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    Default (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.)

    So... can you tell I got Complete Arcane recently?

    Analysis/Development thoughts
    Spoiler
    Show
    I started making a invocation using creature, realized the fluff required them to have a special ability that worked better as a new blast shape... and several hours later, including a spreadsheet, here it is.

    I also realize someone probably has done a simple 2-ray version of this before... but what can I say? I like mathmatics.

    I am posting it separately, as well as with the creature, so that people can find it easier. The creature itself will be along... at a later date.

    I am fully aware that for a PC the major value is in hitting multiple targets with non-damaging effects (despite the reduced DC) and that otherwise this is the TWF to unmodified blasting's 2-Hander... or something like that. At least it only takes a standard action rather than a full-round action and doesn't come with any to-hit penalties. The basic mechanic was that for each extra blast you are losing a die in total power. The chart goes up to 15 to allow for Bhu's Lazor Kitteh PrC, and then going to a multiple of 5 (which might be useful for Epic Lazor Kitteh's, and I have no idea how Hellfire Warlock works (not having that book), so I wanted to make allowances for that.

    I checked, and it can hit more targets than Eldritch Chain, and, of course, it has better range than Eldritch Doom. As such their is actually theoretically a place for hanging on to this all the way to 20th level and beyond... of course, most PCs will get more millage out of Eldritch Chain or Eldritch Cone, but it could make for an amusing PC... actually, never mind, I think I just HAVE to make that one and I don't want to spoil the surprise (it is mostly finished at the very end here).

    The Blue I used for the name was #000020.


    Split Blast
    Least; 2nd; Blast Shape
    You split your blast into 2 or more smaller blasts, at the cost of some total power. All attacks use your full BAB (IE they are more like Scorching Ray than a high level fighter's full-attack). You must announce the number of blasts you will be firing before resolving any of them. The maximum number of blasts you may fire is based on how many dice would be in the blast if you didn't use any blast shape invocations (including this one) on it and is given in the following chart, as well as implicitly in the larger chart further below.
    {table=head]Dice|Maximum number of blasts
    1-2|2
    3-4|3
    5|4
    6|5
    7+|6
    [/table]
    If you get extra dice (such as from a prestige class or feat), even if they are of differing sizes (such of as those of Bhu's Lazor Kitteh PrC's Chargin' Ma LAZOR! class feature) they count towards this, but you must assign the specific dice (in terms of number of sides) to specific blasts in the barrage at this time as well. The exception to this is in cases where a specific number of sides is specified for the dice, in which case the number of sides on the dice you would roll normally is irrelevant. You MAY resolve each blast individually, including deciding targeting, before proceeding to the next. Often it is a good time-saving measure to simply give a rule you are following for that particular use of this invocation such as "I am shooting each of the identical casters starting from left remaining on each one until I hit it, then continuing to the next only if it winks out existence, indicating it is a Mirror Image then continuing to fire on that one with the remaining blasts." (except most people could communicate this concept to their specific GM much more succinctly) followed by rolling as many d20s as blasts you are going to fire, and having the GM tell you how many hit the identical ACs.

    The DC of any saving throw forced by a split blast is reduced by the total number of blasts fired and any secondary effects (such as catching on fire) can only effect a given target a maximum of once per volley.

    The following table gives the number and power of the blasts you can fire in terms of dice :
    {table=head]Normal|
    2
    |
    3
    |
    4
    |
    5
    |
    6

    1dX| 1* | - | - | - | - | - |-|-|-

    2dX| 1d2* | - | - | - | - | - |-|-|-

    3dX| 1dX | 1* | - | - | - | - |-|-|-

    4dX| 1dX + 1 | 1d3* | - | - | - | - |-|-|-

    5dX| 2dX | 1dX | 1d2* | - | - | - |-|-|-

    6dX| 2dX + 1 | 1dX + 1 | 1d4* | 1* | - | - |-|-|-

    7dX| 3dX | 1dX + 2 | 1dX | 1d3* | 1* | - |-|-|-

    8dX| 3dX + 1 | 2dX | 1dX | 1d4* | 1d2* |1* |-|-|-

    9dX| 4dX | 2dX + 1 | 1dX + 1 | 1dX | 1d3* |1d2*|-

    10dX| 4dX + 1 | 2dX + 2 | 1dX + 2 | 1dX | 1d4* |1d3*|1*

    11dX| 5dX | 3dX | 2dX | 1dX + 1 | 1dX |1d4*|1d2*

    12dX| 5dX + 1 | 3dX + 1 | 2dX | 1dX + 2 | 1dX |1d4*|1d3*

    13dX| 6dX | 3dX + 2 | 2dX + 1 | 1dX + 2 | 1dX + 1 |1dX |1d4*

    14dX| 6dX + 1 | 4dX | 2dX + 2 | 2dX | 1dX + 1 |1dX |1d4*

    15dX| 7dX | 4dX + 1 | 3dX | 2dX | 1dX + 2 |1dX + 1|

    16dX| 7dX + 1 | 4dX + 2 | 3dX | 2dX + 1 | 1dX + 2 |1dX + 1|

    17dX| 8dX | 5dX | 3dX + 1 | 2dX + 2 | 2dX |1dX + 2|

    18dX| 8dX + 1 | 5dX + 1 | 3dX +2 | 2dX + 2 | 2dX |1dX + 2|


    19dX| 9dX | 5dX + 2 | 4dX | 3dX | 2dX + 1 |1dX + 2|

    20dX| 9dX + 1 | 6dX | 4dX | 3dX | 2dX + 1 |2dX|

    [/table]
    * The number of sides on the dice you would normally roll for your eldritch blast are irrelevant in this case.

    Example NPC:
    EL 1 (Or maybe more like 3/4): The human, is filthy, smelly (mostly due to the mark of his trade, a pole with rats hanging from it that he carries over one shoulder) A rat-terrier follows closely on his heels (use standard dog stats). Samuel Rat-killer's (Born Samuel Fritz) great-grandfather made a deal with a devil in exchange for power, and the taint spread to his decedents. Samuel changed his last name to match his adopted trade (with his parent's blessing) to distance himself from that legacy. He doesn't see why he shouldn't get some good out of this bane of his existence (and lacks experience in social situations), and so uses his Eldritch Blast freely in his profession (indeed, it was why he got into the business in the first place). He tends to be very matter-of-fact about his business, often simply announcing his arrival in a shout when he reaches the property (so as not to be attacked as a trespasser), and usually not speaking another word to anyone but his rat-terrier, Bucky until it is time to collect his bounty.

    (This should be done to the usual standards of this board I think.)
    Samuel Rat-Killer
    Chaotic Neutral/Male/Human/Warlock 1
    Init +1, Senses: Listen -1, Spot -1
    Languages Common
    ------------------------------------------------
    AC 11 , touch 11, flat-footed 10 (+1 Dex)
    hp 4 (1d6+1 HD)
    Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +1
    ------------------------------------------------
    Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Attack Dagger +0 melee (1d4 damage) OR Eldritch Blast +2 Ranged Touch (1d6 damage) OR Split Blast Eldritch Blast +2/+2 Ranged Touches (1 damage)
    Full Attack (As Above)
    Base Atk +0, Grp +0
    Atk Options Eldritch Blast, Split Blast
    Combat Gear Dagger, (and padded armor if the weather is cold, or he expects on crawling into a tight space where he might get attacked by rats etc where he can't get out quickly, or in the very rare case that he is actually expecting a fight from anything other than rats and such).
    Supernatural Abilities Eldritch Blast 1d6, Split Blast
    -----------------------------------------------
    Abilities Str 11, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 8 , Cha 8
    Feats Skill Focus (Profession[Rat-Catcher]), Weapon Focus (Eldritch Blast)
    Skills Handle Animal +1, Profession [Rat-Catcher] +7
    Possessions
    Usually with him: 8 rat-traps, 1 trap for critters up to Tiny, Rat Terrier named Bucky, 6' pole with rats usually hanging from it and a very sharp barbed needle (like a gaff) on the end for retrieving rats he has blasted in tight spaces.
    Not usually, or never with him: 4 spare rat-traps, Padded Armor (doubles as his colder weather cloths), Soap (never carried unless he is on his way to the creek to bathe, which is rarely), Small Hut (OBVIOUSLY never carried!)
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2012-10-06 at 06:38 AM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    Well it's usable, and might be nice if you use a lot of debuffs; my gut feeling is +2 to their save will usually not make up for having to make 2 saves (haven't done the math since I don't know average DC vs average save and it would change by level). So it looks usable and I like to use Beshadowed Blast and Binding Blast so I could actually see myself using this depending upon how the math works out; wouldn't use it if going for damage though. That's a good thing, it's neither worthless or omg haxxor.

    Also it's possible to get to 17d6 damage (9d6 + 6d6 hellfire + 2d6 chausable of fell power; although 16d6 is more likely with binder dip).
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    I'm not sure on its use from a damage perspective. In a debuff/essence application case its helpful. As stated before you can get more damage dice than you account for. Also if used for gestalt they could get the binder dip without sacrificing dice of damage on EB.

    From a damage perspective I'd imagine going all out on one target then moving on to a new one would be much better for you.

    So: not bad but most of its use is when you are not trying to deal damage.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    Requiring a table is a bit much, it could use some trimming. That said, its a good idea, and much more elegant than what I did with my "Eldritch Filterer", though that class is, in retrospect, an embarrassment.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Well it's usable, and might be nice if you use a lot of debuffs; my gut feeling is +2 to their save will usually not make up for having to make 2 saves (haven't done the math since I don't know average DC vs average save and it would change by level). So it looks usable and I like to use Beshadowed Blast and Binding Blast so I could actually see myself using this depending upon how the math works out; wouldn't use it if going for damage though. That's a good thing, it's neither worthless or omg haxxor.
    Yeah, the original idea was (and still is) for hitting multiple very weak targets, which is something most PCs almost never have a need to do. I realized this was underpowered, realized that the debuffs brought the power level up from that, and just kinda shrugged, added in the DC penalty and said "Eh, probably about right.". I actually considered making the DC penalty harsher (maybe twice the number of total blasts) but I decided not to mess with it, at least until I got some feedback.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Also it's possible to get to 17d6 damage (9d6 + 6d6 hellfire + 2d6 chausable of fell power; although 16d6 is more likely with binder dip).
    In that case I probably need to take it to 20 because you can probably squeeze at least a little of both Lazor Kitteh and Hellfire Warlock into a single build without Gestalt or Epic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadlykire View Post
    I'm not sure on its use from a damage perspective. In a debuff/essence application case its helpful. As stated before you can get more damage dice than you account for. Also if used for gestalt they could get the binder dip without sacrificing dice of damage on EB.
    It isn't much, if any, use if you are trying to max your damage against a target that most GMs would even require you to roll the damage against if you hit them with a standard EB. I note your other comments, and will try to expand the table accordingly... in fact I can probably do so a bit right now, despite being away from my spreadsheet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadlykire View Post
    From a damage perspective I'd imagine going all out on one target then moving on to a new one would be much better for you.
    As long as you aren't overkilling by 100% or something... or trying to set up the melee-ists Great Cleave. Come to that, do Glaive-locks/Hideous-Blow-Locks usually take the Cleave path?
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadlykire View Post
    So: not bad but most of its use is when you are not trying to deal damage.
    *Tries to nod sagely, but ends up nodding in a taragon sort of way.*
    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Requiring a table is a bit much, it could use some trimming.
    Maybe I should just make a lower powered "Simple Version" for people who aren't mathematically inclined, and then put the richer version in a spoiler?

    I could explain the table.... or at least the parts that most people would actually care about, but it seemed complex enough (due to the fact that I like the graphs of my curves as smooth as possible) that I thought the table would be a kindness. The very basic idea is that you lose one die per ADDITIONAL target, and divide the rest evenly... the tricky part comes in when they don't divide evenly, especially when you get a number of dice more than 0 but less than 1. In such cases (with the exception of the 1 first row) I figured out the average damage of the d6's and then selected the largest static modifier (for things that had at least 1dX already) or die (for things that were in the 0 to 1 range) that averaged less than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    That said, its a good idea, and much more elegant than what I did with my "Eldritch Filterer", though that class is, in retrospect, an embarrassment.
    Wow... someone called something of mine "elegant"... I will have to remember this. I mean I do MATHMATICAL elegance, and I translate fluff into crunch pretty well... but those tend to produce very long rules. I was comparing my word count to the Blast Shapes in the book and noticing that I was about an order of magnitude over them. I guess I used those words well though.

    I will have to take a look at Eldritch Filterer now that you have mentioned it, and I have the book.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    Eldritch Filterer is a homebrew class I made a while back. You've seen it before actually.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Yeah, the original idea was (and still is) for hitting multiple very weak targets, which is something most PCs almost never have a need to do. I realized this was underpowered, realized that the debuffs brought the power level up from that, and just kinda shrugged, added in the DC penalty and said "Eh, probably about right.". I actually considered making the DC penalty harsher (maybe twice the number of total blasts) but I decided not to mess with it, at least until I got some feedback.
    I'd say the DC penalty is probably good where it is, at low levels its a significant cost for forcing an opponent to re-roll a save; although Frightful Blast might be a little problematic (if they fail both saves they're frightened and flee the battle). You could remove the save penalty entirely and just make it so that if a creature was struck by multiple rays as part of a single attack they only have to make one save.

    Assuming you don't here's some math for a Lv 20 warlock focusing in these things: with +10 Charisma (easily possible and the minimum assumed for casters so a warlock specializing in debuffs could just as easily have this) who take Ability Focus (Eldritch Blast) and used Binding Blast with this would have either 1 DC 29 blast, 2 DC 27, 3 DC 26, 4 DC 25, 5 DC 24, or 6 DC 23. A Very Old Bronze Dragon has a Will save of +23 (it was the first CR 20 creature I came across; my MM is open to dragons most of the time). It has a 75% chance of making the save against the single blast, 72.25% of if two are shot, 72.9% if 3, 81.45% if 4, 77.37% with 5, and 73.51% if all 6 hit; if you factor in nat 1s on the warlock's part this becomes a 23.75% chance of it being stunned without this invocation and a 25.04% with two blasts. So it's a 1 in 4 chance of stunning a creature that's supposed to be a challenge for the entire party. Utterdark Blast increases this a little bit to about a 33.1% chance with 3 blasts (I had it to 2 decimal places for Lv 8s then realized that binding blast was Lv 7 and recalculating for that) and is actually a little better since each failure increases the chance of further failures and also has a chance of more failures). Better Charisma can make this much better. For example a pixie increases the DC 32, 30, 29, 28, 27, 26. This means the chance of it failing at least one save (factoring misses) is 38%, 48.45% with two, 54.92% with 3, 56.09% with 4, 52.85% with 5, and 44.51% with 6. Course this isn't taking into account SR which reduces this slightly for a human (Greater Spell Penetration and +1 CL from any other source makes this a non-factor for a human).

    Actually fey presence makes it a 33.1% chance of stun with a human warlock with misses and SR accounted for. The pixie suffers from SR but even so that only cuts it down to 42.07% without any CL boosters.

    But those are at level 20, so let's go with a more likely scenario. Lv 3 and a CR 3 wyrmling bronze dragon (since those should have the best will saves for the level) and a CR 3 ogre and frightful blast (which requires me to actually calculate the chance of succeeding twice). Assuming human with Fey Presence and Ability Focus, DC is 19, 17 if split. Attack bonus is +2 + Dex (so let's go with +4). Against the dragon they have a 70% chance of hitting, and the dragon has a +7 Will save. It has a 38.5% chance of being shaken normally, or a 12.13% chance of being frightened and a 38.90% chance of being shaken. Against the ogre they have a 85% chance of hitting, and the ogre has a +1 Will save giving them a 72.25% chance of making it shaken with Frightful Blast normally and a 46.22% chance of being shaken by the blast and a 46.06% chance of being frightened by it.

    Those are characters built to use this type of power so it's your choice if it's too strong or not.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    Zaydos: I had some work keeping my word and expanding the chart to 20dX in a reasonable time-frame. I will look at your own work with the statistics in a few days when I can actually spare the braincells from other tasks. Might be as early as late tommorrow, but I can't make any promises.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    I'd say the DC penalty is probably good where it is, at low levels its a significant cost for forcing an opponent to re-roll a save; although Frightful Blast might be a little problematic (if they fail both saves they're frightened and flee the battle).
    You missed a single, rather important clause here, and I am sorry to say that it makes some of your math a waste of your time.
    The DC of any saving throw forced by a split blast is reduced by the total number of blast fired and any secondary effects (such as catching on fire) can only effect a given target a maximum of once per volley.
    Should I add the underlining in the original, like I did above?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    You could remove the save penalty entirely and just make it so that if a creature was struck by multiple rays as part of a single attack they only have to make one save.
    Yeah, but would anyone (Players, not Characters... I already provided an example character who uses this for completely different reasons), actually USE it if it just gave multiple chances to make the to-hit roll with a debuff? I am honestly asking, because I honestly don't know. I mean, it certainly knocks Weapon Focus into a cocked hat for making sure you hit, but you ARE losing damage... both versions allow you to cause multiple targets to have to make the save, and the I.F.F. (Identify Friend/Foe) is better than Eldritch Cone (and the range longer than Eldritch Doom). Hmmmm.... something to think about.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    You missed a single, rather important clause here, and I am sorry to say that it makes some of your math a waste of your time.

    Should I add the underlining in the original, like I did above?


    Yeah, but would anyone (Players, not Characters... I already provided an example character who uses this for completely different reasons), actually USE it if it just gave multiple chances to make the to-hit roll with a debuff? I am honestly asking, because I honestly don't know. I mean, it certainly knocks Weapon Focus into a cocked hat for making sure you hit, but you ARE losing damage... both versions allow you to cause multiple targets to have to make the save, and the I.F.F. (Identify Friend/Foe) is better than Eldritch Cone (and the range longer than Eldritch Doom). Hmmmm.... something to think about.
    I did miss that clause, which does reduce the chance of causing an ogre to be shaken to 84.96%, and the dragon to 53.08%. And yes underlining the original might be nice, sorry I missed it (might have been because I originally read it when it was first posted and skimmed today).
    Also I compared it to the highest Will save for a CR 20 monster in the MM (tied technically, average is +21)
    Spoiler
    Show

    So to contrast Balor (lowest will save; this still assumes a total of 5 feats sunk into good save DCs)
    Normal full optimized save DC (on utterdark blast): 40.38%
    On Binding: 36.34%
    With two shots:
    Utterdark: 51.68%
    Binding: 46.63%
    With 4 shots:
    Binding: 55.2% (best for binding)
    With 5 shots:
    Utterdark: 61.59% (best for utterdark)

    So against a balor it's roughly +5 to the save DC (after calculating in 15% chance of failure from spell resistance and 5% from attack rolls). Actually on average it's probably around +3 to the save DC.


    If it doesn't work twice on the same foe would I still use it? Probably not, I'd take the standard Eldritch Spear, See the Unseen, Entropic Warding/Frightful Blast to get good defenses. Then Beshadowed Blast, Fell Flight, and Walk Unseen. Have trouble selecting good Greater Invocations (Vitriolic Blast, Eldritch Cone, look for a debuff). Dark would be completely unaffected (Retributive Invisibility, Binding Blast, and Eldritch Doom). I would consider it instead of Eldritch Cone if I could find a good debuff of that level, or just take it with Extra Invocation. Also see about retraining Frightful Blast at higher levels when I have better debuffs.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    Quite honestly depending on the game multiple rolls may be a hinderance or not used at all.
    PbP games usually die off pretty quickly as is and the blast splitting means the attacker rolls X number of attacks. The DM then has to keep track of all that to roll individual saves versus each one. Granted not overly hard to do but does add extra stress.

    On live games..well not sure how many RL games use homebrew like this (I'd like to think a lot) but it could be only 1 save role as well. I've used that rule often DMing to speed things up. During each round where a save is needed to be made I'd roll once for each type. Its not overly unfair because the law of averages applies so one round it may be immune to them all, the next round it may get hit by every last one.

    I do think its a good unique idea though that allows a warlock to be a caster debuffing/affliction machine versus damage.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    Doesn't seem any worse than a full-attack by a surrounded melee-ist without cleave (which has the variable BAB's to worry about).
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    Well a full attack from a melee isn't versus touch ac. Additionally Warlocks tend to be at range not in melee. If you check the forums I too have a slight issue with warlocks and attempted a rewrite so I applaud your effort.

    That being said Eldritch Spear gives awesome range with vitriolic blast ignoring SR. I do think your shape could be for debuffing mainly. I don't see it as strong like others have said if an effect can only be applied once. It does mean however if you face groups of enemies the debuff is useful.

    I like it, but you almost need to know your DM's style before hand or use the relearning ability later to pick it up if you find you don't face 1 enemy but multiple more often.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    All I was meant by my previous message was that the dice rolling wasn't excessively complex. Which since it DOES do damage as well, might not actually be true now that I think about it. Also, for forum play, the player can do a secondary post if he knows which would hit or not, spelling out how things work out... don't know how GMs would feel about giving out ACs, let along save bonuses.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2010-10-20 at 04:02 PM.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    I have a random question on how this interacts with Vitriolic Blast. It's mainly academic, but Vitriolic blast does have a rider effect of 2d6 acid damage each round for 2+ rounds (1/5 levels; min level to obtain 11th). I'm guessing it would apply to each target in full.
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    Default Re: (3.5) Blast Shape Invocation and NPC Warlock who acts like a commoner (P.E.A.C.H.

    Yes, but only once per target per salvo. You can stack it across turns but not across hits on a given target within a turn.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2011-07-01 at 06:11 PM.
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