PDA

View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next 5th Edition Warlock Patron: The Tree Spirit [WIP]



Foxhound438
2016-04-10, 10:57 PM
This was largely designed to be helpful to Str based bladelocks, but not so much (hopefully) that it's useless to other types of warlocks, and hopefully not so good that it's the auto-pick for patrons to all types of locks. I'm open to overhaul on any given piece of it, so long as it remains a useful option for bladelocks. Basically the issue I have is that, by RAW, you really can't do a Str based warlock without starting fighter, not optimally at least. The aim here is to make that unnecessary, bun not totally obsolete as an option.

Flavor wise, it's kind of druid-y, and all of the main features are plant-themed. The name certainly could change, but the end result should imply the plant theme. Maybe thematically this is stepping on the toes of the Archfey, but I think of it as more "Elemental tree spirit" than "Fey tree spirit". Think all the awesome Green elementals in Magic: the Gathering, like Omnath, Skullbriar, Animar, Marath, Titania... Oh, wait, Titania is listed under fey patrons... Ignore that detail...



Terrifying, Resilient, and Powerful, elemental vestiges of plant life grant you your power. Embodied in you, their powers of defense, energy, and growth are spread where life is sparse, and where new life has corrupted the land. As an agent of the landís spirit, you are an enemy to civilization. You will be expected to gain power and route out cities, replacing them with groves of elemental life.



1) Hail of Thorns, Entangle
2) Spike Growth, Locate animals or plants
3) Speak with Plants, Plant Growth
4) Mordekainenís Private Sactum, Stoneskin
5) Awaken, Tree Stride

(Any suggestions to improve this would help.)


Starting at 1st level, your skin begins to harden and become wood-like in appearance. When determining your armor class, you can use your Charisma modifier instead of dexterity.

(Upon further thought, I think this is the right way to go. The most fleshed out argument against it in this form is that a) a warlock shouldn't have AC comparable to a fighter, and b) there should be a deterrent to dumping dex. However, as unarmored defense, you would in fact out-AC a fighter (your 20 vs their 19 tops before shield, this version even with mage armor you top out at 18). Doesn't seem right. For the latter, wearing heavy armor, for the classes that get it, removes the penalty to AC that dumping dex incurs. Removing that penalty by another means is no more powerful than that, especially when it costs an invocation to get to plate level AC. Additionally, you face the normal repercussion of failing more dex saves than not. Sorry, Zeek0, but more time to mull through the reasoning here leads me to the conclusion that it was fine after all.)


Starting at 6th level, using your action, you can change your appearance to be similar to natural plants in the area that youíre in, and difficult to distinguish from those plants. A successful intelligence (investigation) check against your warlock spell save DC can determine that you arenít a plant, but otherwise creatures observing you will be convinced that you are a strange looking, yet non-sentient plant until you move or take any actions. Creatures have advantage on the check if you arenít in an area that plants would normally grow, or areas where a plant normally wouldnít be able to take root. (Such as on a solid rock with no cracks through which roots would extend.) Creatures looking at you when you use this feature will know you aren't a plant without needing to make an ability check.
Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.

(More of an OOC ability, but it helps low-dex warlocks by allowing them to forego a stealth check once per day. Otherwise it's basically a flavor ribbon, possibly not even as good as One with Shadows, or at best a side grade with different environmental requirements.)


Starting at 10th level, whenever a creature within 5 feet of you hits you with a melee weapon attack, you can use your reaction to sprout wooden spines from your skin in the vicinity of the hit. The creature that hit you must make a dexterity saving throw, taking 1d6 + your charisma modifier piercing damage on a failed save.

(Functionally this is a repeatable, yet weaker version of Hellish Rebuke. Personally I don't like hellish rebuke due to its greediness on your limited resources, but otherwise it's a solid way to utilize your reaction. In the case of Str Bladelock, it directly competes with PAM for your reaction if you use that feat, although once you're gridlocked with a foe this will continue to threaten damage. Any other warlock might like this feature because it's a disincentive for enemies to attack you. Thematically on point, mechanically useful. Everything we're looking for, but is it really useful when we can get this kind of effect as a spell? is it too good to have it every round, no resources required?)

(thus far some push and pull on the details of how this should work, maybe limiting to x/short rest wouldn't hurt? still saves spell slots compared to hellish rebuke, and being SR recharge would still probably give you enough to use it most of the times you get hit. Other suggestions include adding a rider effect or removing the 5 foot range, although it's kind of silly in my head to have spines pour out of you and hit the guy that swung a halberd at you from a distance twice your height.)


Starting at the 14th level, you can use your action to attempt to entrench spectral roots into a creature that you touch. The creature must make a constitution saving throw against your warlock spell save DC or be grappled by you and restrained for one minute. While grappled this way, the creature takes 5d6 necrotic damage on the start of each of its turns as the roots sap moisture from them, and you regain half that much HP. At the end of its turn, it repeats the saving throw, ending the effect on a success. Any attempt by a creature to physically force you and your target apart requires a successful Strength (athletics) check against your warlock spell save DC, rather than an ability check contested by your or your target's ability check. Once you use this feature, you canít use it again until you finish a long rest.

(very open to different ideas here, I don't super like the "vampiric touch" that this ended up as, but it's more or less on theme. Mechanically it's slightly better, since you can grab someone with it and still do other things for your action. The other idea I had was kind of a "vine cage" type thing, only problem there is it would end up too close to forcecage, even with minor +/- to its end effect.)

TundraBuccaneer
2016-04-11, 06:23 AM
spells:
Plant Growth is a 3rd lvl spell (maybe pass without trace so you can chare your lvl6 feature with the party)

conjure minor elementals is a invocation so you can only cast it once per day, they chose for this because as a warlock you could take a short rest and gain new elementals the wizard thought this was a scary thing to just give the warlock so be aware of that. (maby grasping vine something that gives control and damage)

hardened skin:
I like it I dont thing you should worry about this. A caster can still be hit by dex save fire balls or poison dragon breath and such, high charisma is not going to help you there. Also if high AC is important to ranged characters every ranger would take 1 lvl in monk and run around naked.

natural camuflage:
This would be fine with a short/long rest cool down. Maybe a time limit but not sure if needed(test it and then decide). Fine abilities nice that you look out for the sneaky warlocks.

Thorned Defense:
It has low damage so you might even add a push to it or even a throw prone but that's is pretty big for a reaction.

Malicious Ingrain:
I actually like it, it doesn't take a action for the save from the enemy ether so it can still do something which is good I think. Because it last for a long time. I think it has enough difference from vampiric touch since it does also cripple and it gives you don't have to use your action the other turn to use it again it just happens if it is still there.

I hope I could help you a bit. I really like nature stuff magic and this one looks very fun. It also reminds me that I almost sacrificed our barbarians demon which fuelled his rage to a tree demi-god/arch fey thingy XD.

Foxhound438
2016-04-11, 01:47 PM
(snip)

Thanks for the input!

As I said the spell list needs work... apparently I don't know what numbers are, lol. Fixed that mistake. Grasping vine seems to me an incredibly non-stellar spell, but maybe another pass of spells could give me a better idea of what to put there. I personally don't think it'd be too broken, the best you can do is conjure right before the end of your rest to have your spell slot back, but at that point your DM sees cheese and you don't see any fights until 1 hour and 0.00000000001 second after you cast it. Otherwise you're holding back a slot to have guards on your short rest, and that's honestly fair since the wizard is holding a 3rd level slot to cast Leomund's Tiny Hut anyways.

The natural camo does have a rest cool down, similar to all the 6th level patron features in the book. Last line specifies you can't use it again until you finish a long rest. It doesn't have a time limit as it's meant to be at least as good as "one with shadows", which also has indefinite duration.

PoeticDwarf
2016-04-12, 01:58 PM
This was largely designed to be helpful to Str based bladelocks, but not so much (hopefully) that it's useless to other types of warlocks, and hopefully not so good that it's the auto-pick for patrons to all types of locks. I'm open to overhaul on any given piece of it, so long as it remains a useful option for bladelocks. Basically the issue I have is that, by RAW, you really can't do a Str based warlock without starting fighter, not optimally at least. The aim here is to make that unnecessary, bun not totally obsolete as an option.

Flavor wise, it's kind of druid-y, and all of the main features are plant-themed. The name certainly could change, but the end result should imply the plant theme. Maybe thematically this is stepping on the toes of the Archfey, but I think of it as more "Elemental tree spirit" than "Fey tree spirit". Think all the awesome Green elementals in Magic: the Gathering, like Omnath, Skullbriar, Animar, Marath, Titania... Oh, wait, Titania is listed under fey patrons... Ignore that detail...



Terrifying, Resilient, and Powerful, elemental vestiges of plant life grant you your power. Embodied in you, their powers of defense, energy, and growth are spread where life is sparse, and where new life has corrupted the land. As an agent of the landís spirit, you are an enemy to civilization. You will be expected to gain power and route out cities, replacing them with groves of elemental life.



1) Cure Wounds, Entangle
2) Spike Growth, Pass Without Trace
3) Speak with Plants, Water Breathing
4) Conjure Minor Elementals, Stoneskin
5) Awaken, Insect Plague

(Any suggestions to improve this would help.)


Starting at 1st level, your skin begins to harden and become wood-like in appearance. When determining your armor class, you can use your Charisma modifier instead of dexterity.

(the biggest foreseeable issue here being that it's very good as an option to any warlock, possibly even more so than Fiend, since it functionally makes you a 2-stat wonder if you're going the blast route. Normally you could dump dex and still work, since for blastlocks your plan is to repelling blast everything out of range all the time, but not having a decent AC makes them extremely fragile if they ever find themselves getting shot at. Otherwise, it's kind of side-grade to the fiend lock's THP, in that the end result is always-on survivability increase.)


Starting at 6th level, using your action, you can change your appearance to be similar to natural plants in the area that youíre in, and difficult to distinguish from those plants. A successful intelligence (investigation) check against your warlock spell save DC can determine that you arenít a plant, but otherwise creatures observing you will be convinced that you are a strange looking, yet non-sentient plant until you move or take any actions. Creatures have advantage on the check if you arenít in an area that plants would normally grow, or areas where a plant normally wouldnít be able to take root. (Such as on a solid rock with no cracks through which roots would extend.) Creatures looking at you when you use this feature will know you aren't a plant without needing to make an ability check.
Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.

(More of an OOC ability, but it helps low-dex warlocks by allowing them to forego a stealth check once per day. Otherwise it's basically a flavor ribbon, possibly not even as good as One with Shadows, or at best a side grade with different environmental requirements.)


Starting at 10th level, whenever a creature within 5 feet of you hits you with a melee weapon attack, you can use your reaction to sprout wooden spines from your skin in the vicinity of the hit. The creature that hit you must make a dexterity saving throw, taking 1d6 + your charisma modifier piercing damage on a failed save.

(Functionally this is a repeatable, yet weaker version of Hellish Rebuke. Personally I don't like hellish rebuke due to its greediness on your limited resources, but otherwise it's a solid way to utilize your reaction. In the case of Str Bladelock, it directly competes with PAM for your reaction if you use that feat, although once you're gridlocked with a foe this will continue to threaten damage. Any other warlock might like this feature because it's a disincentive for enemies to attack you. Thematically on point, mechanically useful. Everything we're looking for, but is it really useful when we can get this kind of effect as a spell? is it too good to have it every round, no resources required?)


Starting at the 14th level, you can use your action to attempt to entrench spectral roots into a creature that you touch. The creature must make a constitution saving throw against your warlock spell save DC or be grappled by you and restrained for one minute. While restrained this way, the creature takes 5d6 necrotic damage on the start of each of its turns, and you regain half that much HP. At the end of its turn, it repeats the saving throw, ending the effect on a success. Once you use this feature, you canít use it again until you finish a long rest.

(very open to different ideas here, I don't super like the "vampiric touch" that this ended up as, but it's more or less on theme. Mechanically it's slightly better, since you can grab someone with it and still do other things for your action. The other idea I had was kind of a "vine cage" type thing, only problem there is it would end up too close to forcecage, even with minor +/- to its end effect.)
Great. I'd go unarmored defense 10+cha+dex instead of cha > dex. Increases AC by 1-3 over studded leather and 10 dex 20 cha has same AC as 20 cha 16 dex did. You become less MAD but can tank if you want so

Foxhound438
2016-04-12, 02:54 PM
Great. I'd go unarmored defense 10+cha+dex instead of cha > dex. Increases AC by 1-3 over studded leather and 10 dex 20 cha has same AC as 20 cha 16 dex did. You become less MAD but can tank if you want so

Not too sure on that... Needing 2 separate stats for decent AC would just make you more MAD. Moreover, unarmored defense doesn't have the feel that I want. If it were unarmored defense Str locks would end up having to start fighter 1, same old song, and now the 1st level feature here does nothing. Starting fighter is still viable for this, as it gives 1-2 more AC, and that would allow you to focus more on other stats or feats with your ASI's, so there's still benefit to fighter start, but cha replacing dex makes that optional rather than necessary.

zeek0
2016-04-16, 06:20 AM
Hello!

I'm intrigued by your work. Here's my suggestions:

1: Ensnaring Strike, Hail of Thorns
2: Locate Animals or Plants, Spike Growth,
3: Plant Growth, Speak with Plants
4: Grasping Vine, Mordekainenís Private Sactum
5: Tree Stride, Awaken


In some of your choices you seem to favor combat for theme. I would lead you back to the theme, and say that out of combat stuff makes the world go round.
I replaced Entangle with Ensnaring Strike - this is key if you want to use melee more than spell casting. I also think that cure wounds is not thematic to this class - control of plants is not the same as benign healing of creatures.
Locate Animals and Plants, while less combat-oriented, is more plant themed than pass without trace.
Plant Growth seems obvious.
4th level spells are tricky... but I don't think that Stoneskin is thematic. I use a re-flavored version of Mordekainen's Private Sanctum, where you enter door into a forested glen that has dryads instead of servants.
Tree stride is a great spell, and right on target. And while I love insect plague, we are should maintain that this pact is about plants, not animals. Awaken is a great choice that I missed in my first pass, and you chose well

Hardened Skin should give an unarmored AC of 10+Dex+Cha.
I saw your argument below... but dexterity should always have an effect on AC. And most of the time it will give a benefit. This is only detrimental if you have a negative dexterity modifier, but that is a problem faced by Barbarians or Monks or Dragon Sorcerers as well.

Natural Camouflage shouldn't need a short or long rest.
Mechanically this is an at-will invisibility in which
1) You can be detected by an investigation check
2) Certain locations are worse than normal
3) Foes can still stab you easily when you look like a tree, and
4) You can't move, attack, cast spells, or do *anything*.
I see no problem with invisibility at will with those stipulations.

Thorned Defense should be limited to CHA mod/short rest.
It is not unlike the warding flare ability of a Light Cleric. But a Light Cleric is not expecting to get into melee combat to exploit their ability, and is limited in uses. This would realistically happen once per round, and 1d6+CHA is almost as much as an extra weapon attack.

Malicious Ingrain needs a name that sounds less silly. It should only cause the restrained condition. It should deal piercing damage. I love this feature.
In 5e there is no grappled condition - it is simply an action that you can take on your turn in the place of an attack. Necrotic damage is anti-life, a quality that I wouldn't expect from a tree-warlock.

Cool stuff; good work. Let me know if I make sense.

Foxhound438
2016-04-16, 06:28 PM
Hardened Skin should give an unarmored AC of 10+Dex+Cha.
I saw your argument below... but dexterity should always have an effect on AC. And most of the time it will give a benefit. This is only detrimental if you have a negative dexterity modifier, but that is a problem faced by Barbarians or Monks or Dragon Sorcerers as well.

Natural Camouflage shouldn't need a short or long rest.
Mechanically this is an at-will invisibility in which
1) You can be detected by an investigation check
2) Certain locations are worse than normal
3) Foes can still stab you easily when you look like a tree, and
4) You can't move, attack, cast spells, or do *anything*.
I see no problem with invisibility at will with those stipulations.

Thorned Defense should be limited to CHA mod/short rest.
It is not unlike the warding flare ability of a Light Cleric. But a Light Cleric is not expecting to get into melee combat to exploit their ability, and is limited in uses. This would realistically happen once per round, and 1d6+CHA is almost as much as an extra weapon attack.

Malicious Ingrain needs a name that sounds less silly. It should only cause the restrained condition. It should deal piercing damage. I love this feature.
In 5e there is no grappled condition - it is simply an action that you can take on your turn in the place of an attack. Necrotic damage is anti-life, a quality that I wouldn't expect from a tree-warlock.

Cool stuff; good work. Let me know if I make sense.

I will definitely adjust the spells with those suggestions in mind. Still won't use grasping vine, but otherwise good suggestions.

The idea of hardened skin is to allow dex to be a dump stat, replacing the fighter 1 start's heavy armor.

Natural camo vs invisibility is different in the fact that you aren't "hidden" just because you're invisible. Mechanically, turning invisible would still leave you revealed unless you do a stealth check first, as opposed to not needing a check with this. Like hardened skin, it gives you an option to to load more things onto your casting stat, so the limitation is there to make it a "use when you really need it" as opposed to "use every time it might maybe be a little better to not be seen right off".

Thorned defense has the heafty requirement of things hitting you from 5 feet with melee attacks. As for comparing to the cleric, it's really not a 1- for- 1 comparison. Think of it as being akin to the sun monk's 17th level feature, or the storm sorcerer's 14th, and in both cases differing in that it's not automatic success when used.


In 5e there is no grappled condition

http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/list/000/282/392/b8f.jpg

double check that, lol. Anyways, name is definitely garbage but it deals necrotic because the idea is that it saps moisture from the target, as a plant's roots would sap moisture from the ground. (see the blight spell's description)

zeek0
2016-04-17, 04:35 AM
Still won't use grasping vine, but otherwise good suggestions.

I think that grasping vine is great for a melee character, mostly because it only requires a bonus action to cast and a bonus action to control. It gives some great battlefield control - push enemies toward you or draw them away from allies. But as you will.


The idea of hardened skin is to allow dex to be a dump stat, replacing the fighter 1 start's heavy armor.

I get it, sure. But:

There needs to be *some* penalty to dumping dex for a melee character. There's always a penalty to dumping a stat, that comes part and parcel with dumping a stat.
This would reward Strength bladelocks who have a bit of dex
This would make it so that a ranged Tree Spirit warlock doesn't just have one stat that determines everything in combat.
This would allow Dex bladelocks to gain benefit from this feature
The only downside is that you can't wear light armor and still get this benefit.


The difference is between Studded Leather (12+CHA/DEX) or Unarmored Defense (10+CHA+DEX). I think that the second is more realistic.

And I would contend that this subclass *shouldn't* bring defense in line with Fighter level 1 heavy armor. It is a full casting class with some melee options, not a full melee class like the fighter. If you want to give them equal protection, then just give them heavy armor proficiency.


Natural camo vs invisibility is different in the fact that you aren't "hidden" just because you're invisible. Mechanically, turning invisible would still leave you revealed unless you do a stealth check first, as opposed to not needing a check with this. Like hardened skin, it gives you an option to to load more things onto your casting stat, so the limitation is there to make it a "use when you really need it" as opposed to "use every time it might maybe be a little better to not be seen right off".

That makes sense, I concede the point.


Thorned defense has the heafty requirement of things hitting you from 5 feet with melee attacks
I agree with the rest of your comment - although the shadow monk still has to hit with the melee attack.
I would rephrase it to be any melee attack, just in case the dragon turtle hits you with its bite from 15 ft. away.




In 5e there is no grappled condition
double check that, lol

Well, that's awkward. Yeah, you are correct.

I contend that you should make it only the restrained condition, since there is no mechanical difference.


but it deals necrotic because the idea is that it saps moisture from the target, as a plant's roots would sap moisture from the ground. (see the blight spell's description)

I suppose that makes sense and is rather awesome - I got thrown off by the bit about spectral roots and assumed that they were dark scary life-energy-sucking roots. I would include the moisture-draining bit in your original description.

Let me know what you think of my suggestions. I hope that I don't come off as combative - I just think that this subclass is really cool and once it's polished I'll be adding it to my homebrew archive.a

Foxhound438
2016-04-17, 02:21 PM
I get it, sure. But:

There needs to be *some* penalty to dumping dex for a melee character. There's always a penalty to dumping a stat, that comes part and parcel with dumping a stat.
This would reward Strength bladelocks who have a bit of dex
This would make it so that a ranged Tree Spirit warlock doesn't just have one stat that determines everything in combat.
This would allow Dex bladelocks to gain benefit from this feature
The only downside is that you can't wear light armor and still get this benefit.


The difference is between Studded Leather (12+CHA/DEX) or Unarmored Defense (10+CHA+DEX). I think that the second is more realistic.

And I would contend that this subclass *shouldn't* bring defense in line with Fighter level 1 heavy armor. It is a full casting class with some melee options, not a full melee class like the fighter. If you want to give them equal protection, then just give them heavy armor proficiency.


I guess that's a fair point. 15 AC before magic items still isn't even terrible.

Foxhound438
2016-04-17, 02:37 PM
I contend that you should make it only the restrained condition, since there is no mechanical difference.


I adjusted the wording a bit to clarify how it is intended to work; now reads "as long as the creature is grappled this way", implying that if they're forced out of your grappling range the effect ends.

PS:

I hope that I don't come off as combative

this is the internet, everything's a fight to the death, lol

zeek0
2016-04-18, 11:41 AM
Hm. For some reason I thought that Malicious Ingrain was a ranged ability...

I would like this subclass to be tenable for ranged warlocks.

Here's a mock-up of what I'm imagining:

Starting at 14th level, you can use your action to conjure a plant of unrestrained growth on a target, draining its life force and hindering it. Target a creature within 30 feet. The creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or become afflicted by the vines. While affected by the vines, the creature takes 5d6 damage at the beginning of each of its turns and you regain half that damage as hit points. In addition, if the creature is Large or smaller it is also restrained.
The creature can use its action to escape the vines. To do so, it must succeed on a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by your spell save DC. If it succeeds, the effect ends. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you complete a long rest.

Reasons:
-Like grapple, it requires an action to end the effect.
-Ranged.
-Less effective against Huge+ things (for realism), but still does damage to them.
-A melee character will still benefit, getting advantage against the target.
-They can escape with Athletics or Acrobatics, but remember that they have disadvantage on Dex checks.
-Doesn't require you to grapple the creature yourself.

What do you think?

Foxhound438
2016-04-18, 01:57 PM
(snip)

Not quite the feel I'm looking for. Big issue there is you can end up cheesing melee based enemies if you also hex their physical stat. Being able to do that would take out the risk of using it, melee character or not.

Getting HP from it and giving them disad to attacking you should also mitigate that, so you could theoretically, even as a ranged warlock, grab a guy and just drag them into a corner away from combat and use your shilelaghed quarterstaff or familiar's attacks to speed up the process. I'll add in a line about separating you from the target requiring a check against your spell save DC, that way you don't need athletics to keep a hold of things.

That being said, any ideas from anyone on what kind of thing would fit as a chain pact's familiar here?

Edit: maybe say if you have a chain pact familiar they can use it in place of you? doesn't seem great mechanically considering most of your options have 1-10 hp.

zeek0
2016-04-20, 09:10 AM
Big issue there is you can end up cheesing melee based enemies if you also hex their physical stat. Being able to do that would take out the risk of using it, melee character or not.

Your version also causes the restrained condition - creating the same problem. But now that you mention it, that could be a problem...


That being said, any ideas from anyone on what kind of thing would fit as a chain pact's familiar here?

The two options I find in the MM for small plants is: Awakened Shrub, and Myconid Sprout. I don't feel that the flavor of this class is about decay/mushrooms, and the awakened shrub is silly.

But I think that simply diminishing the size of a needle blight does the trick. As a DM I would also give it the False Appearance feature that the Twig Blight has, but that's just personal preference.

Foxhound438
2016-04-20, 03:12 PM
Your version also causes the restrained condition - creating the same problem. But now that you mention it, that could be a problem...


they can still attack, albeit at disadvantage.

Cancer115
2016-04-22, 04:50 PM
I like that this allows for a better expansion of the Druid class than just an archetype