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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    So I'm making a new character for a campaign (had a Dwarf Binder before, but wasn't satisfied with him), so I'm making a Human Warlock now, as the party really needs both a Cha-based character and an arcane caster. And before anyone asks, I'm sticking to Warlock.

    The party is level 3, and we've got a Monk, Cleric, Scout, and Ranger. I don't want to go with any kind of melee Warlock build, as we've got that covered. I guess I just want to be a long-range blaster, but the only thing I've really thought of for getting my damage high is Hellfire Warlock.

    I've got 4 feats to pick (1st level, 3rd level, human, and one flaw), 2700gp to spend, and my rolled stats are: Str 8, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 18.

    Can anyone give me some advice on how to build up this character?

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    I've never played a Warlock though I've built a few for fun. I used this guide which might help you out more than I.

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    You could start out middle-age, for Str 7, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 15, Cha 19, so you'll have more skills and can get Cha 20 at 4th level. The Magic-Blooded template in Dragon 306 gives Wis -2, Cha +2, low-light vision, and some minor spell-like abilities for +0 LA. The Unseelie Fey template in Dragon Compendium gives Dex and Cha bonuses, flight, DR, and some other benefits for +0 LA.

    It's pretty standard to get Ability Focus: Eldritch Blast, so any Eldritch Essence you apply to it gets +2 DC (confirmed by the official FAQ). Flyby Attack is the Warlock's Natural Spell, you take it at 6th or 9th level depending on when you get Fell Flight. Both of those are in the Monster Manual. Fey Heritage, Fey Power, and Fey Skin from Complete Mage are also decent choices. You can take Maximize Spell-Like Ability (CA) for Eldritch Blast, as well as Quicken and Empower (MM), and note that the errata makes EB a 1st level spell regardless of your level, though shapes and essences can increase that. Obtain Familiar (CA) is also great, especially with Improved Familiar (DMG and CW) for an Imp or Quasit. If you could have gained your flaw at 3rd level, you can have both Obtain Familiar and Improved Familiar already, but wait until you're the proper level to get the one you want. It uses your ranks in UMD plus its own Cha bonus, and it can help out by throwing Tanglefoot Bags.

    You said you want to stick to Warlock, but then you mentioned going Hellfire Warlock. Did you mean Warlock 20, or Warlock + PrCs but no multiclassing?

    You could start out with Gloves of Eldritch Admixture (MIC), a chain shirt, and 100 gp for mundane gear. That adds +2d6 fire, cold, or acid damage to an Eldritch Blast 3/day. You'll want a (greater) Chasuble of Fell Power (MIC, CA) asap, and probably a Warlock's Scepter (MIC, CA), but that's about all that will increase your EB damage as far as items go. A +1 Mithral Buckler is good to have, and an Eternal Wand (MIC) of Hound of Doom (CW) could prove extremely useful.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    All I meant by "sticking to Warlock" was to keep people from suggesting Sorcerer or something instead.

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    So...you want to be a long-range blaster? Why does the party need an arcanist or a Cha-based character, as neither of those mean a long range blaster.

    When you say your party needs a Cha-based character, do you mean that your party needs a face? Someone to interact favorably with NPCs?

    When you say your party needs an arcane caster...what do you mean by that? Simply someone that taps into arcane magic (if so, why?), someone that can cast utility spells, or SoDs?

    For purely increasing the amount of damage you can do with your EB, Biffoniacus_Furiou has pretty much covered all your options. Warlocks don't do a lot of damage, and are not a good choice for bursts and novas. They are an endurance class.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Talking to the DM, he really only asked for an arcane character of some sort, just due to the party's lack of magic abilities. He says the lack of a Charisma-focused character can be worked around, but it's more a personal preference that I want to go Warlock (it was my first DnD character ever, so I want to play it again now that I know how to play a lot better).

    Thinking back on it though, I'm not sure if straight damage is really needed. The most fun I had with my first Warlock all those years ago was Spiderclimbing on ceiling and sniping things, and almost never getting attacked by anything.

    So if not straight damage, maybe just a character with quirky abilities somehow.

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    I'm personally a fan of Warlocks going into the Chameleon PrC. That floating bonus feat can be used for all sorts of fun stuff. Extra Invocation for an invocation you don't normally have but need for a day. After level 12, you can craft anything you care to. Plus, even the small amount you get from the different roles you can become each day adds to your utility, something many warlocks don't have huge amounts of. Plus Able Learner is a good feat, since warlocks have a pretty good skill list.

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Hellfire Warlock is a great way to boost damage, but basically typecasts you as evil. If you want to be good there are plenty of alternatives, both brew and WOTC.


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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    I've thought about Chameleon, but doesn't it have a d8 hit die requirement? Most PrC requirements I understand, but this one I'm not sure of.

    As for crafting, that's not something I have any interest in.

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Chameloen requirements:

    Human or Doppleganger
    Bluff and Disguise 8 ranks, Sense Motive and Spellcraft 4 ranks
    Able Learner feat

    You can check it out on page 111 or Races of Destiny.

    And I think you need to find out what exactly your DM means by an arcane character. Because while warlocks are certainly arcane, they're about the least versatile an arcane character can get. They have a few invocations, and can shoot things. Don't get me wrong, I love warlocks...they're just not what jumps to my mind when told that the group needs an arcanist.

    The only reason I can think of why your DM might request a CHA based character is because no one else in the group is even halfway decent with social skills. In which case I recommend picking the Beguiling Influence as your second or third invocation (your first should naturally be Baleful Utterance).

    If you do decide to grab Spiderwalk again, be sure to trade it out as soon as you get Fell Flight.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Ah, I've always been looking at WotC's website posting of the Chameleon PrC, and the placement of their hit die was right under the requirements, so I was confused on that.

    The DM still wasn't really specific on why we need an arcanist. Maybe because the party ran into some enemies with damage reduction and no one could bypass it. Whatever the reason, I still want to play a Warlock, even if it's not the most optimal caster to have.

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Even if Warlocks don't have 'real' spells, they're probably the strongest UMD characters after Artificers.

    Warlocks can use wands pretty well, and can even make a wand of almost any spell after 12th. He'll easily be able to fill the niche a Wizard would, if he has enough gold to supply his wand needs.

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Deeper Darkness feat from the drowbook, and the see in dark invocation for a 50% miss chance

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    After a bit of talk, I got the DM to let me take Unseelie Fey (I first wanted to go Half-Fey, but he didn't want to include it because it was "too weird to fit into his world").

    I have a question about its Iron Vulnerability: If I wanted to wear a chain shirt (which I assume is made of iron or steel), would the Warlock's DR/cold iron block the damage from my body touching the armor?

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    A better idea is to wear some other material until you can afford a mithral shirt. I have no idea what sort of damage you would take from touching the iron, but this gets around it.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Warlocks can make pretty good tricksters with a high charisma.

    Least invocations:
    Call of the beast: Wild Empathy + speak with animlas

    Lesser:
    Fell Flight, Walk Unseen, Charm

    Greater:
    Devil's Whispers (Cityscape)

    the last is in my opinion absolute awesome, since it is at-will Suggestion that has the potential of making the influenced person think everything was their idea.

    EDIT: If you want to be more of a "I would hit you with a DMG if this wasn't so absolutely RAI" player. Thief's bane (Cityscape) lets you explode doors in people's faces (lesser invocation).
    Last edited by Re'ozul; 2011-03-08 at 10:59 PM.
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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by theonesin View Post
    After a bit of talk, I got the DM to let me take Unseelie Fey (I first wanted to go Half-Fey, but he didn't want to include it because it was "too weird to fit into his world").

    I have a question about its Iron Vulnerability: If I wanted to wear a chain shirt (which I assume is made of iron or steel), would the Warlock's DR/cold iron block the damage from my body touching the armor?
    Yes. Touching metal deals 1 damage per round, and DR 1/Cold Iron would block that unless the armor is made from cold iron.

    Be sure to get Flyby Attack immediately, and see if he'll let you take Fey Power without first taking Fey Heritage, due to your character's lineage.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    The DM was a little iffy on allowing the DR to block the damage from using equipment of those materials. He's allowing me to do so in exchange for bumping the template to +1LA (that and he also thinks its too powerful for +0).

    I read up on Flyby Attack, but I don't quite understand what it does. Can you explain it better?

    Still working out what other feats I need. Should I take Improved Flight (to bump my maneuverability from Average to Good)?

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by theonesin View Post
    I read up on Flyby Attack, but I don't quite understand what it does. Can you explain it better?
    Without flyby attack you may either:
    Make a move action, then make a standard action.
    or
    Make a standard action, then make a move action.

    With flyby attack you may:
    Make a move action, and take your standard action at any point during the move action.

    This allows you to fly up out of range, then swoop down say 15' and make your attack then use the other 15' of your move to get back out of range.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Any general tips for keeping myself alive, since I'll be starting with only 11HP? I know I'll be taking Baleful Utterance as one of my two invocations, but should I take Eldritch Spear as the other, so I can better stay out of range?
    Last edited by theonesin; 2011-03-09 at 11:59 AM.

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    If you find your party needing more damage later on and you've run out of Hellfire Warlock levels, you could go into Uncanny Trickster (CS) and advance the PrC two more levels, netting you a +10d6 bonus to damage for the low low cost of 1 con damage every time you use it. If you don't want to deal with the con damage, you could ignore it with a certain incarnum soulmeld. I'll not mention it's name due to the unholy boopstorm of controversy it creates.

    As for staying alive, stick to the back. Use your invocations to stay out of reach or annoy the enemies into focusing someone else. Also, as was mentioned earlier, read the handbook.
    *note: not all advice by this poster is meant to be taken seriously.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Hmm, I can't decide on which Unseelie Fey Season's Power my character will take: At will touch removal of dazed/nauseated/fatigued/exhausted and turn undead, dispel magic on touched creature 1 + Cha mod times per day, or a 5ft aura that gives morale penalty to saves equal to Cha mod (the DM flat-out banned the magic circle of nature one).
    Last edited by theonesin; 2011-03-09 at 02:34 PM.

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    For something a bit left of centre, how about a Primordial Half-giant as the race? Primordial Giant is a LA +0 template from Secrets of Xen'drik, aplicable only to giants, that give some nice mental stat bonuses. It also adds Warlock as a favored class, and adds +1 CL with all SLAs. As a bonus, creatures of the giant type are proficient with all martial weapons. Or if you're willing to suck up +2 LA, Primordial Half-ogre.

    Primordial Half-giant (LA +1) medium, -2 Str, -2 Dex, +4 Int, +4 Cha

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    If you want to focus on your Eldritch Blast this PrC might be of interest.
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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Burnheart View Post
    If you want to focus on your Eldritch Blast this PrC might be of interest.
    if you are suggesting Homebrew, you should consider this, if it works better with your character idea.


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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Homebrew isn't really allowed in our campaign.

    Anyway, my character survived the first session without too many hits (the main one being an invisible slime that landed on my face and dropped me to 2HP. The DM forgot I only had 11HP at the time).

    I now have an attribute point to spend and an invocation to pick. If I put the point into Charisma, it wouldn't boost my mod. If I put it into Dex or Con, I'll get an mod increase and either get more AC and to-hit, or 1 extra HP.

    As for invocations, I think I'm picking between Frightening or Sickening Blast. But, we're currently in an area fighting a lot of undead, so they're both immune to mind-affecting effects (Frightening) and have high Fort (Sickening).

    Any thoughts on what I should do?

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    If your campaign will for now mostly take place in a city, cocoon of refuse (cityscape) isn't bad. (Entangle an enemy, DC 20 Strenght/Escape artist check to break out, 50% of trash must be urban)

    Otherwise I don't know. Warlock has some nice flavour for general fantasy, but doesn't hit paydirt until lesser invocations.
    Both least essences are somewhat weak.
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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by theonesin View Post
    Homebrew isn't really allowed in our campaign.

    Anyway, my character survived the first session without too many hits (the main one being an invisible slime that landed on my face and dropped me to 2HP. The DM forgot I only had 11HP at the time).

    I now have an attribute point to spend and an invocation to pick. If I put the point into Charisma, it wouldn't boost my mod. If I put it into Dex or Con, I'll get an mod increase and either get more AC and to-hit, or 1 extra HP.

    As for invocations, I think I'm picking between Frightening or Sickening Blast. But, we're currently in an area fighting a lot of undead, so they're both immune to mind-affecting effects (Frightening) and have high Fort (Sickening).

    Any thoughts on what I should do?
    Undead are immune to anything that requires a Fort save and doesn't affect objects. I'm pretty sure that Sickening Blast doesn't affect objects, so neither one is going to help you against undead.
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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

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    Default Re: [DnD 3.5] Tips for a Warlock?

    Hindering Blast would work just fine against undead. It's a will save, but not inherently mind-affecting.

    Some suggestions:

    Chameleon2 was mentioned. I wholeheartedly agree. This gives you massive flexibility, something the class is otherwise without. The floating feat can be used on Extra Invocation when not being used for crafting or utility, which means a floating invocation of a maximum of one category lower than your current maximum. That can still be quite a lot of use.

    Mindbender1 is also an awesome dip, if you pick up Charm Person. This lets you pick up Mindsight, which pretty much means you never have to worry about surprise again.
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