the Abjuration, divination, Transmution, Necromancy and Illusion schools. Not all of them, obviously, but ones that fit.

What spells exactly would depend upon the final product of the classes core abilities. Because, as you mentioned, it has a good number of them so it won't have access to anywhere near as many spells, and the majority of ones it would have access to would be utility (dispel, major creation, mage armor etc).

And it's number of casts are lower per day as well too, remember - that's why it has higher base hp and life-draining abilities so it can Life Tap itself a few spells back each day.

I want to nail the core abilities down first before we go onto that!


Also, how are you complaining about it failing at undead because all its damage is cold or negative energy? Give it a spell that does a different damage type! It is really that simple! You don't need to make all of its abilities do an extremely uncommon damage type; give it the handful of spells that do force damage and call it good.


That was part of why I was "complaining" as you put it :smalltongue:. I didn't envision this class having any fireballs or lightning bolts or sleet storm or lava fart or anything like that - it's main damage dealing abilities were its SLA's that did cold/negative, which made encountering creatures that resisted those things all the more perilous :smalltongue:. A wizard might shrug and choose a different flavored spell, but the Lock? They're boned!

It was also why I was doubly confused when I was thinking oO(But it'll have Magic Missile or something, and that does Force damage so why are they going on about what few damage dealing abilities they have also doing the same?).

Anyways, I'd like to get these core abilities down first and then we can build the spell list around it in a way that's complimentary.

I'm back at my comp now so I'll put together an updated abilities list in my next post.

BananaPhone
2015-10-01, 03:30 AM
So this is the updated list with all of the updates I can think of/see:

- Damage has been changed to Cold as a baseline for Soultear, Parasite and the Great Devourer. The warlock can spend their class level in HP to substitute it for Negative damage for all three.

- Soultear received the additional modulations as Gwyn suggested, losing damage per tick in exchange for a debuffing condition that requires a will save to resist.

- Phantasmical Reality got changed to being Blink.

- Gift of the Old Gods got removed and replaced with "Decrepify". Decrepify is based on Reveal Weakness, but instead a) requires a ranged touch attack to hit and b) instead of a massive debuff for a whole round (and thus that the whole party can enjoy, effectively dooming the creature), it adds to the DC of the Warlocks next spell used against the target if it does so in the next round.

- Fold Space got boosted in level up to level 9, then 11, then 15 etc so now the warlock gets this 2 whole levels after their wizard equivalent, and 1 level after their sorcerer equivalent. The number of uses per day got reduced to 2. However this could be removed entirely if it's still a sore thumb, and the spells could just be placed on their caster list.

- Touch of Madness got boosted to level 10 instead of level 9. It's damage writing got changed to indicate that it does Intelligence damage, thus the target recovers at the normal rate.

- The Great Devourer got boosted to level 12 instead of level 11. The writing was cleared up to say that someone killed by it couldn't be brought back via Raise Dead, but the residue of their "departure" could be used as a component for Resurrection+ spells. The part about lower of two saves was also removed - a flat Fort save for half damage and Will save to avoid being nauseated.

- Nihilism can only be cast 1ce a day.

- Paradigm works exactly like Clone, save that the "clone" doesn't need to be preserved.

- Eye of the Void got changed a lot - now it removes a single targets Immunities for 1 round once a day.


Soultear


The Voidlock directs a sliver of their attention into the matrix that holds their enemies physical form together and begins to twist, tear and rend. Excruciating pain rips across the targets body as they are pulled apart on a spiritual level, their soul screaming silently in agony and their body rotting from within. The cold menace of the Void seeps into their muscles and worms its way inside their mind, slowing their reactions and freezing their brain.

Soultear replaces Corruption and is gained at level 3.

Soultear is a Spell-like Ability that takes a standard action to cast and has a range of 30 + 5 ft. per caster level that requires a Ranged Touch Attack to hit and inflicts 1d6 Cold Damage for every 2 class levels (rounded down), to a minimum of 1d6. This damage "ticks" once every 2 rounds beginning on the turn the spell was cast. This spell remains on a target for 1 round per 2 caster levels (rounded down) for a minimum of 1 round. Only one Soultear can be active upon a target at a time.

Every time the target takes damage they are permitted a Fortitude save to reduce the damage by half.

Additionally, as the Warlock advances in class levels they are able to modulate Soultear in a number of different ways as follows:



Level 4: Soultears damage can be reduced by 1d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Shaken for 1 round.


Level 5: The Warlock can spend a number of hitpoints equal to his class level to substitute the Cold damage inflicted by a single casting of Soultear to Negative damage.


Level 7: Soultears damage can be reduced by 2d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Frightened for 1 round.


Level 11: Soultears damage can be reduced by 3d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Dazed for 1 round.


Level 15: Soultears damage can be reduced by 4d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Paralyzed for 1 round.


Only one modulation may be chosen per casting.

Soultear can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage’s Disjunction or antimagic field.


Phantasmical Reality


The Voidlock has reached a point of understanding that they are no longer entirely bound to the Material plane. For short-lived moments of ecstasy, the Voidlock can extend themselves between dimensions, reality and even space and time, putting them outside the reach of those who would seek them harm. Their image flickers with ethereal static, and to their companions they may seem to occasionally materialise in and out of existence as washed down shadows of their former selves. However, for all their growing insight the Voidlock is, ultimately, mortal, and as yet has not fully mastered his gateway into the void, and thus his extensions remain capricious at best.

Phantasmical Reality is gained at level 5.

Phantasmical Reality is a Spell-like Ability that functions as the spell Blink with a caster level equal to the Warlocks class level and with a duration of 1 round per class level per casting. The Warlock may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + the Warlocks charisma modifier.


Nightmare


From the infinite Void the Voidlock calls a servant, his lone companion. Answering his summons is a spectral horse whose cold temperment is matched only by its swift beauty.

Nightmare is gained at level 5.

The warlock can cast Phantom Steed as a Spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his class level.

This can be cast a number of times per day equal to the Warlocks charisma modifier.


Parasite


The Voidlock summons forth from the Void a parasite that burrows into the targets soul and eats away at the stiches that hold their material form together. As the parasite gorges itself it shares its feasts with the Voidlock, returning its digested meal through a spiritual bond that reinvigorates the Voidlocks body and fills them with life.

Parasite is gained at level 6.

Parasite is a Spell-like Ability that requires a standard action to cast, with a range of 30 + 5ft. per class level that inflicts 1d6 Cold damage per 3 class levels per round. This spell remains on a target for 1 round per 2 class levels. The target is permitted a Fortitude save to suffer half damage. Damaged caused by this spell is then added to the Warlock in the form of hit points. This cannot increase the Warlocks hit point total above its maximum. No hit points are returned to the warlock from damage caused to summoned creatures beneath the Warlocks control.

This ability can be cast a number of times per day equal to 3 + the warlocks charisma modifier.

A Warlock may sacrifice a number of hit points equal to their class level to substitute a single casting of Parasites Cold damage with Negative damage instead.

Parasite can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage’s Disjunction or antimagic field.

Decrepify

The Voidlock extends their perceptions into the matrix that constitutes their targets physical and spiritual whole and poisonous it. Though temporary, the victims body is wracked with debilitating weakness and their mind becomes sluggish, slow and impressionable.

Decrepify is gained at level 7.

When you activate this power as a standard action, you select a foe within 30 feet and make a Ranged Touch Attack. If successful, for 1 round the DC of your spells against that creature are increased by 1/2 your Warlock class level. You can use this ability 3 times per day.


Fold Space


The Warlock begins to see the tapestry of reality all about him and how he, with practised skilled, can fold two pieces of that cloth together so that he may move between them, covering a great distance with only a single step.

Fold Space is gained at level 9.

The Warlock becomes able to cast Dimension Door as a Spell-like ability that may be used 2 times per day. The warlocks class level substitutes for caster level.

At 11th level, the Warlock is able to cast Teleport with the same conditions applied.

At 15th level, the Warlock is able to cast Greater Teleport with the same conditions applied.

At 19th level, the Warlock is able to cast Interplanetary Teleport with the same conditions applied.


Touch of Madness

An ability preserved for those who truly displease the Voidlock, Touch of Madness opens a miniature gateway inside the targets mind and allows a modicum of the Void to flood inside. The result is nothing short of a harrowing, mind-bending horror visited upon the unfortunate target that only they can see and comprehend, as a world of nightmares grasps their mind and anchors it into the pit of madness, leaving them a blissfully gurgling labotomised mess whose eyes stare into the distance at objects only they can see.

Touch of Madness is gained at level 10.

Touch of Madness is a Spell-like Ability with a range of 30 + 5 ft. per class level that requires a standard action to cast and a successful Ranged Touch Attack to hit, and is subject to Spell Resistance. Targets are allowed a Will save equal to 10 + ½ your warlock level + your charisma modifier.

On a failed save, the target takes 3d10 points of Intelligence damage. Those reduced to 0 intelligence by this spell are not dead, but are instead comatose until they recover. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.


The Great Devourer

The Voidlock tears a hole into reality that draws in everything within its influence: material, mind and soul. Those trapped inside the ever shifting folds of space-tear are twisted and warped, their minds bending and their bodies torn as all that they are is chewed and swallowed by the shapeless maw and fed into the great beyond and the soul of the Warlock.

The Great Devourer is gained at level 12.

The Great Devourer is a Spell-like Ability with a range of 10 feet per class level. The Voidlock chooses a designated target and makes spell resistance rolls as normal, and from that chosen point all targets within a 20-ft. radius spread are subjected to The Great Devourer and take 1d6 Cold damage per caster level, with those affected permitted a Fortitude to take half damage. In addition, those affected are permitted a Willpower save with those failing becoming Nauseated for the duration of the spell. The Great Devourer stays in existence for 1d3 rounds, after which it dissipates.

Those killed by The Great Devourer are sucked into the Void, leaving behind a vaporous miasma that can be collected and bottled. Attempts to use Raise Dead on a creature killed by The Great Devourer automatically fail, but the bottled residue can be utilised as a component for Resurrection.

A Warlock may sacrifice a number of hit points equal to their class level to substitute a single casting of The Great Devourers Cold damage with Negative damage instead.

Finally, the Warlock gains half the total hp damage caused by The Great Devourer. You can use this ability 1/day at level 12, then 2/day at level 15, 3/day at level 18 and finally 4/day at level 20.


Nihilism:

The Voidlock focuses upon a target and impresses upon them tendrils of the Void that seep into reality and drag the victim into another state of time and space. Torn from what they know the target is hurled into an empty, repeating labyrinth of oscillating shadow where every corner leads back to where the target entered and the laws of physics are constantly shifting.

Nihilism is gained at level 15.

Nihilism is a Spell-like ability that functions as Maze and can be cast once per day.


Paradigm:

The Voidlock prepares an area with incense, charms and talismans and sets to meditation. During this time the Voidlock draws pieces of himself from the multitudinous strands of time in which other versions of himself exist and uses these tiny motes of his own essence to form a new paradigm and implant it within the womb of the Void. There it will grow until maturity, at which point its mind will lay dormant until the Voidlocks current physical form is slain. At that point the paradigm will awaken and the Voidlock will live once more.

Paradigm is available at level 16.

Paradigm functions as the 8th level spell Clone. The Warlock must still provide similar material components in the form of ritual foci, talismans and charms during casting. However there is no need for preserving the body as it is instead kept in stasis within the Void but it still requires 2d4 months before being able to receive the original characters soul like normal.

Finally, a Voidlock can only have one Paradigm prepared at any given time. If they have a Paradigm already prepared and they attempt to prepare another, the previous one dies immediately and is lost to the Void.


Eye of the Void

The Warlock has become a master of the Void to such a point that the material reality has little concern for them. They see the tapestry of existence and can reach forth to pluck at its strings and retailor it to functions that they find most pleasing.

Eye of the Void is gained at level 20.

One time per day, a Warlock can remove the listed Racial, Template and Type-derived Immunities of a single target for 1 round. From these abilities the Warlock may choose one and receive its benefit for a number of rounds equal to their Charisma modifier.

Southern Cross
2015-10-01, 04:02 AM
Actually, my recommendation is that you should look at the witch class as a base, since it's a full caster with spell-like abilities, and warlocks are frequently (if inaccurately) described as male witches. Instead of standard hexes, the warlock would get void hexes. The void warlock would also get a different spell list from witches.

ylvathrall
2015-10-01, 04:11 AM
Progress! My comments are small nitpicks now, instead of massive overhauls!

Those nitpicks being:

1) If you can switch Soultear into negative energy for a fairly minimal cost (HP equal to level is not a huge amount of damage), it becomes an extremely useful healing ability for undead. I don't know that this is a problem, exactly, but it should be mentioned. I would probably not want the class to have the ability to actually create undead, but if they have to coordinate with other members of the party it wouldn't be that big of a deal, I don't think. Easy access to negative energy and Charisma-based casting would also make these guys scary liches or vampires. Again, not a problem in itself but something to consider.

If either of these is an issue, you could always add a line making the negative energy ineffective at healing the undead. There are a couple of abilities or spells that do that, I'm pretty sure. Can't remember them offhand, but I know I've read it somewhere.

2) How frequently can Nightmare be used? Also, as written phantom steed is actually a creation spell rather than any kind of summoning, so that feels odd. And what's the relevance of it being the same horse every time? Is that just fluff, or does it indicate that bad things which happen to the horse are permanent?

3) Parasite doesn't have a save listed; I don't know whether that's intentional or not. Also, it looks like it's still usable at will, so it would still be running into infinite healing shenanigans.

4) Fold Space is more mechanically reasonable and balanced as it stands now. I'm still not totally getting the connection to the class's role, there's still that element of random utility thrown in with all the debuffs, but now it's something I would just shrug at rather than get worked up about. You did write teleportation circle in again, though, which I'm still opposed to. SLAs that duplicate expensive spells are in general not a great idea.

5) You still have the lower of two saves bit in the Great Devourer ability. Looking at it again, I'm also thinking it might work better as something like once per day, one additional time per day at 15th and 18th level. Between the damage, the area, the healing, and the permadeath aspect, it feels a little strong for ~10 uses per day.

6) Paradigm is more balanced with the changes. I'm now having a conceptual difficulty there, though, in that...where is the body? Is it in the Void? And if so, what happens when the warlock takes it over? I guess they would still be in the Void, which seems like it should be lethal even for them. And then how do they get back?

7) Eye of the Void is more balanced as a once/day ability. Doesn't have an action type listed, though. You might also list exactly what kinds of immunity it bypasses. Generally it's best to avoid blanket terms that don't have clear game definitions; those lead to argument over whether a given thing is included or not.

Also, you might push it back to level 20, maybe make it a little stronger. As it is the class doesn't really have a level 20 capstone. It isn't mechanically important, the vast majority of games will never get close to that level, but still. You should have something there to work towards, you know?

BananaPhone
2015-10-01, 04:57 AM
Progress! My comments are small nitpicks now, instead of massive overhauls!

Huzzah!




1) If you can switch Soultear into negative energy for a fairly minimal cost (HP equal to level is not a huge amount of damage), it becomes an extremely useful healing ability for undead. I don't know that this is a problem, exactly, but it should be mentioned. I would probably not want the class to have the ability to actually create undead, but if they have to coordinate with other members of the party it wouldn't be that big of a deal, I don't think. Easy access to negative energy and Charisma-based casting would also make these guys scary liches or vampires. Again, not a problem in itself but something to consider.

If either of these is an issue, you could always add a line making the negative energy ineffective at healing the undead. There are a couple of abilities or spells that do that, I'm pretty sure. Can't remember them offhand, but I know I've read it somewhere.


Hmmm, I hadn't considered that.

A Voidlock lich coming along that heals itself and drains the parties HP while debuffing them and shooting their stupification ray at them is kind of...awesome to imagine.

I'll leave it as is, methinks, for better or worse lol.



2) How frequently can Nightmare be used? Also, as written phantom steed is actually a creation spell rather than any kind of summoning, so that feels odd. And what's the relevance of it being the same horse every time? Is that just fluff, or does it indicate that bad things which happen to the horse are permanent?

That's the sentimental part of me that forms attachments to my pets :smallwink:. It's meant to be fluff...the spectral horse is the Warlocks buddy, that kind of thing.

I altered its "times per day" to be equal to the warlocks charisma modifier.


3) Parasite doesn't have a save listed; I don't know whether that's intentional or not. Also, it looks like it's still usable at will, so it would still be running into infinite healing shenanigans.

Fort for half and 3 + charisma modifier. Forgot to add that in.


4) Fold Space is more mechanically reasonable and balanced as it stands now. I'm still not totally getting the connection to the class's role, there's still that element of random utility thrown in with all the debuffs, but now it's something I would just shrug at rather than get worked up about. You did write teleportation circle in again, though, which I'm still opposed to. SLAs that duplicate expensive spells are in general not a great idea.


6) Paradigm is more balanced with the changes. I'm now having a conceptual difficulty there, though, in that...where is the body? Is it in the Void? And if so, what happens when the warlock takes it over? I guess they would still be in the Void, which seems like it should be lethal even for them. And then how do they get back?



On the way to dinner I was thinking of these two things.

Perhaps, instead of Fold Space granting uses of Teleport, what if Fold Space granted 2 uses per day of Plane Shift (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/planeShift.html) at level 11? Interplanetary Teleport also stays in there. Then a line is added that the Warlock is not affected by the environmental hazards of the Void?

That way Teleport is normal on their spell list. They get a folding-space-creepy-shifting ability that is unique to them among arcane casters. They've got a way to get back after waking up in paradigm. And they don't wake up in their Paradigm self and die immediately. Plus that means the Voidlock is capable of taking others on little interdimensional trips and adventures - that sounds pretty awesome to me.


Thoughts?



5) You still have the lower of two saves bit in the Great Devourer ability. Looking at it again, I'm also thinking it might work better as something like once per day, one additional time per day at 15th and 18th level. Between the damage, the area, the healing, and the permadeath aspect, it feels a little strong for ~10 uses per day.

Edited and done.


7) Eye of the Void is more balanced as a once/day ability. Doesn't have an action type listed, though. You might also list exactly what kinds of immunity it bypasses. Generally it's best to avoid blanket terms that don't have clear game definitions; those lead to argument over whether a given thing is included or not.

Also, you might push it back to level 20, maybe make it a little stronger. As it is the class doesn't really have a level 20 capstone. It isn't mechanically important, the vast majority of games will never get close to that level, but still. You should have something there to work towards, you know?


I listed "Racial, Template and Type-derived" Immunities as the specifics.

I gave it a little buff in that one of the Immunities that they suppress they can receive the benefit of for a number of rounds equal to their charisma modifier.

Thoughts?

BananaPhone
2015-10-01, 04:58 AM
Actually, my recommendation is that you should look at the witch class as a base, since it's a full caster with spell-like abilities, and warlocks are frequently (if inaccurately) described as male witches. Instead of standard hexes, the warlock would get void hexes. The void warlock would also get a different spell list from witches.



It's possible, but if that were the case the Warlocks current class abilities that I'm working on would need to get nerfed a lot. That's because they're being made under the assumption of being the nucleus for which a summoner-progression-esque caster would revolve around.

If they were included for a Full Caster that might be a bit too much lol.

ylvathrall
2015-10-01, 05:30 AM
That's the sentimental part of me that forms attachments to my pets :smallwink:. It's meant to be fluff...the spectral horse is the Warlocks buddy, that kind of thing.

I altered its "times per day" to be equal to the warlocks charisma modifier.

Oh, I'm with you on this. It is, in its own special way, an adorable image. :smallbiggrin:

That said, though, it does leave things open for the warlock to get screwed out of this ability entirely. You can say that the horse can't be killed, but that still leaves a lot of ways for it to become useless. My suggestion would be to remove that line entirely. Then, if the player wants the cuteness of their warlock having a nightmarish spectral horse as his best friend, they can write that into their own mental image and squee over it to their heart's content without it having any mechanical consequence.

If you must have the mechanical effect to go along with it, I would at the very least include a line about how the horse can be replaced if necessary. Maybe base it on how druids replace animal companions.


On the way to dinner I was thinking of these two things.

Perhaps, instead of Fold Space granting uses of Teleport, what if Fold Space granted 2 uses per day of Plane Shift (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/planeShift.html) at level 11? Interplanetary Teleport also stays in there. Then a line is added that the Warlock is not affected by the environmental hazards of the Void?

That way Teleport is normal on their spell list. They get a folding-space-creepy-shifting ability that is unique to them among arcane casters. They've got a way to get back after waking up in paradigm. And they don't wake up in their Paradigm self and die immediately. Plus that means the Voidlock is capable of taking others on little interdimensional trips and adventures - that sounds pretty awesome to me.


Thoughts?

So the problem with this is that plane shift is not useful that frequently. The spell is useful, no argument there. But the bit about not being able to land where you want on the other end makes it a challenging spell to use effectively. It's very much a niche sort of thing; when you need it nothing else will do, but you don't need it every day.

The exception to this is, of course, the offensive use of the spell, which is essentially a save or die (or worse than die, depending on where you send them; plane shift to Asmodeus's personal sanctum with a note explaining what they've done to deserve eternal torture is my favorite response to people who really annoy me :smallbiggrin:). I don't know that you want to mix that in with what is otherwise a strictly travel ability.

Between the two, I'm feeling like plane shift isn't the best choice here. Might I suggest shadow walk (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/shadowWalk.html) instead? It's a similar spell level, and it feels thematically appropriate to a Void-based caster. The Plane of Shadow is kind of the closest thing I can think of to a preexisting Void plane, so it feels in line with the theme, it gives you an interesting travel mechanic that isn't often used, and it's just about as powerful as teleport; slower, but marginally more accurate, and it includes some element of planar travel.


I listed "Racial, Template and Type-derived" Immunities as the specifics.

I gave it a little buff in that one of the Immunities that they suppress they can receive the benefit of for a number of rounds equal to their charisma modifier.

Thoughts?

So the issue is that I don't think immunity is a very precisely defined term. On the one hand, it seems obvious. Things like energy immunity, or immunity to poison. But then you get into odd cases. To use the first example that occurred to me, animals are immune to dominate person because that spell specifically targets humanoids. Is that an immunity? It isn't immediately clear whether that would qualify.

BananaPhone
2015-10-01, 05:41 AM
So the problem with this is that plane shift is not useful that frequently. The spell is useful, no argument there. But the bit about not being able to land where you want on the other end makes it a challenging spell to use effectively. It's very much a niche sort of thing; when you need it nothing else will do, but you don't need it every day.

The exception to this is, of course, the offensive use of the spell, which is essentially a save or die (or worse than die, depending on where you send them; plane shift to Asmodeus's personal sanctum with a note explaining what they've done to deserve eternal torture is my favorite response to people who really annoy me :smallbiggrin:). I don't know that you want to mix that in with what is otherwise a strictly travel ability.

Between the two, I'm feeling like plane shift isn't the best choice here. Might I suggest shadow walk (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/shadowWalk.html) instead? It's a similar spell level, and it feels thematically appropriate to a Void-based caster. The Plane of Shadow is kind of the closest thing I can think of to a preexisting Void plane, so it feels in line with the theme, it gives you an interesting travel mechanic that isn't often used, and it's just about as powerful as teleport; slower, but marginally more accurate, and it includes some element of planar travel.



Hmmm, that seems the better option. It's definitely not intended as a save-or-die spell (though I see Shadow walk can be used in a similar manner by one so devious). Perhaps just add in the caveat that the Lock doesn't have to be in an area of dim light to cast it?




So the issue is that I don't think immunity is a very precisely defined term. On the one hand, it seems obvious. Things like energy immunity, or immunity to poison. But then you get into odd cases. To use the first example that occurred to me, animals are immune to dominate person because that spell specifically targets humanoids. Is that an immunity? It isn't immediately clear whether that would qualify.


How would you word it?

As you say it's just meant to mean listed immunities, and not immunities granted by a spell or (such as an animal being immune to Dominate Person) or some other source.

Gwynfrid
2015-10-01, 08:52 AM
This seems fairly reasonable. I would, though, prefer to keep Parasite, as it represents a decent chunk of the VL's dps and self-healing.
What's the problem? My proposal didn't remove Parasite at all. It just folded it into the main Soultear evolution line. I'm not sure what your objection is. Keeping Parasite as is means an extra paragraph of rules to read for your prospective DM, with potential pitfalls and complexities... therefore, more scrutiny.

You can probably keep it, if you insist. In that case, I'll look at it much more closely than I have done so far (you've been warned :smallamused:)


I'm perfectly okay with this write up.
Seriously, I'm glad that you finally found something positive and useful in my comments.


I still contend though that teleportation fits in the theme of a class whose theme revolves around understanding and manipulating time, space and reality - space, the lock uses their understanding to fold the fabric of space together and step between them, achieving the effect of a teleportation.
I agree. My only real objection was mechanical, but you're alleviating that in your new version.


I'm not 100% set on it. I figured it a nifty ability that would help build on the idea that the Lock is sharpening their perception on the tapestry and threads that hold dimensions together. It can be removed if it sticks out too much. Arcane Sight can probably be just added to the classes spell-list to serve that end anyway.
Yes, better.


Yes but we haven't decided what the spell list of the Voidlock is, have we? Outside of its core abilities which we're discussing now we haven't determined what it can normally cast. I was thinking of having Slow be a spell-like ability, but figured that Slow and Haste would be better on their spell list rather than as core abilities. So we have no idea how versatile it can be - something that would be determined by the final state of its core abilities.


Reveal Weakness is a rather strong ability to sub in for what was at best a situational and largely useless debuff. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's awesome and thematic and all...but it isn't even close to being an equal trade for what you're taking out.
It's not so much a matter of what we're taking out, than an issue to be looked at within the whole picture. That's why I'd like to see the full, up to date write up before we start poking too many holes into it. The numbers of SLAs per day and the discussion of how much power X or Y ability has should be had in the context of the whole story. Just as a few examples: I still find it very fishy that you're going with a d12 HD for a caster and I don't see how it fits with the theme; the impact of Life Tap on the SLAs needs to be discussed; are we still going to have a grimoire... etc.


Well what about it adding to the DC of the Locks next spell against the target?
This is a pretty good idea. It also plays into the concept of the warlock not being exactly a team player, which is how I picture it.


Yeah, remember? A page or two back I said I was going to look at reducing its Full Caster to instead the summoner caster progression - 6 levels of spells over 20 levels. This "thing" (:smalltongue:) was going to have spells from the Abjuration, divination, Transmution, Necromancy and Illusion schools. Not all of them, obviously, but ones that fit.
I think it's time to post a draft of that. Would you mind updating the OP?


I want to nail the core abilities down first before we go onto that!
Except you won't nail them. You can take that approach but then I guarantee we'll have another round with the SLAs at a later point, after we've done the spells and base class structure.


Progress! My comments are small nitpicks now, instead of massive overhauls!
I agree.

And I have some additional nitpicks, too. (What did you expect, Banana? :smalltongue:)

Those nitpicks being:

1) 1d6 Cold Damage for every 2 class levels (rounded down), to a minimum of 1d6: This means you need to wait for level 4 for your first uptick; a bit too long imo. In all other classes, damage progression every other level works at odd levels, 1d6 at level 1, 2d6 at level 3, 3d6 at level 5 etc (see alchemist, rogue, cleric). I recommend you align to that general rule of thumb. This helps a lot assessing the balance of the class vs the rest of the game.

Oh, and by the way, this is the first time I ever told you your proposal isn't powerful enough. Congratulations :smallbiggrin:

2) The progression is still a little too heavy between levels 5 and 7.

3) Parasite... Actually, I'll refrain from commenting until you decide if you want to keep it separate, as opposed to folding it into Soultear as I proposed.

4) Clarification for Fold Space: Do you mean 2/day Dimension + 2/day Teleport + 2/day etc ? Or 2/day for this ability in total?

5) Touch of Madness: First, "Touch of something" normally means touch, not ranged touch. It's up to you if you want to make it touch or change the name to avoid that confusion. Second, 3d10 Int is a hell of a lot too much.

6) Great Devourer, there's a lot to say here.
- ... stays in existence for 1d3 rounds, after which it dissipates. There's too much that's random here, with an enormous variance between 1 and 3 especially for such a powerful attack.
- No cap. This means it is extremely powerful. I don't think that works. The limitation per day alleviates this to a degree, but I'm not 100% sure here.
- the Warlock gains half the total hp damage caused by The Great Devourer: That's not reasonable. Plus, as written, you don't say if it's temp hp, if there is a maximum, etc. This could be an enormous number if you're aiming at a group of creatures. On top of that, siphoning from Cold damage isn't thematically right, but that's minor - there should not be any healing at all from this.

7) Eye of the Void: a Warlock can remove the listed Racial, Template and Type-derived Immunities of a single target for 1 round. This strikes me as absurd. So... Let's say I'm a fire elemental. I'm literally made of fire, and I live on a plane that's composed of flames. Now you're pointing at me and I'm no longer immune to fire? You mean, I'm going to burn? Well, big news, that's what I do all day long... I was born that way!

This ability, quite simply, doesn't pass the smell test. Besides, if you need it, then there's a deeper inherent problem with the design. I suggest you seriously look at how you aren't going to be a one-trick pony, at every level (without being super-strong against all comers, either) rather than resorting to such late-game solutions.

BananaPhone
2015-10-01, 10:27 AM
What's the problem? My proposal didn't remove Parasite at all. It just folded it into the main Soultear evolution line. I'm not sure what your objection is. Keeping Parasite as is means an extra paragraph of rules to read for your prospective DM, with potential pitfalls and complexities... therefore, more scrutiny.

You can probably keep it, if you insist. In that case, I'll look at it much more closely than I have done so far (you've been warned :smallamused:)

Because now instead of having potentially 2 DoTs on a target in Soultear + Parasite, you've just got Soultear - and it's automatically doing half damage, possibly 1/4 damage if they're making their save, 1/2 of that coming back to you as hp. So 1/8 of the damage you're doing you're getting.

So if, at level ten, an opponent made their save you'd get back, on average, 1 hp. If they didn't make their save you'd get back about 2 hp.



Seriously, I'm glad that you finally found something positive and useful in my comments.


Don't be so hard on yourself. Look at back where this thread started, now fast-forward to here where we're close to having a playable product. You've helped :smallwink:.





It's not so much a matter of what we're taking out, than an issue to be looked at within the whole picture. That's why I'd like to see the full, up to date write up before we start poking too many holes into it. The numbers of SLAs per day and the discussion of how much power X or Y ability has should be had in the context of the whole story. Just as a few examples: I still find it very fishy that you're going with a d12 HD for a caster and I don't see how it fits with the theme; the impact of Life Tap on the SLAs needs to be discussed; are we still going to have a grimoire... etc.

The higher HP die was based on the lock originally being a full caster but with half the amount of spells-per-day as usual, but being able to replenish some back at the high cost of HP.

That's not so much an issue now. It is, and it will still be a feature, but not to such a degree.

So the HD could probably come down to D10, maybe even D8.

We're close to an agreement on these core class abilities though. Though they will get revised before everything gets the big stamp of approval, I'd like an air of agreement on them before we rework the rest.




I think it's time to post a draft of that. Would you mind updating the OP?



Soon!

Updating the OP would involve changing the caster level progression, the HD etc.

Very soon though, we're close!




I agree.

And I have some additional nitpicks, too. (What did you expect, Banana? :smalltongue:)

*gasps*

You...have nitpicks?!

Get out! Really? :smalltongue:


Those nitpicks being:

1) 1d6 Cold Damage for every 2 class levels (rounded down), to a minimum of 1d6: This means you need to wait for level 4 for your first uptick; a bit too long imo. In all other classes, damage progression every other level works at odd levels, 1d6 at level 1, 2d6 at level 3, 3d6 at level 5 etc (see alchemist, rogue, cleric). I recommend you align to that general rule of thumb. This helps a lot assessing the balance of the class vs the rest of the game.

Oh, and by the way, this is the first time I ever told you your proposal isn't powerful enough. Congratulations :smallbiggrin:

Yes, so it would seem :smalltongue:


2) The progression is still a little too heavy between levels 5 and 7.

Well, I like to think it's juicy. Things are a tad thinner in levels 13-20, but there's still a nice amount of meat there.


3) Parasite... Actually, I'll refrain from commenting until you decide if you want to keep it separate, as opposed to folding it into Soultear as I proposed.


Well, as I said before, it's a good chunk of the Locks dps and (before getting Great Devourer), it's sole source of self-healing.



4) Clarification for Fold Space: Do you mean 2/day Dimension + 2/day Teleport + 2/day etc ? Or 2/day for this ability in total?

2/day total.

Though Stein and I were talking about making it Shadow Walk rather than teleport.


5) Touch of Madness: First, "Touch of something" normally means touch, not ranged touch. It's up to you if you want to make it touch or change the name to avoid that confusion. Second, 3d10 Int is a hell of a lot too much.

But it's still touching? The Lock is reaching out and "touching" their mind with magic that drives them mad...thus, Touch of Madness! Besides it sounds better than "The Distant Touch of Madness" :smalltongue:.

I don't think the Int damage is too much though, it'll come out to be 15 damage on average. That's enough to worry anyone - fighter orwizard, as it should be. If it's just 2d4 or some other piddly amount then only Int-casters will care and the ability loses its terror. It's a nasty debuff.



6) Great Devourer, there's a lot to say here.
- ... stays in existence for 1d3 rounds, after which it dissipates. There's too much that's random here, with an enormous variance between 1 and 3 especially for such a powerful attack.
- No cap. This means it is extremely powerful. I don't think that works. The limitation per day alleviates this to a degree, but I'm not 100% sure here.
- the Warlock gains half the total hp damage caused by The Great Devourer: That's not reasonable. Plus, as written, you don't say if it's temp hp, if there is a maximum, etc. This could be an enormous number if you're aiming at a group of creatures. On top of that, siphoning from Cold damage isn't thematically right, but that's minor - there should not be any healing at all from this.

Well it's cap is Class level, essentially.

But I like a bit of randomness, haven't you figured that out yet :smalltongue:? Damnit stop trying to sterilise the elements of chaos that I put into the abilities :smalltongue:.

When the lock first gets this they're level 12. The storm will do 12d6 (or 6d6 on a passed fort save) of either cold or (if they pay hp) negative damage. This'll last for 1d3 rounds, giving it a total potential of 6d6 - 36d6 of damage over 3 rounds.

They can only cast this 1ce a day, and half of the damage it does will be returned to the Lock has HP, up to what should be their maximum (it's not called the Great Devourer for nothing :smallwink:). If the targets fail their Will saves they also become nauseated during the attack.


Good?

Yes, i think so. I think it's a great ability. It deals damage, it's AoE, it also debuffs and it heals the caster. To make it even better it's "cap" is class level, so it remains good through the warlocks career. It's a great package!

Plus it's thematic! The Voidlock opens up a tear in reality that drinks the life of all those caught into it, feeding the malicious caster that brought it into the world? Awesome!

That's why they can only cast it once a day :smalltongue:, and have to wait until they get the equivilent of 8th level spells until getting to cast it 2wice a day. And that's why, until we go through the spell list, it's the only AoE spell they even have.




7) Eye of the Void: a Warlock can remove the listed Racial, Template and Type-derived Immunities of a single target for 1 round. This strikes me as absurd. So... Let's say I'm a fire elemental. I'm literally made of fire, and I live on a plane that's composed of flames. Now you're pointing at me and I'm no longer immune to fire? You mean, I'm going to burn? Well, big news, that's what I do all day long... I was born that way!

This ability, quite simply, doesn't pass the smell test. Besides, if you need it, then there's a deeper inherent problem with the design. I suggest you seriously look at how you aren't going to be a one-trick pony, at every level (without being super-strong against all comers, either) rather than resorting to such late-game solutions.


It's a debuff. It debuffs a single target of an immunity for 1 round - something that helps the whole party, not just the lock. So far I think the rest of the locks abilities are good and solid throughout their levels.

If you've got other capstone abilities in mind, i'm open to hearing them. Even something like a Timeless Body would be cool - the warlock stops aging.

ylvathrall
2015-10-01, 11:59 AM
The higher HP die was based on the lock originally being a full caster but with half the amount of spells-per-day as usual, but being able to replenish some back at the high cost of HP.

That's not so much an issue now. It is, and it will still be a feature, but not to such a degree.

So the HD could probably come down to D10, maybe even D8.

I would recommend you step it down to a d8 HD, 3/4 BAB. That way you're being consistent with other classes that get 6-level spell progressions. HP equal to level is a meaningful amount rather than nothing worth noticing, without being a real threat. That 3/4 BAB should also ease a lot of the pain of having so many touch attacks. Really, unless you absolutely tank Dex, that roll will just be checking whether you got a natural 1 against a lot of enemies, especially at higher levels.


2/day total.

Though Stein and I were talking about making it Shadow Walk rather than teleport.

I do think shadow walk is a better thematic fit. And while yes, it can be used as a save-or-die, that use has some major limitations. Two of the big ones being that you have to go with them, and that you don't have any control over where they end up. They might wander off and get eaten by something on the Plane of Shadow, they might wander back and land a short distance from the fight just after leaving, or they might wander into the domain of a deity and come back with vast power to crush you and all your works. That uncertainty, combined with losing a minimum of one round and being randomly moved around, make using it offensively a last-ditch move rather than a pretty solid attack.


But it's still touching? The Lock is reaching out and "touching" their mind with magic that drives them mad...thus, Touch of Madness! Besides it sounds better than "The Distant Touch of Madness" :smalltongue:.

I don't think the Int damage is too much though, it'll come out to be 15 damage on average. That's enough to worry anyone - fighter orwizard, as it should be. If it's just 2d4 or some other piddly amount then only Int-casters will care and the ability loses its terror. It's a nasty debuff.

No, Gwynfrid's right on this one. Calling it touch if you don't have to be in touch range is confusing. There's also already a spell called touch of madness (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/t/touch-of-madness), and duplicate names should be avoided where possible.

Also, I think you might be underestimating the amount of harm this is causing. At 16.5 Int damage on an average roll (your math was slightly off there), two hits at average damage or one hit at max damage is enough to render a balor comatose. And yes, that's a bad example because it has SR, but the point is: this is enough to take down serious monsters rapidly. Against a very old white dragon (CR 14, so it should be a serious threat or TPK at level 10 when this ability comes online) one use at average damage is an instant win.


Well it's cap is Class level, essentially.

But I like a bit of randomness, haven't you figured that out yet :smalltongue:? Damnit stop trying to sterilise the elements of chaos that I put into the abilities :smalltongue:.

When the lock first gets this they're level 12. The storm will do 12d6 (or 6d6 on a passed fort save) of either cold or (if they pay hp) negative damage. This'll last for 1d3 rounds, giving it a total potential of 6d6 - 36d6 of damage over 3 rounds.

They can only cast this 1ce a day, and half of the damage it does will be returned to the Lock has HP, up to what should be their maximum (it's not called the Great Devourer for nothing :smallwink:). If the targets fail their Will saves they also become nauseated during the attack.

Good?

Wait, this is a damage over time ability? I thought that 1d3 was just the length of the nausea effect. And even so, I thought it was on the upper end of things. Nauseated is a nasty debuff. 36d6 damage at level 12 is unreasonable. 36d6 damage to a large area, 18d6 points of healing per enemy, nausea, and permadeath is laughable.

BananaPhone
2015-10-01, 06:23 PM
I would recommend you step it down to a d8 HD, 3/4 BAB. That way you're being consistent with other classes that get 6-level spell progressions. HP equal to level is a meaningful amount rather than nothing worth noticing, without being a real threat. That 3/4 BAB should also ease a lot of the pain of having so many touch attacks. Really, unless you absolutely tank Dex, that roll will just be checking whether you got a natural 1 against a lot of enemies, especially at higher levels.


Makes their hp/bab/saves just like a cleric. That sounds groovy.



I do think shadow walk is a better thematic fit. And while yes, it can be used as a save-or-die, that use has some major limitations. Two of the big ones being that you have to go with them, and that you don't have any control over where they end up. They might wander off and get eaten by something on the Plane of Shadow, they might wander back and land a short distance from the fight just after leaving, or they might wander into the domain of a deity and come back with vast power to crush you and all your works. That uncertainty, combined with losing a minimum of one round and being randomly moved around, make using it offensively a last-ditch move rather than a pretty solid attack.

It sounds fine to me.

Perhaps their Paradigm is kept at a location, but exists between the material realm and the realm of shadow?




No, Gwynfrid's right on this one. Calling it touch if you don't have to be in touch range is confusing. There's also already a spell called touch of madness (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/t/touch-of-madness), and duplicate names should be avoided where possible.

*mutters under breath that they should change the name of their spell instead*


Also, I think you might be underestimating the amount of harm this is causing. At 16.5 Int damage on an average roll (your math was slightly off there), two hits at average damage or one hit at max damage is enough to render a balor comatose. And yes, that's a bad example because it has SR, but the point is: this is enough to take down serious monsters rapidly. Against a very old white dragon (CR 14, so it should be a serious threat or TPK at level 10 when this ability comes online) one use at average damage is an instant win.

Technically the dragon is only comatose, and you never know maybe the party will take pity on the lobotomised dragon and nurse it back to health and theyll become best of buddies...

*trails off*

Well it's supposed to be scary...the idea of a voidlock standing their pointing their finger at some windowlicker while yelling "You're getting stupider! You're getting stupider! You're getting stuupider!" and very little happening will haunt it otherwise.

What about 2d10? Or 3d6?


Wait, this is a damage over time ability? I thought that 1d3 was just the length of the nausea effect. And even so, I thought it was on the upper end of things. Nauseated is a nasty debuff. 36d6 damage at level 12 is unreasonable. 36d6 damage to a large area, 18d6 points of healing per enemy, nausea, and permadeath is laughable.

*sulking childlike voice*

But I want my death vortex :smallfrown:.

Fine, it's around for 1 round. *grumbles*

What if, to make this a more useful party spell, the warlock can designate the hp they get back to thheir party members too?

The party members feel the cool, refreshing sensation of void-digested souls seep through their beings and stitching back up their wounds! Uppn looking for the source, they don't as much see as they feel the sensation radiating from their Voidlock whose seized by the orgasmic throes of imbibing their enemies life-essence!

That would be awesome!

BananaPhone
2015-10-01, 11:10 PM
Here's an updated version of the class table. It's pretty much aping the summoner one (albeit it with cleric-like saves), but the Warlock has 1 less spell per day in each level than the summoner does.

This is to make room for Dark Pact (a renamed Life Tap) and their other Spell-like Abilities.



The Warlock



http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh483/tempestII/dark_sorcerer_29_picture_fantasy_06_201-2_hd-wallpaper-1098425.jpg?t=1443251963

"There exists no freedom from me. There is only freedom through me."




Power is a tempting, demanding mistress whose embrace many of the mortal races have striven for. Some have killed for it. Others have lied. Some turn inwards and train themselves in the pursuit of the excellence that they believe will grant them the power that they so desire. Then there are warlocks, for whom power just comes naturally.

A blessed, or some would say cursed, people, warlocks have at one point in their history been touched by the fel powers of the infernal planes. Whether an ancestor consorted with demonic agents or their studies of the magical lured them into the darker recesses of eldritch education, the result is the same. Like their sorcerous kin whose draconic influence permits them to manifest their will through the arcane, warlocks can entwine their fingers into the threads of reality and shift them into a form that they find most pleasing. Unfortunately for the world at large this form is all-too commonly one of dominance, anguish and subjugation.

A driven and willful breed of spellcaster, warlocks are masters of creation, shadow and hellfire. There are few hurdles that are sacred to them, as testified by their habit of sacrificing their own life essence to fuel their spells before ripping such precious residue from the souls of their enemies in order to make their foes pay the price for their own ambition. Unfortunately such self-interest is the hallmark of a warlocks attitude and though there are a rare few that look upon their mortal brethren with a protective eye, far too many see instead the future subjects of their dark kingdoms.

Typically blessed with powerful constitutions and forceful personalities, these infernal sorcerers take to imposing their will on others as naturally as the fighter swings a blade, and were it not for the call of magic such beings would surely come to dominate whatever social circle they so desired. But, blessed with the arcane they are, and as such the secret covens formed by these grim magicians are truly a nexus of political and magical power whose reach can extend much further than their enemies believe.



Adventures: The search for power and understanding is unending in the world of a Warlock. Whether they seek to further their mystical power, social potency or search for new and exotic demons to enslave to their will, Warlocks need little convincing to hit the road.

Alignments: Any non-good. Though self-interested and driven by ambition, an evil murderer this does not make (though they typically are). Likewise, self-discipline is a necessary trait for any warlock seeking to resist the enslavement of the very demons with which they traffic, and as such there are very few Chaotic warlocks. The most common alignment would be Lawful Evil, followed by Lawful Neutral.

Other Classes: A warlocks ability to synergise with other classes depends heavily upon the personality of the individual warlock. As a powerful spell-caster with a clearly hellish origin, they may be naturally devisive beings for good-aligned clerics and paladins to work with. Meanwhile wizards typically resent what they see as a lack of discipline while fellow sorcerers are usually suspicious of a fellow spontaneous caster whose magic speaks of a infernal legacy. However, the most successful warlocks are those who have learned the value in cooperation and in an environment free of egotism a warlock has a lot to offer to a party who will trust them.

Role: Warlocks command a host of vicious offensive spells and a respectable contingent of abilities that they can use to provide support and utility to their friends. As such, they are capable of being a primary caster within a group, where their higher hit point pool and life-draining abilities allow them a degree of autonomy from the healing and protection usually required to sustain a caster.

GAME RULE INFORMATION
Warlocks have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Warlocks have compelling personalities and powerful constitutions that they constantly torture to empower their spells. As such, Charisma is the primary spell-casting statistic for a warlock, while Constitution plays an invaluable role for providing the warlock with a large pool of hitpoints for their class abilities.
Alignment: Any Non-good.
Hit Die: D8.
Starting Age: As Sorcerer.
Starting Gold: As Sorcerer.
Favoured Class Bonus: As Sorcerer.

Class Skills:
The Warlock's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are:
Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana, Planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at First Level: 4 + Int modifier
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier

Table; The Warlock





Saves

Spells Per Day


Level
BAB
Fort
Ref
Will
Special
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th



1st
+0
+2
+0
+2
Dark Pact
Fire Seed
Eschew Materials
Cantrips
1
—
—
—
—
—


2nd
+1
+3
+0
+3

1
—
—
—
—
—


3rd
+2
+3
+1
+3
Path of Power
2
—
—
—
—
—


4th
+3
+4
+1
+4
Path Ability
2
1
—
—
—
—



5th
+3
+4
+1
+4
Path Ability
3
2
—
—
—
—


6th
+4
+5
+2
+5
Path Ability
3
2
-
—
—
—


7th
+5
+5
+2
+5
Path Ability
4
3
1
—
—
—


8th
+6/+1
+6
+2
+6
Path Ability
4
3
2
—
—
—


9th
+6/+1
+6
+3
+6
Path Ability
4
4
2
—
—
—


10th
+7/+2
+7
+3
+7

Path Ability
Bonus feat
4
4
3
1
—
—


11th
+8/+3
+7
+3
+7
Fearless
4
4
3
2
—
—


12th
+9/+4
+8
+4
+8
Path Ability

4
4
4
2
—
—


13th
+9/+4
+8
+4
+8

4
4
4
2
1
—


14th
+10/+5
+9
+4
+9

4
4
3
2
—
—


15th
+11/+6/+1
+9
+5
+9
Path Ability
4
4
4
3
2
—


16th
+12/+7/+2
+10
+5
+10
Path Ability
4
4
4
4
3
1


17th
+12/+6/+3
+10
+5
+10

4
4
4
4
3
2


18th
+13/+8/+3
+11
+6
+11

4
4
4
4
4
3


19th
+14/+9/+4
+11
+6
+11

4
4
4
4
4
3


20th
+15/+10/+5
+12
+6
+12
Path Ability
4
4
4
4
4
4





Table: Warlock Spells Known


Level0[/th]123456
142—————
253—————
364—————
4642————
5643————
6644————
76542———
86543———
96544———
1065542——
1166543——
1266544——
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Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
Warlocks are proficient with all simple weapons. Warlocks are also proficient with light armor. A Warlock can cast Warlock spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a Warlock wearing medium or heavy armor, or using a shield, incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass Warlock still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

Warlock Spells:

A warlock casts arcane spells drawn primarily from the warlock spell list. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a warlock must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a warlock's spell is 10 + the spell level + the sorcerer's Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a warlock can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Warlock Spells Known. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).

A warlock's selection of spells is extremely limited. A warlock begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of her choice. At each new warlock level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Warlock Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a sorcerer knows is not affected by her Charisma score; the numbers on Table: Warlock Spells Known are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the warlock spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the Warlock has gained some understanding of through study.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered Warlock level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a Warlock can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the warlock loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell's level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. A Warlock may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.

Unlike a wizard or a cleric a warlock need not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her spells per day for that spell level. Additionally, a Warlock applies metamagic as would a sorcerer.

Warlock Spell List:

0-level Warlock Spells (cantrips)


1st level Warlock Spells:

2nd level Warlock Spells:

3th level Warlock Spells:

4th level Warlock Spells:

5th level warlock spells:

6th level warlock spells:


Special Abilities:

Cantrips:
Warlocks learn a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table: Warlock Spells Known under “Spells Known.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again.

Eschew Materials:
At first level, Warlocks gain the feat Eschew Materials as a bonus feat.

Dark Pact (Su):
The Warlock sacrifices motes of their own life force to power their magic. As a free action a Warlock is able to sacrifice hit points in order to restore spent spells per day on a 3-hp-per-level basis. For example, in order to restore a 5th level spell-per-day, the warlock would have to sacrifice 15 hit points. A Warlock can do this a total number of times per day equal to 3 + their constitution modifier.

Additionally, a warlock may spend more hit points in order to reduce the action time required to apply metamagic to their spells. The number of hitpoints required to be sacrificed is equal to two times the level of the spell, multiplied by the level adjustment of the metamagic feat. For example, a warlock that wished to apply the Maximise Spell metamagic feat to a fireball has two options. They may apply it as normal and take a full round action to cast the spell. However, they could also use Dark Pact to sacrifice 18 hit points (2 times 3rd level spell multiplied by 3 metamagic level modifier) in order to reduce the normal full round action to a standard action. The Warlock may also reduce the casting time a further step (so standard action becomes a move action) if they instead sacrifice triple they would normally forfeit. So in the previous example, the warlock decides to then cast their Maximised Fireball as a move action, sacrificing 54 hit points to do so.

The number of hit points required for sacrifice cannot be mitigated.

Fire Seed (Su):
The Warlock threads a fiery worm into the sinews of a chosen opponent that rots them away from within. Fire Seed is a Spell-like Ability that takes a standard action to cast and has a range of 30 + 5 ft. per caster level that requires a Ranged Touch Attack to hit. If successful it inflicts 1d6 Fire Damage per class level each round. This spell remains on a target for 1 round per class level for a minimum of 1 round. The target is permitted a Fortitude save to halve the damage, with a DC that equals 10 + 1/2 the Warlocks class level + their Charisma modifier. Only one Fire Seed can be active upon a target at a time.

Fire Seed can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage's Disjunction or antimagic field. Corruption may only be cast once per round.

Bonus Feat:
At level 10, the warlock gains a bonus feat that they may choose from the Item Creation feats. The warlock must still meet the prerequisites to select the feat.

Fearless (Ex):
By 11th level, the Warlock has become so inundated with the infernal and the demonic, that very little is capable of frightening them. As such, Warlocks of this level and beyond are immune to Fear effects such as the spell Cause Fear, and intimidation skill checks. In addition, the Warlock receives +3 bonus to Willpower saves to resist Mind Affecting spells such as Dominate Person.


Path of Power:

Upon reaching level 3 the Warlock begins to move towards the power they so crave with greater focus and direction. The Warlock must choose to pursue one of the following Paths of Power, Path of the Void or the Path of Hellfire. Once the decision has been made, the Warlock cannot change their decision.



Path of the Void



Moniker: Voidlocks

http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh483/tempestII/TheVoid.jpg?t=1443251876



The Void is a concept not fully understood by the mortal denizens of the material plane. To the uninitiated it is less a thing as much as it is a plug used to fill the exposed gaps of ignorance in those who encounter things outside their understanding. For those who have pledged themselves to its study, however, the void is so much more. Its influence is felt in everything and its presence resides in the darkness between stars, the layers of reality and the paradigms of time and space. Indeed, it is claimed that all that can be beheld is a manifest extension of the Voids omnipresence and that without its encompassing influence no plane of existence would be held together.

Therefore the possibilities open to one who could reach into the tapestry of existence and rework its threads for their own ends are nearly limitless. Or so believe the Voidlocks. Like engineers that study the mechanical so that their understanding could lead to further innovation and control, a Voidlock sifts through the building blocks of existence in search of power and knowledge. Whether benign or selfish the Voidlock will inevitably develop powers that are frightening to the common man, powers that may even worm their way into the Voidlocks mind and twist their mental perspective into something truly alien. Whether their actions make them an engineer or a parasite is up the Voidlock in question, but one thing is certain to those that walk this perilous path of power: the Void is greater in magnitude than any mortal mind could ever hope to comprehend.


Path Abilities:
The following are the Abilities gained at the designated level for Warlocks following the Path of the Void. Unless otherwise noted, all abilities are subject to Spell Resistance.

Soultear (Su):


The Voidlock directs a sliver of their attention into the matrix that holds their enemies physical form together and begins to twist, tear and rend. Excruciating pain rips across the targets body as they are pulled apart on a spiritual level, their soul screaming silently in agony and their body rotting from within. The cold menace of the Void seeps into their muscles and worms its way inside their mind, slowing their reactions and freezing their brain.

Soultear replaces Fire Seed and is gained at level 3.

Soultear is a Spell-like Ability that takes a standard action to cast and has a range of 30 + 5 ft. per caster level that requires a Ranged Touch Attack to hit and inflicts 1d6 Cold Damage for every 2 class levels (rounded up), to a minimum of 1d6. This damage "ticks" once every 2 rounds beginning on the turn the spell was cast. This spell remains on a target for 1 round per 2 caster levels (rounded up) for a minimum of 1 round. Only one Soultear can be active upon a target at a time.

Every time the target takes damage they are permitted a Fortitude save to reduce the damage by half.

Additionally, as the Warlock advances in class levels they are able to modulate Soultear in a number of different ways as follows:



Level 4: Soultears damage can be reduced by 1d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Shaken for 1 round.


Level 5: The Warlock can spend a number of hitpoints equal to his class level to substitute the Cold damage inflicted by a single casting of Soultear to Negative damage.


Level 7: Soultears damage can be reduced by 2d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Frightened for 1 round.


Level 11: Soultears damage can be reduced by 3d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Dazed for 1 round.


Level 15: Soultears damage can be reduced by 4d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Paralyzed for 1 round.


Only one modulation may be chosen per casting.

Soultear can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage’s Disjunction or antimagic field.


Phantasmical Reality (Su):


The Voidlock has reached a point of understanding that they are no longer entirely bound to the Material plane. For short-lived moments of ecstasy, the Voidlock can extend themselves between dimensions, reality and even space and time, putting them outside the reach of those who would seek them harm. Their image flickers with ethereal static, and to their companions they may seem to occasionally materialise in and out of existence as washed down shadows of their former selves. However, for all their growing insight the Voidlock is, ultimately, mortal, and as yet has not fully mastered his gateway into the void, and thus his extensions remain capricious at best.

Phantasmical Reality is gained at level 5.

Phantasmical Reality is a Spell-like Ability that functions as the spell Blink with a caster level equal to the Warlocks class level and with a duration of 1 round per class level per casting. The Warlock may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + the Warlocks charisma modifier.


Nightmare (Su):


From the infinite Void the Voidlock calls a servant, his lone companion. Answering his summons is a spectral horse whose cold temperment is matched only by its swift beauty.

Nightmare is gained at level 5.

The warlock can cast Phantom Steed as a Spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his class level.

This can be cast a number of times per day equal to the Warlocks charisma modifier.


Parasite (Su):


The Voidlock summons forth from the Void a parasite that burrows into the targets soul and eats away at the stiches that hold their material form together. As the parasite gorges itself it shares its feasts with the Voidlock, returning its digested meal through a spiritual bond that reinvigorates the Voidlocks body and fills them with life.

Parasite is gained at level 6.

Parasite is a Spell-like Ability that requires a standard action to cast, with a range of 30 + 5ft. per class level that inflicts 1d6 Cold damage per 3 class levels per round. This spell remains on a target for 1 round per 2 class levels. The target is permitted a Fortitude save to suffer half damage. Damaged caused by this spell is then added to the Warlock in the form of hit points. This cannot increase the Warlocks hit point total above its maximum. No hit points are returned to the warlock from damage caused to summoned creatures beneath the Warlocks control.

This ability can be cast a number of times per day equal to 3 + the warlocks charisma modifier.

A Warlock may sacrifice a number of hit points equal to their class level to substitute a single casting of Parasites Cold damage with Negative damage instead.

Parasite can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage’s Disjunction or antimagic field.

Decrepify (Su):

The Voidlock extends their perceptions into the matrix that constitutes their targets physical and spiritual whole and poisonous it. Though temporary, the victims body is wracked with debilitating weakness and their mind becomes sluggish, slow and impressionable.

Decrepify is gained at level 7.

When you activate this power as a standard action, you select a foe within 30 feet and make a Ranged Touch Attack. If successful, for 1 round the DC of your spells against that creature are increased by 1/2 your Warlock class level. You can use this ability 3 times per day.


Fold Space (Su):


The Warlock begins to see the tapestry of reality all about him and how he, with practised skilled, can fold two pieces of that cloth together so that he may move between them, covering a great distance with only a single step.

Fold Space is gained at level 9.

The Warlock becomes able to cast Shadow Walk as a Spell-like ability that may be used 2 times per day. The warlocks class level substitutes for caster level.


Mindwyrm (Su):

An ability preserved for those who truly displease the Voidlock, Touch of Madness opens a miniature gateway inside the targets mind and allows a modicum of the Void to flood inside. The result is nothing short of a harrowing, mind-bending horror visited upon the unfortunate target that only they can see and comprehend, as a world of nightmares grasps their mind and anchors it into the pit of madness, leaving them a blissfully gurgling labotomised mess whose eyes stare into the distance at objects only they can see.

Mindwyrm is gained at level 10.

Mindwyrm is a Spell-like Ability with a range of 30 + 5 ft. per class level that requires a standard action to cast and a successful Ranged Touch Attack to hit, and is subject to Spell Resistance. Targets are allowed a Will save equal to 10 + ½ your warlock level + your charisma modifier.

On a failed save, the target takes 3d6 points of Intelligence damage. Those reduced to 0 intelligence by this spell are not dead, but are instead comatose until they recover. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.


The Great Devourer:

The Voidlock tears a hole into reality that draws in everything within its influence: material, mind and soul. Those trapped inside the ever shifting folds of space-tear are twisted and warped, their minds bending and their bodies torn as all that they are is chewed and swallowed by the shapeless maw and fed into the great beyond and the soul of the Warlock.

The Great Devourer is gained at level 12.

The Great Devourer is a Spell-like Ability with a range of 10 feet per class level. The Voidlock chooses a designated target and makes spell resistance rolls as normal, and from that chosen point all targets within a 20-ft. radius spread are subjected to The Great Devourer and take 1d6 Cold damage per caster level, with those affected permitted a Fortitude to take half damage. In addition, those affected are permitted a Willpower save with those failing becoming Nauseated for 1d3 rounds.

Those killed by The Great Devourer are sucked into the Void, leaving behind a vaporous miasma that can be collected and bottled. Attempts to use Raise Dead on a creature killed by The Great Devourer automatically fail, but the bottled residue can be utilised as a component for Resurrection.

A Warlock may sacrifice a number of hit points equal to their class level to substitute a single casting of The Great Devourers Cold damage with Negative damage instead.

Finally, the Warlock gains half the total hp damage caused by The Great Devourer, up to their maximum normal hit points. The Warlock, if they so please, may disperse this healing out to their allies that are within 30 feet. You can use this ability 1/day at level 12, then 2/day at level 15, 3/day at level 18 and finally 4/day at level 20.


Nihilism (Su):

The Voidlock focuses upon a target and impresses upon them tendrils of the Void that seep into reality and drag the victim into another state of time and space. Torn from what they know the target is hurled into an empty, repeating labyrinth of oscillating shadow where every corner leads back to where the target entered and the laws of physics are constantly shifting.

Nihilism is gained at level 15.

Nihilism is a Spell-like ability that functions as Maze and can be cast once per day.


Paradigm (Su):

The Voidlock prepares an area with incense, charms and talismans and sets to meditation. During this time the Voidlock draws pieces of himself from the multitudinous strands of time in which other versions of himself exist and uses these tiny motes of his own essence to form a new paradigm and wreathes it with time-halting essence of the Void. There it will grow until maturity, at which point its mind will lay dormant until the Voidlocks current physical form is slain. At that point the paradigm will awaken and the Voidlock will live once more.

Paradigm is available at level 16.

Paradigm functions as the 8th level spell Clone. The Warlock must still provide similar material components in the form of ritual foci, talismans and charms during casting. However there is no need for preserving the body as it is instead kept in stasis within the Void-cocoon but it still requires 2d4 months before being able to receive the original characters soul like normal.

Finally, a Voidlock can only have one Paradigm prepared at any given time. If they have a Paradigm already prepared and they attempt to prepare another, the previous one dies immediately and is lost to the Void.


Eye of the Void (Ex):

The Warlock has become a master of the Void and imbibed its reality-altering influene to such a degree that they have ceased to age. Much like the entities that inhabit the centre of the Void, the Warlock no longer experiences the mortal trappings of time and, unless slain by unnatural means, could continue to live until they return.

Eye of the Void is gained at level 20.

After attaining 20th level, a warlock no longer takes ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties she may have already incurred, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, however the Warlock has now ceased to age and will not die of old age.

Gwynfrid
2015-10-02, 08:31 AM
Because now instead of having potentially 2 DoTs on a target in Soultear + Parasite, you've just got Soultear - and it's automatically doing half damage, possibly 1/4 damage if they're making their save, 1/2 of that coming back to you as hp. So 1/8 of the damage you're doing you're getting.

So if, at level ten, an opponent made their save you'd get back, on average, 1 hp. If they didn't make their save you'd get back about 2 hp.
So the real story is that you want the two DoTs to stack. You know what... That's fishy. You're not into cast-and-dimension-door-away territory yet, but it's a step towards it. Not the right way to go.

Now, coming back to my proposal, I don't think you read it right. I had this:
Level 9 - ability to swap for negative energy damage, reduce damage by half and siphon it back to you as temp hp.
Level 13 - ability to swap for negative energy damage, and siphon half of it back to you as temp hp. (Same as level 9 except you do full damage).

So if you're level 9 you do 5d6 cold as a baseline, average 17.5. Reduce damage by half and siphon it back yields 8.75 on average. If they make their save then you get 4.375 back. That's not huge, but it's over time. Sounds decent to me.

If you're level 13 you get full baseline (7d6, or 24.5 average) negative damage and siphon half back. So your negative damage is twice as much as the earlier version, but you siphon the same amount (e.g. 12.25 average)

I wouldn't be opposed to adding a 3rd level of progression, too, such as:

Level 17 - ability to swap for negative energy damage, and siphon all of it back to you as temp hp. (Same as level 13 except you siphon everything back).


Well it's cap is Class level, essentially.
Every wizard damaging spell has a cap other than class level, you know. I'm not saying you should have one: I'm saying this is a top-level ability for you whatever level you are. That's fine, but you can't have many of those. I'll get back to this when we narrow down on the total number of SLAs per day. Right now, it's still very much a moving part.


But I like a bit of randomness, haven't you figured that out yet :smalltongue:? Damnit stop trying to sterilise the elements of chaos that I put into the abilities :smalltongue:.
A bit of randomness is fine. A variance of 1 to 3 is too much. I see you nerfed the whole duration anyway... But I'll come back with something on this, see below.


Makes their hp/bab/saves just like a cleric. That sounds groovy.
That sounds rich to me. Not overly rich, but certainly on the high side. I think that's the absolute maximum bar you should consider. Having d6 and 1/2 BAB would give more breathing room for your numerous SLAs, in my mind.


*sulking childlike voice*

But I want my death vortex :smallfrown:.

Fine, it's around for 1 round. *grumbles*
Hey, that's your capstone right there!


What if, to make this a more useful party spell, the warlock can designate the hp they get back to thheir party members too?
Are you kidding me? Since when is this guy a team player? That's really anti-thematic. It's also waaaay too much.

Now, on to your full class structure. I have another round of nitpicks, of course. Some of them are pretty damn big nitpicks, too... Guess you're used to it by now.

1) I totally don't see why the Path of Power has to wait until level 3. It's like you embark on a fire-themed flavor and all of a sudden you turn to something entirely different at level 3. That makes the theme inconsistent. Let's go Void from level 1!

2) It immediately jumps at me that the abilties per level should be more evenly distributed. I would suggest something like this:
- Soultear at level 1, then a damage uptick and an evolution (such as swap some damage for a side effect) at every odd level thereafter.
- Another ability, or an improvement in a lower level ability, at every even level.

3) Favoured Class Bonus as Sorcerer: that doesn't work. Most of the alternate racial favored class bonuses for the sorcerer alter the bloodline powers, which you don't have.

4) I'd rather favor a normal 6 levels caster spell progression. That makes things easier to compare. Not a huge deal though.

5) Why do you think you should have armor? That doesn't fit with the void theme at all. If anything, the character should shun the material world as much as possible (Eschew Materials and SLAs fit with this). By the same token, he should have more limited weapon proficiency. You aren't about to fight with sticks when you command the Void, right?

6) Fire Seed. Seriously. 1d6 per level for 1 level per round. So as early as level 2, you do more damage than any known spell available to your caster colleagues. And you do that at will. No way.

7) Bonus item creation feat? Sounds random. Also, anti-thematic.

8) Also random: Fearless. Why? It's not anti-thematic, but it doesn't contribute anything to the theme either.

9) You should think of something more in the defensive department, but it should be Void-themed. Blink fits the bill, but I feel there should be something more. A protective force field of some sort, maybe. By the way, the CR26 monster that steinulfr unearthed is a good inspiration for abilities. Of course you need to tone down from CR26 to something more of this world, but the concepts are cool.

10) Mindwyrm: 3d6 Int damage is way too much especially for something you will use like 10x/day. One round of this, two at most if you're unlucky, and you take any fighter out of the game, even if he's twice your level. 1d6 should be plenty. Also, I don't see why it couldn't be DoT? For example, 1d4 Int damage per 2 rounds for 1 round/level, Will save every time to end the effect.

Smaller thing: You still have Touch of Madness at one point in the text.

11) Great Devourer: This thing shouldn't ever heal anybody. And the side effect could be more thematic... Actually, let me propose something that feels more like a Death Vortex.

Level 12: Great Devourer lasts for 1 round per level above 11. On the round it is cast and every 2 rounds after that, it does 1d6/2 levels (rounded up) cold damage or negative damage, as selected by the warlock, to every creature in the area of effect (Fort save for half). The Great Devourer also destroys the atmosphere, including any gas or fog, whether mundane or magical, that enters the area. Creatures in gaseous form, air elementals and other creatures made of gas instead take 1d6/level damage every round that they stay in the zone of effect (Fort save for half; damage is untyped for such creatures). Creatures in the area of effect are unable to breathe and are at risk of suffocating as long as they stay in the area (this effect isn't subject to SR). Any ongoing Soultear effect is suspended for a creature in a Great Devourer area of effect (this isn't very well worded but the intention is that Great Devourer is a zone version of Soultear and therefore supersedes it).

Level 14: Starting on the 3rd round of its existence, the zone of void created by the Devourer generates wind from all directions towards the area of effect. On the 3rd round, the wind force is light, and it extends over a radius of 40 feet (except for the 20-ft central zone of void where there is of course no wind). On every round thereafter, the wind force increases by one degree in the area already affected, and the wind zone extends a further 40 feet outwards, with light force at the edge. This acceleration and expansion continues until the 9th round, when wind has tornado force up to a 40-ft radius, hurricane force up to a 80-ft radius, and so on with one degree less of force per 40-ft of distance further away.

Comments?

BananaPhone
2015-10-02, 10:33 AM
So the real story is that you want the two DoTs to stack. You know what... That's fishy. You're not into cast-and-dimension-door-away territory yet, but it's a step towards it. Not the right way to go.

Now, coming back to my proposal, I don't think you read it right. I had this:
Level 9 - ability to swap for negative energy damage, reduce damage by half and siphon it back to you as temp hp.
Level 13 - ability to swap for negative energy damage, and siphon half of it back to you as temp hp. (Same as level 9 except you do full damage).

So if you're level 9 you do 5d6 cold as a baseline, average 17.5. Reduce damage by half and siphon it back yields 8.75 on average. If they make their save then you get 4.375 back. That's not huge, but it's over time. Sounds decent to me.

If you're level 13 you get full baseline (7d6, or 24.5 average) negative damage and siphon half back. So your negative damage is twice as much as the earlier version, but you siphon the same amount (e.g. 12.25 average)

I wouldn't be opposed to adding a 3rd level of progression, too, such as:

Level 17 - ability to swap for negative energy damage, and siphon all of it back to you as temp hp. (Same as level 13 except you siphon everything back).


They've always had the ability to stack, that isn't new. It's not part of my nefarious scheme when it's been written right there for two pages :smalltongue:

You seem to really have it in for Parasite for some reason :smalltongue:.



That sounds rich to me. Not overly rich, but certainly on the high side. I think that's the absolute maximum bar you should consider. Having d6 and 1/2 BAB would give more breathing room for your numerous SLAs, in my mind.

The higher hp pool (and D8 - D6 just amounts to 1 more hp on average each level) is used by Dark pact, and their SLA's rely a lot on Touch Attacks, as Stein said earlier.



Are you kidding me? Since when is this guy a team player? That's really anti-thematic. It's also waaaay too much.


He's not a cleric, but that doesn't mean he's an entirely selfish ******* that only brings dps and debuffs. In the spell selection he's going to have utility spells where he can do things for others.

Plus the RP'ing value of other characters getting healed by the soul-drinking power of the Void is too awesome to pass up.



1) I totally don't see why the Path of Power has to wait until level 3. It's like you embark on a fire-themed flavor and all of a sudden you turn to something entirely different at level 3. That makes the theme inconsistent. Let's go Void from level 1!

Because they start off as a fresh, new warlock-ling in the world before developing down one of the two Paths of Power. Once they start down one of the paths, forever will it dominate their destiny!

Where's your sense of role play :smalltongue:? They start off as a generalist for a few levels, uninitiated into the descending pools of knowledge that await them in their warlock career!



2) It immediately jumps at me that the abilties per level should be more evenly distributed. I would suggest something like this:
- Soultear at level 1, then a damage uptick and an evolution (such as swap some damage for a side effect) at every odd level thereafter.
- Another ability, or an improvement in a lower level ability, at every even level.


Well Soultear already increases in damage every odd level, it's just not listed in the class table.

The current abilities are relative to ones of their own level - the juiciest parts of the class are between level 3 and level 12. They still get a few nice abilities after that as well as getting access to the more powerful spells available in the game.

Honestly, as a player I look at that and I'm fine with it. I know that most campaigns don't last long beyond level 13 or so, so I get to experience most of the cool warlock abilities. But if it does go on beyond that point, there are still a few nice ones there and more powerful spells.


3) Favoured Class Bonus as Sorcerer: that doesn't work. Most of the alternate racial favored class bonuses for the sorcerer alter the bloodline powers, which you don't have.

It works for most of the important races, at least for now until specifics can be thought up. Until then that's low on the priority list :smalltongue:.


4) I'd rather favor a normal 6 levels caster spell progression. That makes things easier to compare. Not a huge deal though.

Damnit, pay attention to Dark Pact :smalltongue:.

The Class has quite a number of SLA's. In exchange they get a few less spells-per-day of normal spells. However, they can sacrifice hit points to refresh some of those spell slots, thus the synergy with their life draining ability Parasite. It all works together!


5) Why do you think you should have armor? That doesn't fit with the void theme at all. If anything, the character should shun the material world as much as possible (Eschew Materials and SLAs fit with this). By the same token, he should have more limited weapon proficiency. You aren't about to fight with sticks when you command the Void, right?

Well if we're going to follow that line of thought, why wear clothes?

In seriousness though, armor is a Warlock ability - it's not specific for Path of the Void.

They're not looking to shed the material - they manipulate the material reality, time and space. Being based off the cleric and summoner for bab/saves/spells per day/spells known etc, and light armor is fine.

I can't see the Warlock knowing how to use a club to beat someone to death at level 1 breaks the game :smalltongue:



6) Fire Seed. Seriously. 1d6 per level for 1 level per round. So as early as level 2, you do more damage than any known spell available to your caster colleagues. And you do that at will. No way.

Er, no. You're going to do comparable damage to any sorc with +damage bloodline/+CL feat/trait flinging around burning hands, or a wizard doing the same thing, except they don't have to roll to hit. I don't see 2d6 at level 2 with a need to roll to hit and fort for half breaking the game.

Then you lose the ability at level 3 as you enter Path of the Void, or Path of Hellfire.



7) Bonus item creation feat? Sounds random. Also, anti-thematic.

It's a Warlock ability rather than specifically a Path of the Void ability.



8) Also random: Fearless. Why? It's not anti-thematic, but it doesn't contribute anything to the theme either.

Again, it's a Warlock ability, not specifically a Path of the Void ability.

However, given the alien-nature of the Void and the abyssal horrors wretched up in my plans for Path of Hellfire, becoming Fearless is pretty suitable as nothing seems to scare them anymore.


9) You should think of something more in the defensive department, but it should be Void-themed. Blink fits the bill, but I feel there should be something more. A protective force field of some sort, maybe. By the way, the CR26 monster that steinulfr unearthed is a good inspiration for abilities. Of course you need to tone down from CR26 to something more of this world, but the concepts are cool.

Well we haven't hammered out their spell-list yet, but given that Void has access to Abjuration and Illusion spells, they'll have a few more defensive spells to help them out.


10) Mindwyrm: 3d6 Int damage is way too much especially for something you will use like 10x/day. One round of this, two at most if you're unlucky, and you take any fighter out of the game, even if he's twice your level. 1d6 should be plenty. Also, I don't see why it couldn't be DoT? For example, 1d4 Int damage per 2 rounds for 1 round/level, Will save every time to end the effect.

Smaller thing: You still have Touch of Madness at one point in the text.


1d6?

It goes from a scary nasty 3d10 debuff, to a who-cares-if-you-get-hit-once of 1d6? Maybe even 2d6 if you roll poorly?

No one cares about 1d6. Wizards will have high enough int that they could soak a few of blasts before it may impact their ability to cast spells

Feeblemind (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/f/feeblemind) is far more devastating, takes even longer to recover from (unless someone has a spell handy, assuming the cleric didn't get zapped too), gives a great inbuilt save debufff against arcane casters and is available at the same level (or earlier if you're a wizard).

Meanwhile the Voidlock thinks he's a good debuffer throwing out 1d6 int damage. He can do it more times a day, but with Feeblemind 1 casting is all you need (and what you'll probably get with the inbuilt debuff that's equal to the warlocks Decrepify which also takes a standard action to cast).

And you know what, people are terrified of Feeblemind. And for good reason. Mr Voidlock coming along thinking he's threatening anyone at that level with 1d6 int damage behind a touch attack + normal will save will get laughed out of the room. Even 3d6 is laughably crap when compared to Feeblemind. The only real advantage the lock has in this area is that Mindwyrm isn't a Mind Affecting ability - that's it.

Nah uh, sorry buddy, I yield a lot to you and Stein (we wouldn't have gotten this far if I hadn't lol) but this debuff needs to mean business otherwise it's useless.



11) Great Devourer: This thing shouldn't ever heal anybody. And the side effect could be more thematic... Actually, let me propose something that feels more like a Death Vortex.

Level 12: Great Devourer lasts for 1 round per level above 11. On the round it is cast and every 2 rounds after that, it does 1d6/2 levels (rounded up) cold damage or negative damage, as selected by the warlock, to every creature in the area of effect (Fort save for half). The Great Devourer also destroys the atmosphere, including any gas or fog, whether mundane or magical, that enters the area. Creatures in gaseous form, air elementals and other creatures made of gas instead take 1d6/level damage every round that they stay in the zone of effect (Fort save for half; damage is untyped for such creatures). Creatures in the area of effect are unable to breathe and are at risk of suffocating as long as they stay in the area (this effect isn't subject to SR). Any ongoing Soultear effect is suspended for a creature in a Great Devourer area of effect (this isn't very well worded but the intention is that Great Devourer is a zone version of Soultear and therefore supersedes it).

Level 14: Starting on the 3rd round of its existence, the zone of void created by the Devourer generates wind from all directions towards the area of effect. On the 3rd round, the wind force is light, and it extends over a radius of 40 feet (except for the 20-ft central zone of void where there is of course no wind). On every round thereafter, the wind force increases by one degree in the area already affected, and the wind zone extends a further 40 feet outwards, with light force at the edge. This acceleration and expansion continues until the 9th round, when wind has tornado force up to a 40-ft radius, hurricane force up to a 80-ft radius, and so on with one degree less of force per 40-ft of distance further away.

Comments?

Seems...a bit more complicated than what I originally envisioned. I mean it's cool, don't get me wrong, but there are things to consider.

When you say "are at risk of suffocating" do you mean they immediately start to suffocate like the air has been ripped from their lungs, or they have to go through the constitution/holding breath until they do? Because if it's the latter then that'll never happen because the storm will never last that long. So Great Devourer lost its debuff (nauseating) for nothing.

Second, can the warlock move it once cast? Because casting this once only for a) enemies to just walk away and fort saving halfing the damage and b) the rest of the party now stuck with this massive storm in front of them (and possibly engulfing them), could seriously dampen the abilities tactical use.

ylvathrall
2015-10-02, 03:31 PM
They've always had the ability to stack, that isn't new. It's not part of my nefarious scheme when it's been written right there for two pages :smalltongue:

You seem to really have it in for Parasite for some reason :smalltongue:.

They've always had the ability to stack. That does not mean that having the ability to stack was ever a good thing. I'm not as opposed to it now that the damage has come down, but it's still not something I would automatically say is a good idea. Folding it into the Soultear line is probably a good thing.


He's not a cleric, but that doesn't mean he's an entirely selfish ******* that only brings dps and debuffs. In the spell selection he's going to have utility spells where he can do things for others.

Plus the RP'ing value of other characters getting healed by the soul-drinking power of the Void is too awesome to pass up.

He is an entirely selfish bastard. You literally wrote "non-Good" into the class requirements (which I don't personally like, but that's beside the point). Everything about the class on a conceptual level is that it is all about wrecking things. It's a force of destruction and annihilation. There is nothing positive or benevolent about it.

The occasional buff or utility spell is one thing. Being able to heal himself at the expense of others is one thing. Being able to heal others is another thing entirely. I wouldn't even put Cure spells on the spell list, let alone have one of the core class abilities provide healing to others.


Because they start off as a fresh, new warlock-ling in the world before developing down one of the two Paths of Power. Once they start down one of the paths, forever will it dominate their destiny!

Where's your sense of role play :smalltongue:? They start off as a generalist for a few levels, uninitiated into the descending pools of knowledge that await them in their warlock career!

I will point out that most classes (wizards coming to mind as the best example here) choose their specialties at level 1. I get what you're saying about the RP value, but I see level 1 as being after you've already started to differentiate. Also, this:


Er, no. You're going to do comparable damage to any sorc with +damage bloodline/+CL feat/trait flinging around burning hands, or a wizard doing the same thing, except they don't have to roll to hit. I don't see 2d6 at level 2 with a need to roll to hit and fort for half breaking the game.

Then you lose the ability at level 3 as you enter Path of the Void, or Path of Hellfire.

Why are we losing abilities? This is bizarre. If your level 1 ability depends on your path, you should get the path at level 1. As it is I see things like "well, I really like the ability I already have, so I guess I can't take any more warlock levels." It's just weird.

Also, you're comparing it to a first level spell, which isn't reasonable, especially at levels so low that even a first level spell is a huge resource for the day. Compare it to a cantrip instead, since those are similarly at-will. 1d3 with a ranged touch attack, or 2d6 with a ranged touch attack and a save. The distinction is pretty clear.


It works for most of the important races, at least for now until specifics can be thought up. Until then that's low on the priority list :smalltongue:.

It doesn't work at all. If I can choose sorcerer favored class bonuses, then why is this its own class instead of a sorcerer archetype? Unless and until you write your own set, they can choose HP or a skill point like usual.


Damnit, pay attention to Dark Pact :smalltongue:.

The Class has quite a number of SLA's. In exchange they get a few less spells-per-day of normal spells. However, they can sacrifice hit points to refresh some of those spell slots, thus the synergy with their life draining ability Parasite. It all works together!

Believe me, you don't want me paying any more attention to Dark Pact than necessary. I'm already thinking that it's near-infinite spells with a wand of CLW.


Well if we're going to follow that line of thought, why wear clothes?

In seriousness though, armor is a Warlock ability - it's not specific for Path of the Void.

They're not looking to shed the material - they manipulate the material reality, time and space. Being based off the cleric and summoner for bab/saves/spells per day/spells known etc, and light armor is fine.

I can't see the Warlock knowing how to use a club to beat someone to death at level 1 breaks the game :smalltongue:

Remind me, why is there more than one path again? Because it seems like it's being hard enough to get one right without effectively writing the entire class twice.

About the actual armor, I don't really care. Yes, it's thematically inappropriate, and it would probably be better left off. But I don't feel that strongly about it.


It's a Warlock ability rather than specifically a Path of the Void ability.

And...how is item creation thematic to warlocks in general? This is not a class that makes things. They are not creative and productive. The concept of the class is pretty much wholly destructive. They don't create; they take or destroy.


It goes from a scary nasty 3d10 debuff, to a who-cares-if-you-get-hit-once of 1d6? Maybe even 2d6 if you roll poorly?

No one cares about 1d6. Wizards will have high enough int that they could soak a few of blasts before it may impact their ability to cast spells

Feeblemind (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/f/feeblemind) is far more devastating, takes even longer to recover from (unless someone has a spell handy, assuming the cleric didn't get zapped too), gives a great inbuilt save debufff against arcane casters and is available at the same level (or earlier if you're a wizard).

Meanwhile the Voidlock thinks he's a good debuffer throwing out 1d6 int damage. He can do it more times a day, but with Feeblemind 1 casting is all you need (and what you'll probably get with the inbuilt debuff that's equal to the warlocks Decrepify which also takes a standard action to cast).

And you know what, people are terrified of Feeblemind. And for good reason. Mr Voidlock coming along thinking he's threatening anyone at that level with 1d6 int damage behind a touch attack + normal will save will get laughed out of the room. Even 3d6 is laughably crap when compared to Feeblemind. The only real advantage the lock has in this area is that Mindwyrm isn't a Mind Affecting ability - that's it.

Nah uh, sorry buddy, I yield a lot to you and Stein (we wouldn't have gotten this far if I hadn't lol) but this debuff needs to mean business otherwise it's useless.

There are distinctions to be made here. First, feeblemind is a fifth level spell. That is a resource that is not to be taken lightly even at high levels. Every feeblemind spell you prepare or cast is a baleful poylmorph, a teleport, a dominate person that you can't. Even at level 20, you do not have so many fifth level spells that you can afford to take them lightly. In comparison, Mindwyrm has so many uses that you probably don't even need to bother tracking it most days. You can throw that ability around like candy. Shopkeeper annoys you? Mindwyrm!

Second, Mindwyrm's save DC scales with level. Feeblemind's doesn't.

Third, feeblemind explicitly does not reduce the target's scores below 1. You cannot render someone literally helpless with feeblemind. This means that it's effectively a waste of time on anyone other than a spellcaster. What does the fighter care if you dropped his Int from a 5 to a 1? He was already dumb as a post; being rendered literally stupider than many animals is probably just going to improve his personality. You just spent a fifth level spell to...make him incapable of using some skills that he wasn't much good at anyway. Congratulations.

In short, you are drawing a false analogy. There are more differences here than similarities.


Second, can the warlock move it once cast? Because casting this once only for a) enemies to just walk away and fort saving halfing the damage and b) the rest of the party now stuck with this massive storm in front of them (and possibly engulfing them), could seriously dampen the abilities tactical use.

Leaving aside the question of whether the modification is a good one, I feel I should point out that this is hardly a problem unique to warlocks. Any time you're dropping big, dramatic AoE effects, especially DoT ones, tactical inconvenience and friendly fire are very real concerns. That's why you have to be clever with when and how you use them.

Gwynfrid
2015-10-02, 09:24 PM
They've always had the ability to stack, that isn't new. It's not part of my nefarious scheme when it's been written right there for two pages :smalltongue:


They've always had the ability to stack. That does not mean that having the ability to stack was ever a good thing.

Drumrolll... I agree with steinulfr. I wouldn't have put it differently than he does. If I have anything to add, it's this: The only reason this wasn't called out 2 pages ago is because that fish, big as it is, was hidden behind a few whales that needed frying first.


The higher hp pool (and D8 - D6 just amounts to 1 more hp on average each level) is used by Dark pact, and their SLA's rely a lot on Touch Attacks, as Stein said earlier.
See, one of the problems is this: You seem to think of Dark Pact as a limitation on the class's power. It's not. It's a bonus for the class, it's there to be used for best advantage depending on circumstances. Remove Dark Pact (or choose not to use it on any given morning) and all you're left with is a raw hp advantage over your fellow casters.


He's not a cleric, but that doesn't mean he's an entirely selfish ******* that only brings dps and debuffs. In the spell selection he's going to have utility spells where he can do things for others.
Here again, I'm with steinulfr. Thematically the guy is an unabashed, nasty SOB. Helping others is possible in a pinch, but it's the opposite of the class' philosophy and shouldn't be built into a class feature.


Plus the RP'ing value of other characters getting healed by the soul-drinking power of the Void is too awesome to pass up.
Mayyyybe. But then the healing should come at the cost of a curse of some sort on the beneficiaries. Otherwise all it takes is a group of similar-minded SOBs and you all laugh all the way to the bottom of the alignment pool with no consequences other than your mirth.


Because they start off as a fresh, new warlock-ling in the world before developing down one of the two Paths of Power. Once they start down one of the paths, forever will it dominate their destiny!

Where's your sense of role play :smalltongue:? They start off as a generalist for a few levels, uninitiated into the descending pools of knowledge that await them in their warlock career!
My sense of roleplay tells me this is no generalist. It's a sort of fire elementalist and you're asking him to suddenly convert to entropy master. My suspension of disbelief is shattered on the spot.


Well Soultear already increases in damage every odd level, it's just not listed in the class table.
And so it should be listed in the table.


The current abilities are relative to ones of their own level - the juiciest parts of the class are between level 3 and level 12. They still get a few nice abilities after that as well as getting access to the more powerful spells available in the game.
Ah, I wasn't clear enough. Why do I tell you that abilities aren't evenly spread? I'm afraid I don't mean that you don't have enough at high levels... I mean there are too many at mid levels.


Honestly, as a player I look at that and I'm fine with it. I know that most campaigns don't last long beyond level 13 or so, so I get to experience most of the cool warlock abilities. But if it does go on beyond that point, there are still a few nice ones there and more powerful spells.

Sorry, my friend, but it you want to design a class, you gotta do it for every level.


It works for most of the important races, at least for now until specifics can be thought up. Until then that's low on the priority list :smalltongue:.

Sorry, my friend, but it you want to design a class, you gotta do it for every race. Remember your reaction when I suggested that maybe an archetype, or just a list of new spells, would do the job? Well, you choose the more difficult path.

(That said, I might be making a little fun of you here, but I agree that solving the Favored Class bonuses isn't the most urgent thing to do. It just needs to be done at some point before the end. I just thought to raise it when I saw it, so as not to forget later.)


Damnit, pay attention to Dark Pact :smalltongue:.

The Class has quite a number of SLA's. In exchange they get a few less spells-per-day of normal spells. However, they can sacrifice hit points to refresh some of those spell slots, thus the synergy with their life draining ability Parasite. It all works together!

Right now, it has so many SLAs that it should have no spells at all to begin with. (That's not my recommendation, though. At least, not yet. Let's try to fix the SLAs before we restort to that.)



Well if we're going to follow that line of thought, why wear clothes?

In seriousness though, armor is a Warlock ability - it's not specific for Path of the Void.


They're not looking to shed the material - they manipulate the material reality, time and space. Being based off the cleric and summoner for bab/saves/spells per day/spells known etc, and light armor is fine.

I can't see the Warlock knowing how to use a club to beat someone to death at level 1 breaks the game :smalltongue:

If you don't like the concept of shedding materiality, no problem. Armor is just another drop in the overflowing bucket. Not the end of the world. But it does deprive you of arguments along the lines of "sure I've got lots of SLAs but I need them to defend myself since I suck with armor and weapons".


Er, no. You're going to do comparable damage to any sorc with +damage bloodline/+CL feat/trait flinging around burning hands, or a wizard doing the same thing, except they don't have to roll to hit. I don't see 2d6 at level 2 with a need to roll to hit and fort for half breaking the game.

Come on, seriously? Show me a level 2 sorcerer with bloodline, feats and traits that can do 4d6 spread over 2 rounds of damage at range with a single standard action. That's what you want to do, and you want to do it at will, no limit per day! Not anywhere close to halfway reasonable. And it's not like the warlock will be forbidden from having feats, traits, and racial bonuses either.


However, given the alien-nature of the Void and the abyssal horrors wretched up in my plans for Path of Hellfire, becoming Fearless is pretty suitable as nothing seems to scare them anymore.
It's not strictly opposed to the theme. But thematically, I find it meh. I'm not really agaisnt it but I really think you can do better than that.


It goes from a scary nasty 3d10 debuff, to a who-cares-if-you-get-hit-once of 1d6? Maybe even 2d6 if you roll poorly?

No one cares about 1d6. Wizards will have high enough int that they could soak a few of blasts before it may impact their ability to cast spells
1d6 Int will remove a couple of bonus spells slots, and until the high levels, these will be their higher level spells. Of course they care. And (you guessed it) steinulfr is 100% right on the Feeblemind analogy.

3d6 is clearly over the top. 1d6, maybe a little weak. Why not pick my Int DoT proposal? Thematically, it makes sense, I think. It's creepy and scary and will take care of most of those monsters who shrug at your cold or negative damage.


Seems...a bit more complicated than what I originally envisioned. I mean it's cool, don't get me wrong, but there are things to consider.
You're right, I thought of that too, but I didn't have either time or better ideas. Offhand, you can simplify in 2 ways: either you remove the wind effect, but then you lose a lot of the cool factor imo. Or you make the wind a simpler effect, with the same force across a fixed radius. The force could increase with level. But then I think it would have to be capped at a lower force than tornado, and a smaller radius.


When you say "are at risk of suffocating" do you mean they immediately start to suffocate like the air has been ripped from their lungs, or they have to go through the constitution/holding breath until they do? Because if it's the latter then that'll never happen because the storm will never last that long. So Great Devourer lost its debuff (nauseating) for nothing.

I mean they have to hold their breath. It isn't going to make them suffocate, because of duration, you're correct. But it stops them from speaking or casting spells with verbal components, that's significant.

It does lose the Nauseating debuff, but then, I thought that debuf was too powerful...


Second, can the warlock move it once cast? Because casting this once only for a) enemies to just walk away and fort saving halfing the damage and b) the rest of the party now stuck with this massive storm in front of them (and possibly engulfing them), could seriously dampen the abilities tactical use.
You are concerned the enemy will move away, and also concerned the party will have problems moving away? Isn't that a bit contradictory? Anyway, all parties will have the same environmental hazard, with yours starting with the advantage of being further away to begin with. Depending on the environment, this advantage could be decisive. Generally, I like your odds.

That said, being able to move it would be appropriate as a capstone. Like:

Level 20: With a standard action, the warlock can move the centerpoint of the Great Devourer by up to 40ft per round. Control can be exercised from a distance of 40 feet per level.

BananaPhone
2015-10-02, 10:13 PM
can't reply to everything right now guys because I have to drive 3 hours for a friends 30's, but I wanted to reply to this before I head off:



There are distinctions to be made here. First, feeblemind is a fifth level spell. That is a resource that is not to be taken lightly even at high levels. Every feeblemind spell you prepare or cast is a baleful poylmorph, a teleport, a dominate person that you can't. Even at level 20, you do not have so many fifth level spells that you can afford to take them lightly. In comparison, Mindwyrm has so many uses that you probably don't even need to bother tracking it most days. You can throw that ability around like candy. Shopkeeper annoys you? Mindwyrm!

Second, Mindwyrm's save DC scales with level. Feeblemind's doesn't.

Third, feeblemind explicitly does not reduce the target's scores below 1. You cannot render someone literally helpless with feeblemind. This means that it's effectively a waste of time on anyone other than a spellcaster. What does the fighter care if you dropped his Int from a 5 to a 1? He was already dumb as a post; being rendered literally stupider than many animals is probably just going to improve his personality. You just spent a fifth level spell to...make him incapable of using some skills that he wasn't much good at anyway. Congratulations.

In short, you are drawing a false analogy. There are more differences here than similarities.



1d6 Int will remove a couple of bonus spells slots, and until the high levels, these will be their higher level spells. Of course they care. And (you guessed it) steinulfr is 100% right on the Feeblemind analogy.

3d6 is clearly over the top. 1d6, maybe a little weak. Why not pick my Int DoT proposal? Thematically, it makes sense, I think. It's creepy and scary and will take care of most of those monsters who shrug at your cold or negative damage.


Can't one of you guys back me up like...ever?

This always has to be an uphill battle on everything and it's always Me vs You 2.

No. I disagree with both of you. 1d6 int penalty at level 10 is pathetic. It's weak and no one ever will care. You do more Strength damage with Ray of Enfeeblement for a Level 1 spell - and saving against that spell only reduces the damage by half, it doesn't negate it outright.

That you also have to hit them and they get a will save means that's 50% of the time you're going to stand there doing nothing (which, as Stein has pointed out, is just an unfortunate reality of the game), but when you do do something you've now spent a standard action to make someones life minorly inconvenient. At level 10-12 with Save-or-Die spells coming online, that's means Mindwyrm will always be over-looked for more effective spells. Anda t level 10 the chances of an enemy 24-int, level 10 wizard/arcanist/whatever being afraid that they just lost, on average, 3 intelligence, 1 DC from their spells but can still operate normally, is laughable.

I've pointed out Feeblemind because it's not a poor analogy, I see it as directly along the line. You only have to cast it once and it sends any Arcane caster to the poor house - and it's got an inherent debuff to saves built in. And you don't have to hit with it. And it's gained a level earlier for a wizard or an equal level sorcerer. It's superior in every way imaginable.

Even against a Fighter you're going to have to be sitting there for four turns, even 5 maybe, to reliably roll 12+ to take their int down to 0. "But!" you say, "Feeblemind is only useful against casters!" it's useful against all arcane casters because they all rely on either intelligence or charisma - feeblemind not only targets both but it does so with an inherent debuff. Mindwyrm does 1d6 to intelligence, which means any charisma-based caster doesn't even care. So now Mindwyrm has to jump through two hurdles, one of them of which is their targets best save, and when they do so their range of applicable targets is arcane casters that use Int, because they're the only ones who might care about losing 3 int damage, or more if they stay there and cop even more Mindwyrm hits. So now not only is the ability damage pathetic but the list of targets who'll care is shorter than a bee's ****.

And that's just when they get the ability. At level 14? 16? 18? Any enemy that cares about its int score will have Will saves through the roof and will laugh at anyone that thinks 1d6 int damage was worth spending all those actions to accomplish.

So no, I'm not budging on this, 3d6. The amount of uses can get taken to just Charisma modifier or 3 times a day or something. But 1d6 per use after having to jump over 2 hurdles when comparable stat damage debufff spells do both more damage, are available earlier and have less hurdles to jump over and more applicable targets, is weak.

ylvathrall
2015-10-02, 11:22 PM
There's a line here that I want to respond to in particular, because I think it's really emblematic of the problem here.


Can't one of you guys back me up like...ever?

This always has to be an uphill battle on everything and it's always Me vs You 2.

I don't think that's a productive attitude. This is not a competition. It's not a us vs. you sort of thing. It's not a battle at all. This is your show. You don't need our approval. You don't need anyone's approval. You can write whatever you want. Think of this instead as some people taking the time to help you make your creation the best it can be.

I doubt you'll have to worry about it in the future, though, because I don't think I'm going to be back here. I don't feel like my time is accomplishing much here, and I don't have so much time that I want to spend it on pointless activities. At this point, I think I've said my piece; I don't know that I have anything to contribute beyond reiterating the points I've already made.

I do want to leave you with one thought, though. At this point, I think every single person who's taken the time to respond here has been of the opinion that the class is overpowered. I'm not going to go digging through the thread to confirm that because, again, my time is not an infinite resource. Certainly anyone who disagrees hasn't been very vocal about it while I've been around. Additionally, numerous people have suggested that you scrap the class entirely in favor of making an archetype or, more recently, a selection of spells.

And I know that's a little demoralizing. I get it. But at some point, when everyone you show it to has the same reaction, you should probably at least consider whether you are, in fact, the one that's wrong. I also know that you've invested a lot of your time into it, and throwing that investment away hurts. But...sunk cost fallacy, you know? Just because you've invested a lot of resources in a plan doesn't mean that it's a good plan. If there's a better, easier way to accomplish your goal, you should at least consider switching over to that alternative. Call the work you did on a dead-end path a preliminary draft and move on.

Anyway, those are just a couple of things I wanted to mention. However you decide to proceed, I wish you luck and I hope it works out for you.

BananaPhone
2015-10-02, 11:43 PM
And plans have changed! I can now go over these "nitpicks" of yours :smalltongue:.


They've always had the ability to stack. That does not mean that having the ability to stack was ever a good thing. I'm not as opposed to it now that the damage has come down, but it's still not something I would automatically say is a good idea. Folding it into the Soultear line is probably a good thing.


Drumrolll... I agree with steinulfr. I wouldn't have put it differently than he does. If I have anything to add, it's this: The only reason this wasn't called out 2 pages ago is because that fish, big as it is, was hidden behind a few whales that needed frying first.

Parasite does 1d6 damage per 3 class levels in the same manner as Soultear - every 2 rounds for 1 round per 2 class levels, with a Fort save for half. Any damage it does is sent back to the Warlock as HP. As of writing this this is the only way a warlock can heal themselves after spending hp to either refresh spells-per-day or use metamagic. They can also only cast this spell 3 + charisma modifier number of times per day.

This is one of the Paths 2 DoT damage spells, with GD still in the air.

Thematically I really like it. Mechanically it's an additional DoT, some more damage dealing and self-healing. It also goes a long way for the novelty of the Void path's parasitic and life-drinking theme.

I'm at a loss for why it needs to go or be cut.


He is an entirely selfish bastard. You literally wrote "non-Good" into the class requirements (which I don't personally like, but that's beside the point). Everything about the class on a conceptual level is that it is all about wrecking things. It's a force of destruction and annihilation. There is nothing positive or benevolent about it.

The occasional buff or utility spell is one thing. Being able to heal himself at the expense of others is one thing. Being able to heal others is another thing entirely. I wouldn't even put Cure spells on the spell list, let alone have one of the core class abilities provide healing to others.



Here again, I'm with steinulfr. Thematically the guy is an unabashed, nasty SOB. Helping others is possible in a pinch, but it's the opposite of the class' philosophy and shouldn't be built into a class feature.

Mayyyybe. But then the healing should come at the cost of a curse of some sort on the beneficiaries. Otherwise all it takes is a group of similar-minded SOBs and you all laugh all the way to the bottom of the alignment pool with no consequences other than your mirth.


Healing in itself isn't lovely and nice. This is a vampiric type of healing - one that comes at the expense of the pain and misery of others. In a way forcing his companions to indulge in that with him by "healing" them through his destructive efforts and philosophically tainting them is thematically kind cool and corruptible in my opinion.

And no, I'm not planning on any Cure spells on their spell list :smalltongue:.



I will point out that most classes (wizards coming to mind as the best example here) choose their specialties at level 1. I get what you're saying about the RP value, but I see level 1 as being after you've already started to differentiate


My sense of roleplay tells me this is no generalist. It's a sort of fire elementalist and you're asking him to suddenly convert to entropy master. My suspension of disbelief is shattered on the spot.


The Path of the Void isn't a generalist, no. But the newbie lvl 1-2 warlock before them is.

They're not really fire elementalists either, I just chose Fire as the energy type for their sole attack because that's the most commonly associated with a "warlock" type of person. You know, fire and brimstone and all that? They don't "lose" the ability as much as it becomes warped into their new specialisations abilitiy: for Void that's "Soultear".

Also if we started it at level 1 then there wouldn't be any point in being a Warlock - the whole thing would just get scrapped and we'd be making a separate class entirely.

What I want to make though is a class that starts off as a general life-is-pain-mall-goth for the first couple of levels of their careers, before they specialise into either DoTs/Life Draining/Debuffs with Path of the Void, or Summoning Minon-mancery-consorting-with-alien-weird-**** with Path of the Abyss (which sounds cooler than hellfire imo).

They're both joined under the same paradigm of the void and alien and unknown and the darkness between stars that stretches into the ether of the infernal planes etc, but they're under the umbrella term "Warlock", just the way a Necromancer or Conjurer are still, at their foundation, a "wizard".

Making a character who for the first 2 levels of the their career finds a bit about themselves before specialising, imo, is really cool from an RP'ing and mechanics standpoint. To me to rolls back the cold mechanics and makes it a bit more organic.

That's just my opinion on it anyway.


Why are we losing abilities? This is bizarre. If your level 1 ability depends on your path, you should get the path at level 1. As it is I see things like "well, I really like the ability I already have, so I guess I can't take any more warlock levels." It's just weird.

Also, you're comparing it to a first level spell, which isn't reasonable, especially at levels so low that even a first level spell is a huge resource for the day. Compare it to a cantrip instead, since those are similarly at-will. 1d3 with a ranged touch attack, or 2d6 with a ranged touch attack and a save. The distinction is pretty clear.


Come on, seriously? Show me a level 2 sorcerer with bloodline, feats and traits that can do 4d6 spread over 2 rounds of damage at range with a single standard action. That's what you want to do, and you want to do it at will, no limit per day! Not anywhere close to halfway reasonable. And it's not like the warlock will be forbidden from having feats, traits, and racial bonuses either.


They're not losing it. Mechanically it gets replaced. But RP'wise the basic spell a warlock knows, Fireseed, evolvesas they specialise. In the case of Voidlocks it changes into Soultear.


Show you something comparable?

Okay, well meet Ms Firemane. She's a level 1 tattooed (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/sorcerer/archetypes/paizo---sorcerer-archetypes/tattooed-sorcerer)Sorcerer with red draconic bloodline (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/sorcerer/bloodlines/bloodlines-from-paizo/draconic-bloodline), a mages tattoo (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/mages-tattoo)as a class feature with Evocation tattoos, she chose the feats Spell Focus (Evocation) and Spell Specialisation (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/spell-specialization) (burning hands). She's a blaster, you see.

She can, 5 times a day, shoot a gout of Burning Hands (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/b/burning-hands), incinerating everything in a 15 cone. Everything in that cone needs to take a reflex save against DC 17, or take 4d4+4 damage. At level 1. Given its range and Area of Effect, it tends to be the decider of every encounter in the day, with one spare left over just in case the halfling tries to steal her wine.


Maybe I'm used to gaming around optimisers and don't see 2d6 damage a round as a biggie.

If it's that bad we can just replicate the Acid Dart ability from Conjuration. Ranged Touch attack, acid damage + 1 per class level, can do it as many times a day equal to 3 + charisma modifier.

Then when the Lockling becomes more experised and specialises their spell evolves into Soultear or the other one for Abyss.

Thoughts?




It doesn't work at all. If I can choose sorcerer favored class bonuses, then why is this its own class instead of a sorcerer archetype? Unless and until you write your own set, they can choose HP or a skill point like usual.


Sorry, my friend, but it you want to design a class, you gotta do it for every race. Remember your reaction when I suggested that maybe an archetype, or just a list of new spells, would do the job? Well, you choose the more difficult path.

(That said, I might be making a little fun of you here, but I agree that solving the Favored Class bonuses isn't the most urgent thing to do. It just needs to be done at some point before the end. I just thought to raise it when I saw it, so as not to forget later.)


I'm sorry I evevn put that there at all now :smalltongue:. I put them there as a last moment because most of them that I skimmed over were "choose a class ability, do it 50% more times a day" or "get an extra spell known". A few posts ago the warlocks core abilities were a "nitpick" or two away from being done so I thought it prudent to prepare for the home stretch, but now we're back into huge page-length discussions about them, so I think favored race is low on the list of priorities right now as I'd rather get these abilities all sorted and done :smalltongue:.



Believe me, you don't want me paying any more attention to Dark Pact than necessary. I'm already thinking that it's near-infinite spells with a wand of CLW.

By unlimited you mean "a number of times per day equal to their constitution modifier", then maybe :smalltongue:. And they don't need a CLW wand, they have their Parasite ability, which is what it's there for.


And so it should be listed in the table.


Why? That just clogs it up. Much easier just to write a line "does damage equal to 1d6 per two caster levels (rounding up)". Players aren't stupid. Well, not that stupid.



Ah, I wasn't clear enough. Why do I tell you that abilities aren't evenly spread? I'm afraid I don't mean that you don't have enough at high levels... I mean there are too many at mid levels.



Sorry, my friend, but it you want to design a class, you gotta do it for every level.


...?

I give them a nice amount of theme-defining, unique abilities and you say they're getting too many abilities. At the same time you say I'm not giving them enough abilities for each level.

Have you come down with a case of schizophrenia or something? :smalltongue:



Remind me, why is there more than one path again? Because it seems like it's being hard enough to get one right without effectively writing the entire class twice.

About the actual armor, I don't really care. Yes, it's thematically inappropriate, and it would probably be better left off. But I don't feel that strongly about it.


If you don't like the concept of shedding materiality, no problem. Armor is just another drop in the overflowing bucket. Not the end of the world. But it does deprive you of arguments along the lines of "sure I've got lots of SLAs but I need them to defend myself since I suck with armor and weapons".


Because they're specialisations beneath the same umbrella of the Void, the Darkness Between Stars, the Abyss and insanity-mind-melting-unknown. Void path deals with debuffs/dots/being nasty and Abyss deals with minion-mancy and summoning and bringing alien creatures into the world to control.


It's just light armor...clerics can wear heavy armor and shields and are full casters and have a domain spells and have domain abilities. Druids can wear light armor, have the massive versatility of wild shape and...though they have the weakest spell list. Summoners have their summons, are half-casters and can wear light armor.

I'm not seeing how Light Armor proficiency is such a problem when compared to others.


And...how is item creation thematic to warlocks in general? This is not a class that makes things. They are not creative and productive. The concept of the class is pretty much wholly destructive. They don't create; they take or destroy.


Well there's nothing inherently creative about wizards or sorcerers either, but they become so with the feats and the spells that the player chooses for them. Warlocks are magical creatures that delve into the element of magic that binds everythign together. That they could sift some of that and impress it into useful objects doesn't seem out of place to me.

The class still deals with the Void, the Void isn't inherently a nasty, destructive place - we've seen that in their spell list which has spells like major creation and fabrication and what not seems as the Void is what's believed to hold all the different dimensions together. if you are exposed to it chances are you won't live long but that doesn't make it inherently malevolent and destructive anymore than lava is just because you'll die if you fall into it.



Right now, it has so many SLAs that it should have no spells at all to begin with. (That's not my recommendation, though. At least, not yet. Let's try to fix the SLAs before we restort to that.)


"So, you are a caster that's invested themselves into the Void huh? The elemental essence that binds everything together? What can do you?"

"Well, I can rot people away pretty good, I can do nasty debuffing to them. I can walk through the Plane of Shadow...protect myself a bit from my enemies. I can summon a sparkle pony!"

"Can you? Hmm, well over there is Herman the Wizard, he's currently building a town from scratching with fabricate, major creation, permanency, move earth, transmute rock to mud and mud to rock. You channel the Void, yeah? The thing that binds everything together? Can you do anything like that?"

"Er...well, i could rot the tree's away!"

"Yeah yeah, but can you do anything else other than inflict pain on people? And summon sparkle ponies? The void is supposed to hold everything together, that's pretty major."

"Um...er...I could lobotomise the dog!"

"That's it?"

"I..er...yes..."

"Wow, the Void is pretty limited then, after all huh?"

*Voidlock runs off crying*

:smalltongue:





Leaving aside the question of whether the modification is a good one, I feel I should point out that this is hardly a problem unique to warlocks. Any time you're dropping big, dramatic AoE effects, especially DoT ones, tactical inconvenience and friendly fire are very real concerns. That's why you have to be clever with when and how you use them.



You're right, I thought of that too, but I didn't have either time or better ideas. Offhand, you can simplify in 2 ways: either you remove the wind effect, but then you lose a lot of the cool factor imo. Or you make the wind a simpler effect, with the same force across a fixed radius. The force could increase with level. But then I think it would have to be capped at a lower force than tornado, and a smaller radius.



I mean they have to hold their breath. It isn't going to make them suffocate, because of duration, you're correct. But it stops them from speaking or casting spells with verbal components, that's significant.

It does lose the Nauseating debuff, but then, I thought that debuf was too powerful...


You are concerned the enemy will move away, and also concerned the party will have problems moving away? Isn't that a bit contradictory? Anyway, all parties will have the same environmental hazard, with yours starting with the advantage of being further away to begin with. Depending on the environment, this advantage could be decisive. Generally, I like your odds.

That said, being able to move it would be appropriate as a capstone. Like:

Level 20: With a standard action, the warlock can move the centerpoint of the Great Devourer by up to 40ft per round. Control can be exercised from a distance of 40 feet per level.




Keep that thought in mind, but pause it for a second.

What if, going with Gwyns idea for a "vortex", the Great Devourer is replaced with Control Winds (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/c/control-winds). It's still gained at level 12 (so 2 levels after druids can normally cast it) and its wind strength is based off every 4 class levels (instead of every 3 caster levels), however the warlock can move the "eye" around as a concentration effort and a standard action. It's fluff is written more like a storm vortex as if the lock opened up a tear to the Void -so people can get sucked up into it with that no Raise Dead complication.

This way it doesn't list damage specifically in terms of d6's and what not, it's power increases with the warlocks class level (with the cap being Tornado strength) and thematically its great as representing the voidlock as this "destruction, poisonous person" - they're a genuine threat to a whole town, showing why higher level locks are really distrusted. It's also got massive story plot potential, both for a protagonist and an antagonist.

BananaPhone
2015-10-02, 11:53 PM
There's a line here that I want to respond to in particular, because I think it's really emblematic of the problem here.

I don't think that's a productive attitude. This is not a competition. It's not a us vs. you sort of thing. It's not a battle at all. This is your show. You don't need our approval. You don't need anyone's approval. You can write whatever you want. Think of this instead as some people taking the time to help you make your creation the best it can be.

I doubt you'll have to worry about it in the future, though, because I don't think I'm going to be back here. I don't feel like my time is accomplishing much here, and I don't have so much time that I want to spend it on pointless activities. At this point, I think I've said my piece; I don't know that I have anything to contribute beyond reiterating the points I've already made.

I do want to leave you with one thought, though. At this point, I think every single person who's taken the time to respond here has been of the opinion that the class is overpowered. I'm not going to go digging through the thread to confirm that because, again, my time is not an infinite resource. Certainly anyone who disagrees hasn't been very vocal about it while I've been around. Additionally, numerous people have suggested that you scrap the class entirely in favor of making an archetype or, more recently, a selection of spells.

And I know that's a little demoralizing. I get it. But at some point, when everyone you show it to has the same reaction, you should probably at least consider whether you are, in fact, the one that's wrong. I also know that you've invested a lot of your time into it, and throwing that investment away hurts. But...sunk cost fallacy, you know? Just because you've invested a lot of resources in a plan doesn't mean that it's a good plan. If there's a better, easier way to accomplish your goal, you should at least consider switching over to that alternative. Call the work you did on a dead-end path a preliminary draft and move on.

Anyway, those are just a couple of things I wanted to mention. However you decide to proceed, I wish you luck and I hope it works out for you.



And I post to seeing this....


That's, quite disheartening, to be honest. I admit to writing what I did while in a bad temper (this morning wasn't a good one). But I'd like to point out that if you think that this has been pointless and I've been solely obdurate, to have a look at where this started before you came along and where it is now. This started off as a class inspired by a class in an MMO. Now it's become something that's completely unrecognizable to its source material, but which has its own unique theme within pathfinder. As frustrated as I sometimes get, I like to keep an optimistic mind about it all because for me that's worth it.

We got it to the point where you and Gwyn said there were just "nitpicks" left. Those nitpicks are some more work, yes, but I take it as a symbol of how far things have come. I know that over text I'm not the easiest of persons to interpret and things would be much easier if we were all sitting around a table. But I look back and see that the formula pretty much starts with Me coming up with an idea that I really like but seems OP, back and forth back and forth, it gets brought into something more reasonable.

I look at where this was last year. I look at where it is now. I see people like you and Gwyn that have helped (however painful or amusing at times), forge it that far. I see you write lines like "Progress! Now just some nitpicks on my part" and my spirits lift.

And in a ways I have come to think of needing yours and Gwyns approval, because though I started this, yourself and Gywn have helped me bring it near the light at the end of the tunnel, so as far as I see it it's as much yours as it is mine.

BananaPhone
2015-10-03, 12:17 AM
My enthusiasm isn't there so I'm going to pause development on this for the foreseeable future.

Pause.

Gwynfrid
2015-10-04, 04:15 PM
I'm really sorry if the feedback you got from us leads you to end this experiment. As you've noted, you have invested significant time and thought in this, and I can understand your frustration with the difficulties you're encountering. Admittedly, you haven't chosen an easy path and the ups and downs of the discussion can be discouraging indeed.

That said, I have comments about the present state of affairs, which I hope you may find helpful, if not to conintue here, then maybe at least in similar, future endeavors.


And in a ways I have come to think of needing yours and Gwyns approval, because though I started this, yourself and Gywn have helped me bring it near the light at the end of the tunnel, so as far as I see it it's as much yours as it is mine.

Really? This is, well, quite flattering, and I truly appreciate it, surprising as it sounds to me. I certainly didn't set out to contribute to that degree... But I would gladly take a tiny measure of pride if it ended up being the case.

Now, I did say I was surprised by that statement. I'm going to try to explain why, because I think this explanation will help us understand why we seem to have reached a dead end here.

First, let me get back to something steinulfr said:


There's a line here that I want to respond to in particular, because I think it's really emblematic of the problem here.



Can't one of you guys back me up like...ever?

This always has to be an uphill battle on everything and it's always Me vs You 2.

I don't think that's a productive attitude. This is not a competition. It's not a us vs. you sort of thing. It's not a battle at all. This is your show. You don't need our approval. You don't need anyone's approval. You can write whatever you want. Think of this instead as some people taking the time to help you make your creation the best it can be.

I had expressed a very similar sentiment, when I told you this wasn't a negotiation. Indeed, you can totally walk away with your design and ignore our feedback. Yes, I think it would be a mistake on your part, but hey, I could very well be wrong. This is all a matter of taste, regarding the thematic aspect, and of group perspective on game balance, regarding the mechanics. So it's quite possible you go to your group and everybody finds it delightful, proving my predictions wrong. I'm not some sort of guru here, and have no authority other than that you choose to confer to me.

Another thing: I'm under the impression that you didn't fully realize you were trying to win steinulfr's and my approval until now (I certainly didn't, for my part). If that's really the case, then I think you should make it more clear to us and yourself, because that changes the dynamic. Until now, I was just having a pleasant conversation, along with some funny rhetoric sparring with you. This was just a fun experience, something for me to do on my spare time, but not committing me to anything other than intellectual honesty.

Now, if you tell me you wish to obtain a green light from me on the design, then my attitude will be a little different: Continuing the conversation means I would accept at least a degree of responsibility on the outcome. I would then be less likely to poke rhetoric holes in you, and more to make proactive proposals, and defend them. I would continue to attack things I disagree with, but I would not stop my feedback at that.

On your side, if you really want to get approved, then I suggest you need to make a few changes in your approach (yeah... here comes the harsher feedback, I'm afraid). I would recommend:
- More flexibility. So far, you've come across as pretty defensive. I think it's fair if you respond in a defensive manner to negative feedback, once. But on the second and third round, repeating the same or similar arguments will not get you far towards the approval you seek.
- More responsiveness towards proposals you receive. For example, in the case of Mindwyrm, I suggested a DoT approach. It might or might not be an interesting idea, but I suggest you don't ignore such suggestions entirely. You can reject them out of hand, but then you should explain why. Even better, you could say "yes, but..." and build on the idea towards something that suits you better. Sometimes, this could get you to an entirely different path... and maybe you like that path even more than your original idea.
- Less latching on the things you don't like. For example, you said 1d6 Int sucks, and in response, I wrote "3d6 is clearly over the top. 1d6, maybe a little weak." At this point, you embarked on a second, indignant description of why 1d6 is unacceptable. Hey, you know, I got it the first time. You aren't going to convince me through repetition... Especially since I gave signs of being convinced already. In such circumstances, repetition feels like you're yelling at me. That doesn't help.
- More realism regarding how far you are from your goal. You thought you were getting close because steinulfr and I both used the word "nitpick". Hey, did you notice how many "nitpicks" there were, and the magnitude of some of them? And that was before you introduced the whole new class structure and additional features; not to mention the fact the spell list was still completely open. No, you weren't close to the getting approval from us. We were making great progress, but that's not the same thing. To quote a famous figure, it wasn't even the beginning of the end: It was, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
- More clarity in the separation between mechanical matters and flavor matters. In several instances, you have responded to a mechanical objection with a theme-centric argument; and, to a thematic objection with a mechanical argument. That can't work. The class needs to stand solidly on both feet: A consistent, compelling theme an on a mechanically balanced construction. One can't compensate for issues in the other.

With all that said, I do hope you can take your concept to where it contributes to an enjoyable game. Should you wish to continue the discussion here, I'll be available, within the limits of my free time.

All the best,
Gwynfrid

BananaPhone
2015-10-04, 06:07 PM
Thank you for your kind words, but i haven't given up. I'm simply taking a breather with every intent to come back in a few weeks and finish what i started :smallwink:.

Gwynfrid
2015-10-04, 07:34 PM
That's cool. In that case, I'll take time in a week or two to respond to your latest points regarding the class itself.

BananaPhone
2015-10-14, 01:51 AM
Gwyn,

I gave this a few minutes thought today and jotted down some things that could be done. Tell me what you think:



Paths of Power can get moved down to be chosen at level 1. So Soultear will be available at, obviously, level 1, not 3.


Get rid of parasite - in exchange, 3 + Cha times a day Soultear gives back half the damage it causes in HP, starting at level 6.


Get rid of Phantasmical Reality and just put Blink on their spell list.


Mindwyrm uses per day can get brought down to 3 times per day. It's intelligence damage is 2d4+the Warlocks Charisma modifier.


Get rid of Fold Space. Teleportation spells in the warlocks spell list can suffice.


Get rid of Great Devourer. Instead, the Warlock gets Control Winds to their Spells Known, albeit it with a more "the void seeping in through a tear in reality" feeling to it than controling winds. Mechanically things stay the same. Could be called "maelstrom".


Get rid of Nihilism, just put Maze on their spell list.


Rework Eye of the Void to be similar to Timeless Body, but with an addition - the Warlock ceases to age and becomes immune to disease.


Seems as they lose a lot of their SLA, they get their "spells per day" put back to a normal 6 at cap, rather than 5 where it is now.



What do you think?

The last updated post was here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19900023&postcount=115) if you need comparisons.

Gwynfrid
2015-10-15, 06:29 AM
Quick answer, as I'm pressed for time (and will be, at least until the weekend).

I like it that you're ditching a bunch of not very well differentiated SLAs in favor of actual spells. This will leave you free to have a small number of very focused, strongly themed class features, which don't need to be SLAs, by the way. At this point, I need more time to determine if you need to add something after all that pruning (my gut feeling: You probably do). I also agree on getting back to the normal spells per level of a 6 level caster.

On the other hand:
- I wouldn't give up on the Great Devourer. I think you need a solid AoE attack at some point, and the theme is cool. It may need more work. My proposal was overly complex for sure, I'll see if I can improve.
- Not sure on Mindwyrm especially the addition of the Cha modifier. I mean you should keep it, but I'm not sure on the parameters.
- Immunity to aging fails to excite me.

BananaPhone
2015-10-15, 07:07 AM
Look forward to seeing your full answer.

Southern Cross
2015-10-15, 05:09 PM
I am currently working on a possible spell list for the warlock. One question- Can I include the Universal spells from the sorceror/wizard spell list in addition to the spells from Abjuration, Divination and Transmutation? (Note- I'm not providing the spell list I've already done. Not only is it not complete, but it might have to be redone if my suggestions are followed, especially as it only goes up to 9th level).
And if you think that the revised warlock class needs a power boost after stripping it of most of its SLAs, I suggest that you boost it back to a full caster- many of the teleportation spells you need are 7th level & higher, anyway.
And most of the teleportation spells are Conjuration spells (with blink being the exception, being a Transmutation spell) so Conjuration needs to be added to the core warlock spell list.

Gwynfrid
2015-10-16, 08:58 AM
If you go full caster, then I don't think it possible to also keep the DoT SLA (Soultear) as presently specified. It's just too much firepower. BananaPhone's intent is clearly to make Soultear the defining class feature, so I think 6 levels of casting should be good enough. And yes, it doesn't allow for the highest Teleport versions.

BananaPhone
2015-10-16, 09:12 PM
Well that's very nice of you Southern Cross :smallsmile:.

But as Gwyn said, it's probably best to leave this class as a 6th level caster. It cna still have a few 9th level spells available at level 17+ (the way a summoner has create demiplane for example), but for the most part trying to avoid the breadth of wizard/sorc firepower in exchange for some very sound core class abilities.

You are right about the Conjuration though, so I'll have to consider that further when putting their spell list together. Their originally more limited access to schools was predicted on more SLA's - which have now been removed.

So yeah, you're right in that it'll need some re-thinkig :smallsmile:. At the moment though I'll get the SLA's done first.

Quarian Rex
2015-10-17, 07:57 PM
I saw this class when it first came out a year ago. It seemed overpowered as hell and so fell off my radar. I took another look the other day, read the OP and had some interesting thoughts. After reading through the previous 5 pages it seems like a lot has happened/is happening, but many of the more radical changes are more recent and seem to have resulted in you hitting a bit of a wall. As a result, I'm going to ignore most of the more recent proposed changes and do a PEACH on the class as presented in the OP.

I really hope that this is not seen as trollish, but I think that your original concept has some genuine gold in it that is not reflected in your more recent revisions. That isn't to say that everything was great, many of the concerns brought up by others are quite valid, but I think that there are some things that could be done that would leave the class in a more recognizable state yet still be balanced.

Just remember that I like where you were going with this and I think that I'm helping.




Hit Die: D12.

As has been said before, this is just too high. Yes, I know, each die increase is only an average increase of 1 hp, etc.,etc., but HD size is considered to be a major balance point in the rules and with downtime rules you can now realistically get max. HP. As a caster, no Barbarian HP for you. Should it be higher than normal? Sure. Go with d8. One higher than a full caster (yes, a full caster, I'll get to that in a bit). Let them pump up Con like anyone else if they want more. Warlocks have a built in, scalable, HP recovery mechanic so a massive innate buffer is not necessary, let them be a river of life.



Class Skills:

Add the rest of the Knowledge skills, Linguistics, and Perception. Warlocks deal with the most deceptive and manipulative creatures in the multiverse. They need every advantage they can, from every source they can, if they want to survive.



Warlock Spells:

I think you should keep the full casting but I'll need to qualify that. But not just yet. I'll get back to this after we talk about some other abilities.



Special Abilities:

Cantrips:
Eschew Materials:
Infernal Tongues:

Standard infernal caster type stuff. Standard and fine. No real comment.



Shadow Damage
Corruption
Siphon Life
Curse of Agony

These are really the heart of your original class and the heart of much of the contention surrounding it. This may sound odd but arguments for and against your ideas on this are both completely valid. Having your DoTs doing a new, unresisted, damage type is completely unbalanced. Saying that it can be resisted with a couple very specific spells forces the DM to either alter encounters to specifically negate the player (a jerk move on his part and disruptive to the game as a whole) or to provide no opposition to the offensive power of the Warlock. Neither is a good proposition.

OTOH, your experiences playtesting are quite valid as well. A casters time is at a premium. You cannot feel as if your actions are wasted, and DoTs that can miss/be resisted are worse than useless since the risk of missing/being resisted is not countered with the reward of high alpha damage. Your response thus far has been to play with the damage type and to try to maintain an equivalent per round damage output to a more traditional caster. The results seem to be less than satisfactory.

The problem, I think, lies in the fact that you have forgotten that you have three different abilities here. As written they are virtually identical (save for the HP recovery of Siphon Life) with only a slight variation in damage output. This does not have to be.

I'm going to go into my suggestions for these abilities, but first I'll give you a quick rundown of how I see this class to provide some context for my suggestions. This is a combination of where I thought you were heading when I read the first post and where I think you should be.

You essentially have a new take on a 3.5 Warlock with DoTs replacing Eldritch Blast (and being the classes main source of power) while being supported by an extremely limited (though powerful, going to 9th level) spell selection. I like this. It's interesting. The central mechanic that the class revolves around is the DoT. It is virtually unheard of in 3.P yet is the iconic ability of the WoW Warlock (I was never heavily into WoW, but when I did play, Warlock was one of the only ones to hold my interest). You need to hang on to this and shape the rest of the abilities to let the DoTs be viable/useable. A side effect of this is that you will have a very different balance point from a standard spellcaster. The main abilities of this class cannot be about burst damage and you cannot have equivalent per round damage to other spellcasters. You have tried that and the responses were not good (for good reason). If you want the reliable death-tick of a DoT you will have to accept this fact. If we accept that the Warlock will not be out-damaging the Sorcerer (at least in the short term) we can move on to making sure that the DoTs are worth it.

Also, remember when I said that you need to shape the rest of the classes abilities around the DoTs? Well, you need something to protect you/run interferrence while you're setting up the DoTs. You need the minion back. Just in a more standardized/less abusable way. I'll get into this shortly.

Lastly, before I get into some concrete suggestions, you need to use the resources available to you. Reference the hell out of www.d20pfsrd.com. Make sure that you are clear on the rules of the game and how they interact. If you have a houserule that DR works against energy/spell damage, that's fine, but it can play no part in the creation/balance of a homebrew class. It is hard enough getting this kind of stuff approved at the table, no one needs faulty assumptions about base mechanics causing arguments at the table.

For the DoTs, I want them all to be individually viable but best used in conjunction. They all need to be Spell-like Abilities with a Standard action cost. Anything else screws with balance as has been mentioned before. I'm going to be laying out a lot of stuff for these abilites and I want you to remember that each is but one of your holy trinity of DoTs, and not to make any snap judjements until you see how they all work together.


Corruption
Corruption is no longer your main damage dealer. It is now your most, and least, powerful ability. Remember when you wanted unresistable damage? This is where it goes. Give it Untyped damage, just like the 3.5 Warlock. Give it a range of Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) with no save, no SR, and a duration of the caster level. The catch? It only does 1d6 damage, going to 2d6 at 8th and 3d6 at 16th. Stop screaming at the screen. Please. What's the point of such a puny DoT? The extra side effects. A target effected by Corruption does not get a save vs the damage of Siphon Life or Curse of Agony (they get saves now btw) and suffers a -4 to save against Spells and Spell-like Abilities. Those within 5ft of the target are -2 to save against Spells and Spell-like Abilities. Corruption cannot be stacked on any given target. Any further uses on an already corrupted target refresh the duration.

Starting at level 3 (or somesuch) the Warlock can spend a standard action to cause a Corrupted individual to 'Flare' (Erupt? Pustulate?) forcing all those exposed to it's debuff aura to make a Will save (DC 10+1/2 Warlocks HD+Cha as per normal) at a -2 (because Corruption) or be Corrupted as well.

Do you hear someone grumbling that this DoT is too easy to apply/can't be resisted/can kill someone when the Warlock teleports away/etc.? I got you covered. If the damage tries to tick on someone further than Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range then Corruption is automatically dispelled. How do you maintain Corruption on someone during a chase (where you may be evenly paced but due to turn based movement your range to target may yo-yo wildly)? All of your DoTs inflict damage (and check for range) at the end of the Warlocks turn, giving him a chance to maintain distance so long as he doesn't mind being led half way across the battlefield.


Siphon Life
This one is staying fairly simple. It can be used at Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range doing 1d6 (+1d6 at 5th, 10th, and 15th level) Negative damage that heals the Warlock for the same amount, Fort save negates the damage for that round, duration of CL/2. The Negative damage heals undead as per normal and the Warlock recieves no healing from something that has been healed by this ability. Remember that the save is negated on a Corrupted target. When using this power the Warlock can optionally target any Corrupted targets he wishes at once. See where we're going with this?


Curse of Agony
This will be your damage/utility DoT. This should have a range of Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level), doing 1d6 (+ 1d6 at 3rd and every odd Warlock level after) damage of either Fire, Cold, or Electricity damage (chosen at first level and permanent thereafter) with a Will save for half damage, and a duration of 1 round (hear me out). When used on a Corrupted target the Will save for half damage is negated and the duration is doubled (to two rounds). Multiple uses of Curse of Agony on the same target do not stack and are tracked seperately with only the highest base damage applying (this will be important later). And, again, when using this power the Warlock can optionally target any Corrupted targets he wishes at once.


I have some more to fancy this up, we'll get to that in a minute, but this is the basics. The Warlocks' more damaging/life draining abilities can be used at good range but can be mitigated through saves (balance!), his most damaging ability needs regular maintainance in the action economy (double balance!), and by taking the risk of entering charge range and "wasting" a round or two on his least damaging ability he can vastly increase the efficiency of his other DoTs (triple balance bonanza!). No metamagic craziness, but more fancyness to come.


Summoning
This needs to be a core aspect of the class again. You need something else to act on the Warlocks behalf and distract people while he lays down the slow burn DoTy goodness. The problem before was that you were giving too much too fast and trying to balance new creature creation with a new class. Tricky, and I think unnecessary. First, say that a Warlock automatically knows all Summon Monster spells once he has access to the appropriate spell levels. Next, say that when casting a Summon Monster spell the Warlock can infuse it with his Corruption, giving it the Fell Creature template. The Fell Creature template is identical to the Advanced (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/templates/advanced-creature-cr-1) template with the following exceptions. The duration of the spell that summoned the creature becomes Instant, meaning that the creature is permanantly under the Warlocks control until it dies or is dismissed (dismissal works normally). Because the duration is now Instant the summoned creature can no longer be Dispelled but it can still be banished. Provoking an attack of opportunity from a Fell Creature negates any Protection fron X spells as if the provoking target had attacked the Fell Creature. A Fell Creature can make an attack of opportunity on any creature entering or leaving a threatened square, gains Combat Reflexes as a Bonus Feat, and the Fell creature has an alignment that matches yours, regardless of its usual alignment. Summoning this creature makes the summoning spell's type match your alignment. The Fell Creature also counts as being Corrupted for the purpose of lowering the saves of nearby creatures and for 'Flaring' (or whatever) the Corruption.

A Warlock can only make a single summoned creature a Fell Creature and cannot maintain any other summoned creatures when the Fell creature is in existence. Any previously summoned creatures, or creatures summoned after the Fell creature, disappear in a screaming puff of Balefire and everyone within 30ft is given the Willies (no mechanical effect). If the Warlock Fells a summoned creature from a Summon Monster list of lower spell level than the highest he can cast (need to clean up that wording) then the Fell Creature has Maximum Hit Points (for example, a 10th level Warlock, capable of casting SMV, summons a Fell Fiendish Dire Ape with max. HP using SMIV).

The Warlock now has a broad and balanced (no one thinks that a single casting of Summon Monster is unbalanced) semi-disposable meat shield that doesn't take a combat action to be ready. Groovy.




Spells
Rituals
Grimoire
Life Tap

Throwing these together. The full spellcasting I think you should keep. It just needs to be scaled back so that you aren't in direct competition with other full spellcasters. I have two main recomendations to do so. First, scale right back on the spells per level. I'm talking 3 each of 1st-3rd, 2 each of 4th-6th, and 1 each of 7th-9th at 20th level. And even say that the Warlock does not get bonus spells for high Charisma. Spells are not the Warlocks main schtick. They are his surprise, his ace in the hole, his get out of jail free card. This, and Rituals, are what gives the Warlock strategic versatility. This would now fully justify Life Tap as is.

And the spell list? Gut it. Take out all of the blasty spells. Let the HP damage be covered by the DoTs, that's what this class is designed for, don't try to do someone elses job as well.

Rituals, by-the-way, are bloody fantastic. Beautifully illustrating that the 'easy' power that comes with demonic congress is not so easy. A great way to increase the strategic utility of the class while nixing most potential abuse (mainly due to the absurdly long casting times). Keep the Rituals being applicable to any Wizard spell.

We now come to my second spellcasting recomendation. Make the Warlock a prepared spellcaster. This further lowers their direct reliance on spells since they may not have the right one memorized for the job. The one exception is to make all of the Summon Monster spells spontaneous for the Warlock, just like Cure/Inflict spells for the Cleric. They shouldn't have to fill their prescious spell slots with back-up minions. That would just be mean.

Thematically this works beautifully as well. The Warlock seems to be quite narrowly focused, with his fiendish heritage/tutelage allowing mastery of little (DoTs/Summoning), limited use of a daemonically approved narrow powerset (spells), and for all other grasps at power to be paid for in blood (rituals).

Lastly, the Grimoire. Nix the costly replacement and the link to Macabre Thesis. Just let this be a spellbook that is a necessary focus component in all Rituals. Learning and copying spells are handled as per a Wizard. Say that all spells in the spellbok can be cast as Rituals but that only those on the Warlock spell list can be memorized as spells.



Macabre Thesis

I bloody love these. Big, class defining choices that have to be made on a regular basis and no way to get the alternates. Absolutely fascinating. You've also done a bang-up job of making the individual choices attractive as well. A hard choice is a good choice.



Macabre Thesis I:

Soul Leech


I like this option as it can be a life saver for the Warlock and his minion especially when initially setting up his web of corruption. Just specify that the excess healing -> temp HP applies to healing from Siphon Life as well (it is implied under Siphon Life but never actually stated). If you like my suggestions for Corruption then I'd probably boost the healing to be equal to the full damage instead of half.




Soul Collector


I see what you're doing here and where you're getting the inspiration but currently it is not a good option. Right now you just have a way to reduce the cost of a material component for a spell that the Warlock does not have and that no one in the party will have for another 7 levels (you state that this only applies to Resurrection and that is a 7th level spell). We can get this sorted though. First, let this be used for Raise Dead, Resurrection, and True Resurrection. I think that was your intent but it was not stated. Next, add Raise Dead, Resurrection, and True Resurrection to the Warlocks spell list, either as a basic Warlock spell or just as part of this ability (I favour adding it as a normal Warlock spell). Add a note in the spell list that anyone who is the target of these spells radiates an aura of evil as an evil cleric of their HD level for 1 day, 3 days, or 1 week respectively. That way a Warlock can bring you back but people (Paladins) think that he did it wrong.

Say that the Warlock needs to spend one minute touching a willing beneficiary as well as the gem but lasts until the target dies. If the Warlock casts one of these spells on a target whos gem is in the Warlocks posession then the spell has a casting time of 1 Standard action and a range of Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels). Lastly, you need this to actually do something in the levels before the required spells become available. How about if someone with an active gem dies from HP damage, they have 1 round to be healed to a non-fatal state (higher than - Constitution Score HP) to be brought back to life without consequence. What think?




Lingering Torment


If you're with me so far then this one needs to be re-tooled, but that is easy enough. Lingering Torment can now double the duration of Curse of Agony to 2 rounds normally but 4 rounds when used on a Corrupted target. This will be much more important later.



Macabre Thesis II:

Harvest Life


While this ability is cool I think that it is inappropriate for the class. Too much bursty damage and we've already established that that is a bad thing. How about the Warlock can use Life Tap on someone within Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) range, Fort save negates? Perhaps with a bonus to save of +1 for every 10 damage (round down) that the Life Tap would inflict? Maintains the drain-y utility with some offensive punch without getting into alpha damage burst casting.




Soul Link


This is pretty much good as is. Great ability and I think that it should remain applicable to all summoned/called creatures, not just the Fell one. Just clarify whether the insight bonus on saves applies to the Warlock or to the summoned/called creatures (wording is ambiguous and the ability would be interesting either way).




Fire and Brimstone


Just make this applicable to Curse of Agony and it will work fine. And remove the bit about half damage. Full damage is fine.




Macabre Thesis III:

Soulburn


Having all of the DoTs become untyped damage is a bad idea, as has been discussed. The trap the sould aspect is good but the ability will need more than that. This one will need some further consideration.




Demonic Transfusion


I like this. It's all kinds of good. Just make the Warlock an Outsider (Native) whem in the demon form. It seems like a weird exclusion otherwise.




Hellfire Mastery


Since I'm all about dropping the reliance on damaging spells this one needs a major rework as well. What to do with it? Not sure. Will need some time to consider.


Finally, the Warlock needs a dead level filler ability to add some much needed customization, much like a Magus' Arcana or an Alchemist's Discoveries. On the bright side, you have a huge amount of things you can cram in here. Things like...


An additional +1d6 damage added to Curse of Agony, limited to a number of additional dice equal to the damage dice of Corruption.
Adding an additional damage type to Curse of Agony chosen from Fire, Cold, Electricity, and Acid (any that haven't been chosen yet).
Adding an additional +5ft to the radius of Corruptions debuff (and 'Flare') area. Again, something that can be taken a number of times equal to the damage dice of Corruption.
Adding an individual debuff to Curse of Agony similar to what was suggested by Gwynfrid and also Ambush type feats (from 3.5) and just say that only the highest damage pool from Curse of Agony actually damages a target and that a single application of Curse of Agony cannot be reduced below 1d6 damage in this way. This is where you should add Curse of Tongues and such. This also really boosts the stock of Lingering Torment since it can be used to stack a higher number of debuffs before it expires.
Add an additional round to the duration of Curse of Agony added after any other factors (ie. on a Corrupted target it would last 3 rounds, 5 rounds if you had Lingering Torment).
Bonus summoning related feats such as Augment Summoning (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/augment-summoning---final), Expanded Summon Monster (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/expanded-summon-monster), Evolved Summoned Monster (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/evolved-summoned-monster), Skeleton Summoner (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/skeleton-summoner), and Summon Evil Monster (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/summon-evil-monster) (or any others you can think of). These are bonus feats and do not need to meet the prerequisites to be selected.
Bonus Combat Feats (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats) that can be added to the Fell Creature. Prerequisites other than feat prerequisites do not need to be met.

And other fun bits like that. This is really wide open and has a lot of possibility.


Granted, this might seem like a lot to digest, but this is just me hammering out some specifics of what I saw in your original class. You have a lot of potential for interesting mechanics and meanigful branching development that haven't really been explored in the game and I urge you to reconsider them.

Like I said, I hope this isn't too little too late, and I think that I'm helping. Either way, thanks for giving me something interesting to chew on for a while.

BananaPhone
2015-10-18, 12:52 AM
I saw this class when it first came out a year ago. It seemed overpowered as hell and so fell off my radar. I took another look the other day, read the OP and had some interesting thoughts. After reading through the previous 5 pages it seems like a lot has happened/is happening, but many of the more radical changes are more recent and seem to have resulted in you hitting a bit of a wall. As a result, I'm going to ignore most of the more recent proposed changes and do a PEACH on the class as presented in the OP.

I really hope that this is not seen as trollish, but I think that your original concept has some genuine gold in it that is not reflected in your more recent revisions. That isn't to say that everything was great, many of the concerns brought up by others are quite valid, but I think that there are some things that could be done that would leave the class in a more recognizable state yet still be balanced.

Just remember that I like where you were going with this and I think that I'm helping.



As has been said before, this is just too high. Yes, I know, each die increase is only an average increase of 1 hp, etc.,etc., but HD size is considered to be a major balance point in the rules and with downtime rules you can now realistically get max. HP. As a caster, no Barbarian HP for you. Should it be higher than normal? Sure. Go with d8. One higher than a full caster (yes, a full caster, I'll get to that in a bit). Let them pump up Con like anyone else if they want more. Warlocks have a built in, scalable, HP recovery mechanic so a massive innate buffer is not necessary, let them be a river of life.


Add the rest of the Knowledge skills, Linguistics, and Perception. Warlocks deal with the most deceptive and manipulative creatures in the multiverse. They need every advantage they can, from every source they can, if they want to survive.


I think you should keep the full casting but I'll need to qualify that. But not just yet. I'll get back to this after we talk about some other abilities.


Standard infernal caster type stuff. Standard and fine. No real comment.


These are really the heart of your original class and the heart of much of the contention surrounding it. This may sound odd but arguments for and against your ideas on this are both completely valid. Having your DoTs doing a new, unresisted, damage type is completely unbalanced. Saying that it can be resisted with a couple very specific spells forces the DM to either alter encounters to specifically negate the player (a jerk move on his part and disruptive to the game as a whole) or to provide no opposition to the offensive power of the Warlock. Neither is a good proposition.

OTOH, your experiences playtesting are quite valid as well. A casters time is at a premium. You cannot feel as if your actions are wasted, and DoTs that can miss/be resisted are worse than useless since the risk of missing/being resisted is not countered with the reward of high alpha damage. Your response thus far has been to play with the damage type and to try to maintain an equivalent per round damage output to a more traditional caster. The results seem to be less than satisfactory.

The problem, I think, lies in the fact that you have forgotten that you have three different abilities here. As written they are virtually identical (save for the HP recovery of Siphon Life) with only a slight variation in damage output. This does not have to be.

I'm going to go into my suggestions for these abilities, but first I'll give you a quick rundown of how I see this class to provide some context for my suggestions. This is a combination of where I thought you were heading when I read the first post and where I think you should be.

You essentially have a new take on a 3.5 Warlock with DoTs replacing Eldritch Blast (and being the classes main source of power) while being supported by an extremely limited (though powerful, going to 9th level) spell selection. I like this. It's interesting. The central mechanic that the class revolves around is the DoT. It is virtually unheard of in 3.P yet is the iconic ability of the WoW Warlock (I was never heavily into WoW, but when I did play, Warlock was one of the only ones to hold my interest). You need to hang on to this and shape the rest of the abilities to let the DoTs be viable/useable. A side effect of this is that you will have a very different balance point from a standard spellcaster. The main abilities of this class cannot be about burst damage and you cannot have equivalent per round damage to other spellcasters. You have tried that and the responses were not good (for good reason). If you want the reliable death-tick of a DoT you will have to accept this fact. If we accept that the Warlock will not be out-damaging the Sorcerer (at least in the short term) we can move on to making sure that the DoTs are worth it.

Also, remember when I said that you need to shape the rest of the classes abilities around the DoTs? Well, you need something to protect you/run interferrence while you're setting up the DoTs. You need the minion back. Just in a more standardized/less abusable way. I'll get into this shortly.

Lastly, before I get into some concrete suggestions, you need to use the resources available to you. Reference the hell out of www.d20pfsrd.com. Make sure that you are clear on the rules of the game and how they interact. If you have a houserule that DR works against energy/spell damage, that's fine, but it can play no part in the creation/balance of a homebrew class. It is hard enough getting this kind of stuff approved at the table, no one needs faulty assumptions about base mechanics causing arguments at the table.

For the DoTs, I want them all to be individually viable but best used in conjunction. They all need to be Spell-like Abilities with a Standard action cost. Anything else screws with balance as has been mentioned before. I'm going to be laying out a lot of stuff for these abilites and I want you to remember that each is but one of your holy trinity of DoTs, and not to make any snap judjements until you see how they all work together.


Corruption
Corruption is no longer your main damage dealer. It is now your most, and least, powerful ability. Remember when you wanted unresistable damage? This is where it goes. Give it Untyped damage, just like the 3.5 Warlock. Give it a range of Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) with no save, no SR, and a duration of the caster level. The catch? It only does 1d6 damage, going to 2d6 at 8th and 3d6 at 16th. Stop screaming at the screen. Please. What's the point of such a puny DoT? The extra side effects. A target effected by Corruption does not get a save vs the damage of Siphon Life or Curse of Agony (they get saves now btw) and suffers a -4 to save against Spells and Spell-like Abilities. Those within 5ft of the target are -2 to save against Spells and Spell-like Abilities. Corruption cannot be stacked on any given target. Any further uses on an already corrupted target refresh the duration.

Starting at level 3 (or somesuch) the Warlock can spend a standard action to cause a Corrupted individual to 'Flare' (Erupt? Pustulate?) forcing all those exposed to it's debuff aura to make a Will save (DC 10+1/2 Warlocks HD+Cha as per normal) at a -2 (because Corruption) or be Corrupted as well.

Do you hear someone grumbling that this DoT is too easy to apply/can't be resisted/can kill someone when the Warlock teleports away/etc.? I got you covered. If the damage tries to tick on someone further than Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range then Corruption is automatically dispelled. How do you maintain Corruption on someone during a chase (where you may be evenly paced but due to turn based movement your range to target may yo-yo wildly)? All of your DoTs inflict damage (and check for range) at the end of the Warlocks turn, giving him a chance to maintain distance so long as he doesn't mind being led half way across the battlefield.


Siphon Life
This one is staying fairly simple. It can be used at Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range doing 1d6 (+1d6 at 5th, 10th, and 15th level) Negative damage that heals the Warlock for the same amount, Fort save negates the damage for that round, duration of CL/2. The Negative damage heals undead as per normal and the Warlock recieves no healing from something that has been healed by this ability. Remember that the save is negated on a Corrupted target. When using this power the Warlock can optionally target any Corrupted targets he wishes at once. See where we're going with this?


Curse of Agony
This will be your damage/utility DoT. This should have a range of Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level), doing 1d6 (+ 1d6 at 3rd and every odd Warlock level after) damage of either Fire, Cold, or Electricity damage (chosen at first level and permanent thereafter) with a Will save for half damage, and a duration of 1 round (hear me out). When used on a Corrupted target the Will save for half damage is negated and the duration is doubled (to two rounds). Multiple uses of Curse of Agony on the same target do not stack and are tracked seperately with only the highest base damage applying (this will be important later). And, again, when using this power the Warlock can optionally target any Corrupted targets he wishes at once.


I have some more to fancy this up, we'll get to that in a minute, but this is the basics. The Warlocks' more damaging/life draining abilities can be used at good range but can be mitigated through saves (balance!), his most damaging ability needs regular maintainance in the action economy (double balance!), and by taking the risk of entering charge range and "wasting" a round or two on his least damaging ability he can vastly increase the efficiency of his other DoTs (triple balance bonanza!). No metamagic craziness, but more fancyness to come.


Summoning
This needs to be a core aspect of the class again. You need something else to act on the Warlocks behalf and distract people while he lays down the slow burn DoTy goodness. The problem before was that you were giving too much too fast and trying to balance new creature creation with a new class. Tricky, and I think unnecessary. First, say that a Warlock automatically knows all Summon Monster spells once he has access to the appropriate spell levels. Next, say that when casting a Summon Monster spell the Warlock can infuse it with his Corruption, giving it the Fell Creature template. The Fell Creature template is identical to the Advanced (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/templates/advanced-creature-cr-1) template with the following exceptions. The duration of the spell that summoned the creature becomes Instant, meaning that the creature is permanantly under the Warlocks control until it dies or is dismissed (dismissal works normally). Because the duration is now Instant the summoned creature can no longer be Dispelled but it can still be banished. Provoking an attack of opportunity from a Fell Creature negates any Protection fron X spells as if the provoking target had attacked the Fell Creature. A Fell Creature can make an attack of opportunity on any creature entering or leaving a threatened square, gains Combat Reflexes as a Bonus Feat, and the Fell creature has an alignment that matches yours, regardless of its usual alignment. Summoning this creature makes the summoning spell's type match your alignment. The Fell Creature also counts as being Corrupted for the purpose of lowering the saves of nearby creatures and for 'Flaring' (or whatever) the Corruption.

A Warlock can only make a single summoned creature a Fell Creature and cannot maintain any other summoned creatures when the Fell creature is in existence. Any previously summoned creatures, or creatures summoned after the Fell creature, disappear in a screaming puff of Balefire and everyone within 30ft is given the Willies (no mechanical effect). If the Warlock Fells a summoned creature from a Summon Monster list of lower spell level than the highest he can cast (need to clean up that wording) then the Fell Creature has Maximum Hit Points (for example, a 10th level Warlock, capable of casting SMV, summons a Fell Fiendish Dire Ape with max. HP using SMIV).

The Warlock now has a broad and balanced (no one thinks that a single casting of Summon Monster is unbalanced) semi-disposable meat shield that doesn't take a combat action to be ready. Groovy.



Throwing these together. The full spellcasting I think you should keep. It just needs to be scaled back so that you aren't in direct competition with other full spellcasters. I have two main recomendations to do so. First, scale right back on the spells per level. I'm talking 3 each of 1st-3rd, 2 each of 4th-6th, and 1 each of 7th-9th at 20th level. And even say that the Warlock does not get bonus spells for high Charisma. Spells are not the Warlocks main schtick. They are his surprise, his ace in the hole, his get out of jail free card. This, and Rituals, are what gives the Warlock strategic versatility. This would now fully justify Life Tap as is.

And the spell list? Gut it. Take out all of the blasty spells. Let the HP damage be covered by the DoTs, that's what this class is designed for, don't try to do someone elses job as well.

Rituals, by-the-way, are bloody fantastic. Beautifully illustrating that the 'easy' power that comes with demonic congress is not so easy. A great way to increase the strategic utility of the class while nixing most potential abuse (mainly due to the absurdly long casting times). Keep the Rituals being applicable to any Wizard spell.

We now come to my second spellcasting recomendation. Make the Warlock a prepared spellcaster. This further lowers their direct reliance on spells since they may not have the right one memorized for the job. The one exception is to make all of the Summon Monster spells spontaneous for the Warlock, just like Cure/Inflict spells for the Cleric. They shouldn't have to fill their prescious spell slots with back-up minions. That would just be mean.

Thematically this works beautifully as well. The Warlock seems to be quite narrowly focused, with his fiendish heritage/tutelage allowing mastery of little (DoTs/Summoning), limited use of a daemonically approved narrow powerset (spells), and for all other grasps at power to be paid for in blood (rituals).

Lastly, the Grimoire. Nix the costly replacement and the link to Macabre Thesis. Just let this be a spellbook that is a necessary focus component in all Rituals. Learning and copying spells are handled as per a Wizard. Say that all spells in the spellbok can be cast as Rituals but that only those on the Warlock spell list can be memorized as spells.


I bloody love these. Big, class defining choices that have to be made on a regular basis and no way to get the alternates. Absolutely fascinating. You've also done a bang-up job of making the individual choices attractive as well. A hard choice is a good choice.


I like this option as it can be a life saver for the Warlock and his minion especially when initially setting up his web of corruption. Just specify that the excess healing -> temp HP applies to healing from Siphon Life as well (it is implied under Siphon Life but never actually stated). If you like my suggestions for Corruption then I'd probably boost the healing to be equal to the full damage instead of half.


I see what you're doing here and where you're getting the inspiration but currently it is not a good option. Right now you just have a way to reduce the cost of a material component for a spell that the Warlock does not have and that no one in the party will have for another 7 levels (you state that this only applies to Resurrection and that is a 7th level spell). We can get this sorted though. First, let this be used for Raise Dead, Resurrection, and True Resurrection. I think that was your intent but it was not stated. Next, add Raise Dead, Resurrection, and True Resurrection to the Warlocks spell list, either as a basic Warlock spell or just as part of this ability (I favour adding it as a normal Warlock spell). Add a note in the spell list that anyone who is the target of these spells radiates an aura of evil as an evil cleric of their HD level for 1 day, 3 days, or 1 week respectively. That way a Warlock can bring you back but people (Paladins) think that he did it wrong.

Say that the Warlock needs to spend one minute touching a willing beneficiary as well as the gem but lasts until the target dies. If the Warlock casts one of these spells on a target whos gem is in the Warlocks posession then the spell has a casting time of 1 Standard action and a range of Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels). Lastly, you need this to actually do something in the levels before the required spells become available. How about if someone with an active gem dies from HP damage, they have 1 round to be healed to a non-fatal state (higher than - Constitution Score HP) to be brought back to life without consequence. What think?


If you're with me so far then this one needs to be re-tooled, but that is easy enough. Lingering Torment can now double the duration of Curse of Agony to 2 rounds normally but 4 rounds when used on a Corrupted target. This will be much more important later.


While this ability is cool I think that it is inappropriate for the class. Too much bursty damage and we've already established that that is a bad thing. How about the Warlock can use Life Tap on someone within Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) range, Fort save negates? Perhaps with a bonus to save of +1 for every 10 damage (round down) that the Life Tap would inflict? Maintains the drain-y utility with some offensive punch without getting into alpha damage burst casting.


This is pretty much good as is. Great ability and I think that it should remain applicable to all summoned/called creatures, not just the Fell one. Just clarify whether the insight bonus on saves applies to the Warlock or to the summoned/called creatures (wording is ambiguous and the ability would be interesting either way).


Just make this applicable to Curse of Agony and it will work fine. And remove the bit about half damage. Full damage is fine.



Having all of the DoTs become untyped damage is a bad idea, as has been discussed. The trap the sould aspect is good but the ability will need more than that. This one will need some further consideration.


I like this. It's all kinds of good. Just make the Warlock an Outsider (Native) whem in the demon form. It seems like a weird exclusion otherwise.


Since I'm all about dropping the reliance on damaging spells this one needs a major rework as well. What to do with it? Not sure. Will need some time to consider.


Finally, the Warlock needs a dead level filler ability to add some much needed customization, much like a Magus' Arcana or an Alchemist's Discoveries. On the bright side, you have a huge amount of things you can cram in here. Things like...


An additional +1d6 damage added to Curse of Agony, limited to a number of additional dice equal to the damage dice of Corruption.
Adding an additional damage type to Curse of Agony chosen from Fire, Cold, Electricity, and Acid (any that haven't been chosen yet).
Adding an additional +5ft to the radius of Corruptions debuff (and 'Flare') area. Again, something that can be taken a number of times equal to the damage dice of Corruption.
Adding an individual debuff to Curse of Agony similar to what was suggested by Gwynfrid and also Ambush type feats (from 3.5) and just say that only the highest damage pool from Curse of Agony actually damages a target and that a single application of Curse of Agony cannot be reduced below 1d6 damage in this way. This is where you should add Curse of Tongues and such. This also really boosts the stock of Lingering Torment since it can be used to stack a higher number of debuffs before it expires.
Add an additional round to the duration of Curse of Agony added after any other factors (ie. on a Corrupted target it would last 3 rounds, 5 rounds if you had Lingering Torment).
Bonus summoning related feats such as Augment Summoning (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/augment-summoning---final), Expanded Summon Monster (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/expanded-summon-monster), Evolved Summoned Monster (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/evolved-summoned-monster), Skeleton Summoner (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/skeleton-summoner), and Summon Evil Monster (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/summon-evil-monster) (or any others you can think of). These are bonus feats and do not need to meet the prerequisites to be selected.
Bonus Combat Feats (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats) that can be added to the Fell Creature. Prerequisites other than feat prerequisites do not need to be met.

And other fun bits like that. This is really wide open and has a lot of possibility.


Granted, this might seem like a lot to digest, but this is just me hammering out some specifics of what I saw in your original class. You have a lot of potential for interesting mechanics and meanigful branching development that haven't really been explored in the game and I urge you to reconsider them.

Like I said, I hope this isn't too little too late, and I think that I'm helping. Either way, thanks for giving me something interesting to chew on for a while.




Ohhh my good sir, you've done such a good and copious amount of work...and all for me to come along and say that we've moved on from the first incarnation of the class! I'm so sorry :smalleek:.

Basically what we've done is now is split the class into two "paths of power". One is a dot-focused debuffer, the other is more of a minion-mancer blaster.

I really like a lot of your suggestions though...it's almost enough for me to make a whole new thread and try to do the WoW-Warlock translation into PF again haha.

I feel really bad for telling you this news given the amount of thought you put into it. I'd love to have you stick around though, if you'd like to help out with the "path of the void" we're working on.

Basically the idea of grimoires got replaced by "paths of power".


Recap: Bellow is the most "updated" path of power for the Warlock that features the changes I suggested to Gwyn.

It also contains my new suggestion for the Great Devourer and Eye of the Void. I took the inspiration for both from the Starsoul (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/sorcerer/bloodlines/bloodlines-from-paizo/starsoul-bloodline) sorcerer bloodline.

Tell me what ya'll think.

Path of Power:

At level 1 the Warlock pursues the power they so crave. The Warlock must choose to pursue one of the following Paths of Power, Path of the Void or the Path of the Abyss. Once the decision has been made, the Warlock cannot change their decision.



Path of the Void



Moniker: Voidlocks

http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh483/tempestII/TheVoid.jpg?t=1443251876



The Void is a concept not fully understood by the mortal denizens of the material plane. To the uninitiated it is less a thing as much as it is a plug used to fill the exposed gaps of ignorance in those who encounter things outside their understanding. For those who have pledged themselves to its study, however, the void is so much more. Its influence is felt in everything and its presence resides in the darkness between stars, the layers of reality and the paradigms of time and space. Indeed, it is claimed that all that can be beheld is a manifest extension of the Voids omnipresence and that without its encompassing influence no plane of existence would be held together.

Therefore the possibilities open to one who could reach into the tapestry of existence and rework its threads for their own ends are nearly limitless. Or so believe the Voidlocks. Like engineers that study the mechanical so that their understanding could lead to further innovation and control, a Voidlock sifts through the building blocks of existence in search of power and knowledge. Whether benign or selfish the Voidlock will inevitably develop powers that are frightening to the common man, powers that may even worm their way into the Voidlocks mind and twist their mental perspective into something truly alien. Whether their actions make them an engineer or a parasite is up the Voidlock in question, but one thing is certain to those that walk this perilous path of power: the Void is greater in magnitude than any mortal mind could ever hope to comprehend.


Path Abilities:
The following are the Abilities gained at the designated level for Warlocks following the Path of the Void. Unless otherwise noted, all abilities are subject to Spell Resistance.

Soultear (Su):


The Voidlock directs a sliver of their attention into the matrix that holds their enemies physical form together and begins to twist, tear and rend. Excruciating pain rips across the targets body as they are pulled apart on a spiritual level, their soul screaming silently in agony and their body rotting from within. The cold menace of the Void seeps into their muscles and worms its way inside their mind, slowing their reactions and freezing their brain.

Soultear replaces Fire Seed and is gained at level 1.

Soultear is a Spell-like Ability that takes a standard action to cast and has a range of 30 + 5 ft. per caster level that requires a Ranged Touch Attack to hit and inflicts 1d6 Cold Damage for every 2 class levels (rounded up), to a minimum of 1d6. This damage "ticks" once every 2 rounds beginning on the turn the spell was cast. This spell remains on a target for 1 round per 2 caster levels (rounded up) for a minimum of 1 round. Only one Soultear can be active upon a target at a time.

Every time the target takes damage they are permitted a Fortitude save to reduce the damage by half.

Additionally, as the Warlock advances in class levels they are able to modulate Soultear in a number of different ways as follows:



Level 2: Soultears damage can be reduced by 1d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Shaken for 1 round.


Level 3: The Warlock can spend a number of hitpoints equal to his class level to substitute the Cold damage inflicted by a single casting of Soultear to Negative damage.


Level 5: Soultears damage can be reduced by 2d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Frightened for 1 round.


Level 9: Soultears damage can be reduced by 3d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Dazed for 1 round.


Level 13: Soultears damage can be reduced by 4d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Paralyzed for 1 round.


Only one modulation may be chosen per casting.

Soultear can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage’s Disjunction or antimagic field.

Parasite: (Su)

Parasite is gained at level 3.

A number of times per day equal to 3 + the warlocks charisma modifier, the warlock make cast a version of Soultear whose damage caused is returned to the Warlock in the form of hitpoints on a 1:1 basis. This cannot exceed their maximum hp total.


Nightmare (Su):


From the infinite Void the Voidlock calls a servant, his lone companion. Answering his summons is a spectral horse whose cold temperment is matched only by its swift beauty.

Nightmare is gained at level 5.

The warlock can cast Phantom Steed as a Spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his class level.

This can be cast a number of times per day equal to the Warlocks charisma modifier.

Decrepify (Su):

The Voidlock extends their perceptions into the matrix that constitutes their targets physical and spiritual whole and poisonous it. Though temporary, the victims body is wracked with debilitating weakness and their mind becomes sluggish, slow and impressionable.

Decrepify is gained at level 7.

When you activate this power as a standard action, you select a foe within 30 feet and make a Ranged Touch Attack. If successful, for 1 round the DC of your spells against that creature are increased by 1/2 your Warlock class level. You can use this ability 3 times per day.

Mindwyrm (Su):

An ability preserved for those who truly displease the Voidlock, Mindwyrm opens a miniature gateway inside the targets mind and allows a modicum of the Void to flood inside. The result is nothing short of a harrowing, mind-bending horror visited upon the unfortunate target that only they can see and comprehend, as a world of nightmares grasps their mind and anchors it into the pit of madness, leaving them a blissfully gurgling labotomised mess whose eyes stare into the distance at objects only they can see.

Mindwyrm is gained at level 10.

Mindwyrm is a Spell-like Ability with a range of 30 + 5 ft. per class level that requires a standard action to cast and a successful Ranged Touch Attack to hit, and is subject to Spell Resistance. Targets are allowed a Will save equal to 10 + ½ your warlock level + your charisma modifier.

On a failed save, the target takes Intelligence damage equal to 2d4+the warlocks charisma modifier. Those reduced to 0 intelligence by this spell are not dead, but are instead comatose until they recover. You can use this ability 3 times a day.


The Great Devourer:

Fluff being re-written.

The Great Devourer is gained at level 12.

Once per day the Warlock is able to designate a single creature within 30 feet + 5ft. per class level. This target is permitted a Will save equal to 10 + 1/2 the warlocks level + the warlocks charisma modifier.

Failing this test causes the victim to be ripped form the material plane and deposited into the cold, infinite void. While trapped here, the target suffers 6d6 bludgeoning damage per round. Whenever a target takes damage from this effect, they must then make a Fortitude save at DC 10 + 1/2 warlocks level + the warlocks charisma modifier. If the target fails this save then they begin suffocating.

The target is permitted further will saves in subsequent rounds. If at any point during the spell the target passes their will save, then they are returned to the material plane and the effects end.

At level 15 the Warlock may cast the Great Devourer twice a day.

The Infinite Maw:

Once per day at level 15, the Warlock may cause The Great Devourer to affect a number of other creatures of their choosing equal to their class level, within 60 feet of their target.



Eye of the Void (Ex):

The Warlock has become a master of the Void and imbibed its reality-altering influene to such a degree that they have ceased to age. Much like the entities that inhabit the centre of the Void, the Warlock no longer experiences the mortal trappings of time and, unless slain by unnatural means, could continue to live until they return.

Eye of the Void is gained at level 20.

The warlock no longer takes ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties she may have already incurred, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, however the Warlock has now ceased to age and will not die of old age. In addition, she becomes immune to cold damage, disease and can see perfectly in natural or magical darkness.

Quarian Rex
2015-10-18, 10:24 PM
Have no fear BananaPhone, I was quite aware going in that what I was offering may have been too little too late, and said as much in my previous post. Just be aware that your previous version had enough merit to justify me reading through all five pages of this thread and cranking out that small essay you see above. And that was all after rediscovering the class only a few days ago. That says quite a bit.

Your previous version had a lot of fascinating design elements and features that I really wanted to see in a game. It contained much that I had never seen handled in a game, or seen so rarely and handled so poorly as to not warrant mentioning. And, despite the length of my rambling, relatively little was necessary to shave the class into a state that I would allow in one of my games yet still be interesting/versatile enough to play. Your current version of the class... does not inspire such thoughts in me.

All the interesting elements that drew me to the previous version have either been abandoned or so heavily compromised as to be, to me, unplayable. This isn't just a matter of a few details, but the basic direction of the current design. When I PEACHed the OP version it was not because I didn't want to bother to get caught up with the current development, I already did that, it was because I judged the OP version to be a superior chassis.

I'll see if I can articulate my difficulties with the current version. To start, you had a wonderful winding path of meaningful options in the Macabre Thesis feature, and have stripped it bare and turned it into a one dimensional archetype without retaining anything that made the original appealing. In an archetype based on DoTs and debuffung you have set it up for failure on both counts. The DoT, Soultear, is everything that you argued a DoT shouldn't be in the first few pages of this thread. You have a commonly resisted damage type that requires a to-hit roll and gets a save for reduced damage. That even violates the conventions for damaging spells (it's usually either a to-hit or a save, not both). Even the trade of damage for debuff is hampered by a 1 round duration on damage applied to an ability that only inflicts damage once every 2 rounds. This is the defining ability of the class on the archetype that most exemplifies the DoT effect and every second round it does nothing. This is not even an additional Dot of nice utility. There are no others. You put all of your eggs in one basket and then sat on the basket. I cannot fully express my disappoint. To be fair, I can see exactly why this has happened. This incarnation of the DoT is a direct reflection of every criticism that has been posted in this thread and this is an example of why decision-by-committee is usually a horrible thing. Think back to your playtest. Would you have been satisfied with this as your staple ability? I know that I would not.

Lets mention your choice for spellcasting progression, the 1-6 Bard-style progression. While we haven't seen what you plan for the spell list you have stated that this is the debuffer archetype. This is the wrong spell progression for that role. The 1-6 half-caster is meant for the hybrid/supports to cast utility and buff spells. Think about it. Bards, Alchemists, Summoners, all have spell lists filled with buff/utility spells, with little to no offensive capability. Why is that? They innately suck at offensive/debuff spells. Lower spell levels mean lower DCs. It's hard to debuff someone if you can't get them to fail a save.

As a response to the to the extremely limited capabilities of the class' base abilities you are then forced to tack on a large number of supernatural abilities to shore up the obvious weaknesses. Can't make any of your spells stick? Decrepify makes sure that at least 3 of them will probably be effective. Got nothing to take out a strongish single target? Here's The Great Devourer but I hope you don't encounter more than one (or later two) such problems. Feeling useless against crowds? Here'e Infinite Maw. Too bad you have to wait till 15th level. Hope you don't find more than one group in a day.

This is the result of you giving in to every criticism at once and the stacked compromises result in a class that seems to do everything poorly.

I really hope that this is not coming off as a snarkfest. That is not my intent. It's just that you originally started with so much potential in this class. It was clever. It gave a player the option to do clever things. I wrote a PEACH to dust off more cleverness. The Voidlock hobbles the player before he even begins. It is the anti-clever. It does not have to be. You can come back from the brink...

... come back...

... we has cookies...

Gwynfrid
2015-10-18, 11:40 PM
All right, before I go into the specifics of the lastest proposal, I want to clear one answer which I think I owe you.



Show you something comparable?

Okay, well meet Ms Firemane. She's a level 1 tattooed (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/sorcerer/archetypes/paizo---sorcerer-archetypes/tattooed-sorcerer)Sorcerer with red draconic bloodline (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/sorcerer/bloodlines/bloodlines-from-paizo/draconic-bloodline), a mages tattoo (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/mages-tattoo)as a class feature with Evocation tattoos, she chose the feats Spell Focus (Evocation) and Spell Specialisation (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/spell-specialization) (burning hands). She's a blaster, you see.

She can, 5 times a day, shoot a gout of Burning Hands (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/b/burning-hands), incinerating everything in a 15 cone. Everything in that cone needs to take a reflex save against DC 17, or take 4d4+4 damage. At level 1. Given its range and Area of Effect, it tends to be the decider of every encounter in the day, with one spare left over just in case the halfling tries to steal her wine.


Maybe I'm used to gaming around optimisers and don't see 2d6 damage a round as a biggie.

Thanks. I was fairly sure something like this must exist somewhere, but I didn't want to research it, as I don't have the optimization bug; at least, not to that degree.

So, sure, such a character is possible, per RAW. But... that's a theoretical character. In practice, it's virtually unplayable. For 2 reasons: First and foremost, it's a boring character to play. It's boring because it wins every time, with the exact same method. Repetitive, ergo, boring. Second reason: This character makes the game boring for everybody else, too. No one can compete, the opposition is a pushover, there's no suspense. Boring. At least, it's boring until the DM gets few up and sends 10 orcs with longbows to put an end to the pyromaniac menace.

The only circumstance I see this played is in a test where everybody brings the most crazy optimal combo to try out. It would be fun, but you wouldn't do a big campaign that way. If you create a class, you certainly want to see it used beyond a single evening.

Why I'm saying this? Because I believe you shouldn't create a character like that. So, don't compare your class to a character like that. That's the wrong yardstick. Build along those lines and you'll end up nerfed or sidelined by the DM and be miserable.

On to something entirely different:

@ Quarian Rex: I like your approach very much. Constructing the class with the synergy of the class features in mind is a very sound principle. You brought a ton of cool ideas, I'm sure they will inspire something in the discussion moving forward. Here are my favorites:



Corruption
Corruption is no longer your main damage dealer. It is now your most, and least, powerful ability. Remember when you wanted unresistable damage? This is where it goes. Give it Untyped damage, just like the 3.5 Warlock. Give it a range of Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) with no save, no SR, and a duration of the caster level. The catch? It only does 1d6 damage, going to 2d6 at 8th and 3d6 at 16th. Stop screaming at the screen. Please. What's the point of such a puny DoT? The extra side effects. A target effected by Corruption does not get a save vs the damage of Siphon Life or Curse of Agony (they get saves now btw) and suffers a -4 to save against Spells and Spell-like Abilities. Those within 5ft of the target are -2 to save against Spells and Spell-like Abilities. Corruption cannot be stacked on any given target. Any further uses on an already corrupted target refresh the duration.

This is way overpowered as a debuff (automatic -4 to saves is a heck of a lot, bypassing SR isn't justifiable, untyped damage is a problem). But the gem, here, is the concept that the other attacks build on Corruption. A very cool idea.



Starting at level 3 (or somesuch) the Warlock can spend a standard action to cause a Corrupted individual to 'Flare' (Erupt? Pustulate?) forcing all those exposed to it's debuff aura to make a Will save (DC 10+1/2 Warlocks HD+Cha as per normal) at a -2 (because Corruption) or be Corrupted as well.
The notion of contagion is interesting for sure.



Summoning
This needs to be a core aspect of the class again. You need something else to act on the Warlocks behalf and distract people while he lays down the slow burn DoTy goodness.
This is a good idea. Since the goal is to win through DoT, it makes a lot of sense to use summoned creatures as buffers. On the other hand, you're proposing a super-boosted version of Summon Monster, which I don't think is necessary for this purpose. You don't want to end up as a better summoner than the Summoner, or even than the Conjuration specialist Wizard.



And the spell list? Gut it. Take out all of the blasty spells. Let the HP damage be covered by the DoTs, that's what this class is designed for, don't try to do someone elses job as well.
I fully agree with this.

Now, this is BananaPhone's class, so I'll look at his present design. But let's keep in mind the above ideas, they could be helpful.


Soultear is a Spell-like Ability that takes a standard action to cast and has a range of 30 + 5 ft. per caster level
I strongly recommend you use standard parameters, in this case, a range of "close" (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels). This will make everybody's life much easier, especially your DM. A critical audience :smalltongue:
Keeping the rules consistent and standardized is a great help for gameplay.



Level 2: Soultears damage can be reduced by 1d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or be Shaken for 1 round.
If you're level 2, then this reduces damage to 0. That won't work. I recommend you stack your modulations to hit on odd-numbered levels, when the damage increases. So this one should be at level 3.


Level 3: The Warlock can spend a number of hitpoints equal to his class level to substitute the Cold damage inflicted by a single casting of Soultear to Negative damage.
Pushing this one to level 4 would be appropriate.

What you have for levels 5 through 13 feels about right.


Parasite: (Su)

Parasite is gained at level 3.

A number of times per day equal to 3 + the warlocks charisma modifier, the warlock make cast a version of Soultear whose damage caused is returned to the Warlock in the form of hitpoints on a 1:1 basis. This cannot exceed their maximum hp total.


It feels like this comes too early, especially if you're returning points on a 1:1 basis. I would place it at level 6 (that's after the wizard gets access to Vampiric Touch). Also, if you're draining life like this, then your damage must be Negative energy. This means you have to pay hit points upfront, which is great, thematically.

Finally, you should get back temporary hit points that go away after one hour (same as Vampiric Touch). I would then remove the cap on hit points gained, but reduce the number of uses per day to something like 1/day at level 6, add one every 4 levels.


Nightmare (Su):

Nightmare is gained at level 5.

The warlock can cast Phantom Steed as a Spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his class level.

This can be cast a number of times per day equal to the Warlocks charisma modifier.

This is a bit much at level 5, since this is a 3rd level spell. I would move it to the spell list.


Decrepify (Su):
Decrepify is gained at level 7.

When you activate this power as a standard action, you select a foe within 30 feet and make a Ranged Touch Attack. If successful, for 1 round the DC of your spells against that creature are increased by 1/2 your Warlock class level. You can use this ability 3 times per day.

I recommend 1/day at level 7, add one every 4 levels. I would remove the ranged touch attack, which feels a bit unnatural. Instead, let's leverage Quarian Rex's idea, say it works on any creature within Close range that is presently under the effect of Soultear.


Mindwyrm (Su):
Mindwyrm is gained at level 10.

Mindwyrm is a Spell-like Ability with a range of 30 + 5 ft. per class level that requires a standard action to cast and a successful Ranged Touch Attack to hit, and is subject to Spell Resistance. Targets are allowed a Will save equal to 10 + ½ your warlock level + your charisma modifier.

On a failed save, the target takes Intelligence damage equal to 2d4+the warlocks charisma modifier. Those reduced to 0 intelligence by this spell are not dead, but are instead comatose until they recover. You can use this ability 3 times a day.

Ah, this one is back. All right, first: Standard Close range, please. You don't need to say it is subject to Spell Resistance, the blanket statement at the top covers that. And the damage is too much, especially due to the Cha modifier. At level 10, it's easily +7. So you do on average 12 Int damage. That will end the fight for any class that's not Int-based (since Int is nearly always a dump stat for these), as well as the majority of monsters. In that, it is vastly superior to Feeblemind, since the latter doesn't stop people from attacking you (save for spellcasters).

So, the Int damage should be reduced, like to 2d6, or maybe 3d6 but then only 1/day... But, really, I don't like this ability from a thematic perspective. There should be synergy with your core DoT ability. Let me suggest:

Level 11: Soultear's damage can be reduced by 2d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or take 1d6 Int damage.


The Great Devourer:
Not a fan, I must say. This is kind of un-thematic. Also, it made sense to introduce an AoE attack. I preferred the earlier version of the Devourer.

Let me suggest a simplified version of my earlier proposal:

Level 12: The Great Devourer lasts for 1 round per level above 11. On the round it is cast and every 2 rounds after that, it does 1d6/2 levels (rounded up) cold damage, to every creature in the area of effect (Fort save for half). The Great Devourer also destroys the atmosphere, including any gas or fog, whether mundane or magical, that enters the area. Creatures in gaseous form, air elementals and other creatures made of gas instead take 1d6/level damage every round that they stay in the zone of effect (Fort save for half; damage is untyped for such creatures). Breathing or speaking isn't possible in the area of effect. If a creature suffering from an ongoing Soultear effect takes damage from the Great Devourer, then the Soultear effect ends immediately.
In a radius equal to twice the radius of the Great Devourer, a great wind prevails, pushing creatures towards the center of the Devourer's effect. At level 12, the wind force is light. For every level higher than 12, the wind force increases by one degree in the area affected, up to tornado force at level 19.
The warlock can modulate the effects of the Great Devourer according to the same mechanisms that apply to Soultear.


Eye of the Void (Ex):
This one leaves me cold. From a thematic perspective, it doesn't look like a fit. The warlock should rather become an outsider from the negative plane, or something like that.

BananaPhone
2015-10-19, 12:02 AM
I can't address everything right now as I'm on a quick break from a seminar.

But! I really like having both of you here as Quarian has indeed thrown up some very cool ideas and makes me think of something.

Remember how I've been dropping hints to a "path of the Abyss" as something I want to do after Path of the Void?

Well, what if we combined them - made it one class again. The Path of the Abyss's main ability, summoning a mind-warping horror from the deep abyss of the void, could be cannibalised and used. The entire class could be called simply "Voidlock", and mechanically it's like a reverse summoner. A summoner works by summoning their crowbarred eidolon and buffing them to hell to turn them into a mincing machine.

But, the Voidlock could work by summoning their abyssal horror and debuffing the enemy to make them easy prey for it. So when they summoned something it would automatically have the "Abyssal Horror" template (as in, the Fell template quarian described) applied to it, and it'd receive combat bonuses when fighting enemies afflicted with Soultear (which, itself, provides bonuses to other spells the voidlock throws at the target).

What do you think of the idea?

Quarian Rex
2015-10-19, 01:28 AM
@Gwynfrid, some quick notes before sleep time.





Corruption

This is way overpowered as a debuff (automatic -4 to saves is a heck of a lot, bypassing SR isn't justifiable, untyped damage is a problem). But the gem, here, is the concept that the other attacks build on Corruption. A very cool idea.

Remember, bypassing SR is on Corruption, nothing else so far. This and the untyped damage are balanced by the extremely low damage. I think that for a DoT-based class there has to be a baseline completely reliable option. Something that if you can land it on a target, and stay alive long enough, they will die (so long as they don't out-heal it of flee, that is).

The save penalty is also due to opportunity cost. My suggestions for the Warlock leave a rediculously small number of tactical spell options. Having the Warlock essentially take an extra round to make sure that one of his few spells actually takes effect is a very balanced trade-off. Remember, normally overpowered options (unresistable damage and high save penalties) can still be balanced so long as cannot be leveraged to an abusive level (low, unaugmentable, damage level, and minimal spell resources, respectively). To be fair though, perhaps the penalties should be halved against the spells/spell-likes of anyone other than the Warlock. Maintains the de-buff role but doesn't allow the party Wizard to declare ROFLStomp.





Summoning

This is a good idea. Since the goal is to win through DoT, it makes a lot of sense to use summoned creatures as buffers. On the other hand, you're proposing a super-boosted version of Summon Monster, which I don't think is necessary for this purpose. You don't want to end up as a better summoner than the Summoner, or even than the Conjuration specialist Wizard.

Again, look at the context. The Fell creature is a single level appropriate piece of summoning fodder with a +2 on rolls, a +4 to AC and the ability to take a swipe at what walks by. Nowhere in the same ballpark as the customized optimization of an Eidolon, nor the spell buffed minion-spam of a Conjuror. Not even close to super-boosted. Just something to allow what would normally just be fodder (especially in the early to mid levels) to survive long enough to draw attention and flare some Corruption. Remember, extra power, in the right context, can still be completely balanced.

@BananaPhone


What do you think of the idea?

Merging is much better. As I've been banging on about, I don't think the DoT master can work without the minion (at least, not in this game). I await your further thoughts.

BananaPhone
2015-10-19, 04:17 AM
Warning, incoming massive post :smallsigh:.


Have no fear BananaPhone, I was quite aware going in that what I was offering may have been too little too late, and said as much in my previous post. Just be aware that your previous version had enough merit to justify me reading through all five pages of this thread and cranking out that small essay you see above. And that was all after rediscovering the class only a few days ago. That says quite a bit.


Stop it, you'll make me blush :smallredface:.



Your previous version had a lot of fascinating design elements and features that I really wanted to see in a game. It contained much that I had never seen handled in a game, or seen so rarely and handled so poorly as to not warrant mentioning. And, despite the length of my rambling, relatively little was necessary to shave the class into a state that I would allow in one of my games yet still be interesting/versatile enough to play. Your current version of the class... does not inspire such thoughts in me.

All the interesting elements that drew me to the previous version have either been abandoned or so heavily compromised as to be, to me, unplayable. This isn't just a matter of a few details, but the basic direction of the current design. When I PEACHed the OP version it was not because I didn't want to bother to get caught up with the current development, I already did that, it was because I judged the OP version to be a superior chassis.



Thank you for the compliments on the initial vision for the class :smallsmile:.

Aye, it has changed quite a lot hasn't it?

I think that's a natural result of the breadth of time it's taken to change and modulate.

When I first started out I was keen on making a transfer of the WoW warlock to pathfinder - something with DoTs and a summoned pet.

But as time went on, changes were made and feedback rolled in, the product changed into something that was unrecognisable from the initial vision, but that I felt still had a life of its own. A class themed around the cold, empty void, summoning horrors from the darkness between stars, rotting people away with dots, crippling them with debuffs? Personally I still think its very unique within the Pathfinder class stable and with a theme (the void) that no other class is dedicated to (there are bloodlines/schools/domains for sorcs/wizs/clerics respectively, but not a whole class).

So with that said I'd love to produce something that's thematic, flavourful and a solid, strong class. Your help is greatly appreciated :smallsmile:.


I'll see if I can articulate my difficulties with the current version. To start, you had a wonderful winding path of meaningful options in the Macabre Thesis feature, and have stripped it bare and turned it into a one dimensional archetype without retaining anything that made the original appealing. In an archetype based on DoTs and debuffung you have set it up for failure on both counts. The DoT, Soultear, is everything that you argued a DoT shouldn't be in the first few pages of this thread. You have a commonly resisted damage type that requires a to-hit roll and gets a save for reduced damage. That even violates the conventions for damaging spells (it's usually either a to-hit or a save, not both). Even the trade of damage for debuff is hampered by a 1 round duration on damage applied to an ability that only inflicts damage once every 2 rounds. This is the defining ability of the class on the archetype that most exemplifies the DoT effect and every second round it does nothing. This is not even an additional Dot of nice utility. There are no others. You put all of your eggs in one basket and then sat on the basket. I cannot fully express my disappoint. To be fair, I can see exactly why this has happened. This incarnation of the DoT is a direct reflection of every criticism that has been posted in this thread and this is an example of why decision-by-committee is usually a horrible thing. Think back to your playtest. Would you have been satisfied with this as your staple ability? I know that I would not.



Ohhh the Macabre Thesis...yeah, I loved that feature. Modulating an entire class down 1 of three paths? The combinations made replaying the class very viable and each was a different play-style!

Yeah, I do miss the feature :smalltongue: lol.

And yeah, on Soultear (or corruption as it once was) damage output, it's definitely a different beast from what it used to be. I was pretty convinced that any change to its prior damage output etc would ruin the ability, but when everyone who entered the thread voiced the same opinion that it was OP the persuasive pressure became a little overwhelming so I tried to look at it from a different side of the coin.

However, what you're suggesting for its changes I really like - I'll get to that later down in this response.



I really hope that this is not coming off as a snarkfest. That is not my intent. It's just that you originally started with so much potential in this class. It was clever. It gave a player the option to do clever things. I wrote a PEACH to dust off more cleverness. The Voidlock hobbles the player before he even begins. It is the anti-clever. It does not have to be. You can come back from the brink...



Definitely not coming off as a snarkfest, I like what you're saying. I think you, Gwyn and I could make something really cool! The ingredients are all there, it's just a matter of how we arrange it.





This is a bit much at level 5, since this is a 3rd level spell. I would move it to the spell list.



But...my sparkle pony :smallfrown:.

You're literally taking a cute animal away from a lonely voidlock at this point - do you know how cruel that makes you look? :smalltongue:

Maybe it's just me but I really like the idea of a dark wizard zipping around on their spectral, shadowy horse.

This ability could have more significance, however. It could be something that gathers power as the levels go on (well, even more so than Phantom Steed already does).

What if, at a certain level, say 10, while riding the Phantom Steed the Voidlock can cast Planeshift a certain number of times a day, as their spectral steed takes them to another plane?



I recommend 1/day at level 7, add one every 4 levels. I would remove the ranged touch attack, which feels a bit unnatural. Instead, let's leverage Quarian Rex's idea, say it works on any creature within Close range that is presently under the effect of Soultear.


Hmm, less times a day, but more reliable to get off - that could work.



Ah, this one is back. All right, first: Standard Close range, please. You don't need to say it is subject to Spell Resistance, the blanket statement at the top covers that. And the damage is too much, especially due to the Cha modifier. At level 10, it's easily +7. So you do on average 12 Int damage. That will end the fight for any class that's not Int-based (since Int is nearly always a dump stat for these), as well as the majority of monsters. In that, it is vastly superior to Feeblemind, since the latter doesn't stop people from attacking you (save for spellcasters).

So, the Int damage should be reduced, like to 2d6, or maybe 3d6 but then only 1/day... But, really, I don't like this ability from a thematic perspective. There should be synergy with your core DoT ability. Let me suggest:

Level 11: Soultear's damage can be reduced by 2d6 per tick. In exchange, each time an enemy is damaged they must make a Will save or take 1d6 Int damage.



Hah, yes, this one is back :smalltongue:. Sorry but the idea of a lock opening a tear into the void inside someones head that sucks out parts of their brain and lobotomises them is too cool to pass up!


As you're saying, we could link this with Soultear.

So if the Lock casts this on someone straight, normally, then it does, say, 3d4 Intelligence damage. So most likely outcome will be about 6 int damage.

But if they have Soultear on them, then that round Soultear does half damage, but it's Intelligence damage rather than hitpoint damage.

What do you think, too complicated or builds off ST?



Not a fan, I must say. This is kind of un-thematic. Also, it made sense to introduce an AoE attack. I preferred the earlier version of the Devourer.


Unthematic? Well, I thought sending someone to the infinite void to suffocate and freeze to death was rather cool for a Void-themed caster :smalltongue: lol. Pretty nasty way to die if you ask me!

But in seriousness:


Level 12: The Great Devourer lasts for 1 round per level above 11. On the round it is cast and every 2 rounds after that, it does 1d6/2 levels (rounded up) cold damage, to every creature in the area of effect (Fort save for half). The Great Devourer also destroys the atmosphere, including any gas or fog, whether mundane or magical, that enters the area. Creatures in gaseous form, air elementals and other creatures made of gas instead take 1d6/level damage every round that they stay in the zone of effect (Fort save for half; damage is untyped for such creatures). Breathing or speaking isn't possible in the area of effect. If a creature suffering from an ongoing Soultear effect takes damage from the Great Devourer, then the Soultear effect ends immediately.
In a radius equal to twice the radius of the Great Devourer, a great wind prevails, pushing creatures towards the center of the Devourer's effect. At level 12, the wind force is light. For every level higher than 12, the wind force increases by one degree in the area affected, up to tornado force at level 19.
The warlock can modulate the effects of the Great Devourer according to the same mechanisms that apply to Soultear.


Hmm. For the most part I like the idea, but it does lack that certain "oomph!" to make it frightening and comparable to a level 6 spell, or perhaps even higher (like 7) seems as it actively removes one of your main damage dealing spells (Soultear) for nothing in return.



What if, we keep what you've written there. But, if The Great Devourer affects someone who is already suffering from Soultear, Soultear is removed and the target takes a fort save. If they fail they suffer 1d4 negative levels as a result as a part of their soul is literally devoured by the void?

However, see below as this might be redundant.


This one leaves me cold. From a thematic perspective, it doesn't look like a fit. The warlock should rather become an outsider from the negative plane, or something like that.

Ah, but you'd be immune to cold now :smallwink:.

Kidding, of course. You seem averse to the idea of someone unlocking essential immortality - personally I think that's a really cool reward for a captstone ability :smalltongue:.

What if they became an Outsider (Native), with immunity to cold and disease and now Negative damage heals you?



I'm going to compile a running suggestion of things, as I like a number of Quarian and Gwyns ideas. This is a prototype scrap-book:





So, fellows, looking over Quarians suggestions, I've compiled them here, modified by incorporating Gwyns suggestions. We'll discuss the 3 dots and the Aura utility brought up by Quarian, as I think it's really cool and very much worth talking about.

Once we get something of a consensus on these three abilities, then we'll move onto the Voidlocks Summoning ability, then their rituals/macabre thesis.

I know it feels like, Gwyn, we're moving backwards with this, but I think it's worth exploring for the potential.

Also, going into this we do so with this understanding:

Blasty spells will not appear on the Voidlocks spell list. These three DoTs below and their summoned monsters are the only way they do damage (well unless they decide to hit a dragon with a quarterstaff or something).


Damage over Time spells:


Soultear (Su):

Soultear is a Spell-like Ability that takes a standard action to cast and has a range of Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) that requires a Ranged Touch Attack to hit and inflicts 1d6 Damage. This damage increases by +1d6 at 8th and 16th level. This damage "ticks" at the end of the Warlocks turn, every turn, beginning on the turn the spell was cast and remains on a target for 1 round per 2 caster levels (rounded up) for a minimum of 1 round. Only one Soultear can be active upon a target at a time.

Additionally, as the Warlock advances in class levels they are able to modulate Soultear in a number of different ways as follows:



Level 3: Soultears damage can be reduced by 1d6 per tick. In exchange, each round an enemy must make a Will save or be Shaken for 1 round.


Level 9: Soultears damage can be reduced by 2d6 per tick. In exchange, each round an enemy must make a Will save or be Frightened for 1 round.


Level 17: Soultears damage can be reduced by 3d6 per tick. In exchange, each round an enemy must make a Will save or be Paralyzed for 1 round.


Only one modulation may be chosen per casting.

Soultear can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage’s Disjunction or antimagic field. Additionally, if a target moves beyond Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range, Soultear is immediately dispelled.


Prism:

At the Voidlocks 3th level, targets afflicted with Soultear emit a 5 foot aura. Within this aura all enemy creatures suffer a -2 penalty to all of their saves against the Voidlocks spells and abilities.

This aura increases in size and penalty by 5 ft. and -1 respectively for every 54 class levels the Voidlock possesses. Succeeding on a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the Voidlocks level + their charisma modifier suppresses this effect for 1 round.

At 5th level, the Voidlock can spend a Standard action to cause all those within the aura of a Soultear to take a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the Warlocks level + their Charisma modifier). Those who fail then become afflicted with Soultear, including any modulation as the original source possessed as above. The Voidlock can do this a number of times per day equal to their Charisma modifier.


Parasite (Su):

Parasite is a Spell-like Ability that requires a Ranged touch attack to hit and takes a standard action to cast with has a range Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range doing 1d6 Negative damage at 6th level, and an additional +1d6 at 10th, 15th and 20th level. The Voidlock heals the same amount of damage inflicted. This damage "ticks" each round for 1 round per 2 class levels.

A successful Fortitude save by the target negates the damage for that round.

If the target is afflicted with Soultear when it is targeted by Parasite, the Voidlock hits automatically, and the Fortitude save normally permitted receives a penalty equal to -1 per 3 Voidlock class levels.

Finally, only one instance of Parasite can exist on the target. Targets afflicted with Parasite that move beyond Medium range (100 ft. +10 ft./level) of the Voidlock have their instance of Parasite immediately dispelled.

Parasite can be cast a number of times per day equal to the Voidlocks Charisma modifier.


Torment (Su):

Torment is a Spell-like Ability that requires a Ranged touch attack to hit and takes a standard action to cast with has a range Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range doing 1d6 damage at 1th level, and an additional +1d6 at every odd level thereafter. The type of damage caused by Torment is chosen by the Voidlock at 1st level from Fire, Cold or Electricity. Once the decision has been made it cannot be changed.

A Will save by the target against DC 10 + Half the voidlocks class level + the Voidlocks charisma modifier halves Torments damage for 1 round.

If a target is afflicted with Soultear when it is targeted by Torment, then the Voidlock hits automatically, the duration is extended to 2 rounds and the Will save to halve the damage receives a penalty equal to -1 per 3 Voidlock class levels.

Finally, only one instance of Torment can exist on the target. Targets afflicted with Torment that move beyond Medium range (100 ft. +10 ft./level) of the Voidlock have their instance of Parasite immediately dispelled.







So, hypothetical scenario, let's say a level 10 Voidlock with 22 charisma is up against a bunch of goons.

She spends her first round targeting one with Soultear. For sake of argument she hits, and the damage takes 2d6 damage. It's now on the target for a further 4 rounds (5 initially, but first round counted).

The target and all other targets within 15 feet him take a will save. For the sake of "best case scenario", let's say they all fail. They are all now at -4 to their saves to save against the Voidlocks abilities via Prism.

Now in the second round, the Voidlock uses her Prism ability to spread Soultear to all targets within a 15 foot radius of her target last round. Let's say again for the sake of argument that they all fail and so they all catch the contagion. They all take 2d6 damage, including the initial infector.

Now in the third round, the Voidlock casts Torment on the original target. He takes a Will save with -7 penalty (-4 from Soultear, -3 because the target is infected with Soultear via Torment), and fails. So he takes 2d6 again from Soultear this round, and another 5d6 from Torment. All the others infected take another 2d6 damage.

Now in the fourth round, the Voidlock casts Parasite on the original target. Again for sake of argument he takes -7 penalty and fails. He takes 2d6 damage from Parasite, the Warlock is healed for 2d6. The target also takes another 2d6 damage from Soultear, and another 5d6 damage from Torment. All other goons take another 2d6 damage.

Now in the fifth round, the Voidlock casts Torment on the main target again. The Main target takes another 2d6 from Soultear, 2d6 from Parasite, 5d6 from Torment, and the Voidlock is healed another 2d6. Additionally, Soultear runs out on the initial target. Everyone else infected takes another 2d6 damage from Soultear


So, after five rounds, what has the Warlock done?


Round 1: 2d6 Soultear damage.

Round 2: 4d6 Soultear damage main target, Prism to spread 2d6 on everyone within 15 feet.

Round 3: 11d6 (6d6 soultear + 5d6 torment) on main target, 4d6 on everyone within 15 feet.

Round 4: 20d6 (8d6 soultear +2d6 parasite + 10d6 torment) on main target, 6d6 on everyone within 15 feet.

Round 5: 29d6 (10d6 soultear + 4d6 parasite + 15d6 torment) on main target, 8d6 on everyone within 15 feet.


So, that looks pretty beefy.

The damage starts off small potatoes as the Voidlock gets their DoTs in place, and then the damage ramps up.

However, something very important to remember is that a) this was under the assumption that everyone would always fail and the warlock would always hit, and b) the number of turns it took for all this to happen.

So divide that and the Voidlock did 5.8d6 damage per round to the main target, and 1.6d6 per round to all targets within 15 feet.

In the equivalent amount of time a Wizard/Sorc could have thrown out 5 vanilla fireballs and done 50d6 damage to everyone in a 20 foot radius, half on Reflex saves. But they could also burn their own team-mates. And they can only do so many of them in a day. However, that is an important distinction - even if the enemies all made every one of their saves against the wizard/sorc fireballs, they'd still almost take as much damage as they would under the best case scenario against the Voidlocks DoTs. So the worst case scenario for the wizard was almost the best case scenario for the Voidlock.


So, at that level, the Voidlock is more likely to modulate Soultear to do the Frighten debuff instead, thinking that sacrificing 2d6 per round is worth making the target frightened for a round instead, and rely on their Parasite and Torment to do the main amount of damage for them.

What are your thoughts on this arrangement? Too much? Too little?

Gwynfrid
2015-10-19, 09:09 AM
I'm only going to reply to a few points, due to lack to time. It's likely my next answer will take a few days if not more.


Remember, bypassing SR is on Corruption, nothing else so far. This and the untyped damage are balanced by the extremely low damage.
I disagree 100%. As I've said earlier on this thread, putting two unbalanced things together doesn't make it balanced. Bypassing SR is unjustifiable, since this is very clearly a magical effect (unlike Acid Fog where you bring acid in one place, but the acid itself is not magical which is why you can't dismiss the spell). And you're still doing 1d6 /2 levels untyped unescapable damage, which is huge. Remember, too, that this is an at-will unlimited use power. The fact the damage comes over time means little, since the tag-and-teleport tactic will be the solution to the duration. Compare with Disintegrate, a big bad scary spell: it requires a ranged touch hit, beating SR, and has a save. Crucially, if the save is made, then the damage is much more modest and doesn't scale with level. That's how you balance untyped damage.



Again, look at the context. The Fell creature is a single level appropriate piece of summoning fodder with a +2 on rolls, a +4 to AC and the ability to take a swipe at what walks by. Nowhere in the same ballpark as the customized optimization of an Eidolon, nor the spell buffed minion-spam of a Conjuror. Not even close to super-boosted.

It's needlessly boosted. By increasing its attack, you're moving it closer to a territory where the monster will do the bulk of the damage, instead of using DoT.

That said, if we decide a separate path to power is to use corrupting summons, then this is interesting. This alternate path wouldn't get nearly as much DoT stuff, but it could have better monsters.



But...my sparkle pony :smallfrown:.

You're literally taking a cute animal away from a lonely voidlock at this point - do you know how cruel that makes you look? :smalltongue:

Maybe it's just me but I really like the idea of a dark wizard zipping around on their spectral, shadowy horse.

This ability could have more significance, however. It could be something that gathers power as the levels go on (well, even more so than Phantom Steed already does).

What if, at a certain level, say 10, while riding the Phantom Steed the Voidlock can cast Planeshift a certain number of times a day, as their spectral steed takes them to another plane?

Yes! Make it interesting, then it's not just a random copy of an existing spell. Planeshifting is one idea among many possibilities. You could go so far as to make this into a whole other path of power, one where the warlock has a mount that's equivalent to a druid's companion in power.



So if the Lock casts this on someone straight, normally, then it does, say, 3d4 Intelligence damage. So most likely outcome will be about 6 int damage.

But if they have Soultear on them, then that round Soultear does half damage, but it's Intelligence damage rather than hitpoint damage.
What do you think, too complicated or builds off ST?

Too complicated. Lets find a way to build it off ST, like most abilities of this path of power. This creates consistency both in theme and in mechanics. This way, the class looks like a story, rather than a bunch of unrelated things thrown together.


Unthematic? Well, I thought sending someone to the infinite void to suffocate and freeze to death was rather cool for a Void-themed caster :smalltongue: lol. Pretty nasty way to die if you ask me!

Any caster can Plane Shift somebody to [name your unpleasant place of choice]. Not special at all. That's not how I see the void warlock. The void warlock doens't send you to the void, he brings the void into the world. That's why I prefer your old version of Great Devourer from a theme perspective.


Hmm. For the most part I like the idea, but it does lack that certain "oomph!" to make it frightening and comparable to a level 6 spell, or perhaps even higher (like 7) seems as it actively removes one of your main damage dealing spells (Soultear) for nothing in return.

No, it does't remove Soultear. It replaces it by something that does the exact same damage, but on an area. Plus, you can't breathe anymore. Plus, it's hard to get out of due to the wind (look up the wind effects: from the windstorm level onwards, it's pretty tough).


What if, we keep what you've written there. But, if The Great Devourer affects someone who is already suffering from Soultear, Soultear is removed and the target takes a fort save. If they fail they suffer 1d4 negative levels as a result as a part of their soul is literally devoured by the void?
Complicated and maybe too much. Simpler version: If you have a Soultear active then it is dismissed, but you take a -4 to your save vs the Great Devourer. Now you have synergy.


What if they became an Outsider (Native), with immunity to cold and disease and now Negative damage heals you?

Now we're talking business :smallcool:


I'm going to compile a running suggestion of things, as I like a number of Quarian and Gwyns ideas. This is a prototype scrap-book:
Good idea. And no, I don't think it's going backwards. It's just to make sure we sort the ideas and don't forget any on the way.

Quarian Rex
2015-10-19, 11:24 AM
I disagree 100%. As I've said earlier on this thread, putting two unbalanced things together doesn't make it balanced. Bypassing SR is unjustifiable, since this is very clearly a magical effect (unlike Acid Fog where you bring acid in one place, but the acid itself is not magical which is why you can't dismiss the spell). And you're still doing 1d6 /2 levels untyped unescapable damage, which is huge.

Ahem...


It only does 1d6 damage, going to 2d6 at 8th and 3d6 at 16th.

You seem to be making an argument against the wrong proposed idea good sir.



Remember, too, that this is an at-will unlimited use power. The fact the damage comes over time means little, since the tag-and-teleport tactic will be the solution to the duration.

Double ahem...


Do you hear someone grumbling that this DoT is too easy to apply/can't be resisted/can kill someone when the Warlock teleports away/etc.? I got you covered. If the damage tries to tick on someone further than Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range then Corruption is automatically dispelled.

I believe that your concern has already been addressed, with a mundane solution that requires little more than 1 round of movement from the target to dispell the effect, no less.



Compare with Disintegrate, a big bad scary spell: it requires a ranged touch hit, beating SR, and has a save. Crucially, if the save is made, then the damage is much more modest and doesn't scale with level.

While the proposed Corruption damage does scale, it does do at so slow a rate and to such a limited degree (it's max damage is much, much, less than even the post-save damage that you quoted), with no option to further increase the damage (cannot be metamagic'd and cannot be stacked) that even according to your own proposed metrics there isn't a problem.



That's how you balance untyped damage.

I believe that I already did. :smallbiggrin:



It's needlessly boosted. By increasing its attack, you're moving it closer to a territory where the monster will do the bulk of the damage, instead of using DoT.

Remember, we are talking about a single Summon Monster beasty, something of far lower CR than the player, permitting only one of them, and expecting it to fulfill the role of an Eidolon (without the advantage of scalable power and intense customization to rival the party's fighter). It needs to be able to hit and to take a hit. At least for a few rounds. Adding a +2 to hit will not suddenly rewrite the Bestiary entry to make the creature an optimized combatant. Context sir, remember the context.

I will reply to BananaPhone's proposals after work tonight.

Gwynfrid
2015-10-19, 12:01 PM
You seem to be making an argument against the wrong proposed idea good sir.

It only does 1d6 damage, going to 2d6 at 8th and 3d6 at 16th.
... per round, for level/2 rounds, unless I'm mixed up between the many versions of the idea. It's 1d6 per 2 levels, then 1d6 per level from as low as level 8, on a single standard action. That is not puny damage. It's not capped in any way. Sorry about being terse, but we have had that discussion a couple of times on the thread already...


I believe that your concern has already been addressed, with a mundane solution that requires little more than 1 round of movement from the target to dispell the effect, no less.
It hasn't begun to address the issue. In many combat setups, moving away 100+ft isn't an option until you have access to teleportation. Plus, it's super easy for the warlock to follow. Plus, it takes more than one round at double move speed to get away for most monsters. And anyway, how is the monster supposed to know going away will end the effect? This isn't a limitation at all.


Remember, we are talking about a single Summon Monster beasty, something of far lower CR than the player, permitting only one of them, and expecting it to fulfill the role of an Eidolon (without the advantage of scalable power and intense customization to rival the party's fighter). It needs to be able to hit and to take a hit. At least for a few rounds. Adding a +2 to hit will not suddenly rewrite the Bestiary entry to make the creature an optimized combatant. Context sir, remember the context.

Maybe it's not such a big boost. It remains needless and a move in the wrong direction imo.

BananaPhone
2015-10-19, 04:36 PM
Hey Geyn, check out the hypothetical in the spoiler at the bottom of my last post. I value your thoughts on it.

Jasdoif
2015-10-20, 05:20 PM
Damage over Time spells:


Soultear (Su):

Soultear is a Spell-like Ability that takes a standard action to cast and has a range of Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) that requires a Ranged Touch Attack to hit and inflicts 1d6 Damage. This damage increases by +1d6 at 8th and 16th level. This damage "ticks" at the end of the Warlocks turn, every turn, beginning on the turn the spell was cast and remains on a target for 1 round per 2 caster levels (rounded up) for a minimum of 1 round. Only one Soultear can be active upon a target at a time.

Additionally, as the Warlock advances in class levels they are able to modulate Soultear in a number of different ways as follows:



Level 3: Soultears damage can be reduced by 1d6 per tick. In exchange, each round an enemy must make a Will save or be Shaken for 1 round.


Level 9: Soultears damage can be reduced by 2d6 per tick. In exchange, each round an enemy must make a Will save or be Frightened for 1 round.


Level 17: Soultears damage can be reduced by 3d6 per tick. In exchange, each round an enemy must make a Will save or be Paralyzed for 1 round.


Only one modulation may be chosen per casting.

Soultear can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage’s Disjunction or antimagic field. Additionally, if a target moves beyond Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range, Soultear is immediately dispelled.


Prism:

At the Voidlocks 3th level, targets afflicted with Soultear emit a 5 foot aura. Within this aura all enemy creatures suffer a -2 penalty to all of their saves against the Voidlocks spells and abilities.

This aura increases in size and penalty by 5 ft. and -1 respectively for every 54 class levels the Voidlock possesses. Succeeding on a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the Voidlocks level + their charisma modifier suppresses this effect for 1 round.

At 5th level, the Voidlock can spend a Standard action to cause all those within the aura of a Soultear to take a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the Warlocks level + their Charisma modifier). Those who fail then become afflicted with Soultear, including any modulation as the original source possessed as above. The Voidlock can do this a number of times per day equal to their Charisma modifier.


Parasite (Su):

Parasite is a Spell-like Ability that requires a Ranged touch attack to hit and takes a standard action to cast with has a range Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range doing 1d6 Negative damage at 6th level, and an additional +1d6 at 10th, 15th and 20th level. The Voidlock heals the same amount of damage inflicted. This damage "ticks" each round for 1 round per 2 class levels.

A successful Fortitude save by the target negates the damage for that round.

If the target is afflicted with Soultear when it is targeted by Parasite, the Voidlock hits automatically, and the Fortitude save normally permitted receives a penalty equal to -1 per 3 Voidlock class levels.

Finally, only one instance of Parasite can exist on the target. Targets afflicted with Parasite that move beyond Medium range (100 ft. +10 ft./level) of the Voidlock have their instance of Parasite immediately dispelled.

Parasite can be cast a number of times per day equal to the Voidlocks Charisma modifier.


Torment (Su):

Torment is a Spell-like Ability that requires a Ranged touch attack to hit and takes a standard action to cast with has a range Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range doing 1d6 damage at 1th level, and an additional +1d6 at every odd level thereafter. The type of damage caused by Torment is chosen by the Voidlock at 1st level from Fire, Cold or Electricity. Once the decision has been made it cannot be changed.

A Will save by the target against DC 10 + Half the voidlocks class level + the Voidlocks charisma modifier halves Torments damage for 1 round.

If a target is afflicted with Soultear when it is targeted by Torment, then the Voidlock hits automatically, the duration is extended to 2 rounds and the Will save to halve the damage receives a penalty equal to -1 per 3 Voidlock class levels.

Finally, only one instance of Torment can exist on the target. Targets afflicted with Torment that move beyond Medium range (100 ft. +10 ft./level) of the Voidlock have their instance of Parasite immediately dispelled.
....
What are your thoughts on this arrangement? Too much? Too little?First off, if they're spell-like abilities like they say, they should be marked (Sp) for "spell-like ability" instead of (Su) for "supernatural ability". This also makes it explicit that they're subject to spell resistance, which supernatural abilities ignore; so that'll save you the need to add a clarifying comment about how they're subject to spell resistance.

Anyway, having three separate at-will abilities with similar mechanics that are intended to stack seems like a lot of bookkeeping. Torment, in particular, looks like a complicated way to give the voidlock up-front damage that has some interaction with Sourtear.


I'd advise rolling them all together. There's no reason Soultear's initial damage has to match its periodic damage; let it do 1d6-per-odd-level initially, and the 1d6-per-eight-levels damage afterwards. You then have a straightforward way to do extra damage (hit them with Soultear again, for the initial damage) without needing an extra ability or DoT to keep track of. You might need to exempt the prism explosion from having the big initial damage...but then, turning someone into a bomb against their allies might be exactly what you're going for overall :smalltongue:

If you're wanting to keep the ability to choose damage types...well, an idea that came to me is that the voidlock chooses which type of energy each of their modulations uses, forcing them to decide if they want to put all their eggs in one basket or diversify in their energy types. And if you end up doing that, having Parasite be a special modulation with a required negative energy type isn't even a stretch.

BananaPhone
2015-10-20, 05:50 PM
I do really like the idea of a Prism-bomb :smalltongue:.


That is a curious idea though to make ST's upfront damage higher (like 5d6 at lvl 10) and then lower for every subsequent round, with Parasite being a negative energy modulation.

Could even allow the opening for summons to play a bigger role.

Something like ST being the main, at-will ability that does decent damage upfront and a small amount of damage over-time. But it can be spread by Prism, it can be modulated to inflict conditions instead, and it weakens the targets defenses against the Voidlocks other spells (which feature lots of nasty debuffs) and their summoned abyssal horror gets combat bonuses against someone afflicted by it.

That could work properly, reduce book-keeping and retain the theme.

BananaPhone
2015-10-20, 07:32 PM
All of these idea's and talk has got me quite excited to try and push the next envelope.

So what I'm going to do is in the coming days I'm going to compiled all the idea's that I really like into a new iteration of the class and make a new thread for it. This thread, though very useful, has become too long so I'm going to make a new thread.

I think I have a way to make it all work and bring back some of the classes roots while combining it with the new stuff we've come up with. So bringing back 2 tiers of Macabre Thesis, bring Rituals back, cut out a lot of the SLA's, streamline the dots and make summons a more important component of the class - all while maintaining it's Void theme and being a class about dots-debuffs-and-summons.


I'm pretty excited for it! I'd get it done sooner but I've got some posts to make elsewhere and a review I need to get done for my supervisor by tomorrow.

I'm excited! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8FiAhzKQOM)

Quarian Rex
2015-10-20, 10:14 PM
Note: I wrote up most of this last night so it doesn't reflect anything posted today.





You seem to be making an argument against the wrong proposed idea good sir.

It only does 1d6 damage, going to 2d6 at 8th and 3d6 at 16th.
... per round, for level/2 rounds, unless I'm mixed up between the many versions of the idea. It's 1d6 per 2 levels, then 1d6 per level from as low as level 8, on a single standard action. That is not puny damage. It's not capped in any way. Sorry about being terse, but we have had that discussion a couple of times on the thread already...

Again...


You seem to be making an argument against the wrong proposed idea good sir.

I'm not sure whether you are deliberately trolling me or just don't care enough to look up a couple of posts to see what you are actually arguing against. I even embedded the little clicky-link in the quote so you could easily reference my actual post. I am going to continue under the assumption that you were just massively confused and not deliberatly trying to be obtuse.

Here is the Corruption suggestion reprinted in full for your convernience...


Corruption
Corruption is no longer your main damage dealer. It is now your most, and least, powerful ability. Remember when you wanted unresistable damage? This is where it goes. Give it Untyped damage, just like the 3.5 Warlock. Give it a range of Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) with no save, no SR, and a duration of the caster level. The catch? It only does 1d6 damage, going to 2d6 at 8th and 3d6 at 16th. Stop screaming at the screen. Please. What's the point of such a puny DoT? The extra side effects. A target effected by Corruption does not get a save vs the damage of Siphon Life or Curse of Agony (they get saves now btw) and suffers a -4 to save against Spells and Spell-like Abilities. Those within 5ft of the target are -2 to save against Spells and Spell-like Abilities. Corruption cannot be stacked on any given target. Any further uses on an already corrupted target refresh the duration.

Starting at level 3 (or somesuch) the Warlock can spend a standard action to cause a Corrupted individual to 'Flare' (Erupt? Pustulate?) forcing all those exposed to it's debuff aura to make a Will save (DC 10+1/2 Warlocks HD+Cha as per normal) at a -2 (because Corruption) or be Corrupted as well.

Do you hear someone grumbling that this DoT is too easy to apply/can't be resisted/can kill someone when the Warlock teleports away/etc.? I got you covered. If the damage tries to tick on someone further than Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range then Corruption is automatically dispelled. How do you maintain Corruption on someone during a chase (where you may be evenly paced but due to turn based movement your range to target may yo-yo wildly)? All of your DoTs inflict damage (and check for range) at the end of the Warlocks turn, giving him a chance to maintain distance so long as he doesn't mind being led half way across the battlefield.


Please take a moment to review that. I'll wait.


...


Done? Perhaps we can now discuss any concerns you have with this suggested ability as written, and not some Feankenstien-like amalgamation of you greatest gaming fears. This ability is using auto-hit with SR penetration and untyped damage to inflict damage equivalent to a sling bullet, that has no extra modifiers and cannot be stacked. The damage is puny, the damage is capped, and, in this context, good sir, things are quite balanced. Sorry about being terse, but twice now you have chosen to shoot down suggestions that you did not understand, and, apparently, didn't bother to actually read.






I believe that your concern has already been addressed, with a mundane solution that requires little more than 1 round of movement from the target to dispell the effect, no less.

It hasn't begun to address the issue. In many combat setups, moving away 100+ft isn't an option until you have access to teleportation.

120ft is the distance covered by most creatures with a single run acrion. 150ft if they have the run feat. In many combat setups, not being able to move away from opposition without teleportation is called a trap. If the PCs can dictate whether or not their opponents can retreat then the battle has probably already been decided.



Plus, it's super easy for the warlock to follow.

And be pulled out of position, without cover from the rest of the party, to be picked off as a lone straggler. Remember, if the Warlocks round ends with the target out of range the Corruption is dispelled automatically and he has to get back into charge range to connect another. There is no waiting for the fighter to get into position before you give chase.



Plus, it takes more than one round at double move speed to get away for most monsters.

So what? They take an extra d6 of damage. The point here is that your easiest to hit/hardest to deny DoT can be negated by an action available to a commoner. The point here is that your fears of teleport-DoT drive-bys are elegantly averted because your anchor-DoT falls apart when you, or they, flee.



And anyway, how is the monster supposed to know going away will end the effect?

That s up to the fluff. Say that they can see a void-tainted whispy tendril of their very being pulled out and drifting to the Warlock. That the piece of them that is whole wants nothing more than to run in the opposite direction. No mechanical effect, just do with that what you will. NPCs and such are justified in bugging out but nothing is spelled out so no-one is playing sillybuggers with 5ft moves at 130ft range and such.






Remember, we are talking about a single Summon Monster beasty, something of far lower CR than the player, permitting only one of them, and expecting it to fulfill the role of an Eidolon (without the advantage of scalable power and intense customization to rival the party's fighter). It needs to be able to hit and to take a hit. At least for a few rounds. Adding a +2 to hit will not suddenly rewrite the Bestiary entry to make the creature an optimized combatant. Context sir, remember the context.

Maybe it's not such a big boost. It remains needless and a move in the wrong direction imo.

Please re-examine the bolded part. It is not such a big boost and it remains needed. Putting a relatively small bonus on pre-balanced options to fulfill a needed role instead of trying to build a customized solution from the ground up is exactly the right direction imo.




Now, on to more fun things...



Ohhh the Macabre Thesis...yeah, I loved that feature. Modulating an entire class down 1 of three paths? The combinations made replaying the class very viable and each was a different play-style!

And not just having three paths but being able to mix the path. You could start, conceptually, as one thing and through necessity or happenstance become another. Very interesting. Very rewarding.



And yeah, on Soultear (or corruption as it once was) damage output, it's definitely a different beast from what it used to be. I was pretty convinced that any change to its prior damage output etc would ruin the ability, but when everyone who entered the thread voiced the same opinion that it was OP the persuasive pressure became a little overwhelming so I tried to look at it from a different side of the coin.

However, what you're suggesting for its changes I really like - I'll get to that later down in this response.

See, your original intent was good. You wanted the DoT to be worth it. The problem was that you were using damage as the sole metric of its worth (granted, that is generally the rule in this game). Hence the criticisms. But there are sooo many more ways to make the DoT worth it. Hence my posts.



But...my sparkle pony :smallfrown:.

You're literally taking a cute animal away from a lonely voidlock at this point - do you know how cruel that makes you look? :smalltongue:

Maybe it's just me but I really like the idea of a dark wizard zipping around on their spectral, shadowy horse.

This ability could have more significance, however. It could be something that gathers power as the levels go on (well, even more so than Phantom Steed already does).

What if, at a certain level, say 10, while riding the Phantom Steed the Voidlock can cast Planeshift a certain number of times a day, as their spectral steed takes them to another plane?

Remember, you can throw in some mechanical funkiness with this as well. Casting Phantom Steed X/day is bland and asks why this isn't just a spell. What if the Voidlock can summon a Void Steed (or something else, just avoid Nightmare since that is an actual creature and you don't want confusion) at will by drawing warp-tainted blood from his eyes as a full round action (having the same effects as a Phantom Steed spell cast at the Voidlocks level) and sacrificing 10 HP from his current and maximum HP. Upon the end of the duration or upon dismissal the current and maximum HP are regained, but if the Steed is destroyed the maximum HP are restored but the current remain lost as damage. Adjust the HP loss to taste, but something along that idea. Allow him to ride whenever he wants, even to let the party ride like pimps as well, but he has to weaken himself to do it.





Decrepify

Hmm, less times a day, but more reliable to get off - that could work.

Give access to a full level range of spells and bake in a save debuff to the Corruption analog and you can get rid of this altogether.





Mindwyrm

So if the Lock casts this on someone straight, normally, then it does, say, 3d4 Intelligence damage. So most likely outcome will be about 6 int damage.

But if they have Soultear on them, then that round Soultear does half damage, but it's Intelligence damage rather than hitpoint damage.

What do you think, too complicated or builds off ST?

See, I have a problem with ths on a couple of levels. I detest abilities that can only be used a couple of times per day and the idea of adding ability damage to the DoT is somewhat insane. Especially coming from Gwynfrid. Ability damage being untyped and from an extremely limited resource pool (the single ability score). Sure, this is what poisons do but there is only one poison on the entire list that does even a full d6 of ability damage per round, Black lotus extract, and you have to wait a full minute for it to kick in.

If you want an Int damaging ability, why not aproach it from another perspective? Say that when you have all three DoTs on a target then you can make the fetters close upon his mind and tear it into the void, doing X Int damage, but dispelling all DoTs on the target. That way it takes multiple rounds to establish, allows you to justify a larger damage amount (upwards of 3d6 or so) with the downside of losing all DoT progress on the target. Perhaps add this as a higher level option for a resurrected version of Macabre Thesis? There were two level III ones that I couldn't figure out what to do with... Thoughts?





The Great Devourer

Unthematic? Well, I thought sending someone to the infinite void to suffocate and freeze to death was rather cool for a Void-themed caster :smalltongue: lol. Pretty nasty way to die if you ask me!

But in seriousness:


~snip~

Hmm. For the most part I like the idea, but it does lack that certain "oomph!" to make it frightening and comparable to a level 6 spell, or perhaps even higher (like 7) seems as it actively removes one of your main damage dealing spells (Soultear) for nothing in return.

Your original idea of yanking them bodily into the void to be crushed and suffocated until they can will themselves out is much better. It's primarily a CC ability (removing a target from the field of battle temporarily, or maybe longer) but is still thematic and threatening. How about tying it to having all three DoTs on the target like I suggested for Mindwyrm above. And hey, this does make a great third option for Macabre Thesis III 2.0. Just saying. *nudge* *nudge*





Eye of the Void

What if they became an Outsider (Native), with immunity to cold and disease and now Negative damage heals you?

That's fine for an otherworld-y type capstone. Just lose the undead healing bit. The class so far has no link to the undead and really shouldn't start implying a link all the way at level 20.





We'll discuss the 3 dots and the Aura utility ...
...
Once we get something of a consensus on these three abilities, then we'll move onto the Voidlocks Summoning ability, then their rituals/macabre thesis.
...
Blasty spells will not appear on the Voidlocks spell list. These three DoTs below and their summoned monsters are the only way they do damage (well unless they decide to hit a dragon with a quarterstaff or something).

Understood and me so happy.



Damage over Time spells:

Before we start, a few things. First, shuffle some names. Soultear is your best name and the most badass. Put it on your most damaging/most cast ability, the Curse of Agony analog/Torment. The Corruption analog needs a more insidious name. It will be cast less often and is less impressive when you do, but necessary.

Second, and this applies to all of the DoTs, get rid of the ranged touch attacks. Remember, the DoTs have to seem like they are worth it. Spending rounds trying to hit a target and, when you finally do, being rewarded with the anemic damage of a DoT is a recipe for disapointment. Player disapointment should not be a inherent class feature.

Lastly, make these all Spell-Like Abilities (SP). It makes the Voidlock more vulnerable during the use of the abilities, more like a normal caster when using their spells. This also means that all of the DoTs are effected normally by dispells and SR and such unless specified otherwise.

With that in mind...


Soultear (Su):

Soultear is a Spell-like Ability that takes a standard action to cast and has a range of Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) that requires a Ranged Touch Attack to hit and inflicts 1d6 Damage. This damage increases by +1d6 at 8th and 16th level. This damage "ticks" at the end of the Warlocks turn, every turn, beginning on the turn the spell was cast and remains on a target for 1 round per 2 caster levels (rounded up) for a minimum of 1 round. Only one Soultear can be active upon a target at a time.

Again, get rid of the Ranged Touch Attack. You are choosing sacrifices for the Void (or something like that), not lobbing spitballs like a pleb. The duration really needs to be 1 round per caster level. This ability is your least damaging and so is the biggest timesink. It is important that once you spend the action cost to effect someone with it that you don't have to "waste" time reapplying it multiple times in a combat unless someone else, or circumstances, force you to. Also, you need to be in combat range to get this off. Let them get in, lay the seeds of infection, and get out if they can. Voidlocks are not meant to stay in the thick of combat, they are merely rewarded for tempting it.

Also, specify that the damage is actually Untyped. It is a rare enough occurence that you should spell it out. And specify that this ability is unaffected by SR. That is a necessity.



Additionally, as the Warlock advances in class levels they are able to modulate Soultear in a number of different ways as follows:



Level 3: Soultears damage can be reduced by 1d6 per tick. In exchange, each round an enemy must make a Will save or be Shaken for 1 round.


Level 9: Soultears damage can be reduced by 2d6 per tick. In exchange, each round an enemy must make a Will save or be Frightened for 1 round.


Level 17: Soultears damage can be reduced by 3d6 per tick. In exchange, each round an enemy must make a Will save or be Paralyzed for 1 round.


Only one modulation may be chosen per casting.

Modulations should not be on the Corruption type power. This is your anchor for other DoTs, your lowest damage power, cannot be stacked, and should have too long a duration for some of the better conditions. All of these need to be on the Curse of Agony analog. It has higher damage for condition application and a shorter duration so a lack of attention from the Voidlock will result in released enemies. That is a good thing.



Soultear can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage’s Disjunction or antimagic field.

Making this (SP) lets you remove all of this. No need for the references to Restoration and Greater Restoration. They have 3 round casting times, costly material components, and don't really do anything that would thematically be a counter to the DoTs.



Additionally, if a target moves beyond Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range, Soultear is immediately dispelled.

No, no, no, good sir. If the DoT tries to damage a target beyond Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range then it is immediately dispelled. It is a pain to get everyone properly corrupted. If the Voidlock is willing to give chase then let the ticks continue.



Prism:

No. Just no. Don't go My Little Pony on me now. At least call it Prism of Madness or something. For the love of babby jebus. Now, onto the mechanics...


At the Voidlocks 3th level, targets afflicted with Soultear emit a 5 foot aura. Within this aura all enemy creatures suffer a -2 penalty to all of their saves against the Voidlocks spells and abilities.

Open this up to be applicable to all Spells and (SP). Let this be a minor debuff that can benefit the party. This way when the Voidlock spends his turn doing 1d6 damage the rest of the players won't be bitter.



This aura increases in size and penalty by 5 ft. and -1 respectively for every 54 class levels the Voidlock possesses. Succeeding on a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the Voidlocks level + their charisma modifier suppresses this effect for 1 round.

I'm going to assume that the penalty will increase every 5 levels, not every 54, and I'm good with that. I really think that the increase in size should be restricted to an Arcana type thing like I mentioned here...




Finally, the Warlock needs a dead level filler ability to add some much needed customization, much like a Magus' Arcana or an Alchemist's Discoveries. On the bright side, you have a huge amount of things you can cram in here. Things like...


An additional +1d6 damage added to Curse of Agony, limited to a number of additional dice equal to the damage dice of Corruption.
Adding an additional damage type to Curse of Agony chosen from Fire, Cold, Electricity, and Acid (any that haven't been chosen yet).
Adding an additional +5ft to the radius of Corruptions debuff (and 'Flare') area. Again, something that can be taken a number of times equal to the damage dice of Corruption.
Adding an individual debuff to Curse of Agony similar to what was suggested by Gwynfrid and also Ambush type feats (from 3.5) and just say that only the highest damage pool from Curse of Agony actually damages a target and that a single application of Curse of Agony cannot be reduced below 1d6 damage in this way. This is where you should add Curse of Tongues and such. This also really boosts the stock of Lingering Torment since it can be used to stack a higher number of debuffs before it expires.
Add an additional round to the duration of Curse of Agony added after any other factors (ie. on a Corrupted target it would last 3 rounds, 5 rounds if you had Lingering Torment).
Bonus summoning related feats such as Augment Summoning (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/augment-summoning---final), Expanded Summon Monster (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/expanded-summon-monster), Evolved Summoned Monster (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/evolved-summoned-monster), Skeleton Summoner (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/skeleton-summoner), and Summon Evil Monster (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/summon-evil-monster) (or any others you can think of). These are bonus feats and do not need to meet the prerequisites to be selected.
Bonus Combat Feats (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats) that can be added to the Fell Creature. Prerequisites other than feat prerequisites do not need to be met.

And other fun bits like that. This is really wide open and has a lot of possibility.



Things like the expanded radius of the debuff aura are important enough that I think they should be left as a hard choice for the player. What will you choose? What will you prioritize? The Void theme has a lot of variability inherent to it. Let the player make more of these choices instead of you doing it for them.



At 5th level, the Voidlock can spend a Standard action to cause all those within the aura of a Soultear to take a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the Warlocks level + their Charisma modifier). Those who fail then become afflicted with Soultear, including any modulation as the original source possessed as above. The Voidlock can do this a number of times per day equal to their Charisma modifier.

For the love of all that is holy, do not make this a limited ability. By its very nature the Corruption analog is going to be a finicky beast. It is going to be a hard choice on whether to spend even more turns spreading the Corruption and doing negligible damage or to start laying into the more effective DoTs. Do not make this any more painful than it has to be. Most times the AoE corruption will only be hitting a couple of enemies at a time and it will be a gamble seeing if it was worth letting them have saves to get more than one. Do not make each gamble be from a diminishing pool of opportunities.



Parasite (Su):

Parasite is a Spell-like Ability that requires a Ranged touch attack to hit and takes a standard action to cast with has a range Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range doing 1d6 Negative damage at 6th level, and an additional +1d6 at 10th, 15th and 20th level. The Voidlock heals the same amount of damage inflicted. This damage "ticks" each round for 1 round per 2 class levels.

A successful Fortitude save by the target negates the damage for that round.

If the target is afflicted with Soultear when it is targeted by Parasite, the Voidlock hits automatically, and the Fortitude save normally permitted receives a penalty equal to -1 per 3 Voidlock class levels.

Finally, only one instance of Parasite can exist on the target. Targets afflicted with Parasite that move beyond Medium range (100 ft. +10 ft./level) of the Voidlock have their instance of Parasite immediately dispelled.

Good name. Waiting till 6th feels too long to me. If you're keeping Life Tap (which I think you should) you need a way to recover that loss in combat and Parasite will be the only way the class can do it. This should be at first level (or whenever Life Tap comes online). I can't say it enough, get rid of the ranged touch attacks altogether. Still allowing a save (even at a slight penalty) when on a Corrupted target is a mistake. This still does minimal damage (only 1d6 higher than Corruption) and a save negates the damage. Once you have the Corruption groundwork done let this have full effect.

Lastly, do not have this be dispelled beyond Medium range. Let that be a limitation belonging solely to Corruption. Beyond that range Corruption is gone and the target regains saves to negate for a few more rounds. You do not want this class to be completely useless outside of medium range.



Parasite can be cast a number of times per day equal to the Voidlocks Charisma modifier.

For the red-sweaty love of Haysoos H. Cristos do not limit this ability. You want the Voidlock constantly juggling the pros and cons of each of his DoTs at any given moment to find the right mix of offense and utility. Limiting this takes away the main defensive ability of an offensive caster who partially relies on HP as a power resource. Do not do it.




Torment (Su):

This is the beasty DoT. This is the one that gives the hurt and the one that you will be spamming. When the DM asks you what you're doing, tell him that you are using... Soultear. Do it. Change the name. This is the DoT with the cojones, you must name it The Soultear. You with me on this? That's what I'm calling it. Don't be confused. I'm calling it Soultear.



TormentSoultear is a Spell-like Ability that requires a Ranged touch attack to hit and takes a standard action to cast with has a range Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range doing 1d6 damage at 1th level, and an additional +1d6 at every odd level thereafter. The type of damage caused by TormentSoultear is chosen by the Voidlock at 1st level from Fire, Cold or Electricity. Once the decision has been made it cannot be changed.

A Will save by the target against DC 10 + Half the voidlocks class level + the Voidlocks charisma modifier halves TormentsSoultears damage for 1 round.

If a target is afflicted with SoultearCorruption Analog when it is targeted by TormentSoultear, then the Voidlock hits automatically, the duration is extended to 2 rounds and the Will save to halve the damage receives a penalty equal to -1 per 3 Voidlock class levels.

Finally, only one instance of TormentSoultear can exist on the target. Targets afflicted with Torment that move beyond Medium range (100 ft. +10 ft./level) of the Voidlock have their instance of Parasite immediately dispelled.

Again, ranged touch attack, get rid of it. The Voidlock is a caster, treat him like it. Same as with Parasite, you need to get rid of the save when used on a Corrupted target. If it helps, think of 'Use of Corruption' -> 'No Saves on Soultear' as a way to frontload the passed saves. For the first rounds of combat the Voidlock will be doing minimal damage with Corruption, much like a series of passed saves on Soultear (but with even less damage), to make sure that later uses of Soultear will keep having failed saves.

This is also the place for the modulations. This ability has dice to burn and a low duration so inattention on the Voidlocks part will result in dropped CC. Also, drop the fear effects. That makes everyone scatter and that is something that the Voidlock really doesn't want. Go more in the lines of Sickened->Nauseated->Blindness->Paralyzed, that sort of thing. And, really, you need to put these all under an Arcana-type ability like I mentioned above. The class is much more interesting when you let the players make the choice of how they will play it rather than trying to make the choices for them.





So, hypothetical scenario, let's say a level 10 Voidlock with 22 charisma is up against a bunch of goons.

She spends her first round targeting one with Soultear. For sake of argument she hits, and the damage takes 2d6 damage. It's now on the target for a further 4 rounds (5 initially, but first round counted).

The target and all other targets within 15 feet him take a will save. For the sake of "best case scenario", let's say they all fail. They are all now at -4 to their saves to save against the Voidlocks abilities via Prism.

Now in the second round, the Voidlock uses her Prism ability to spread Soultear to all targets within a 15 foot radius of her target last round. Let's say again for the sake of argument that they all fail and so they all catch the contagion. They all take 2d6 damage, including the initial infector.

Now in the third round, the Voidlock casts Torment on the original target. He takes a Will save with -7 penalty (-4 from Soultear, -3 because the target is infected with Soultear via Torment), and fails. So he takes 2d6 again from Soultear this round, and another 5d6 from Torment. All the others infected take another 2d6 damage.

Now in the fourth round, the Voidlock casts Parasite on the original target. Again for sake of argument he takes -7 penalty and fails. He takes 2d6 damage from Parasite, the Warlock is healed for 2d6. The target also takes another 2d6 damage from Soultear, and another 5d6 damage from Torment. All other goons take another 2d6 damage.

Now in the fifth round, the Voidlock casts Torment on the main target again. The Main target takes another 2d6 from Soultear, 2d6 from Parasite, 5d6 from Torment, and the Voidlock is healed another 2d6. Additionally, Soultear runs out on the initial target. Everyone else infected takes another 2d6 damage from Soultear


So, after five rounds, what has the Warlock done?


Round 1: 2d6 Soultear damage.

Round 2: 4d6 Soultear damage main target, Prism to spread 2d6 on everyone within 15 feet.

Round 3: 11d6 (6d6 soultear + 5d6 torment) on main target, 4d6 on everyone within 15 feet.

Round 4: 20d6 (8d6 soultear +2d6 parasite + 10d6 torment) on main target, 6d6 on everyone within 15 feet.

Round 5: 29d6 (10d6 soultear + 4d6 parasite + 15d6 torment) on main target, 8d6 on everyone within 15 feet.


So, that looks pretty beefy.

The damage starts off small potatoes as the Voidlock gets their DoTs in place, and then the damage ramps up.

However, something very important to remember is that a) this was under the assumption that everyone would always fail and the warlock would always hit, and b) the number of turns it took for all this to happen.

So divide that and the Voidlock did 5.8d6 damage per round to the main target, and 1.6d6 per round to all targets within 15 feet.

In the equivalent amount of time a Wizard/Sorc could have thrown out 5 vanilla fireballs and done 50d6 damage to everyone in a 20 foot radius, half on Reflex saves. But they could also burn their own team-mates. And they can only do so many of them in a day. However, that is an important distinction - even if the enemies all made every one of their saves against the wizard/sorc fireballs, they'd still almost take as much damage as they would under the best case scenario against the Voidlocks DoTs. So the worst case scenario for the wizard was almost the best case scenario for the Voidlock.


So, at that level, the Voidlock is more likely to modulate Soultear to do the Frighten debuff instead, thinking that sacrificing 2d6 per round is worth making the target frightened for a round instead, and rely on their Parasite and Torment to do the main amount of damage for them.

What are your thoughts on this arrangement? Too much? Too little?

Not so beefy. Your example showed that, with your current DoT setup, after five rounds you have done passable damage to a single target and virtually nothind to everyone else. As a primary caster type. And this was under perfect conditions, with no attacks missed and no saves passed. This is a problem.

Even a 3.5 Warlock with Brimstone Blast and Eldritch Chain would do better. Under the same circumstances he would be doing 35d6 (after DoT for being set on fire) to the primary target and 12-22d6 (depending on how many targets there are) to secondary targets within 30ft.

Not that great. Especially considering your Corruption is about to expire and you will need to spend another couple of rounds reacquiring targets because you did not include any provisions for renewing the Corruption.

Remember this?



Corruption
Corruption is no longer your main damage dealer. It is now your most, and least, powerful ability. Remember when you wanted unresistable damage? This is where it goes. Give it Untyped damage, just like the 3.5 Warlock. Give it a range of Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) with no save, no SR, and a duration of the caster level. The catch? It only does 1d6 damage, going to 2d6 at 8th and 3d6 at 16th. Stop screaming at the screen. Please. What's the point of such a puny DoT? The extra side effects. A target effected by Corruption does not get a save vs the damage of Siphon Life or Curse of Agony (they get saves now btw) and suffers a -4 to save against Spells and Spell-like Abilities. Those within 5ft of the target are -2 to save against Spells and Spell-like Abilities. Corruption cannot be stacked on any given target. Any further uses on an already corrupted target refresh the duration.

Starting at level 3 (or somesuch) the Warlock can spend a standard action to cause a Corrupted individual to 'Flare' (Erupt? Pustulate?) forcing all those exposed to it's debuff aura to make a Will save (DC 10+1/2 Warlocks HD+Cha as per normal) at a -2 (because Corruption) or be Corrupted as well.

Do you hear someone grumbling that this DoT is too easy to apply/can't be resisted/can kill someone when the Warlock teleports away/etc.? I got you covered. If the damage tries to tick on someone further than Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range then Corruption is automatically dispelled. How do you maintain Corruption on someone during a chase (where you may be evenly paced but due to turn based movement your range to target may yo-yo wildly)? All of your DoTs inflict damage (and check for range) at the end of the Warlocks turn, giving him a chance to maintain distance so long as he doesn't mind being led half way across the battlefield.


Siphon Life
This one is staying fairly simple. It can be used at Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range doing 1d6 (+1d6 at 5th, 10th, and 15th level) Negative damage that heals the Warlock for the same amount, Fort save negates the damage for that round, duration of CL/2. The Negative damage heals undead as per normal and the Warlock recieves no healing from something that has been healed by this ability. Remember that the save is negated on a Corrupted target. When using this power the Warlock can optionally target any Corrupted targets he wishes at once. See where we're going with this?


Curse of Agony
This will be your damage/utility DoT. This should have a range of Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level), doing 1d6 (+ 1d6 at 3rd and every odd Warlock level after) damage of either Fire, Cold, or Electricity damage (chosen at first level and permanent thereafter) with a Will save for half damage, and a duration of 1 round (hear me out). When used on a Corrupted target the Will save for half damage is negated and the duration is doubled (to two rounds). Multiple uses of Curse of Agony on the same target do not stack and are tracked seperately with only the highest base damage applying (this will be important later). And, again, when using this power the Warlock can optionally target any Corrupted targets he wishes at once.


I have some more to fancy this up, we'll get to that in a minute, but this is the basics. The Warlocks' more damaging/life draining abilities can be used at good range but can be mitigated through saves (balance!), his most damaging ability needs regular maintainance in the action economy (double balance!), and by taking the risk of entering charge range and "wasting" a round or two on his least damaging ability he can vastly increase the efficiency of his other DoTs (triple balance bonanza!). No metamagic craziness, but more fancyness to come.


Take a look at it again if you wouldn't mind. All the suggestions I made for the DoTs still apply. As an addition I would suggest adding that all uses of Corruption will renew the duration of all instances of Corruption. You want to reward the Voidlock for taking the time to lay down the groundwork for the pain to come, not to have to fully repeat that process all over again, over and over again. This includes things like my suggestion to allow Parasite and Soultear (I'm really pushing for the renaming) to be used on all Corrupted targets at once with a single use.

The Voidlock is still a primary caster. You still want him to lay down meaningful AoE. You just want it to take longer to ramp up, and to do so due to inbuilt mechanical advantages, not due to tacked on forced restrictions.

Remember, the way that I'm trying to nudge this will essentially make it a dream come true for both the DM and the party. With the Voidlock around things will die. But in the meantime, the Fighter gets to slash, the Rogue gets to poke, the Cleric gets to buff, and the DM gets an encounter that is not trivialized in the first round. And just when it heats up and things look grim, the enemies die. One by one and all at once, they die. Like the sound of inevitability (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIbEj1CIpuU). Everyone congratulates each other on a job well done, little knowing that their victory was assured. For as they were hacking from without, the Voidlock was building their death from within.

Gwynfrid
2015-10-21, 06:40 AM
Hey Geyn, check out the hypothetical in the spoiler at the bottom of my last post. I value your thoughts on it.

OK, here goes.



Also, going into this we do so with this understanding:

Blasty spells will not appear on the Voidlocks spell list. These three DoTs below and their summoned monsters are the only way they do damage (well unless they decide to hit a dragon with a quarterstaff or something).

Good. This lets us focus on what's important to the class.



Damage over Time spells:


Soultear (Su):

Soultear is a Spell-like Ability that takes a standard action to cast and has a range of Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) that requires a Ranged Touch Attack to hit and inflicts 1d6 Damage. This damage increases by +1d6 at 8th and 16th level. This damage "ticks" at the end of the Warlocks turn, every turn, beginning on the turn the spell was cast and remains on a target for 1 round per 2 caster levels (rounded up) for a minimum of 1 round. Only one Soultear can be active upon a target at a time.

Additionally, as the Warlock advances in class levels they are able to modulate Soultear in a number of different ways as follows:



Level 3: Soultears damage can be reduced by 1d6 per tick. In exchange, each round an enemy must make a Will save or be Shaken for 1 round.


Level 9: Soultears damage can be reduced by 2d6 per tick. In exchange, each round an enemy must make a Will save or be Frightened for 1 round.


Level 17: Soultears damage can be reduced by 3d6 per tick. In exchange, each round an enemy must make a Will save or be Paralyzed for 1 round.


Only one modulation may be chosen per casting.

Soultear can be pre-maturely removed by a successful Dispel, Greater Dispel, Restoration, Greater Restoration, Mage’s Disjunction or antimagic field. Additionally, if a target moves beyond Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range, Soultear is immediately dispelled.


Prism:

At the Voidlocks 3th level, targets afflicted with Soultear emit a 5 foot aura. Within this aura all enemy creatures suffer a -2 penalty to all of their saves against the Voidlocks spells and abilities.

This aura increases in size and penalty by 5 ft. and -1 respectively for every 54 class levels the Voidlock possesses. Succeeding on a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the Voidlocks level + their charisma modifier suppresses this effect for 1 round.

At 5th level, the Voidlock can spend a Standard action to cause all those within the aura of a Soultear to take a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the Warlocks level + their Charisma modifier). Those who fail then become afflicted with Soultear, including any modulation as the original source possessed as above. The Voidlock can do this a number of times per day equal to their Charisma modifier.


Parasite (Su):

Parasite is a Spell-like Ability that requires a Ranged touch attack to hit and takes a standard action to cast with has a range Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range doing 1d6 Negative damage at 6th level, and an additional +1d6 at 10th, 15th and 20th level. The Voidlock heals the same amount of damage inflicted. This damage "ticks" each round for 1 round per 2 class levels.

A successful Fortitude save by the target negates the damage for that round.

If the target is afflicted with Soultear when it is targeted by Parasite, the Voidlock hits automatically, and the Fortitude save normally permitted receives a penalty equal to -1 per 3 Voidlock class levels.

Finally, only one instance of Parasite can exist on the target. Targets afflicted with Parasite that move beyond Medium range (100 ft. +10 ft./level) of the Voidlock have their instance of Parasite immediately dispelled.

Parasite can be cast a number of times per day equal to the Voidlocks Charisma modifier.


Torment (Su):

Torment is a Spell-like Ability that requires a Ranged touch attack to hit and takes a standard action to cast with has a range Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) range doing 1d6 damage at 1th level, and an additional +1d6 at every odd level thereafter. The type of damage caused by Torment is chosen by the Voidlock at 1st level from Fire, Cold or Electricity. Once the decision has been made it cannot be changed.

A Will save by the target against DC 10 + Half the voidlocks class level + the Voidlocks charisma modifier halves Torments damage for 1 round.

If a target is afflicted with Soultear when it is targeted by Torment, then the Voidlock hits automatically, the duration is extended to 2 rounds and the Will save to halve the damage receives a penalty equal to -1 per 3 Voidlock class levels.

Finally, only one instance of Torment can exist on the target. Targets afflicted with Torment that move beyond Medium range (100 ft. +10 ft./level) of the Voidlock have their instance of Parasite immediately dispelled.







So, hypothetical scenario, let's say a level 10 Voidlock with 22 charisma is up against a bunch of goons.

She spends her first round targeting one with Soultear. For sake of argument she hits, and the damage takes 2d6 damage. It's now on the target for a further 4 rounds (5 initially, but first round counted).

The target and all other targets within 15 feet him take a will save. For the sake of "best case scenario", let's say they all fail. They are all now at -4 to their saves to save against the Voidlocks abilities via Prism.

Now in the second round, the Voidlock uses her Prism ability to spread Soultear to all targets within a 15 foot radius of her target last round. Let's say again for the sake of argument that they all fail and so they all catch the contagion. They all take 2d6 damage, including the initial infector.

Now in the third round, the Voidlock casts Torment on the original target. He takes a Will save with -7 penalty (-4 from Soultear, -3 because the target is infected with Soultear via Torment), and fails. So he takes 2d6 again from Soultear this round, and another 5d6 from Torment. All the others infected take another 2d6 damage.

Now in the fourth round, the Voidlock casts Parasite on the original target. Again for sake of argument he takes -7 penalty and fails. He takes 2d6 damage from Parasite, the Warlock is healed for 2d6. The target also takes another 2d6 damage from Soultear, and another 5d6 damage from Torment. All other goons take another 2d6 damage.

Now in the fifth round, the Voidlock casts Torment on the main target again. The Main target takes another 2d6 from Soultear, 2d6 from Parasite, 5d6 from Torment, and the Voidlock is healed another 2d6. Additionally, Soultear runs out on the initial target. Everyone else infected takes another 2d6 damage from Soultear


So, after five rounds, what has the Warlock done?


Round 1: 2d6 Soultear damage.

Round 2: 4d6 Soultear damage main target, Prism to spread 2d6 on everyone within 15 feet.

Round 3: 11d6 (6d6 soultear + 5d6 torment) on main target, 4d6 on everyone within 15 feet.

Round 4: 20d6 (8d6 soultear +2d6 parasite + 10d6 torment) on main target, 6d6 on everyone within 15 feet.

Round 5: 29d6 (10d6 soultear + 4d6 parasite + 15d6 torment) on main target, 8d6 on everyone within 15 feet.


So, that looks pretty beefy.

The damage starts off small potatoes as the Voidlock gets their DoTs in place, and then the damage ramps up.

However, something very important to remember is that a) this was under the assumption that everyone would always fail and the warlock would always hit, and b) the number of turns it took for all this to happen.

So divide that and the Voidlock did 5.8d6 damage per round to the main target, and 1.6d6 per round to all targets within 15 feet.

In the equivalent amount of time a Wizard/Sorc could have thrown out 5 vanilla fireballs and done 50d6 damage to everyone in a 20 foot radius, half on Reflex saves. But they could also burn their own team-mates. And they can only do so many of them in a day. However, that is an important distinction - even if the enemies all made every one of their saves against the wizard/sorc fireballs, they'd still almost take as much damage as they would under the best case scenario against the Voidlocks DoTs. So the worst case scenario for the wizard was almost the best case scenario for the Voidlock.


So, at that level, the Voidlock is more likely to modulate Soultear to do the Frighten debuff instead, thinking that sacrificing 2d6 per round is worth making the target frightened for a round instead, and rely on their Parasite and Torment to do the main amount of damage for them.

What are your thoughts on this arrangement? Too much? Too little?

No, it's not too much. It's probably not enough. But then, that's going to be the thing with DoT as a principle: It's only an interesting tactic if the fight lasts long enough for it to matter. While, if you make it big damage per round it quickly goes overboard. More on this below.

My biggest problem with this proposal isn't balance. I think you're going too far with the save debuff (-7 is huge, and you're stacking two things that both scale with level, this quickly builds up to unreasonable). But the biggest issue isn't that. It's complexity and bookeeping. First off, in the debuff aura, folks have to save every round just to find the penalty they will take in that round. Lots of rolls. Then, you have:
- An aura size that scales per 5 levels.
- A debuff that scales per 5 levels.
- Another debuff that scales per 3 levels.
- Soultear damage that scales per 8 levels, with duration that scales per 2 levels.
- Parasite damage that scales per 5 levels, with duration that scales per 2 levels.
- Torment damage that scales per 5 levels, with duration of 1 round but it might be 2.
... And you have to keep track of all that stuff. Your DM is supposed to know what you're doing, so he/she will have to keep track of it too. There will be errors, there will be interruptions in the game. That spells trouble. It took me three readings to understand how this was all working together, that's not a good sign.

Jasdoif suggested you roll your damage-dealing abilties into one and I couldn't agree more. Let every improvement (such as self-healing) be something that comes to the core ability at higher levels. I'd look in this direction:
- Have only one damage-dealing ability.
- Add modulations a later levels.
- Add an aura of debuff at some point (no save on the aura of debuff, but make the debuff lower like -1 increasing by -1 per 5 levels, and don't stack it on top of another debuff).
- Then later the aura becomes an aura of contagion.

Other points:
- The modulations worked, in my mind, with a decrease in damage per round, but that was under the assumption your damage per round was 1d6/2 levels not 1d6/8 levels. If we want to keep the modulation concept, which I think is good, we need to either restore the higher damage per round or ditch the damage decrease cost of adding conditions. It's getting complicated because you have a mix of several thread of ideas, but we'll work it out.
- I agree with Jasdoif, make this (Sp). It will shorten and clarify your text, your DM will like you :smallsmile:
- I also like his idea to have big initial damage then much lesser recurring damage. Then when you hit again you get big damage and reset the clock. I would only have contagion of the recurring damage not the initial one, but this depends on how big we make the initial.


At this point, I wanted to take a step back and think about the DoT tactic as a whole, before we get buried in the detail of calculations. DoT is interesting because it's new and different. You want to keep this differentiation. It's also exciting because it is inherently scary for the victims. They take a bit of damage. Then a bit more. Then again. It's scary because they don't know when it will end and they see their HP go away inexorably. And also because they're tagged they know it's easier for you to pile up the aggression. You want that vibe, right? (Side note: Do take Quarian's excellent idea of adding a strong, scary-looking visual cue that they're tagged by you).

Now, the problem with that: If the big fighter cuts them down in one round, the vibe goes away. You want the fight to last. You want them so scared they will surrender and beg you to lift the curse.

There are several options that I think you need to consider before you write X damage for Y rounds etc:
- Big damage (d6/level) but then it can't last very long. 2 rounds at most, 3 at level 15+ or something.
- Medium damage (d6/2 levels) can last longer and can be subject to damage-reducing, condition-inflicting modulations.
- Small damage (d6/4 or even 8 levels) can last longer and be subject to free modulations (ie they don't reduce the damage). It might also stack on top of itself (but beware the bookeeping explosion, in that case).
- Hybrid: Big or medium initial damage, followed by small damage in later rounds.

As I see it, the pros and cons are:
- Big damage pro: You're respectable. Con: You kind of lose the DoT vibe.
- Medium damage pro: You're half-way respectable and you have the scary DoT vibe. Con: If the fight lasts for <3-4 rounds, you're a secondary actor.
- Small damage pro: You have the scary DoT vibe and the most freedom to enhance it to super-scary. Con: If the fight lasts for <5-6 rounds you don't contribute meaningful damage. If you choose this, you should see the class as primarily a debuffer / disabler rather than a killer. You can go far with this, for example upgrade the conditions from Shaken and Frightened all the way to Confusion, Daze or Paralyzed effect.
- Hybrid damage could combine the best of worlds, if you can keep the bookeeping and die rolling under control. For this I recommend that the ongoing damage isn't a die, but something fixed. Let's say it's the minimal damage you could roll on the initial, for example (like 1d6/level initial and 1/level ongoing). Also: No save for half on the ongoing; again, to cut on die rolls.

I hope this helps.

BananaPhone
2015-10-21, 06:45 AM
Definitely, thank you Gwyn :smallsmile:.

And thanks as well Quarian - a lot of the thoughts that got me excited again about this were grown from your influx of ideas!

Like I said, I'm going to make a new thread with a new front page and a massive update. I'll probably get around to it this Saturday, so a few days from now.

Gwynfrid
2015-10-21, 07:13 AM
Quarian, I'm sorry if I came across the wrong way; I felt we were rehashing discussions that happened before you joined the thread.


I'm not sure whether you are deliberately trolling me or just don't care enough to look up a couple of posts to see what you are actually arguing against.

I'm going to request that you please refrain from expressing that kind of feeling. I can understand and respect you might feel that way, but expressing it makes it more likely that we would end badly, and I don't wish that. Thanks.


Here is the Corruption suggestion reprinted in full for your convernience...

Give it Untyped damage, just like the 3.5 Warlock. Give it a range of Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) with no save, no SR, and a duration of the caster level. The catch? It only does 1d6 damage, going to 2d6 at 8th and 3d6 at 16th.

If I read this correctly, and I might be wrong on that: This means it is doing 1d6 damage per round for 1 round per level if the walock is up to level 7, then 2 per round if up to level 15, then 3 per round. Let's look only at the first 7 levels. The total damage is 1d6 per level, spread over multiple rounds, as the result of a single standard action. So, in my book, this is scaling damage even when we don't count the bump at level 8. It is not capped, because there is no limit to the duration, therefore no limit to the total damage from this single action. It is puny per round, not puny as a total.

Scaling damage doesn't go well with untyped no save no SR, and even less so when the ability is at-will unlimited per day.

Now, even if we don't consider scaling, look at level 1. This is plain 1d6, no save, no SR, no resistance of any kind. No caster class has that at level 1. If it's overpowered at level 1, we don't need to look at later levels.

If I read it wrong, then I apologize. If not, then I stand by my opinion.


120ft is the distance covered by most creatures with a single run acrion. 150ft if they have the run feat. In many combat setups, not being able to move away from opposition without teleportation is called a trap.

Examples of combat setups where you can't move 100ft away quickly (by the way, at level 10 we're talking 200ft) include the top of the wizard's tower, the kobolds' cave lair, the pharaoh's pyramid, the dwarven mine tunnel. It's not that you're locked in place necessarily, it's that getting out takes time, longer than the DoT duration, potentially. The majority of fights happen at close range not just because the melee fighter wants it that way, but because there's no room for a longer range.

Unless you meant more than 100ft or out of line of sight, whichever is earlier. Then, I'm closer to agreement.


That s up to the fluff. Say that they can see a void-tainted whispy tendril of their very being pulled out and drifting to the Warlock. That the piece of them that is whole wants nothing more than to run in the opposite direction. No mechanical effect, just do with that what you will.

That's a great idea. So great that it begs for a mechanical effect. What if I close the door on the tendril? What if I target it with my Magic Missile? My magic sword? OK, maybe nothing. We could consider this, though. Enemies wasting a standard action to cut the cord is a win for the warlock in this situation.


Please re-examine the bolded part. It is not such a big boost and it remains needed.

Why? The idea of the class is to win by DoT. We don't need boosted monsters. We just need speed bumps so the DoT has time to take its toll. A vanilla summoned monster does that just fine. All we need really is to increase the Summon Monster spell duration at low levels. Add something like the conjuraton school's Summoner's Charm and we're done.

BananaPhone
2015-10-22, 05:04 AM
Did I say in a day or two?

I meant now: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?452812-PF-The-Voidlock&p=19981210#post19981210


I got dragged along to a colloquium for my lab today and it was boooooooring. So I just pulled out my laptop and started typing.