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Admiral Squish
2008-03-05, 12:37 AM
Eldritch Mercy:
Eldritch mercies are a rare sight, indeed. Fighting against their darker, demonic nature, these few souls manage to come out on top. Through sheer willpower, they learn to restrain the powerful magics that course through their veins, and eventually change the very nature of those arcane forces.

Requirements:
Alignment: Any good
Arcane caster level: 5th

Class Features:
Skills: (2+Int)
Class Skills: Concentration, Craft, Disguise, Heal, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (the planes), Knowledge (religion), Sense Motive, Spellcraft, And Use Magic Device

Eldritch Mercy
{table=head]Level | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Special | Spellcasting
1st | +0 | +0 | +0 | +2 | Blunted Blast |
2nd | +1 | +0 | +0 | +3 | Crippling Blast | +1 level of existing invocation-using class
3rd | +2 | +1 | +1 | +3 | Merciful Blast | +1 level of existing invocation-using class
4th | +3 | +1 | +1 | +4 | Blast of Light | +1 level of existing invocation-using class
5th | +3 | +1 | +1 | +4 | Healing Blast | +1 level of existing invocation-using class[/table]

Blunted Blast: An Eldritch Mercy can apply blunted blast to any eldritch blast (this counts as an eldritch essence). A blunted blast deals full normal damage, but changes all of it into non-lethal damage.

Crippling Blast: When an Eldritch Mercy reaches second level, she can apply Crippling Blast to any Eldritch Blast (this counts as an eldritch essence). This allows her to give up damage to hinder her opponents. She can exchange 1d6 of damage from an eldritch blast to deal one point of damage to one of the targetís ability scores. The target's score cannot be reduced below one in this way. She can trade any number of dice for strength damage, as long as thereís at least one dice of damage left. An eldritch mercy cannot apply this damage to the same score on the same target twice.

Merciful Blast: At third level, an Eldritch Mercy learns how to reign in the wanton destructive energies of her blasts. When a target would otherwise be dropped to -10 or below by her blast, the Eldritch Mercy can choose to instead reduce them to -9, and have them automatically stabilize.

Blast of light: At fourth level, the goodness of an eldritch mercy begins to alter her eldritch blast. Any Eldritch Blast she fires is treated as good-aligned, and deals an extra 2d6 damage to undead and outsiders with the [evil] subtype.

Healing Blast: At fifth level, an Eldritch Mercyís eldritch blast completes itís inter-meshing with the goodness suffusing her soul. An Eldritch Mercy can apply healing blast to any eldritch blast, in place of an eldritch essence (this counts as an eldritch essence). A healing blast heals living targets instead of harming them. The amount of damage healed is equal to the damage normally dealt. This blast deals normal damage to undead, but has no effect on other nonliving targets. The eldritch mercy can use this ability a number of times per day equal to her class level plus her charisma modifier.
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So, playground, what do you think? Good, bad, or ugly?

Lizard Lord
2008-03-05, 12:43 AM
Is this meant for warlocks or some other eldritch based class I don't know about? If so, shouldn't it be 5th level invocations for the requirements? I thought warlocks didn't count as arcane spell casters.

Baron Corm
2008-03-05, 12:53 AM
16 Strength damage with no save is probably too good... kills much faster than the eldritch blast would. Maybe make it 1 Strength damage per 1d6 forfeited, though I'm not sure if that's still too much. Maybe make it a flat 1d4, in addition to blast damage.

Also I think that since most of these are just eldritch essences, perhaps they should just be takeable by any warlock. Blast of Light could be made into an essence. Merciful Blast could be combined with Blunted Blast. A new class just to get more essences per level, while losing a level of invoker progression, doesn't really make sense to me.

Edit: Forgot to mention... unlimited healing is pretty strong; that should be a dark essence, and isn't really suitable for a 5 level prestige class unless the requirements are made higher.

Admiral Squish
2008-03-05, 12:56 AM
Actually, casting fifth-level invocations isn't a viable qualifier. That would mean being 11th level for your example, first of all, and it's much simpler to just say 'ability to use lesser invocations'. However, that would require you to be level six. Warlocks don't qualify by spell level, but they do count as arcane casters. There's a note on that in the invocations section of the class description, I think.

Admiral Squish
2008-03-05, 01:07 AM
16 Strength damage with no save is probably too good... kills much faster than the eldritch blast would. Maybe make it 1 Strength damage per 1d6 forfeited, though I'm not sure if that's still too much. Maybe make it a flat 1d4, in addition to blast damage.

Also I think that since most of these are just eldritch essences, perhaps they should just be takeable by any warlock. Blast of Light could be made into an essence. Merciful Blast could be combined with Blunted Blast. A new class just to get more essences per level, while losing a level of invoker progression, doesn't really make sense to me.

Edit: Forgot to mention... unlimited healing is pretty strong; that should be a dark essence, and isn't really suitable for a 5 level prestige class unless the requirements are made higher.

You'd only be doing 16 damage at level twenty, which is about level-appropriate, and it doesn't really kill, if you'll remember. I should probably make it so you can only use this once against each opponent.

Well, what other class-related abilities can you give a warlock? It's not the easiest thing to come up with, you know. There's hardly an precedents for this kind of thing, I'm building blind. Eldritch blast is the only really defining feature of the class, and most warlocks would kill for five bonus essences known for one level of caster progression.

The healing blast thing is actually available as a first-level ability for eldritch disciple, which can still be taken at level five. I thought that was unfair, so I moved it up.

The_Snark
2008-03-05, 01:59 AM
Crippling Blast: When an Eldritch Mercy reaches second level, she can apply Crippling Blast to any Eldritch Blast, in place of an eldritch essence. This allows her to give up damage to hinder her opponents. She can exchange 1d6 of damage from an eldritch blast to deal two points of damage to the targetís strength score. She can trade any number of dice for strength damage, as long as thereís at least one dice of damage left.

Far too powerful at high levels, and very good at lower levels. 16 Str damage without a save (20, with a Chausible of Fell Power) is not level-appropriate even at the top levels. It's true that there are some spells that deal ability damage without a save, such as Ray of Stupidity and Shivering Touch, and these are considered among the most powerful/broken spells in the game. Even spells that impose non-stacking ability penalties (Touch of Idiocy, Ray of Exhaustion, Ray of Enfeeblement) are considered quite good.

You might make it an ability penalty equal to the number of dice you're giving up, without a save and noting that it doesn't stack and can't reduce the score below 1. If that doesn't seem powerful enough, you could consider allowing it to be applied to one ability per blast, but remember, the warlock isn't losing anything but 1 invoker level and small amounts of damage reduction and fast healing by taking the class; it shouldn't be granting hugely powerful benefits in exchange for losing minor features.


Healing Blast: At fifth level, an Eldritch Mercyís eldritch blast completes itís inter-meshing with the goodness suffusing her soul. An Eldritch Mercy can apply healing blast to any eldritch blast, in place of an eldritch essence. A healing blast heals living targets instead of harming them. The amount of damage healed is equal to the damage normally dealt. This blast deals normal damage to undead, but has no effect on other nonliving targets.

I would be wary of granting unlimited, unrestricted healing, especially if you're doing it as early as level 10. Most classes with healing that isn't limited by uses per day have other limits; the crusader has to be in combat against a genuinely threatening foe, the dragon shaman can only heal up to half HP, the dread necromancer can only use it for creatures that are healed by negative energy... you get the idea. Note that the eldritch disciple has limits on how often it can use its healing blast; it has to expend a turn attempt every time it uses it. Some limit on use should be applied here; I don't like giving warlock abilities a limit on uses per day, since they're all about unlimited endurance, but this really does need some kind of limitation on it. Perhaps it can't be used on the same creature more than once/day, or once/day/class level, or once/day/point of Wis modifier... that sort of thing.

Everything else looks pretty good. Similar to the Enlightened Soul from CM, but that class doesn't progress invocations, which was always really annoying to me.

Oh yes- eldritch blasts aren't subject to damage reduction, since they're spells rather than weapons, so that portion of Blast of Light is a little redundant, but you might note that it counts as good-aligned for the purposes of regeneration and such.

Some of the class abilities (potentially all but Merciful Blast, really) should probably be noted as eldritch essence invocations, even if they're not normally selectable.

Overlord
2008-03-05, 03:05 AM
I've seen healing Warlock homebrew stuff before, and, unfortunately, I have the same response to this prc as I did to the other stuff: it's a bad idea.

When you get down to the heart of the matter, unlimited healing means one thing. Well, it means several things, but the most important IMO is this: after every single fight the healing Warlock participates in, the entire party will be healed to full health before they fight again, unless there is an extremely small amount of downtime. There really isn't any way to prevent that, except by turning your entire campaign into an endless string of fights. Every other method of curtailing the healing Warlock's abilities (anti-magic fields, monsters focusing attacks on the Warlock, etc.) is extremely heavy-handed on the DM's part.

Now, if you're okay with the entire party being at full health at the start of every fight, that's fine. Just remember that the CR system was set with the idea in mind that the PCs would have to use up at least a small portion of their resources to defeat any encounter that's at least equal to the CR. Hit points count as a big part of those resources.

Of course, if this PrC was designed for NPC use only, that isn't an issue. But if you're the DM, you don't usually need to make an entire 5-level PrC to do something like this. You can just make an executive decision that certain NPCs of your choosing have the ability to heal with Eldritch Blasts. And it will be so. Sure, you'll have to bump the NPC's CR up by one or two levels to compensate, but it's a lot less effort than trying to balance an entire Prestige Class.

Admiral Squish
2008-03-05, 03:15 AM
I've seen healing Warlock homebrew stuff before, and, unfortunately, I have the same response to this prc as I did to the other stuff: it's a bad idea.

When you get down to the heart of the matter, unlimited healing means one thing. Well, it means several things, but the most important IMO is this: after every single fight the healing Warlock participates in, the entire party will be healed to full health before they fight again, unless there is an extremely small amount of downtime. There really isn't any way to prevent that, except by turning your entire campaign into an endless string of fights. Every other method of curtailing the healing Warlock's abilities (anti-magic fields, monsters focusing attacks on the Warlock, etc.) is extremely heavy-handed on the DM's part.

Now, if you're okay with the entire party being at full health at the start of every fight, that's fine. Just remember that the CR system was set with the idea in mind that the PCs would have to use up at least a small portion of their resources to defeat any encounter that's at least equal to the CR. Hit points count as a big part of those resources.

Of course, if this PrC was designed for NPC use only, that isn't an issue. But if you're the DM, you don't usually need to make an entire 5-level PrC to do something like this. You can just make an executive decision that certain NPCs of your choosing have the ability to heal with Eldritch Blasts. And it will be so. Sure, you'll have to bump the NPC's CR up by one or two levels to compensate, but it's a lot less effort than trying to balance an entire Prestige Class.

If you'll note, after Snark's comments I fixed that. Not unlimited no more. With 18 charisma, nine times a day. Not so terrible, now, is it?

Baron Corm
2008-03-05, 04:51 PM
Well, what other class-related abilities can you give a warlock? It's not the easiest thing to come up with, you know. There's hardly an precedents for this kind of thing, I'm building blind. Eldritch blast is the only really defining feature of the class, and most warlocks would kill for five bonus essences known for one level of caster progression.

Perhaps this is why there are so few prestige classes for warlocks. The ones out there, the theurges and hellfire warlock, offer unique options which require a PrC to work. Your ideas don't really.

About the modification to healing blast; I don't think per-day things belong in an invocation. Once per creature per 24 hours has been done before though. You could make the creature make a Will or Fortitude save or not be able to be affected by it for 24 hours, with the save increasing by +1 per blast within a 24-hour period. The reasoning is that one who is not a warlock can only handle so much eldritch energy.

Raising the caster level requirement for the PrC to 10th or something would also work. Another alternative is to deal 1 point of Constitution damage to the warlock when he uses it, saying that he's putting his essence into the other creature.