Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 146
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    You! Yeah, you there. So you have some fey or fiend in your family tree, got yourself a leather jacket and you call yourself a Warlock, don't you? You think you are so cool, blasting people, flying, all squishy like some kind of pesky non-Batman Wizard, don't you?
    Hah! Real Warlocks go to melee battle, where you can crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of their women! You will look like someone from a wuxia movie, darting around the battlefield, using eldritch energy to destroy your opposition and looking really really cool while doing it.
    OK, are you with me? I asked, are you with me, mister?
    Before we delve into the melee warlock territory, a warning: we are using Dragon material here. Dragon has very good feats for Warlocks and it's official D&D content. While Wizards was still publishing 3.5 material I would shun it, but now those old Dragon Magazines are about as close to new official 3.5 material we'll ever get. Let's go rock the dragon now.
    Oh, before we go on, the great JanusJones has a mini-guide on glaivelocks on another forum. It's a very good guide, and I'll quote Janus on glaivelocks (but it applies to all melee warlocks):
    Quote Originally Posted by JanusJones
    The Glaivelock is not a perfect character, nor an overpowered or “uber” build. It has some advantages and some drawbacks, but the main point is flavor and style combined with a reasonable level of effectiveness.
    Pros
    Or how I learned to stop worrying and love my class features
    OK, so you want to be a melee Warlock.
    • Looks really cool. Wielding a blade of unfathomable arcane energy to strike foes from 3m away, while you sidestep elegantly? Teleporting behind a tough guy and hitting his spleen with a punch, your hand surrounded by a claw of magical undefined energy? Heck, sign me in.
    • You get more than one attack against the same target. Ranged Warlocks need to settle with one attack a round, barring quicken. The fools!
    • Did I mention it looks really freaking awesome?
    • Eldritch Blast does untyped damage. The only way to avoid it is spell resistance or spell immunity... or not being hit. Oh, but you will hit them alright, once I'm through with you.
    • Touch attacks hit for lower CA, meaning you will hit more often than most melee-types. A few monsters, though, have high touch ACs - allips and other incorporeal critters, for example.
    • Sexy witches. Witches are your female counterparts. Ooooh yeah.
    • You don't depend much on ability scores. You need a decent Con, but that's about it. Since you target touch AC you can have the luxury of having a not-so-perfect to-hit stat and since you are focused on Eldritch Blast, you can pick invocations that don't have saves and
      don't require Charisma.
    • You can still function at ranged combat, no cost.
    • There are a few specific items that boost Eldritch Blast damage. Use them.
    • Alright, for the female playgrounders out there, I'll acknowledge that warlocks themselves are sexy.
    • Eldritch Blast is not a weapon. It does not need an enhancement bonus to hit incorporeal foes, for example. This can be as much a boon as a curse (see below).


    Cons
    Or the sad things in life
    Of course, things are not perfect. Even the path of the melee warlock, though filled with awesomeness to the core, has a few negative perks.
    • You are not a full-caster. You can't play rocket tag with the big boys. Ever. You are cooler, though. Put a smile in that face.
    • Eldritch Blast is not a weapon. OK, I said it was a good thing, but it's also a bad thing. Well, you see, there are many things that apply to weapon damage. Inspire courage is probably the most common, but there are others, like a few spells or items. You might not benefit from them. Yeah, you also might benefit from them. Depends on the route you take. We'll talk about that later.
    • Well, you still have d6 Hit Die. That will hurt a lot. Don't you dare say you are squishy! You even have some damage reduction and that focus on Con sure helps, dang it. Well, OK, you ARE a bit squishy. But we'll deal with that.
    • You lack defensive abilities per default. We'll have to get them from prestige classes and/or dipping other classes.
    • It's hard to qualify for prestige classes with Warlock. Some of those you do qualify for, you can't get any benefit from. Yeah, it's sad, but don't bitch about it.


    Weapon-like effects
    Because I've already said 'eldritch blast is not a weapon' far too many times on other threads!
    I have seen a lot of confusion because of eldritch glaive and that is what inspired me to make this handbook, let me say this soon - eldritch glaive is not a weapon. Common belief is that it works as a glaive, some people even claiming the text of eldritch glaive says you can apply glaive feats to it. The text has nothing of the sort; eldritch glaive is a touch-attack magic effect, as defined in Complete Arcane, a weapon-like spell effect.
    Weapon-like effects don't benefit from all weapon feats; they only benefit from Improved Critical, Improved Unarmed Strike, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Stunning Fist, Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus. We'll discuss the usefulness of each of those feats later on.
    Weapon-like effects threaten critical hits on a 20 and are subject to sneak attack.
    Now, the bad news. Complete Arcane states that when you have multiple attacks from the same weapon-like effect, you only add bonus damage (from sneak attack, for example) once. This would apply to eldritch glaive (but not claw or grapple, since creating the claws is a free action and then you attack normally and grappling blast blast is part of the grapple action). I think Rules Compendium clarifies this issue to a point where you just can't do this in 'volley' attacks, and they are defined as being made at the same attack bonus, but I need to get my hands on a copy of Rules Compendium so I can clarify this.
    WARNING:I've had a little debate about wheter or not eldritch glaive qualifies as a weapon-like touch effect. It has no Range: Touch entry, for example. Eldritch Blast also is not stated like a spell (because it's not a spell, dang it), but Complete Arcane obviously treats it as a ranged weapon-like effect, applying Point Blank Shot to it and the like. This makes it pretty obvious for me that eldritch glaive should work like a touch weapon-like. If you disagree, you should also stop giving warlock's PBS bonus on eldritch blast, sneak attack damage or basically just about any bonus ever given to warlocks. It's either they are weapon-likes that actually get a few things or they are something else that gets absolutely nothing.

    Tools of the Trade

    Your female counterpart. I believe I mentioned that in the 'pros' part of this guide.
    Oh, you are still with me. I see you have the calling of a true melee warlock in you. There are basically four tools for us melee warlocks. Choose wisely, for it will define your fighting style!

    Hideous Blow - Wrap a weapon with your eldritch blast and hit people in their faces. Looks good, uh? Well, while it does allow to get bonus from both your weapon and eldritch blast, it's only once a round and the worst of it, it is not a touch attack. So, if you can use any other methods, please do.

    Eldritch Glaive - This shape from Dragon Magic makes you a potent Glaivelock. You get reach and threaten until the beginning of your next turn, you get iteratives and they are still touch attacks. The bad news - you only get iteratives from base attack bonus. Haste does not get you an extra attack (though Snake's Swiftness does). You can't attack adjacent targets (it says you get reach as a reach weapon). You don't apply an ability modifier to damage. Since you are going melee, you could think on relying on standard melee tricks for damage, such as Power Attack or Swashbuckler's Insightful Strike. Bad news again, kid - even though it's called eldritch glaive, it's
    still not a weapon
    . You can't apply that stuff. It's controversial if you can use Quicken Spell-like Ability with eldritch glaive, also (I've seen CustServ say no to this twice, though by RAW you could). Aside from attacks of opportunity (and friendly spellcaster's casting Snake's Swiftness), you'll only get benefit from the glaive's extra attacks after your base attack bonus is 6+; that only happens after Warlock 8 (or earlier with multiclassing, but then you are losing EB damage).
    One strong and often overlooked drawback is that eldritch glaive provokes, unless you cast defensively. Casting defensively is very easy, since it's equivalent to a 1st level spell, but your enemies can still ready actions to hit you and prevent you from attacking. Also, beware of Mage Slayers.

    Eldritch Claws - This is a feat from Dragon Magazine #358 that you can take at Warlock 3. As a free action, you create your eldritch claws - yeah, two of them. Each deals normal unarmed strike damage and eldritch blast damage. You don't have reach and they are not touch attacks, but an unarmed strike is a weapon. This means you can stack bonuses to EB damage and weapon damage. Also, since you make a regular full-attack, you can benefit from haste. Sadly, since it works like natural weapons, higher base attack won't get you more attacks (well, we'll see about that later). On the plus side, you get both attacks at full base attack bonus. It will hit harder than Eldritch Glaive and you'll profit from it sooner (at level 3, +2d6 damage on two attacks at full base attack is very good). However, since you are not targetting touch AC, you will also miss more. Since this is a feat, you
    could take both the glaive essence and the claw feat and build around it, using the best tool for each situation. Surrounded by mooks? Glaive'em all! Face to face with boss? Claw his face off! If you are OK with just one claw attack/round, you can even use strikes from ToB (we'll get to that).
    While you are using eldritch claws, you can't use your normal eldritch blast. So no clawing and glaveing in the same round, kids. The only way to use both claw and glaive is to Quicken your eldritch glaive, attacking with it as a swift action, then forming your eldritch claws as a free action and attacking with it as a full-attack action. Range is an issue, you'll need a doubled 5-foot step to do this (see below). But it looks like a supercombo from Street Fighter or something, so it's totally worth the effort.

    Grappling Blast - Another feat from Dragon 358. You need Improved Grapple and 3d6 eldritch blast. When you make a successful grapple check to deal damage, you can also discharge your eldritch blast, dealing full damage and also gaining a bonus on your next grapple check. Looks really, really cool - like grappling moves from videogames. Remember Gambit grappling in X-men vs Street Fighter? Kinda like that, except more awesome. Grapple is pretty complicated, but you start it by hitting touch AC and then you make opposed checks; you don't even have to worry about AC after the first hit. Flurry of blows, if you can get it somehow, increases your grapple checks. Unfortunatelly, you can't apply essences to this. It has the potential to hit more often than any of the other builds and the added advantage of taking one enemy out of combat while you grapple him. And blast him. At the same time. Grappling Blast is potentially the most powerful tool for the melee warlock, but it depends heavily on Strenght and size - not usual Warlock tools. Some stuff you just won't be able to grapple, no matter how much you buff yourself. Warlocks are good debuffers, so if you can debuff an opponent (via glaive or claw, probably) and then grapple him, that's a new game. I'd take grappling blast as my ace in a sleeve, my Limit Break, my finishing move - but knowing it can't be used all the time, it's risky and it is costy.

    Hellfire

    The hellfire warlock motto.
    The power of hellfire lured many warlocks into a highly cheesy territory since it came to light. Hellfire is tremendously powerful and incredibly risky to use; but warlocks being tricky as we are, we found lots of ways to circumvent or alleviate those risks. Hellfire is a warlock's evil power up (though it does not require you to be evil - you can even be exalted and use hellfire).
    Don't know about hellfire? Check here for a free excerpt.

    Hellfire Warlock (Fiendish Codex II): You need 6 in a cross-class skills, 12 ranks in a class skill and 6 ranks in another class skill. You also need to speak Infernal and to spend a lesser invocation known (so you need at the very lest 6 effective levels of Warlock and character level 9) . Hellfire is untyped damage, like the normal eldritch blast, but it deals an extra +2d6 for each hellfire warlock level. The class has only 3 levels, capping at +6d6 damage (but see below). You still get to apply metamagic to items, advance your invocations as normal and you get a reflex-based counterattack. This is a very good and solid class, even without any cheese.
    Of course, any use of hellfire, be it for attack or counterattack, deals you a point of Con damage, because the diabolical forces behind the power of hellfire demand part of your essence in exchange for this granted power. How can you deal with this? My first advice - have an odd score for Con. This will mean your first use of hellfire won't screw with your Fortidude save or hit points. There are other ways. See below.

    Naberius (Tome of Magic): Naberius is a vestige, an entity trapped between death and oblivion. They are the playthings of Binders, a class so tied to Warlock that is a part of it in 4e. The thing is, Naberius allows you to heal 1 point of ability damage per round. With an odd score for Con and Naberius, you can use both your attack and counterattack abilities without much trouble. Binders also get other goodies synergetic with melee warlocks, such as an attack bonus for binding. BAB and HD at the same level of Warlock makes me think twice about the dip, but it is a very good option an totally legal per RAW.
    No, using the Bind Vestige feat does not get you Naberius' ability to heal ability damage.

    Strongheart Vest (Magic of Incarnum): This is a soulmeld from Magic of Incarnum. Soulmelds are pseudo magic items formed from the very essence of all souls that existed or that will ever exist; incarnum is raw 'soul-stuff'. Strongheart Vest reduces all ability damage you take by one. Since hellfire only ever deals 1 point of ability damage...
    This soulmeld is subject to heated debate. Many think it disqualifies you from using hellfire blast, since it makes you immune to hellfire's damage. Other say is does not, since hellfire only says it is unusable if you are immune to ability damage (some even go on a limb and compare it do damage reduction, saying DR 1/- does not make you immune to weapon damage). The common rebuke is the intent of you giving a piece of your essence, which does not happen with the vest. Counter rebukes goes along the lines of you giving a piece of incarnum, which is essence, to the diabolical forces. Someone always points out that those diabolical forces specifically requested your essence, and so on and so on. The jury is still out on this one. Highly controversial. Ask your DM. Personally, I'd avoid it.

    Rod of Bodily Restoration (Magic Item Compendium): A lot cheaper than wands of lesser restoration and charged by day, this item allows you to reliably heal ability damage. Buy a few of these and get someone to use them at you (a familiar could work; you are just a feat away from them anyway) and you are golden. This is the simpler trick - just a few gold and a feat allows you to spam hellfire to your heart's content. Do notice that if someone takes your familiar down not only do you lose your reliability on hellfire, you lose valuable XP.

    Legacy Champion (Weapons of Legacy): An item of legacy is an item that increases in power as you level up and perform certain sacrifices. The legacy champion focuses on such... and adds 8 levels of previous class abilities in 10 levels. The trick is to use it to increase your hellfire warlock progression, granting you 8 levels of warlock progression... and +16d6 hellfire. Yeah, +16d6. That's some frakking damage. Some people argue about this and it sure as hell ain't intended, but it's hard to question RAW here. If you can pull this off and you don't feel dirty inside (I would), by all means, show them the legacy of hellfire.

    Uncanny Trickster (Complete Scoundrel): Skill tricks are mini-feats tied to skills that use once per encounter. Uncanny Trickster focuses on those and works as mini-Legacy Champion, giving +2 levels of class progression in 3 levels. It's just +4d6 hellfire, it's easier to enter since it does not require a legacy weapon and frankly, it is a lot easier to swallow than Legacy Cheddar Champion.

    Bloodlines (Unearthed Arcana): A variant rule from Unearthed Arcana that gives you minor bonuses and 1-3 'ghost levels' that don't add base attack, hit dice or most anything, but progress +1 level of all level-based abilities. Of course, this nets you +2d6-+6d6 hellfire. Bloodlines have been used to pull out a lot of cheese and they are an alternate rule, beind very very DM dependant. For hellfire alone, I don't think they are worth the trouble - I'd go with Uncanny Trickster or Legacy Champion or my hellfire boosters.

    On Invocations and Somatic Components
    I wish I had something cool to say here

    RAW is weird on invocations and somatic components. It's mentioned in page 7 in Complete Arcane, under weapon & armor proficiency. Invocations are spell-like abilities, though - they don't have somatic components. Is it a copy and paste error? Is it intended? Is it a way to keep Warlocks wearing leather, because it's a lot cooler that way?
    I don't know and it's written in a very weird way, but let's concede that invocations are a special kind of spell-like abilities that get somatic components. There, Wizards of the Coast - a single line of text you could have used to solve all this mess.

    Races
    Because Warlocking Runs in the Family
    The following are good races for a melee Warlock.
    Elan (Expanded Psionics Handbook): These guys are pretty popular and they share their name with this guy
    Being psionic opens up psionic feats, the racial abilities are pretty good, aberration type qualifies you for Rapidstrike. This is a good race for all kinds of melee warlocks.
    Humans: Always good. Bonus feat, extra skill points. Boring but practical.
    Strongheart Halfling (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting): Being small kicks your grappling blast in the nuts but an extra feat and size bonus are very fine. Eldritch blast damage does not depend on size, so go crazy.
    Xeph (Expanded Psionics Handbook): Repeat after me - awesome wuxia feel. Extra speed allows you to Jump and Tumble with impunity and Xeph Celerity is like Flurry of Blows for your eldritch claws. Not so hot for glaivelocks, that don't get an extra attack from Xeph Celerity.
    Hengeyokai (Oriental Adventures & Dragon Magazine 318): I think if one race should have favored class Warlock, it's the hengeyokai. The alternate forms are very nice and they have kind of a fey feel in the japanese legends. Sparrow hengeyokai are good blasters and even for the melee warlocks (saves you the trouble of learning Fell Flight) but other animals to consider are the badger (it allows you to be a mole - come from underground, hit the suckers and go back underground) and the racoon dog (+2 Str is important for the grapplers and clawers). Scent is also nice.
    Hengeyokai also opens up the Warshaper prestige class, pretty solid.
    Warforged (Eberron Campaign Setting or Monster Manual III): So, I figured I had to say something about Eberron's resident robots, but it turns out this guy here put it a lot better than I would.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeminiZero View Post
    Also bears mentioning under races: Warforged. Con bonus, considerable immunities (which help make up for your crappy Fort save), plus never needing to rest. Also qualifies for certain awesome buffs (Construct Essence, Golem Immunity).

    Plus, ya'know a mecha that flies around shooting lasers, and fighting with a beam sabre glaive.

    Its not all roses though, theres a feat tax (for better armor plating), you're harder to heal, and theres the Cha penalty (but you can live without that).
    Oh, emphasis mine, by the way. Let me say it again: a mecha that flies around shooting laser and fighting with a beam glaive of doom from hell. Awesome. Of course, 'traditional' DMs will give you the boot, but Lord of the Rings can be boring as hell anyway.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2011-04-30 at 11:57 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Feats of Valor - How To Be A Melee Warlock And Survive

    So you have your basis, be it glaive, claw, grappling or a combination of those. No, not hideous blow, that's silly. Let's take a look on which feats can be used to augment your combat potential, then!

    Compatible Weapon Feats

    Improved Critical: Increases your critical chances. Along with Dumb Luck, you could critical 15% of the time. I don't think it's a bad deal per se, but there are more important feats. If you have the room, you might as well take it.

    Improved Unarmed Strike: Irrelevant for pure glaive-focused Warlocks. If you focus on eldritch claw, though, this increases your damage potential, opens up Improved Grapple (and Grappling Blast) and qualifies you (well, it helps qualifying) for things like Snap Kick and Shou Disciple.

    Point Blank Shot: Only applies to ranged attacks. You are not a ranged blasty warlock. Sure, you can use a Kamehameha every now and then, but your thing is hitting them in the face, lots of times per round.

    Precise Shot: Like PBS. Also, firing into melee is a win-win situation anyway. You either get to damage the enemy or to laugh like a madman when you actually hit your friend with magical energy. You know it's true.

    Stunning Fist: You can't spare the Wisdom. Even if you are in a Monk-centric build, taking this is not taking Improved Grapple and not qualifying for Grappling Blast.

    Weapon Finesse: Reduces MAD. Problem is you can't take this at level 1, and at level 3 you'll probably get Eldritch Claws. In a glaive-only build, looks like a very strong choice for level 3 feat.

    Weapon Focus: +1 to hit is poor. It is a requirement for Shou Disciple (unarmed strike) and Thayan Gladiator (claw), though.

    Touch Spell Specialization (Complete Arcane): +2 damage is pretty poor and this is not a requirement for anything. If you have the room, you could take it for a glaive build, since it is kinda hard to increase damage after all.

    Extra Tricks You Can Pull Out
    Obtain Familiar (Complete Arcane): This feat allows you to break the action economy. A familiar is very useful if often overlooked. For a melee warlock, the main use is to get one to cast Snake's Swiftness on you or to use the Rod of Bodily Restoration.

    Improved Familiar: Some improved familiars are worth it, like the imp. I love the blink dog's teleportation (Complete Warrior adds it to the list), but since he can't teleport you, I don't think it would actually get much use. Imps are unfortunatelly evil-only, but at-will invisibility is really good for something that will be hovering around you and using items. This just in! Our good friend Thyir says you can be one step away from a familiar's alignment. I never noticed that. Yeah, I'm stupid, whatever - it doesn't matter! It means a Lawful Neutral or True Neutral Warlock can have a useful imp with at-will invisibility. Oooooh yeah, babe.
    Of course, the moment you become Lawful Neutral/True Neutral you won't be able to progress as a Warlock anyway. Proceed with care.
    (Surprisingly, I just noticed you can take levels in Hellfire Warlock if you are Lawful Good but you can't take levels in base class Warlock if you're Lawful Good )

    Infernal Adept (online): You qualify for this feat at Warlock 11. You get a least (greater when/if you get dark) invocation from the Dragonfire Adept list. The only thing that really seems worth the trouble for me is Humanoid Shape, but we all know how cheesy polymorph effects get.

    Planar Affinity (online): This article has three Warlock feats and they all more or less suck. Planar Affinity is somewhat good because you can trade two invocations at a time, meaning you can pick up more stuff that's only useful at low levels (like Summon Swarm) without fearing it becoming obsolete. You need to be a native outsider, though. This is a very iffy feat at best, but it increases your versatility, so I'm listing it here so you can get to know it before you dismiss it.

    Dips and Prestige Classes
    OK, Warlocks are awesome. They may not be the most powerful class in the game nor the most versatile, but they are fun to play and they are very cool. But you really don't have to stay in Warlock forever. The melee Warlock actually has a lot to benefit from dipping other base classes and using prestige classes...

    Cleric: Do you believe in God, son? Well, you should. He can get you full-base attack bonus (via Divine Powa), assorted melee buffs, healing and all sorts of crazy stuff. Cleric 1 is such a good dip that there is an entire guide devoted to it. It opens up Eldritch Disciple, which allows to mix the coolness of a melee warlock with the power of a cleric. Actual chausubles are also very cleric-y.

    Warblade (Tome of Battle): Full base attack, d12 Hit Dice, movement skills and maneuvers. Oh, maneuvers. You'll want to focus on boosts and counters to improve your mobility and/or damage potential. A 1-level dip gets you Sudden Leap and this alone should make you pretty happy already.

    Human Paragon (Unearthed Arcana): +2 invocation progression in 3 levels, +2 to one stat, a bonus feat and you get to choose one skill that forever and ever will in your heart class list. Since you also choose 10 skills to be your human paragon class skills, this is very good to help you qualify for other prestige classes. With Able Learner, you could even keep all 10 of those skills as class skills forever. Don't think it's necessary. Going through Human Paragon helps you classify for Cyran Avenger and Shou Disciple more easily.

    Ruathar (Races of the Wild): One of the easiest to qualify prestige classes ever written. The class features are nothing to write home about and it only has a d6 hit die, like Warlock. It does have a good skill list while progressing invocations. If only it had movement skills, then it would be perfect. This can help you qualify for Cyran Avenger.

    Shou Disciple (Unaproachable East): This class is beautiful and gets that amazing extra wuxia feel from Warlocks. 5 levels of full base attack bonus, d10 Hit Die, improved unarmed strike progression and two bonus feats are very solid. Requirements are not-so-easy, though: you need to be from the Shou expatriate or Thesk regions, base attack +3, Balance 4, Jump 8, Tumble 4 (all cross-class skills!), Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike and Weapon Focus (unarmed strike). You do get two of those feat back, but Dodge and Weapon Focus are a really steep price to pay. If you have eldritch claw, though, I would not hesitate for a second - Shou Disciple is the prestige class for you. The increase in unarmed strike almost makes up alone for the reduced eldritch blast damage. Since you get higher base attack, you hit more often. You can also boost damage with Improved Natural Attack, Superior Unarmed Strike and all other tricks monks use. You can also Power Attack with your fists.
    A Warlock 10 has 10d6 hit points, 5d6 eldritch blast damage, 1d3 unarmed damage and base attack +8. He attacks twice dealing 5d6+1d3+Str damage.
    A Warlock 5/Shou Disciple 5 has 5d6+5d10 hit points, 3d6 eldritch blast damage, 2d6 unarmed damage and base attack +9. He attacks twice dealing 3d6+2d6+Str damage and can also Power Attack.
    It's debatable wether a Shou Disciple can flurry with natural weapons, so ask your DM if you can flurry with eldritch claws.
    This class does not offer anything for eldritch glaive, though.

    Cyran Avenger (Five Nations): Full base attack bonus and an increase in hit dice are already good, but the Charisma synergy is amazing. If you are a melee warlock specialized in essences that force saves, Cyran Avenger will benefit your damage potential. 4/5 invocation progression, a built-in smite that goes up to +5d6 damage (uses per day depend on your Charisma). You get extra action points and the like.
    I really, really like Cyran Avenger for melee Warlocks in Eberron. Qualifying can be a bit of a bitch, sure - BAB +5 and Survival 8 are kinda hard to achive.
    A two-level dip in Ranger could qualify you at Warlock 4/Ranger 2, if you are desperate for some avenging. I don't think it's worth it, though. The real strenght of Cyran Avenger comes from the syngery with your Warlock abilities - the Ranger dip makes Cyran Avenger a 4/7 invocation progression, basically, almost the same as one of those 'full-bab half-casting' you find every now and then.
    Warlock 4/Ruathar 3 qualifies a level later and only loses a single invocation level (when it enters Cyran Avenger).

    Eldritch Disciple (Complete Mage): This advances Cleric and Warlock while granting extra goodies. Remember to have Knight's Move prepared.
    Eldritch Disciple is very effective and allows you to pull some tricks. Wild Frenzy is pretty good, and I believe you'd get twice the damage bonus with eldritch claw (once for the unarmed strike, once for the eldritch blast) - you get it kind of late for it to matter, though. Healing Blast makes your party happy; as an essence, it can still be combined with eldritch glaive, for lots of healing from a (small) distance. Not recommended to use with eldritch claw, since your unarmed strike would still deal damage.
    Eldritch Spellwave spares you a known invocation for eldritch chain, since you can just tack essences on Mass Inflict Light Wounds. I like this for taking out mobs with Vitriolic Blast or Utterdark Blast. With Vitriolic, it's hilarious - mass inflict them with acid and become invisible. Wait safely to see if they die. Rinse and repeat. Not very melee-ish, of course, but you can save your awesomeness for the big bad evil guys - play cat and mouse with mooks.

    Thayan Gladiator (Champions of Ruin): This is one is for the claw-locks. This class requires bab +5 and Weapon Focus (natural weapon), but it gives Improved Natural Weapon in returno, has a built-in poor man's Rapidstrike (and it stacks!), gives magical enhancements to your claws... and a bit extra stuff. If you want to be a superbeast, I really advise this route.

    Warshaper (Complete Warrior): You need BAB +4 and shapechanger subtype, so it's a good one for hengeyokai. You gain increased reach, fast healing a increase in natural weapon damage and a bonus to Strenght and Constitution... all in 4 levels. This is a very good class for any kind of melee Warlock. Seriously consider it if you have the shapechanger subtype.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2011-04-30 at 04:50 PM. Reason: adding stuff

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Warlocking 101 - Covering your weak spots and being awesome

    Increasing Damage

    Kick, punch, it's all in the mind...
    The raw damage of an eldritch blast needs an improvement to stay competitive, even when you hit more than once a round with it. Let's check a few ways to boost it.

    Craven (Champions of Ruin): As some of you might already know, I dislike the flavour of this feat. Cowards shouldn't hit harder than brave warriors in heroic fantasy games. That said, Craven adds realiable damage if you fished at least a single die of sneak attack from a dip or Assassin's Stance. If being a coward suits your taste, go for it.
    Also, remeber that anything that makes you immune to fear is negated by this feat. This means no mindblank, no heroes' feast, no Paladin dips.

    Martial Study (Tome of Battle): Most of the damage increasing and attack adding boosts won't work with eldritch glaive. Actually, I've yet to find one that does work.
    All of ToB meshes nicely with eldritch claws, though.

    Martial Stance (Tome of Battle): Assassin's Stance for 2d6 sneak attack looks like the obvious choice, but getting the requirements might be a bit hard without a Swordsage dip, and if you dip Swordsage you probably won't need the feat.

    Improved Natural Attack/Superior Unarmed Strike: Standard methods of increasing unarmed damage. Of course they help with eldritch claw. If you have room, take both.

    (Greater) Chasuble of Fell Power (MIC): 8k for +1d6 eldritch blast damage. Pretty good. Greater version adds +2d6 for 18k. If you can get away with a scarf of fell power (it's the same slot!) instead and you have Shou Disciple levels... congrats, you just became Kamen Rider. Rider Kick the opposition to death.

    Warlock's Scepter (MIC): 5 charges/day that adds damage to eldritch blast. Since it's for your next eldritch blast, eldritch glaive and claw get the effect for a whole round. At 8k, I'd buy it. Note that the bonus on attack rolls only applies while ranged.

    Divine Might (Complete Warrior): If you dipped Cleric, you might as well get this for an eldritch claw build.

    Dragonslayer Claws (Dragon Magic): 3/day, as a free action, add +1d6 to damage with claws, +3d6 against a dragon. If you are not dragonblooded, you suffer a negative level. Quite cheap at 2500gp, but not very exciting.

    Gauntlets of War (Complete Champion): For only 4000gp, you get +3 to damage rolls if you worship a deity with the War domain. Nice. Probably won't work with eldritch glaive, check with your DM. If it does, get it. If you're a clawlock, get this while you save for Beast Claws.

    Beast Claws (Savage Species): Gauntlets of War are nice, sure. They cost 9610gp and they look like something from a bad horror movie. Why would you use this on your awesome melee warlock, you ask? Well, they are +1 spiked gauntlets, but if you already have a claw attack it becomes a +2 weapon and adds +1d6 to claw damage. Dude, this is awesome. You can further enchant it, use weapon augment crystals on it and stuff. Get this as soon as possible.

    Beast Strike (Dragon Magazine issue 355): This feat adds your claw damage to unarmed strike damage. This is sick damage, boys and girls. Your claw damage, from eldritch claws, is eldritch blast damage + unarmed strike damage, right? So with beast strike, your unarmed strike damage becomes unarmed strike damage TIMES TWO plus eldritch blast damage. Oh, and you can flurry now, no questions asked. Is it Christmas already?

    Greater Divine Surge (Tome of Battle): You deal a lot of extra damage, but you take Con damage. Hellfire warlocks are used to this; put that imp to work overtime! Devoted Spirit strike, level 8, requires two other Devoted Spirit maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Girallon Windmill Flesh Rip (Tome of Battle): (TC 8/3 B) This boost adds extra damage for hitting multiple times. Get this if you can, Clawlocks (Glaivelocks, go cry in the corner). Tiger Claw boost, level 8, requires 3 other Tiger Claw maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Ruby Nightmare Blade (Tome of Battle): You know Concentration? That skill you kept maxed just in case? Well, now you can use it to deal double damage. No kidding. Again, Glaivelocks can't use it. Diamond Mind strike, level 4, requires 2 other Diamond Mind maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Diamond Nightmare Blade (Tome of Battle): Ruby's big brother. Quadruple damage for your claws. Diamond Mind strike, level 8, requires three other Diamond Mind maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Foehammer (Tome of Battle): Goodbye, damage reduction. Excellent utility and a good prerequisite pick for Devoted Spirit Maneuvers. Devoted Spirit strike, level two, no requirements.

    Improving Mobility
    Because standing still is for suckers
    Warlocks already have a lot of mobility options within the class, with some invocations directed toward it. Those, sadly, don't allow you to move and full-attack (with the exception of Quickened Flee the Scene). In this section, we'll discuss how to make your warlock float like a butterfly. You already sting like a bee.

    Boots of Agile Jumping (Magic Item Compendium): Very very cheap. You Jump with Dex, now. Nice if you use Sudden Leap.

    Chronocharm of the Horizon Walker (MIC): Use this before you get a chasuble scarf of fell power. When you get it, add the power of the chronocharm to the chasuble scarf. Helps mobility like no one's business.

    Anklet of Translocation (MIC): Hard to choose between these and Quicksilver Boots. Both increase your mobility. The anklet is cheaper and it teleports you instead of moving but the range is shorter. Try to get both in the same item.

    Quicksilver Boots (MIC): At around 3k, it helps mobility a lot and even adds some defense in the form of concealment. Buy it and love it.

    Acrobat Boots (MIC): If you can't afford Quicksilver Boots, acrobat boots are pretty good. Since Tumble ain't normally a class skill, you'll need all the bonuses to it you can get. Increasing your speed also means it's more likely foes won't get away from you.

    Sudden Leap (Tome of Battle): This maneuver allows you to jump as a swift action, allowing to move and full-attack at the same round. An excellent reason for a Warblade dip, especially since with Warblade you can use it every other round. Tiger Claw boost, level 1, requires one other Tiger Claw maneuver.

    Leaping Flame (Tome of Battle): This maneuver allows you to teleport adjacent to someone who attacked you from range. Desert Wind boost, level 5, requires two other Desert Wind maneuvers, so getting this will be hard unless you're dedicated initiator. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Quicksilver Motion (Tome of Battle): This maneuver allows to move your speed as a swift action. While very good, this is even harder to get than Leaping Flame. Diamond Mind boost, level 7, requires 3 other Diamond Mind maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Mirrored Pursuit (Tome of Battle): This maneuver looks awesome, though it might be hard to get it. You follow your opponent's movements. Setting Sun boost, level 5, requires two others Setting Sun maneuvers (that's the really hard part). Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Shadow Jaunt (Tome of Battle): Extraordinary standard action teleport, range 50ft. Requires line of sight and line of effect. It's basically shunpo/shunshin/zanzoken. Unfortunatelly, as a standard action, it's not that good. Shadow Hand boost, level 2, no requirements. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Shadow Strike (Tome of Battle): The middle child in the Shadow Jaunt line. Uses a move action. Better than Shadow Jaunt, but you can't full attack. If you're a strike-using Clawlock, get this ASAP. Shadow Hand boost, level 5, no requirements.

    Shadow Blink (Tome of Battle): The last maneuver in the Shadow Jaunt line, this one only requires a swift action. Shadow Hand boost, level 7, no requirements. Grab this if you can, it's crazy good. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Tempo Bloodspikes (Magic of Eberron): Oh, I love those. Very very cheap, you can craft them yourself and it allows to move your speed as a free action once within the hour. While I wouldn't use it as my only means of mobility, this already helps a lot.

    10-foot Step: Oriental Adventures allows you move 10 foot in a 5 foot step with a DC 40 Tumble check. Cyran Gliding Boots allow you do this 3x/day and you also get a bonus to Tumble and Jump (useful for Sudden Leap)... they are also from Cyre, making it fun to mix with Cyran Avenger. Sparring Dummy of the Master, from Arms & Equipment Guide, also gives the ability to move 10 foot in a 5 foot step and it does not occupy a body slot, but it is from a 3.0 book (some people are real jerks about it, even though it's officially stated to be legal) and kinda expensive. If could, I would sure go for one of those options. My favourite is Cyran Gliding Boots, but that's because of my second favourite manga.

    A Mount: Like Darrin daringly mentioned, since an eldritch glaive attack is not a full-attack but rather a full-round action you could let a mount do the moving for you while you swing away.
    Mounted Combat feat becomes a good option if you have those Ride ranks, to keep your mount alive and moving.

    Knight's Move (Spell Compendium): Thie Cleric spell allows you to teleport as a swift action for a flanking position to unleash major arcane butt-kicking onto the opposition. Tried and true.

    Increasing Reach
    We can't kill what we can't touch, after all
    You probably already know that reach is a very important weapon in most melee characters' repertoire. Good reach means more attacks of opportunity and more attacks of opportunity means more damage and/or more debuffing, so it's a good thing. Melee warlocks being somewhat different from other melee characters, we'll have to see case by case how the reach increasing tricks work for us.
    Get Big: You know the drill. Start as a Large race (half-ogre and half-minotaur both are popular), use spells to get bigger, etc. Large size alone brings a few disadvantages - a penalty to attack rolls, AC and Hide. However, for most melee types this is all worth it. For melee warlocks, it depends. Clawlocks and grapplelocks gain other benefits from Large size and might benefit, but they could get such advantages from a Primordial Half-Giant without the disadvantages (half-giant doesn't get reach, but they don't care that much about reach, usually, being a lot more mobile than glaivelocks).
    Glaivelocks need the reach more for several reason. First, moving is a lot more difficult to them. Second, they are the only melee warlock type that gets to use essences, so they can debuff, meaning attacks of opportunity becomes even more important. Unfortunatelly, a glaivelock gains no benefit from Large size other than reach, since eldritch blast damage does not scale with size and a Strenght bonus might not be that useful (specially since you should probably finessing your eldritch glaive anyway).
    Basically, I advice against it. Warlocks don't get that much from size.

    Warshaper (Complete Warrior): Everyone loves Magical Trevor the Warshaper, a class that suddenly became easy to qualify via three LA+0 races - hengeyokai, changeling and shifter. At level 3, you gain +5ft reach. You can also create natural weapons, so you could create tentacles to qualify for Extended Reach, I believe. A solid class overall, I highly recommend taking it.

    Deformity (tall) (Heroes of Battle): A two feat tax, you need Willing Deformity first. Requires you to be evil and you take -1 to AC, but you get +5ft reach out of it. Good for those going for the power hungy Warlock.

    Inhuman Reach (Lords of Madness): A two feat tax, since it requires Aberration Blood. It also loses you some charm (no, it's serious, look up the feats). But that's +5ft reach and I wouldn't ignore the possibility. If you have the feats available, grab it. Sadly doesn't work for elans (they lack the humanoid type) but otherwise the flavour would match.

    Extended Reach (Savage Species): A feat that grants you +5ft reach, but you need tentacle-like limbs. You could grab Deepspawn (from Lords of Madness) to get tentacles and qualify, or you could take this after Warshaper or you could be an anthropomorphic octopus/squid, but they are not that good as melee warlocks. No reason not to take it if you qualify.

    Greatreach Bracers (Magic Item Compendium): A magic item that 3/day as a swift action adds +10ft to your reach for a round. I don't know if it should work with Extended Reach by RAI, because it says your arms elongate and stretch. Easy for Warshapers to use, though - just say your tentacles sprout from the back of your hands or something.

    Getting Extra Attacks
    Just hit'em till they drop
    When you are using eldritch glaive, getting an extra attack (other than an attack of opportunity) might be a pain in the neck. Haste does not work, you can't use TWF or flurry of blows. Anything that involves a full-attack is right out.
    Please note eldritch claw has no such problems. Anything that adds an extra attack on a full attack works normally with eldritch claw.

    Snake's Swiftness (Spell Compendium): Basically, a caster uses a spell and an action so that you'll unleash eldritch asskicking during his turn. A single attack at your highest base attack bonus. Your party's arcanist (or druid) will probably use the Mass version of this. Try to convince him to prepare this instead of haste.
    Alternatively, get this on a wand and give it to a familiar.

    Snap Kick (Tome of Battle): The wording here is so ambiguous that you can even use it with eldritch glaive. The problem is that it's not an eldritch blast attack, it's just an unarmed attack. Worth it for eldritch claw users that went the Shou Disciple route, but otherwise avoid it.

    Quicken Spell-like Ability: 3/day, you make an extra full-attack. Sounds simple and clean.
    Some people say you can't quicken a spell-like ability that is cast as a full-round action.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    In addition, a spell-like ability that duplicates a spell with a casting time greater than 1 full round cannot be quickened.
    Eldritch glaive does not duplicate a spell and does not even work as a spell with a 1 full round casting time (those only have effect on your next turn, while eldritch glaive works as you 'cast' it). In fact, eldritch glaive is faster than a spell with casting time of 1 full round. I'd say you can quicken it and it seems pretty clear to me you should be able to do it, but YMMV.

    (Improved) Rapidstrike (Draconomicon): Needs BAB+10 and specific creature types (so a reason to be an elan). Gains an additional attack with your claws at -5. Improved version gives you actual iteratives with claws. It's crazy awesome, that's what this is.

    Beast Strike + Flurry (Dragon Magazine 355): Thanks for pointing this out, Prime32. Beast Strike adds your claw damage to unarmed strikes. You can flurry with unarmed strikes. It's quite simple to figure out (Though it took me some time. Really.)

    Time Stands Still (Tome of Battle): This awesome maneuver gives you two full-attack actions. All Beast Strikers, rejoice! Unfortunatelly, it's a level 9 maneuver. I don't think you can get both this and hellfire, but I could be wrong. Can't be used with Eldritch Glaive. Diamond Mind boost, level 9, requires four other Diamond Mind maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Avalanche of Blades (Tome of Battle): Unfortunatelly, you can't use this with Eldritch Glaive, or it would be crazy good. Well, to tell you the truth, I think you could Quicken your eldritch glaive and then initiate this maneuver (since the glaive lasts until your next turn begins), but that's only really useful if you're a Clawlock who also took Eldritch Glaive. You make attacks at an increasing penalty and only stop when your oponent is at -1 or less (or you miss). Diamond Mind strike, level 7, requires three other Diamond Mind maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Pouncing Charge (Tome of Battle): Pounce is good for you and bad to your enemies. This can't be used with Eldritch Glaive, as usual. Ticer Claw strike, level 5, requires two other Tiger Claw maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Dancing Mongoose (Tome of Battle): This is a tricky maneuver. It can only be used with weapons you wield, so natural weapons should be out (and Eldritch Glaive is not a weapon, I just thought I should say that again). You gain one extra attack per weapon you wield; even if you're a Monk or your DM rules Beast Strike as counting (since unarmed strike in in the weapon table and all), you'd only get one extra attack (since an unarmed strike is just one weapon). You could get more attacks with a shield to bash, armor spikes, braidblades or stuff like that, I believe. Better for weapon users, really. Tiger Claw boost, level 5, requires two other Tiger Claw maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Raging Mongoose (Tome of Battle): This is Dancing Mongoose's big brother, with more power and the same restrictions. Tiger Claw boost, level 8, requires three other Tiger Claw maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Adamantine Hurricane (Tome of Battle): This one is awesome. Clawlocks should always take this given the chance (you can't have this as well, Glaivelocks). As a standard action, you make two attacks against every adjacent opponent (the Target line says 'opponent you threaten', but this discussion could get ugly; would 'text trumps table' apply here?). Yes, as a standard action. Yes, you can use Snap Kick with this. Kinda hard to get, though, since Iron Heart generally doesn't offer much to Warlocks. Iron Heart strike, level 8, requires three other Iron Heart maneuvers. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Flashing Sun (Tome of Batte): A once/encounter flurry. You make a full attack and you gain an extra attack. Flurry is better and unfortunately you can't mix both. It's useful for Clawlocks without access to Shou Disciple, though. Desert Wind strike, level 2, requires one other Desert Wind maneuver. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Wolf Fang Strike (Tome of Battle): One attack with a weapon in each hand. Has the same problems as Dancing Mongoose but it's a lot easier to get it; you just need to take Martial Study. Tiger Claw strike, level 1, no requirements. I just have to say it: this maneuver always reminds me of Yamcha from Dragonball. Thanks for pointing this out, Talionis.

    Steel Wind (Tome of Battle): As a standard action, attack two foes you threaten. It's as awesome as it sounds. Once again, Glaivelocks were not invited to this party. Iron Heart strike, level 1, no requirements.

    Planar Touchstone (Planar Handbook): The oxyrynchus touchstone has a base ability stronger than the higher order ability, for some reason. When you catch a foe flat-footed, hit him with your chosen weapon (so this means no fun for the Glaivelocks, again) an additional time at -5. Works on any round where you can perform multiple attacks (meaning it works on attacks of opportunity if you have Snap Kick). Pretty good, specially along with Snap Kick. It only requires 100gp and 8 ranks of Knowledge (the planes). Oh, and you get to make your weapon consumptive once a day for a minute. +1d6 damage, yay (I'm trying to be sarcastic here).

    Debuffing
    A Glaivelock's place in the spotlight
    This is going to be mostly a glaivelock session. They may get the short end of the stick when it comes to damage or ToB tricks, but this is the thing that makes glaivelocks still viable. They make good debuffers, mainly because they can use essences with their eldritch glaive and force multiple saves a round.
    While building a debuffer glaivelock, remember you need Charisma for the DCs.
    Let's check out those essences, then.
    Frightful Blast: Least essence, Will save or shaken for 1 minute. Sounds pretty good, but if it targets a shaken character, the character is not affected by the shaken effect. However, one interesting trick is that this only mentions the shaken condition. If you got a character frightened with other effects, you get it panicked with a frightful blast. You could, for example, use frightful blast, demoralize the target, then use frightful blast again to get him through all the states of fear. Or, if you have the Dreadful Wrath feat, you could attack (making him shaken), then attack again (triggering the Dreadful Wrath feat, since it's a full attack, making him frightened; then you trigger frightful blast to make him panicked). Basically, this essence was supposed to be useless, but it's uselessness was poorly written so you have ways around it.

    Sickening Blast: Least essence, Fortitude save or be sickened. It's a debuff, yeah, but it only works on living creatures and doesn't scale. If you can't get Frightful Blast to combo, you could take this instead, but remember Fortitude saves are usually higher. If you have multiple essences, this is a good setup for something else. All things considered, trade it away as fast as you can.

    Beshadowed Blast: Lesser essence, Fortitude save or be blinded for 1 round. The Fortitude save hurts again, but blinding is a powerful debuff. Many creatures have ways around it, though. A good substitute for Sickening Blast.

    Deteriorating Blast (Dragon Magic): Lesser essence, Fortitude save or lose 5 points of damage reduction. I simply don't think this is worth it,as it basically amounts to +5 damage to your team mates sometimes. Could be useful is your party sucks at bursting through DR and if it is composed primarily of weapon users.

    Hellrime Blast: Lesser essence, Fortitude save or take a penalty to Dexterity for 10 minutes. Doesn't stack with itself and it's a penalty, not damage. I'd pass.

    Hindering Blast (Complete Mage): Greater essence, Will save or slowed for 1 round. You should consider this. With good reach, you could hit multiple targets and depending on your positioning, this could shut down a battlefield. Specially nasty if coupled with Stand Still. Even then, take care.

    Incarnum Blast (Magic of Incarnum): Greater essence, living targets whose alignment is opposed to yours in at least one axis must save (Fortitude) or be dazed. I'd like to say this is situationally good, depending on the alignment of your opponents (Don't even bother if you are neutral on an axis.), because daze is a pretty nasty effect, but at this level you have better options.
    Also, you can invest essentia to get more damage against the same targets, on a 1:1d6 ratio, yay! (/sarcasm). Unfortunatelly, you have to invest essentia as if it was a feat (i.e., once you invest you can't change it for 24 hours). I'd avoid it.

    Bewitching Blast: Greater essence, Will save or confused for 1 round. I don't understand why this is a greater invocation, confusion is an affect available a lot earlier for most classes. I'd pass, but it is a Will effect.

    Penetrating Blast (Dragon Magic): Greater essence. The ability to weaken spell resistance would be a lot more interesting if you didn't get access to it in the same level you get the ability to ignore spell resistance. Yes, this allows you to be a team player, but frankly spellcasters shouldn't need your help to overcome SR.

    Noxious Blast: You probably noticed how I said to avoid, pass or take care regarding all other greater debuffing essences. Noxious blast is the reason why. They get a Fortitude save and if they fail, they are nauseated for a minute. This is crazy good. For one whole minute, they can't attack, cast spells or concentrate on spells, or do anything else that requires concentration. Basically, you win.

    Repelling Blast: Greater essence and the only thing up able to compete with Noxious Blast for your attention for two reasons. 1) It's a Reflex. 2) It's hilarious. If they fail their saves, they are hurled 1d6x5 feet away from you... and knocked prone. You're basically a human (or hengeyokai, or elan, or whatever) pinball machine.

    Bind Blast (Complete Mage): Dark essence, stun for 1 round. No one cares, Noxious Blast is a lot better.

    Utterdark Blast: Dark essence, deals negative energy damage (so it heals undead and stuff) and they get a Fortitude save or they take two negative levels. Somewhat disappointing, I think. If only it didn't require a save (most stuff that grants negative levels don't get saves) it would be good, but Noxious Blast is still looking better in my book.

    Glaivelocks & Shields
    A love story
    Well, let's face it: a Warlock could use an Armor Class boost. Warlocks are not proficient with shields, but we could just take a feat (even if doing it sucks), multiclass or use a shield with 0 ACF and 0% spell failure chance. Glaivelocks can't use two weapon fighting and don't need two hands free to use eldritch glaive. We have a free hand and nothing to put in it!
    I'd love to say the Shield Casting feat (from Races of Stone) would help you do this. I'd really love to say that - hell, it stops you from provoking! However, requirements include the bad feat Combat Casting and the casting is so specific about spells that spell-like abilities might not qualify (they even have another feat just below for psionics; what the hell happened to default transparency?). If you somehow can get shield proficiency + Combat Casting easily (say, with a 2-level Duskblade dip), getting the feat (and getting your DM to agree that it works on invocations, which I think it should but it is not intended and questionable not RAW) would solve all your troubles about Mage Slayers, readied actions and Concentration checks.
    People usually say shields are subpar because two-handed weapons are simply better and AC becomes almost meaningless at high levels unless you build around it. People are right, but at lower levels, pumping your AC never hurts. Mithral light shield has ACF 0 and 0% spell failure and costs only 1007gp, masterwork githcraft (template from DMG 2) wooden light shield has ACF 0 and 0% spell failure for tha bargain price of 753gp, githcraft mithral heavy shield is a bit more expensive at 1620gp but also adds +1 to Concentration checks. Both seem like pretty good options to boost your Glaivelock's AC.
    You need free hands for Eldritch Claws, so unfortunatelly you can't use a light shield with it (a buckler could work). You could use a wand of shield, which is really cheap, but 10 rounds duration means wasting an action on the first round of combat to activate it so I'd avoid it like the plague.
    Sir Gimp likes taking Hideous Blow, Shield Proficiency and Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword). They don't allow Sir Gimp to join the Melee Warlock Association. You don't want to be like Sir Gimp, after all, the MWA has the coolest parties.
    If you want your hands free, you could always buy yourself an animated shield. In you are set on a flying shield, choose this one. It's the best!

    If you are not brazilian or a hardcore soccer fun, you won't get the joke. It's OK. All you have to know is that Fluminense is awesome.


    Miss Chance

    Let the d100 do all the work for you!
    No wait, that's another kind of miss, nevermind.
    Sometimes, AC is just not enough. Things keep hitting you. You need something else, something to protect you, to keep your few precious hit points (Rule number 3 of the Melee Warlock: You can never have too much hit points). Miss chance springs to rescue! Just remember: some opponents don't need to actually see you. Miss chance does not help against blindsight.
    (Minor) Cloak of Displacement (DMG): 20% or 50% miss chance, only costs you money. It might burn a hole in your pocket - even the minor cloak costs 24000 gold.
    Smoking Weapons (Lords of Darkness): Supposedly very good, this is cheap, gives you 20% miss chance and extra goodies. Unfortunatelly, the one time I saw Lords of Darkness for sale (it was super cheap!) I decided on buying two third party books instead. Those third party books royally sucked. If you are not as idiot as I am and actually bought this amazing book, use smoking weapons. They rock and you could add it to your warlock scepter.
    Darkness and seeing through it (a lot of books): With darkness at will, you could cast it on your armor, your weapon or your underwear (but then you would have to fight crime adventure without your pants). Everyone in the area suffers a 20% miss chance! Well, even you. So you need a way to see in magical darkness - devil's sight invocation works (but then you are using two slots on this and I don't think it's worth it), if you have darkvision At Home in the Deep (Drow of the Underdark) feat allows you to see through your magical darkness (it's very limited and does not give you another use of the darkness racial power, so you'd still need to spend an invocation known for Darkness), devil's eye (Fiendish Codex II) spell also sees through magical darkness (it's second level so it's wandable, but it requires a standard action, which hurts), hellbred (FCII again) get this for free at level 10 (but then you can afford a cloak anyway) and tiefling incarnates also can get this.
    As you see, there are plenty of choices to use darkness as a decent source of miss chance, specially at lower levels. If retraining is available, darkness is a solid choice. The only problem is that your allies will mostly stay away from you, seeing as they would also have a miss chance, but it adds to the badass lone wolf feel.

    Extra Awesome Stuff from ToB
    For Talionis is a jolly good fellow
    Everything in this section was presented by Talionis. He made a great compilation, and the stuff here couldn't fit anywhere else. A word from Talionis himself:
    Quote Originally Posted by Talionis View Post
    Tome of Battle is my favorite book because it adds a lot to melee classes. Melee Warlocks have lots of movement problems during combat and ToB has good ways to fix that problem. ToB can also be instrumental in gaining extra attacks or helping to get one attack to hit multiple targets. But there are also useful maneuvers to gain hit points and bolster saves which can sometimes feel like some of the holes in a Warlock build.
    Just remember, this is geared toward Eldritch Claw. Eldritch Glaive won't work with most of these because a) it requires a full-round action and b) it's not a weapon. Now for the goodies he collected!
    Accuracy Buffs
    • Emerald Razor (DM 2/0 S) -- Touch Attack
    • Rapid Counter (DM 5/0 B) -- Allows you to reroll an attack if it misses.
    • Vanguard Strike (DS 1/0 S) -- +4 to hit for Allies till next round

    Status Boosts
    • Iron Heart Surge (IH 3/1 B) – Allows to remove a negative status and gain +2 Morale to hit
    • Diamond Defense (DM 8/0 B) – Add save bonus equal to your level
    • Moment of Perfect Mind (DM 1/0 B – Will), Action Before Thought (DM 2/0 B – Reflex), Mind Over Body (DM 3/0 B – Fortitude) – Allows you to replace your Saves with Constitution checks.

    Healing
    • Crusader Strike (DS 1/0 S) – Little bit of healing for one person including yourself if attack hits.
    • Revitalizing Strike (DS 3/1 S) – Stronger healing of one person including yourself if it hits
    • Rallying Strike (DS 6/2 S) – Stronger healing for allies within a 30 ft radius
    • Strike of Righteous Vitality (DS 9/3 S) – Healing Spell for one ally including yourself when attack hits. This can remove negative levels from Hell Fire.
    • Iron Heart Endurance (IH 6/2 B) -- Allows you to put double your level in Hit Points

    Blocks
    • Counter Charge (SS 1/0 B) – Check to counter a charge attack
    • Wall of Blades (IH 2/0 B) – Use your attack rating to cancel an attack. Useful as prerequisite for Iron Heart Surge.
    • Shield Block (DS 2/0 B) – Use Shield to add AC to an Ally. Ally can be you.

    Miscellaneous
    • Burning Brand – (DW 2/0 B) Allows for +5ft reach and all your damage becomes fire damage.
    • Disarming Strike (IH 2/0 S) – Allows disarm attempt with successful hit
    • White Raven Tactics – (WR 3/1 B) Allows for an ally to take another turn. By RAW this allows you to take another turn, but many DM’s won’t allow this interpretation.
    • One with Shadow (SH 8/3 B) Become Incorporeal for 1 round.
    • Flesh Ripper (TC 3/2 S) Opponent attacks and AC are -4
    • Fountain of Blood (TC 4/2 B) Cause Fear (shaken) when you reduce an opponent to -1 or fewer Hit Points.

    Stances
    • Thicket of Blades (DS 3/1) – Helps to get Attacks of Opportunity
    • Aura of Perfect Order (DS 6/2) – Allows you to take 11 on rolls.
    • Immortal Fortitude (DS 8/3) – Allows you to roll to ignore damage that would bring you below 0 and leaves you at 1 hit point.
    • Island of Blades (SH 1/0) – Allows you to flank automatically with an Ally
    • Bolstering Voice (WR 1/0) – Adds +2 Moral to Will Saves and +4 Moral against Fear Saves to 60ft radius
    • Assassin’s Stance (3/0) – Add 2d6 Sneak Attack
    • Stance of Alacrity (DM 8/3) – Allows you to make an extra immediate action
    • Pearl of Black Doubt (DM 3/1) – Boosts AC every time someone misses you.
    • Hunter’s Sense (TC 1/0) – Gain Scent Ability
    • Leaping Dragon Stance (TC 3/1) – Adds 10ft bonus to jumps
    • Blood in the Water (TC 1/1) -- +1 to Hit and Damage

    Feats from Tome of Battle
    • Gloom Razor – Helps with Sneak Attacks
    • Stormguard Warrior – Helps with loops of Attacks of Opportunity
    • Iron Heart Aura – Provides everyone around you +2 AC
    • Extra Readied Maneuver – Allows any class to add a maneuver as a Feat. Must meet prerequisites and also good to add additional feats to marital characters who want maneuvers from styles they don’t have access to normally.
    • Extra Martial Stance – Allows any class to add a stance as a Feat. Must meet prerequisites and also good to add additional feats to marital characters who want stances from styles they don’t have access to normally.

    Prestige Classes
    • Bloodclaw Master – Aids in two weapon fighting and a couple levels might be nice for Eldritch Claw users.

    • Jade Phoenix Mage – Need second level arcane spells to qualify, plus two maneuvers at least one being a strike and a stance. If you can get in, it will progress Warlock Invocations and initiator level.

    • Master of Nine – Allows use of two stances at once and allows switching between stances at immediate speed if you use a counter.

    • Shadow Sun Ninja – Level one allows you to turn your base unarmed strike damage + Wisdom score into Negative Energy Damage. The following round you must discharge the same amount of Positive Energy “healing”. This could potentially be of use to Eldritch Claw users. It becomes even more useful if you are Tomb Tainted Soul or have an undead ally or minion since you can basically infinitely heal out of combat and potentially do a ton of healing during combat.

    Magic of Incarnum
    The book of blue will make your enemies red with anger!
    Oh, man. I swear to God I used to be good with puns.
    Magic of Incarnum has the Totemist class, focused on natural attacks. So of course our Claw-locks can pick up some goodies from this book. Just go easy on the blue eyeliner or Mr. T won't accept you in the Melee Warlock Association. I must confess, I thought I'd find better stuff from this book, but Warlocks don't have a lot of synergy with incarnum in the end of the day. You could dip Incarnate or Totemist for a few melds, but I don't know if it's worth it (you do get some versatility).
    My best bet to use incarnum, though, is to be an azurin and take the Shape Soulmeld feat.
    Bloodwar Gauntlets: This incarnate soulmeld adds an infernal flavour to your Warlock. Well, it's not like you need more infernal flavour, but it's kind of like dakka. OK, so you get a +1 to melee attack rolls. For every point of essentia invested, you gain +1 morale bonus to damage. Since it's a named bonus, it won't be double dipped by Eldritch Claws or anything. The binds are sucky. Avoid it.
    Bluesteel Bracers: +2 initiative, essentia invested added to damage. Not stellar.
    Arcane Focus: This one deserves mention. It increases spell damage, so it could increase eldritch glaive's damage. Ask your DM.
    Girallon Arms: A bonus to grapple checks is a good edge when you use Grappling Blast.
    Gloves of the Poisoned Soul: Initially, this sounds delicious with Beast Strike: your unarmed strikes now deal Wisdom damage! Unfortunatelly, it suckes because there is a save and it only works once per victim per 24hours.
    Heart of Fire: Adds some fire damage if you made a Totemist dip.
    Impulse Boots: Getting uncanny dodge with a feat might save your life in some campaigns.
    Incarnate Avatar: Your very own animal battle aura is just a feat away. Better with an incarnate dip. I specially like the evil avatar, with +2 to damage per essentia invested.
    Lightning Gauntlets: They kind of suck. Avoid them.
    Mauling Gauntlets: If you can bind them to your hands chakra, they're an okay choice for Shou Disciples.
    Strongheart Vest: Don't get me started on them. Just don't.
    Thunderstep Boots: This is only good if you can charge reliably and if you can bind a soulmeld to your feet chakra. Stunning is a good debuff though and one that shouldn't be overlooked.

    Fun With Use Magic Device
    Move along, Monks. We actually get it as a class skill.
    At 4th level, a Warlock gets the unique ability to take 10 on Use Magic Device checks. It's such a unique ability we get to share it with Artificers!
    But well, we get that skill, we can take 10 on it, and it means we could have some wonderful toys. Below are some items that might be of use to melee warlocks via UMD.
    Let's start with a few wands we could use. I'll try not to repeat stuff I already mentioned elsewhere in the guide.
    Nerveskitter (Spell Compendium): 1st level spell, +5 to initiative. Know it and love it. Well, more like buy it and love it.
    Wings of Cover (Races of the Dragon): A level two spell that as a immediate action saves your ass. Very nice to have it around. Good candidate for a wandchamber in your Warlock's Scepter or Beast Claws.
    Heroics (Spell Compendium): 2nd level spell that gets you a fighter bonus feat for it's duration. Most of the builds are feat starved, so this is bond to come in handy.
    Primal Instinct (Dragon Magic): 2nd level, duration 24 hours, +5 to initiative. Prime candidate for an eternal wand. Heh, got it? Primal Instinct is a prime candidate... OK, I'll stop.
    (Greater) Mighty Wallop (Races of the Dragon): Extra damage with Beast Strike. Since Beast Strike already deals a lot of damage... Wands of Greater Mighty Wallop get expensive fast because they depend on caster level, but a scroll to use as an ace in a sleeve is affordable.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2011-04-30 at 01:14 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default The Hall of Melee Warlocks

    OK, here you will find combinations of all the aforementioned stuff into actual builds!

    Wuxia Mofo - level 11 build
    Spoiler
    Show
    Human Warlock 6/Shou Disciple 5
    Feats: Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, Eldritch Claws, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), Beast Strike
    OK, eldritch blast damage is 3d6, unarmed strike damage is 2d6. Free action, create eldritch claws. Claw damage is 5d6 (3d6 blast, 2d6 unarmed). Enter Beast Strike - damage is 2d6 (unarmed strike) + 5d6 (claw) for a total of 7d6 damage. You are not attacking with claws, you are attacking with unarmed strikes, so you can use flurry (at only -1 to attack, because you're a virtual level 5 Monk). Your base attack is +9, so we're talking about +8/+8/+3. That's pretty nice... and that's not considering any other bonuses from equipment (and you can get a lot of those). Add to it your actual warlock invocations and the two free bonus feats from Shou Disciple and you can kick Pao Mei's ass pretty easily.
    Oh, also note that you could attack with your claw as a secondary natural weapon per RAW, for an extra attack at +3 for 5d6 damage. Some DMs might complain about natural weapons being used along with flurry, but a kick to their heads might set their sights straight.

    You better believe Kenshiro is a Warlock... or he'll kill you deader than dead.
    No, seriously.


    The Avenger - level 12 build
    Spoiler
    Show
    Warlock 6/Ruathar 1/Cyran Avenger 5
    I have a player using a build similar to this one. You basically stick to eldritch blast, pump Charisma and go to town with Quicken SLA and Maximize SLA. When going nova, this little fellow is able to compete with a charger for pure damage.
    Nova Round: Eldritch Blast 5d6 plus Greater Chasuble +2d6 plus Mortalbane +2d6 plus Avenging Strike +5d6 = 14d6 glaive damage. Maximized for 84, two strikes, for 168. Quicken another one, for 336. All touch attacks and adding your Charisma to attack because of Avenging Strike. They are already dead.

    Not exactly the type of avenger I had in mind, but still awesome.


    The Beast - level 12 build
    Spoiler
    Show
    Elan Warlock 7/Thayan Gladiator 5
    This is the core of the build. You can take more Thayan Gladiator if you want, or season with Hellfire Warlock and Shou Disciple.
    Feats needed: Toughness, Weapon Focus (claw), Eldritch Claws, Rapidstrike. You have just one free feat (at level 6 or 9).
    This build is all about the claws, of course. You get Improved Natural Attack for free from Thayan Gladiator. With eldritch blast 4d6, this means 6d6 claw damage (plus meaningless unarmed strike damage). You attack twice at your full base attack bonus, and twice at -5 - once with Rapidstrike and once with Natural Weapon Focus from Thayan Gladiator.
    Add chasuble of fell power, beast claws and a lesser energy assault (acid) augment crystal. Now you deal 9d6 damage four times a round. You also get Improved Critical for your claws and you stun people when you crit. This is very brutal and very effective.
    Get someone in the party to be your stupid younger brother


    Tentacle Monster - level 10 build
    Spoiler
    Show
    Hengeyokai Warlock 6/Warshaper 4
    Feats: Aberration Blood, Inhuman Reach, Extended Reach, Combat Reflexes
    Your base reach is 15ft with tentacles you create via warshaper, 30ft wielding eldritch glaive through them. Since Warshaper gives you a bonus to Strenght, Weapon Finesse is not adviseable, but notice you still need Dexterity to fuel your attacks of opportunity.
    Add debuffing essences of your choice and/or get Standstill later (via a Fighter dip, maybe) and you'll be a quite fearsome battefield controler.
    With greatreach bracers, this becomes base 25ft and 50ft reach with eldritch glaive.
    The fourth level of Warshaper is just there because fast healing fits thematically with Omega Red.
    Also, you're a humanoid with an animal face and tentacles sprouting from your hands.


    OK, ladies and gentlemen. That's all the advice I have. Hope you fare well on your own. Last but not least...


    Another sexy witch, of course.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2011-04-30 at 11:45 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    No mention of Hellfire Warlock. No mention of Binders or the Strongheart Vest.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Levels
    The monk is the only other core class, aside from the barbarian, that has no dead levels. Players always have something to look forward to with the monk, which boasts the most colorful and unique special abilities of all the character classes.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    No mention of Legacy Champion, or Bloodlines.
    Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Wings of Peace's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    No mention of everything EvilJoe15 stated + Uncanny Trickster.
    Doc Roc: We're going to eat ourselves.
    --------------------------------------
    Snazzy avatar courtesy of Rowsen!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Banned
     
    Optimystik's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Another con for a melee character - weak fort save. When you're up close, you're a lot more likely to be poisoned, diseased, ability score drained etc.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    I wish I knew...
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Minor correction:

    Eldritch Blast is not a weapon. It always hits incorporeal foes, for example.
    Wrong. As it is not a force effect, it has the same 50% miss chance that any other non-force damaging spell effect has. Only Force effects don't have a miss chance against Incorporeal opponents.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Underlord View Post
    All hail great Shneekeythulhu! Ia Ia Shneeky fthagn
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quite possibly, the best rebuttal I have ever witnessed.
    Joker Bard - the DM's solution to the Batman Wizard.
    Takahashi no Onisan - The scariest Samurai alive
    Incarnum and YOU: a reference guide
    Soulmelds, by class and slot: Another Incarnum reference
    Multiclassing for Newbies: A reference guide for the rest of us

    My homebrew world in progress: Falcora

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Darrin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Something else you may want to mention... there's a bit of a loophole in the mounted combat rules that allows Warlocks to full-attack with their Eldritch Glaive even if their mount moves more than half their speed. Since Eldritch Glaive is not a full-round attack but a full-round SLA, and you can cast SLAs while mounted, your mount can charge+pounce, and you can get all your iterative attacks in with your glaive.

    Also... might want to mention Hengeyokai Sparrow with Confound the Big Folk. At Fine size, it has no reach and can only attack opponents in the same square with its Eldritch Glaive, but throw in some sneak attack + Unseen Seer and that little sparrow can make ogres explode.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Beholder

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    You forgot to mention that Eldritch Glaive prevents you from making charges or standard action attacks (not that you'd need to, mind you) but it's something to consider. Eldritch glaive requires a full attack action. Get yourself some Dorjes of Lion's Charge and UMD/UPD so you can charge with your glaive attacks.

    Also, by conjunction, all stunning fist-like feats will work with melee attack eldritch blasts and there are a few good ones that are worth considering.

    A brilliant energy weapon can make up for Hideous Blow's lack of touch attacking. Ask your DM if you can add Brilliant Energy to a Warlock's Scepter.

    I'd rather not rehash this argument, but your DM may or may not allow you to use Strongheart Vest to prevent the con damage from Hellfire blast. Use at your own risk.

    If you're into cold-type magic effects, you could consider making a sort of Frostburn variant of the Hellfire Warlock PrC that uses Rimefire instead of Hellfire.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    MAN >.<
    I wrote the whole hellfire section and forgot to copy it to notepad. I instantly logged off and lost everything >.<
    I'll do it again tomorrow. Darn. Damn. Frak!

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PId6's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Elemental Plane of Paper
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Hague View Post
    Eldritch glaive requires a full attack action. Get yourself some Dorjes of Lion's Charge and UMD/UPD so you can charge with your glaive attacks.
    No, no you cannot. Eldritch Glaive is an invocation that requires a full-round action, not a full attack action. You cannot use it on a charge, regardless of whether you have Pounce or not.
    Rogue Handbook | Warmage Rebuild | Diablo's Assassin | Revised Classes
    Potpourri Creation Contest II Winner: Desert Martial Adept Substitution Levels
    Potpourri Creation Contest III Best Characterization: Edward the Sly's Lucky Spells
    Prestige Class Contest XXI Submission: Child of the Seelie Court

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Thiyr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    As a question that would be relevant to this discussion: Would Quicken SLA be worthwhile here? If it is, somehow I find the idea of either moving and full attacking, or full attacking twice to be a good one. Better still if you get it through Escalation Mage (Faiths of Ebberon) and can reliably make the caster level check, so you can quicken as much as you want (especially with the arcane mastery feat in CArc).
    The Complete Warrior rules on losing prerequisites for a PrC apply to all books. This bothers me enough to sig it. If you disagree, please PM me, I'm down with being proven wrong.


    Steam: Thiyr (The Great and Powerful Bulbasaur).
    SC2: RianL.377. Hit me up for some SC2 if you're on.

    Bulbabulbabulbabulba...SAUR.

  15. - Top - End - #15

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Quicken Spell-Like is indeed a very, very good feat here. Doubling damage? Pretty awesome.

    Also, you seem to be missing anything that has to do with Eldritch Claws, and you don't mention other classes to take at all.

    You keep saying "see below" and then not saying anything on the subject ever again.
    Last edited by sofawall; 2010-07-13 at 12:17 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    Another con for a melee character - weak fort save. When you're up close, you're a lot more likely to be poisoned, diseased, ability score drained etc.
    But, you can get Dark One’s Own Luck(CArc p133) to mitigate that.

    Also, if you ever get to epic levels, you can use Eldritch Sculptor (an epic insights feat) to get more blasts per round.
    When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Amphetryon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Coy View Post
    But, you can get Dark One’s Own Luck(CArc p133) to mitigate that.
    Or take Martial Study to replace your weak save with a Concentration check.
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV.

    Who made my awesome Dwarf Hexblade avatar, you ask? BRC did!
    Spoiler
    Show

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Prime32's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ireland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Beast Strike is awesome with Eldritch Claws, especially if you have some way to boost your unarmed damage (Superior Unarmed Strike feat, etc.)

    You can make a full attack of unarmed strikes (damage = unarmed x2 + eldritch blast), then make secondary attacks with your eldritch claws (damage = unarmed + eldritch blast).

    Note that this effectively lets you flurry with your claws, if you wish. With Tiger Claw maneuvers and Improved Rapidstrike it just gets silly.
    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    If you are OK with just one claw attack/round, you can even use strikes from ToB (we'll get to that).
    Surely it would be more effective to use boosts which multiply your number of attacks?
    Last edited by Prime32; 2010-07-13 at 07:02 AM.
    Art - Homebrew - Avatar adoptions
    Spirit Artist in the Playground

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Added a few more material, will add more later today.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Ah, sorry for the double post, just wanted to announce a few more additional material here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    You can make a full attack of unarmed strikes (damage = unarmed x2 + eldritch blast), then make secondary attacks with your eldritch claws (damage = unarmed + eldritch blast).
    Hmm, yeah, it looks kind of like stacking Ninja's and Monk's Wisdom to AC for me. Both abilities do the exact same thing here, don't think they should stack.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    Note that this effectively lets you flurry with your claws, if you wish. With Tiger Claw maneuvers and Improved Rapidstrike it just gets silly.
    Like I said in the Shou Disciple section, this is debatable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    EDIT: Surely it would be more effective to use boosts which multiply your number of attacks?
    Does not work. They require/provide full-attack actions. You need full-round actions for eldritch glaive.

    Quote Originally Posted by sofawall View Post
    You keep saying "see below" and then not saying anything on the subject ever again.
    Yeah, it's a work in progress, sorry ^^
    I'll get to it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hague View Post
    You forgot to mention that Eldritch Glaive prevents you from making charges or standard action attacks (not that you'd need to, mind you) but it's something to consider. Eldritch glaive requires a full attack action. Get yourself some Dorjes of Lion's Charge and UMD/UPD so you can charge with your glaive attacks.
    Like someone already said, it does not work. A dorje of hustle would be helpful, though I'm pretty sure the means I mentioned are cheaper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hague View Post
    Also, by conjunction, all stunning fist-like feats will work with melee attack eldritch blasts and there are a few good ones that are worth considering.
    With eldritch claw, yes. With eldritch glaive not, if only because you don't have the reach to touch them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hague View Post
    A brilliant energy weapon can make up for Hideous Blow's lack of touch attacking. Ask your DM if you can add Brilliant Energy to a Warlock's Scepter.
    But is it worth the trouble? I personally doubt it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Also... might want to mention Hengeyokai Sparrow with Confound the Big Folk. At Fine size, it has no reach and can only attack opponents in the same square with its Eldritch Glaive, but throw in some sneak attack + Unseen Seer and that little sparrow can make ogres explode.
    Hengeyokai are amazing, aren't they? I'll add them to a race section... when I make one. ^^
    Human, elan, xeph (for Xeph Celerity; shame it does not work with the glaive) and hengeyokai are looking like the best races for this now. Also, thanks for the tip on mounts.

    I think I adressed everyone... until later on this same Warlock-channel, the same Warlock-time.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-07-13 at 07:32 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Prime32's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ireland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    Hmm, yeah, it looks kind of like stacking Ninja's and Monk's Wisdom to AC for me. Both abilities do the exact same thing here, don't think they should stack.
    Not really...

    Like I said in the Shou Disciple section, this is debatable.
    I didn't mean that you can literally flurry with your claws. You can flurry with your unarmed strike, which has damage based on your claws.

    Does not work. They require/provide full-attack actions. You need full-round actions for eldritch glaive.
    Both your advice and my response were part of a discussion on Eldritch Claws.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hague View Post
    Also, by conjunction, all stunning fist-like feats will work with melee attack eldritch blasts and there are a few good ones that are worth considering.
    Stunning Fist only works with an unarmed strike. It can only be combined with an eldritch blast via Hideous Blow or the Eldritch Claws/Beast Strike combo.
    Last edited by Prime32; 2010-07-13 at 08:06 PM.
    Art - Homebrew - Avatar adoptions
    Spirit Artist in the Playground

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    Not really...

    I didn't mean that you can literally flurry with your claws. You can flurry with your unarmed strike, which has damage based on your claws.
    That's the thing: eldritch claw says 'you get two claw attacks'.
    The damage is based on eldritch blast and unarmed strike, but it is specifically called a claw attack in the feat text, therefore I say it's debatable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    Both your advice and my response were part of a discussion on Eldritch Claws.
    Sorry to have confused you. My advice in the guide was directed towards both glaive and claw, so I confused myself while responding and so I confused you. ^^
    Boosts/counters are useful for both glaive and claw, so I mentioned strikes under claw because they can't be used with glaive... does it make sense, or am I being more confusing? ^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    Stunning Fist only works with an unarmed strike. It can only be combined with an eldritch blast via Hideous Blow or the Eldritch Claws/Beast Strike combo.
    He means that since eldritch glaive is being considered a touch attack, Complete Arcane would rule it could be used with Stunning Fist.
    Only common sense (and natural reach) stand in the way of this foolishness ^^
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-07-13 at 08:14 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Prime32's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ireland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    That's the thing: eldritch claw says 'you get two claw attacks'.
    The damage is based on eldritch blast and unarmed strike, but it is specifically called a claw attack in the feat text, therefore I say it's debatable.
    You misunderstand. I'm not saying to flurry with the claws. I'm saying to flurry with your unarmed strike, which has its damage boosted by the Beast Strike feat.
    Art - Homebrew - Avatar adoptions
    Spirit Artist in the Playground

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    You misunderstand. I'm not saying to flurry with the claws. I'm saying to flurry with your unarmed strike, which has its damage boosted by the Beast Strike feat.
    Oooh, I see. How deviously devilish of you! Oh my, that's a very good reading. I agree with you. While I'm not sure if the damage of eldritch claw and beast strike should stack, the flurrying is unquestionable. Well done, sir.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-07-13 at 08:31 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Added more stuff! Clerical stuff, mostly.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Surrender Monkey Land
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    A precision about the Quicken Spell-like Ability (eldritch blast) feat, from the Warlock FAQ by Rich Baker :

    Q: How does the feat Quicken Spell Like Ability interact with a Warlocks Eldritch Blast? What about Eldritch Blast in combination with Blast Shape and Essence Invocations? What about his other Invocations?

    A: It's our intent that you should be able to take the feat Quicken Spell-like Ability (eldritch blast) and use it on any variation of your eldritch blast you care to use. So if you brimstone-up one blast, spear-up another blast, and spear-up and brimstone-up a third blast, it's all the same for your QSLA (eldritch blast) feat. Of coure, the level equivalents of some of your better eldritch blast-modifying invocations might make it possible for you to Quicken a basic blast but not a blast using your best modifiers--but we think that's a cool decision to make.
    All that Quickened versatility at the cost of one single awesome feat.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    zugschef's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    a few points i'd like to add...

    1. you may want to add that you need to cast defensively in order to avoid aoo's when invoking eldritch glaive.

    2. and now the part nobody wants to hear:
    eldritch glaive never says that it's an invocation with a full-round casting time. it actually says that you can make attacks with it as a full-round action and that it's active until the start of your next turn, which implies that it is an invocation with a 1 round casting time. thus, the sage advice custserv ruling that it's not legal to use quicken sla with it, and furthermore, you are forced to make a concentration check anytime you are hit, while wielding the eldritch glaive, to keep it active.
    i know it sounds extremely stupid that an invocation with a 1 round casting time has its effects resolved while being cast, but it actually sounds not stupider than an invocation that takes a full-round action to cast and has its effects start to resolve while it's being cast.

    3. a 3rd point which just came up in my mind thinking about this...
    now let's assume that you can use quicken sla with it. what then happens is that you invoke the glaive as a swift action, and since we assume that it's a full-round casting time invocation (otherwise qsla would be out), you resolve the attack (as a swift action), but the spell is still in effect. since dismissing would cost you a standard action, you would invoke a second eldritch glaive. because sla's don't have any components you get to wield two eldritch glaives (only requirement are at least two hands or something similar). these glaives are not real weapons so you get to make aoo's with either glaive, which means 2 aoo's per opportunity (combine that with combat reflexes). the same thing would happen with a full use of the belt of battle.

    4. the last point is even obscurer... since eldritch glaive never ever mentions the term "casting time" you could reason that its casting time is the same of a normal sla, namely 1 standard action, and that its effects start while casting it. then the effects of eldritch glaive actually force you to spend a full-round action to make attacks. now guess what: if you cast eldritch glaive via qsla you would still be forced to spend a full-round action. you could use qsla but it would be pointless.

    ... pretty weird ... (and to be perfectly honest, as sad as it is, point #2 sounds most logical (at least to me))

    [edit] since qsla is even possible with a spell-like ability which has a casting time of 1 round, rather than a full-round action, we can all happily eldritch glaive away 2 times per round. yay!
    Last edited by zugschef; 2010-07-15 at 08:26 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by zugschef View Post
    a few points i'd like to add...
    Love your avatar, btw.

    Quote Originally Posted by zugschef View Post
    1. you may want to add that you need to cast defensively in order to avoid aoo's when invocing eldritch glaive.
    Hm, yeah, I should mention that. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by zugschef View Post
    2. and now the part nobody wants to hear:
    eldritch glaive never says that it's an invocation with a full-round casting time. it actually says that you can make attacks with it as a full-round action and that it's active until the start of your next turn, which implies that it is an invocation with a 1 round casting time. thus, the sage advice that it's not legal to use quicken sla with it, and furthermore, you are forced to make a concentration check anytime you are hit, while wielding the eldritch glaive, to keep it active.
    Can you link me to that sage advice?
    Quote Originally Posted by zugschef View Post
    i know it sounds extremely stupid that an invocation with a 1 round casting time has its effects resolved while being cast, but it actually sounds not stupider than an invocation that takes a full-round action to cast and has its effects start to resolve while it's being cast.
    I actually think requiring Concentration checks to keep the glaive working should be OK. It has nothing to do with Quicken SLA, though - you just can't Quicken spell-likes with more than 1 full-round casting time. Even if it is 1 full-round casting, you should still be able to quicken it. Quicken SLA is not exactly like Quicken Spell.

    Quote Originally Posted by zugschef View Post
    3. a 3rd point which just came up in my mind thinking about this...
    now let's assume that you can use quicken sla with it. what then happens is that you invoke the glaive as a swift action, and since we assume that it's a full-round casting time invocation (otherwise qsla would be out), you resolve the attack (as a swift action), but the spell is still in effect. since dismissing would cost you a standard action, you would invoke a second eldritch glaive. because sla's don't have any components you get to wield two eldritch glaives (only requirement are at least two hands or something similar). these glaives are not real weapons so you get to make aoo's with either glaive, which means 2 aoo's per opportunity (combine that with combat reflexes). the same thing would happen with a full use of the belt of battle.
    I'm sorry but I don't think you have any RAW support on these claims. I believe you can't even 'dismiss' an eldritch glaive, since it does not have an stated duration.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    zugschef's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    Love your avatar, btw.
    thanks. the funny part is that i just uploaded this 1 hour before discovering this thread.

    Can you link me to that sage advice?
    i meant custserv, not sage advice. my bad. sorry.

    I actually think requiring Concentration checks to keep the glaive working should be OK. It has nothing to do with Quicken SLA, though - you just can't Quicken spell-likes with more than 1 full-round casting time. Even if it is 1 full-round casting, you should still be able to quicken it. Quicken SLA is not exactly like Quicken Spell.
    this whole "1 full-round casting", "casting time: full-round action", "casting time: 1 round" has completely confused me... if the rules about qsla do mean a casting time greater than "casting time: 1 round", you are perfectly right, sir.

    I'm sorry but I don't think you have any RAW support on these claims. I believe you can't even 'dismiss' an eldritch glaive, since it does not have an stated duration.
    well yes it does. it lasts until your next turn. but since this is rendered moot by the point above, we can happily eldritch glaive away 2 times per round. =)

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Banned
     
    true_shinken's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Shinken's Guide to Melee Warlocks

    I DM'ed a one-shot adventure today and convinced one of my players to try a melee warlock with eldritch claws (3rd level). His attack bonus was not very high and he had bad Armor Class, but he dealt obscene damage, to the point where he could basically one-shot the one-shot's baddie (a werewolf) if it weren't for his damage reduction. The elan 1st-level warriors that served as mooks were absolutelly useless against him. He did have a bit of trouble against an air elemental, but he eventually managed to defeat him with eldritch blasts. His only team mate was a dwarf fighter played by a very inexperienced player, so he really dealt with the brunt of the encounters.
    It was really fun, also - the character's out-of-combat skills made him shine all the time.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •