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    Default Re: Potpourri Creation Contest II: Substitution Levels

    "I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds." --Strozak-Mei, Cabal Warlock

    There is a little known cult of warlocks that refers to themselves only as "the Cabal". These Cabalists take their fiendish heritage in a direction entirely different from the average warlock: through ancient pacts and rituals, they channel the demons and devils through their own fiendish blood, warping their bodies into hideous parallels of the lower planes themselves.

    Becoming a Cabal Warlock
    The Cabal is an extremely loosely affiliated organization. Its only purpose is to spread the rituals and pacts among those they believe deserve them - that is, anyone with fiendish heritage, a pact with the fiends, or a notable ancestor who formed such a pact.

    The Cabal makes a point of finding such individuals as soon as possible, and this is the only requirement the Cabal makes of its members: to keep an eye out for potential additions to their ranks, and to show these new recruits the ways of the Cabal. The Cabal does not, officially at any rate, punish those who refuse their ways, and will even give new opportunities to join should one who has refused seek them out.

    The Cabal cares not what its members do with the powers they grant, being interested only in the power itself. Therefore, membership is available to any and all races, any and all alignments, though the vast majority of members are Evil. Quite a few endeavor to keep track of those they have recruited, and those who refused their offers, treating them as potential rivals.

    The Cabal itself does not hold meetings, though a Cabalist is usually trivial to recognize by those who know of it, as their bodies are deformed from their fiendish claws, tails, and even wings. Cabal members, upon meeting, rarely treat each other with kindness or generosity, given that most are Evil, but a certain degree of respect for the path they each walk down is the norm.

    To take a Cabal Warlock substitution level, a character must be a member of the Cabal, and must be about to take his 1st, 2nd, 4th, or 12th level of Warlock.

    Class Features
    All the following are class features of the Cabal Warlock substitution levels.

    Hit Die: d12. Note: Only the four levels of Cabal Warlock get d12 HD, every other level of Warlock has the usual d6.

    Class Skills: Cabal Warlock substitution levels have the class skills of the standard Warlock class.

    Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier (or four times this number as a beginning character).

    Table 1: Cabal Warlock Substitution Levels
    {table="head"]Level | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Special | Invocations Known

    1st | +1 | +2 | +0 | +0 | Eldritch Claw 1d6, Fiendish Growths, Invocation (Least) | 1

    2nd | +2 | +3 | +0 | +0 | Bastion of the Lower Planes | 2

    4th | +4 | +4 | +1 | +1 | Fiendish Carapace | 3

    12th | +12/+7/+2 | +8 | +4 | +4 | Fiendish Summons | 7[/table]

    Base Attack Bonus and Saving Throws - A Warlock who takes the 1st level Cabal Warlock substitution level treats all levels in Warlock as having a full Base Attack Bonus progression (as Fighter), and also has a good Fortitude saving throw but a poor Will saving throw. Note that any Warlock who does not take the 1st level of Cabal Warlock substitution levels will have a different base attack bonus and different saves from those listed on the table above.

    Eldritch Claw (Ex) - A Warlock who takes the Cabalist substitution level at 1st does not gain the Eldritch Blast feature, now or ever. Instead, they gain Eldritch Claw - a primary Natural Weapon that deals 1d6 + his Strength modifier in Slashing damage at 1st level. The Eldritch Claw's damage does not change with the size of the Cabal Warlock.

    Any effect that adds to Eldritch Blast damage instead adds to the Cabal Warlock's Eldritch Claw damage; upon taking the 1st Cabal substitution level for Warlock, a character cannot under any circumstances gain Eldritch Blast as well. This includes further levels of Warlock, the class features of other classes, items, spells, and anything else.

    An Eldritch Claw of a given amount of damage qualifies as an Eldritch Blast of the same amount of damage for anything that requires Eldritch Blast. However, any ability that triggers off of the use of Eldritch Blast (such as the Hellfire Blast feature of the Hellfire Warlock) does not trigger from the use of the Eldritch Claw.

    The Eldritch Claw is extraordinary, unlike the Eldritch Blast and most Invocations, and therefore may be used where ordinary Invocations could not be. It is also therefore not subject to Spell Resistance, and deals full damage to objects (though it is, of course, affected by Hardness and the like). Though the Eldritch Claw has an effective spell level determined as if it was an Eldritch Blast, as an Extraordinary effect it is not stopped by, for example, a Globe of Invulnerability. However, the Eldritch Claw requires a regular attack roll, not a touch attack roll.

    The Eldritch Claw is always considered to be Magic for the purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction, and also overcomes any types of Damage Reduction that the Cabal Warlock himself has (so, a Warlock 3 with DR 1/Cold Iron would have an Eldritch Claw that is treated as Cold Iron for the purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction), with two exceptions. One, the Eldritch Claw does not overcome Damage Reduction /-, even if the Cabal Warlock has such Damage Reduction, and two, it only overcomes Damage Reduction /Epic if the Cabal Warlock has such Damage Reduction and is treated as an Epic character.

    Eldritch Essence Invocations may be applied to the Eldritch Claw once per round as a free action. This Essence applies to the Eldritch Claw attack and to any Fiendish Growths used in this round (see below). No target may suffer from the effects of an Eldritch Essence twice in one round: the first time the target is hit by an Eldritch Claw or Fiendish Growth, it must make a Saving Throw as normal for the Eldritch Essence (assuming the Essence allows a Saving Throw), and regardless of whether or not it succeeds, it cannot be subject to the Essence again until the Cabal Warlock's next turn. Eldritch Essences remain Invocations, and therefore Spell-like Abilities, and thus cannot be applied in antimagic fields, even though the Eldritch Claw and Fiendish Growths may be used.

    Blast Shape Invocations may not be used with the Eldritch Claw at all, and are effectively replaced by Fiendish Growths.

    Fiendish Growths (Ex)
    Unlike Blast Shapes, which may be applied when desired to Eldritch Blast attacks, Fiendish Growths are always active on the Cabal Warlock. The majority of these are primary Natural Weapons, which means they cannot be used in the same attack sequence as the Eldritch Claw, but any that note the option of being secondary Natural Weapons may be used in addition to whichever primary Natural Weapons you have available. Each Growth is treated the same as the Eldritch Claw for the purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction.

    Fiendish Growths are selected as Invocations using the Cabal Warlock's normal Invocations known. They may be selected on normal Warlock levels so long as the Warlock has the Eldritch Claw feature.

    Fiendish Growth List
    Least Fiendish Growths
    • Lilitu Sting - Gain a Sting attack as a primary Natural Weapon that deals Piercing damage equal to your Eldritch Claw damage. This Sting is considered a weapon with a 10 ft. reach. You threaten squares that this Sting can reach, and may make Attacks of Opportunity with it.
    • Tail of the Stygian Dragon - As a primary Natural Weapon, gain a Tail attack that does Bludgeoning and Piercing damage equal to the damage of your Eldritch Claw. When used as a part of a full-attack action, this attack may target up to three targets who are in contiguous squares and adjacent to you.

    Lesser Fiendish Growths
    • Bulezau Horns - Gain a Gore attack as a primary Natural Weapon that deals Bludgeoning and Piercing damage equivalent to the Slashing damage of an Eldritch Claw. When used at the end of a Charge, these horns deal double damage.
    • Hezrou Jaws - This secondary Natural Weapon does half as much damage as an Eldritch Claw's Slashing damage, but as damage that counts as Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing. As a secondary Natural Weapon, it may be used during a full-attack alongside the Eldritch Claw.

    Greater Fiendish Growths
    • Glabrezu Claws - Gain a second Claw attack that may be used a primary Natural Weapon; both Eldritch Claws may be used as a pair of primary Natural Weapons on a full attack. The second Claw is identical in all ways to the first.
    • Tentacles Like Unto Dagon - Gain a pair of Tentacle attacks as secondary Natural Weapons. These Tentacles are considered weapons with a Reach of 10 ft., but unlike most Reach Weapons, they may be used to attack adjacent squares as well. These attacks each deal half the damage of an Eldritch Claw attack, except that the damage is considered Piercing and Bludgeoning, rather than Slashing.
    • Vrock Wings - As a pair of secondary Natural Weapons, you may make two Wing attacks that each deal half as much Bludgeoning damage as an Eldritch Claw deals Slashing damage. You also gain a Fly speed 10 ft. faster than your Land move speed with Good maneuverability.

    Dark Fiendish Growths
    • Flames of the Balor - Whenever you are attacked in melee by a weapon without Reach or with a Natural Weapon, you may make a reflexive attack roll that deals damage equal to your Eldritch Claw Slashing damage on a hit. Despite the appearance of flames wreathing your body, this damage is entirely untyped, as you burn with the flames of the Abyss.
    • Marilith Arms - Gain four additional arms; the hands of each of these is tipped with claws which maybe used as secondary Natural Weapons that deal half the damage an Eldritch Claw. Further, if the Cabal Warlock has the Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, or Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feats, these are swapped for the Multiweapon Fighting, Improved Multiweapon Fighting, and Greater Multiweapon Fighting feats, respectively.

    Bastion of the Lower Planes (Ex) - A Warlock taking the 2nd level Cabal Warlock substitution level does not gain the Detect Magic class feature. Instead, the Cabal Warlock may add his Charisma modifier to Will saving throws. This feature does not stack with the Paladin's Divine Grace class feature, or with any other abilities that do not stack with Divine Grace, such as the Crusader's Indomitable Soul.

    Fiendish Carapace (Ex) - A Warlock taking the 4th level Cabal Warlock substitution level gains a Natural Armor bonus to AC equal to his Constitution bonus (if any), instead of the Deceive Item class feature.

    Fiendish Summons (Sp) - A Warlock taking the 12th level Cabal Warlock substitution level does not gain the Imbue Item class feature. Instead, he gains a bonus Invocation Known, which is treated as a Greater Invocation equivalent to a 6th level spell. With this Invocation, he may use Summon Monster VI, as the spell, except that he may only summon Evil-aligned creatures, and any creatures still summoned from a previous use of the Invocation immediately vanish whenever the Invocation is used anew.

    At 14th level, this Invocation is automatically upgraded to mirror Summon Monster VII, with the same caveats as before, and counts as equivalent to a 7th level spell. At 16th, it is replaced by a Dark Invocation (equivalent to an 8th level spell) which mimics Summon Monster VIII except as above. At 18th, it is upgraded one final time, to act as Summon Monster IX, again except as above, and is equivalent to a 9th level spell.

    The Cabal Warlock may also be treated as meeting any requirement that could be fulfilled by casting any Summon Monster spell up to the one his Fiendish Summons ability currently mimics.
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2010-06-21 at 01:05 AM.