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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    Legacy Champion works by RAW; but cheesy? Maybe, it manily depends on the op-level of your table (I'd guess it would be cheesy for most tables though).

    Strongheart Vest on the other hand it is quite debatable, personally I don't think it shouldn't work (Besides Naberious works wonderfully and soul binding meshes with the warlock printed fluff wonderfully, plus some people, including me, believe that a feat slot is a rarer, more precious resource than class levels). I think a note of "Debatable, so ask your DM before using this"(TM) should be enough.
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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by Treblain View Post

    [*]Discuss the two Hellfire Warlock controversies: Legacy Champion and Strongheart vest. Or just link to the billion threads that debate them.
    Legacy Champ isn't controversial to anyone familiar with Epic PrC rules, Legacy Champ, and the wording of Hellfire Blast.

    The Soulbind is the same (reduction != immunity), but it's not RAI, so some people will have an issue with it.
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    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions and feedback, let's see how long it takes until we've got it all figured out.

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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    OK, I've done all of the least invocations from all the books. I have to get ready for work; when I get back (or tomorrow), I'll do lesser, greater, and dark.

    EDIT: This is basically my posting of a rough draft: I will be cleaning this up, as well, later, and I will notify Thiago when I am done with all of them. I will also take input on anything I am missing (I've noted the Darkness tricks available in Drow of the Underdark, and will look at them).

    Invocations
    To my knowledge, the Warlock has had invocations printed in six books: Complete Arcane (CArc), Complete Mage (CM), Dragon Magic (DrM), Cityscape (Ci), Magic of Incarnum (MoI), and Drow of the Underdark (DotU), making it, ironically, one of the better-supported classes in the game outside of core; however, you have a relatively limited number of invocations available for use, gaining only three invocations at each tier, which means you have to choose from these invocations very carefully. Not all Warlocks are going to be built the same, but there are still some general rules governing which invocations you should consider taking as a Warlock:

    Passive vs. Active
    As a Warlock, you'll find that some invocations you can cast are passive invocations, generally 24-hour or long-duration at-will buffs that you just cast at the beginning of the day and consider "always-on" abilities. Mere mention that these are being cast at the beginning of each day is usually enough, as barring a Dispel check, these basically are "always-on". Good examples of this include the least invocations Entropic Warding and Dark One's Own Luck, or the lesser invocation Ignore the Pyre.
    Active invocations, on the other hand, have to be activated in order to work, which means that you need to be spending actions to use them, and the benefits of the invocation are generally relatively short in duration. The greater invocation Chilling Tentacles is a good example of an active invocation.
    While it is generally useful to have more than one combat trick up your sleeve (or just more than one action that you can actually take in general), keep in mind that you should always be careful of how many active invocations you take; after all, it's great to have Eldritch Blast three different ways, Chilling Tentacles, Baleful Utterance, Dread Seizure and Impenetrable Barrier at your disposal, keep in mind that you have only one standard action per turn. At the same time, it's possible to pick so many passive invocations that you have nothing to do in combat but Eldritch Blast and maybe one other trick (possibly a variation of Eldritch Blast), and then be left with little to do when your Eldritch Blast doesn't cut it. Pick the active invocations that you can't live without, or pick a few that shore up blind spots in your usual offense, and then pick passive invocations to compliment them, so you aren't left with six of your best invocations being rendered totally unusable in a combat in a given time, or at a complete loss for actions entirely.

    General vs. Specific (Characters)
    If you picked All-Seeing Eyes, See the Unseen, Serpent's Tongue, Crawling Eye, Voidsense, and Spider-Shape, you would have, at your disposal, darkvision, see invisibility, blindsense, tremorsense, scent, good Spot and Search bonuses, and a remote vision ability, making you a scouting machine (well, insofar as a class with 2+INT skills and no perception skills as class skill can be); nobody is getting anything past you! Of course, you've also used all of your least and lesser invocations for scouting, so until level 11, this is all you can do--well, this and the bog-standard Eldritch Blast 5d6. It is possible to pick a specialty within the Warlock's invocation list, and become very good at that thing, but it is possible to over-specialize, and become pigeonholed (or useless when that one thing isn't called for). Since D&D is a combat-focused game, this is most often seen with combat-focused Warlocks who suffer from "The Whole World's a Nail" syndrome.
    Just as it is possible to over-specialize, it is also possible to over-generalize. It's easy to become the "Jack of All Trades, Master of None"--just pick from the "good" invocations you get a list of seemingly useful invocations that don't complement each other in the least. Now you can do a little bit of combat, a little bit of social interaction, a little bit of scouting, and a little bit of sneaking, but you can't do combat well enough to play the combat role (meaning the group still needs a brute), social interaction enough to play the social role (meaning the group still needs a face), scouting enough to play the scout role (meaning the group still needs a scout), or sneaking enough to play a sneak (meaning the group still needs a rogue-like). Congratulations: you've just become the fifth wheel. The problem gets worse if you happen to be bad enough at each of these roles, as the brute has to waste hit points protecting you in combat, the face has to struggle through a social encounter to get past your blunders, the scout hardly sees the point in your even trying to look, and you and the sneak get exposed when you fail your Move Silently check. At this point, you've gone from fifth wheel to spare tire: you're literally only useful when one of the four falls flat, and they only need you to get you to the next stop so they can patch up the old one (or replace you with a new one).
    As with the first issue, it's good to find a balance here: pick two, maybe three things that you want to be good at, and then be good at those things. After all, if you're good at battlefield control and social interaction, then you have carved out a niche for yourself in-combat (with Eldritch Chain debuffing, or Chilling Tentacles, or whatever your poison is) and out-of-combat (with Beguiling Influence, Charm, and so on), and the rest of the party doesn't have to worry about covering your behind while they do their part by beating things to death (that you've made easier to kill with battlefield control) and sneaking past the guards (that you've made easier to sneak past by seducing them, or enthralling them).

    General vs. Specific (Invocations)
    You get a limited number of invocations, and you need to get as much mileage out of them as humanly possible. That much is a fact. As a result, it's important to get as much mileage out of your invocations as possible: you'll want either invocations that do a lot of things, or invocations that do one thing that applies a lot of the time. Invocations that are neither (do only one thing, which is very situational) either have incredibly powerful effects or simply aren't worth the space (sometimes both).
    Consider, for example, the least invocation Baleful Utterance and the greater invocation Dragonward. Baleful Utterance, which you can pick up at level 1, allows you to use Shatter as the spell at-will. After a couple levels, this begins to have a number of useful applications: it is your go-to offensive trick for crystalline creatures of any kind (dealing 1d6/level, with a Fort save for half), a ranged sunder with no opposed rolls, your go-to solution for exceptional locks (or just weak doors), manacles (or other bindings of any kind), trap mechanisms (either to disable or trigger them), and so on; creative players can think of limitless applications for Shatter with no verbal component (like causing something to explode near the guards, providing a distraction).
    Dragonward, on the other hand, provides three benefits that only apply against creatures of the Dragon type or Dragonblood subtype: immunity to the Frightful Presence ability of Dragons (which a successful save essentially grants you anyway, and you're a Good Will class of at least 11th level at this point), DR5/-- against the natural attacks of a dragon (but you already have DR3/cold iron, which the dragon doesn't overcome, and that continues to scale), and energy resistance 20 against any breath weapon (but only if used by a dragon or dragonblood). The benefits are very situational, in that they only matter against one type of creature, but they can all be imitated quite nicely by applying other, general effects: Dark One's Own Luck can give you your CHA to your Will save (and can be changed to any other save at any time), which can help negate the Frightful Presence effect, and Ignore the Pyre can give you scaling energy resistance (which eventually meets the energy resistance of Dragonward) against all effects by any creature of that energy type, which you can change (at-will) to be the dragon's energy type (unless you have two dragons of different colors working in tandem, which is rare). As for the DR? Well, you can have at-will flight and invisibility, and a means of getting away quickly, all as lesser invocations; why is the dragon successfully closing into melee range to attack you in the first place? The bonuses are very situational and can be entirely overlapped (or rendered obsolete) by the base class features of the Warlock, or less costly invocations picked up earlier, so why bother with it?
    There are, of course, some exceptions to this rule (Vitriolic Blast, as an eldritch essence, doesn't do anything new, per se, but it does allow your existing attacks to ignore the Spell Resistance of your enemies), but in general, look for invocations that either have a broad range of direct effects or indirect applications.

    Without further ado...

    The Least Invocations
    Eldritch Essences
    Frightful Blast (CArc, active): Enemies make a Will save or are shaken for 1 minute. Does not stack with itself, or other fear effects if the creature is already shaken, but I believe it stacks with other fear effects applied after it, meaning it can work well with an Intimidate check to demoralize, or the Dreadful Wrath feat, to make everybody frightened for 1 minute. Does not affect constructs, oozes, plants, undead, vermin, and some swarms, or anything else with immunity to mind-affecting effects.
    Hammer Blast (CM, active): Your Eldritch Blast does full damage to objects as opposed to half. Why on Earth would you take this over Baleful Utterance?
    Sickening Blast (CArc, active): Enemies make a Fort save or are sickened for 1 minute. The sickened condition is virtually identical to the shakened condition of Frightful Blast, but can never escalate and targets a worse save. Does not affect constructs or undead.

    Blast Shapes
    Eldritch Glaive (DrM, active): As a full-round action, make iterative attacks with your Eldritch Glaive as if it were a reach weapon. You can make attacks of opportunity until the start of your next turn. This is everything Hideous Blow is not: you're still making touch attacks, you're not in melee range (a simple Enlarge Person puts you at 20 feet away), and you get multiple attacks for having a high Base Attack Bonus, which makes it the only option for high single-target damage in any printed book (you have to look to Dragon Magazine for the only other). If you're not a melee Warlock, this is still pretty good, but so are a lot of other things.
    Eldritch Spear (CArc, active): Your Eldritch Blast range becomes 250 feet. If you have decided to become a non-melee Warlock (or even a ranged Warlock), this is your invocation of choice for single-target encounters. Combined with a method of flight, you basically have a way to stay completely out of range (or out of the first two range increments for archers) while dealing your full Eldritch Blast damage. This isn't the best combat option by any stretch, but it is the safest. If you're a melee warlock, this is anywhere from only average to totally unnecessary (good for getting off a few long-range attacks while enemies close into melee, and nothing else).
    Hideous Blow (CArc, active): Your melee attacks channel your Eldritch Blast. Congratulations: you're now no longer making touch attacks, are still only making a single attack, are restricted to melee range, and all you're getting out of it is the base weapon damage you'd normally get. With Concentration checks to avoid attacks of opportunity being as easy as they are, this somehow manages to be worse than simply using an unshaped Eldritch Blast at point blank. As many have said before me, Hideous Blow blows hideously.

    Other Invocations
    All-Seeing Eyes (CM, passive): +6 on Search and Spot, and Comprehend Languages on written material. Spot and Search are two of the more useful skills in the game, and there is good synergy here with other perception abilities. If you are a dedicated scout (or are dipping the class for scouting abilities), this is a pretty good grab.
    Baleful Utterance (CArc, active): At-will shatter, as a spell-like ability. Use this to escape from bindings, open locks (or kick in doors), trigger traps, sunder enemies (without the opposed roll or the attack of opportunity), distract the guard with an explosion, shatter glass to mix into the enemy's stew, as an attack mode for crystalline enemies, and anything else you can think of that can be done with random acts of destruction! This is one of the most universally applicable low-level invocations the Warlock has, and remains useful for most of his career for some reason or other. It isn't a must-have, but it comes recommended highly.
    Beguiling Influence (CArc, passive): +6 to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate. The bonuses themselves aren't fantastic, but the skills are, and hoo boy, are those skills fantastic. Unfortunately, Diplomacy isn't a class skill for you, but with the right feats, it can be. This is a must-have for any Warlock that wants to be a face, fear-based Warlocks, and most Warlocks that take Able Learner for Chameleon; the rest can hold out for Charm or some other analogue for their social needs (or trade it out later if they do grab it).
    Breath of the Night (CArc, active): At-will Obscuring Mist as a spell-like ability. A useful effect for controlling space or when you and the party need to get away; however, better options do exist, and you can simply Use Magic Device a wand of Obscuring Mist (caster level 1) for the same effect, with the same duration, which makes you wonder why you'd bother picking this up at level 2 when your second-level WBL can get you all the castings you'd need for life anyway.
    Dark One's Own Luck (CArc, active): You gain your CHA as a luck bonus (which cannot exceed your caster level) to one save, selected at the time of casting, for 24 hours. Since you can cast it at-will (just like any other invocation), you can switch this around as you need it, which gives it a certain deal of defensive utility. If you've pumped your CHA into the stratosphere, this is good for a late-game swap-in, but only passable early on. If you've dumped CHA, it's terrible, of course.
    Call of the Wild (CM, passive): Gain wild empathy as a druid of your level and always-on Speak with Animals. Situationally useful, and very campaign-dependent; if you're a Fey-themed Warlock, or you're in a nature-heavy campaign, it definitely couldn't hurt to pick this up.
    Cocoon of Refuse (Ci, active): At-will Entangle against a single creature as a spell-like ability, but 1 round/level and only in urban environments. Originally, I thought this was just like the spell--a 40-ft. radius spread--and had marked it as a good option, because at-will Entangle is good enough to be a primary battlefield control method for several levels, given how good the entangled condition is. Then I re-read it, and found out that it only applies to one creature, and now it's mediocre (but not altogether a terrible option). Obviously setting-specific, so don't take this if you're in a nature-themed campaign.
    Darkness (CArc, active): At-will Darkness as a spell-like ability. Unfortunately, Darkness just isn't very good, and so neither is this invocation. It doesn't do much of anything that Breath of the Night doesn't do, and Breath of the Night does nothing a Wand of Obscuring Mist doesn't do, so don't bother with either.
    Devil's Sight (CArc, passive): See in magical and non-magical darkness out to 30 feet. Half the darkvision range of See the Unseen (below), and magical darkness doesn't come up often enough to ignore the strong overlap See the Unseen has with this.
    Drain Incarnum (MoI, active): 30-foot range Fort save or cause 1 essentia (or 1 WIS) damage? Where do I sign? (Don't mistake that blue for this being a good option; it's not bolded. That's blue for sarcasm, as in, "this is so bad as to be laughable". Even in an Incarnum-heavy campaign, a standard action to cause 1 essentia damage is laughable; if the creature really needs that essentia invested in that item, then congratulations; you've wasted your standard action to force them to take a swift action to re-invest that essentia. If they fail the save. Way to go, champ.)
    Earthen Grasp (CArc, active): At-will Earthen Grasp as the spell. Grapples as a Medium creature with a BAB of your level, with a STR score equal to 14 + 2/3 caster levels, without Improved Grapple--in other words, it's a pretty poor grappler. It provokes attacks of opportunity just for trying, and is too fragile to endure more than maybe one. If you really want battlefield control that bad, Chilling Tentacles is worth waiting ten levels. Yes, it is.
    Entropic Warding (CArc, passive): Arrows have a 20% miss chance against you, you leave no trace, and you cannot be tracked by scent. If you're a far-range Warlock (think Eldritch Spear), this addresses your one remaining weakness... Somewhat. The other two effects aren't great for the average Warlock, but are useful for scouts. This is a good invocation to grab early instead of late. If you're a scout, keep this for as long as you feel like it; otherwise, trade it out when you get greater invocations and a Ring of Entropic Deflection (MiC, p. 123) stops being cost-prohibitive.
    Leaps and Bounds (CArc, passive): +6 to Balance, Jump and Tumble for 24 hours (at-will). Unfortunately, it doesn't allow you to use the skills untrained, so you're only getting the +6 to Balance and Jump unless you spend cross-class ranks in Tumble. This is better for Rogue-likes and some combat types that dip Warlock, or Melee Warlocks with Able Learner (who are becoming Chameleons).
    Miasmic Cloud (CArc, active): The only reason this isn't red (like Breath of the Night) is because the fatigue is a neat little add-on that makes it unique from a Wand of 1st-level spell, which stacks with other fatigue effects. It also doesn't negatively affect you, so in the low levels, this can be a good way to open up a combat.
    Otherworldly Whispers (CM, passive): Gain a +6 bonus to Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion) and Knowledge (the planes) checks. These are all class skills for you, and knowledge is power in this game (and, in fact, if you have Knowledge Devotion, then knowledge literally does become power); however, it would probably be better if it let you make these checks untrained. Really, the Dragonfire Adept version of this (Draconic Knowledge) is just qualitatively better (so if your DM lets you pick up DFA invocations with Extra Invocation, grab that instead).
    See the Unseen (CArc, passive): You gain darkvision and see invisibility out to 60 feet for 24 hours, at-will. Darkvision is only alright, but the ability to see invisible things becomes crucial at higher levels, when invisible enemies can become a literal death knell for the party. Grab this at level 4 (or swap it in at a later level if you, or someone in your party, has darkvision), as you're not likely to see invisible things in a game before that point anyway. (You can always grab it before this point as a precaution, but it's not strictly necessary before level 4-6.)
    Serpent's Tongue (CM, passive): Gain the scent ability, and +5 to Fort saves vs. poison. Scent is useful if you have the Track feat (but the Track feat isn't good), and is an okay method of perception otherwise. The bonus to Fortitude saves vs. poison is okay, but not remarkable (and Dark One's Own Luck just does it better).
    Soulreaving Aura (CM, active): As the spell Reaving Aura, but you gain temporary HP if you kill something with it. Considering you can only kill something with it if it is already at -9, and the hit points last for 1 round (and are useless unless you're locked in combat with something else at the time of casting), why would you ever cast this in combat, and kill creatures that are no threat to you, wasting a standard action to eliminate things that are? Just coup de grace enemies that need to die after they are dead.
    Spiderwalk (CArc, passive): At-will Spider Climb as the spell (but with a duration of 24 hours), plus immunity to webs. It's another form of movement, and in the low levels, it will keep you safe against a large number of creatures. If you feel it necessary to have, grab it early, but swap it out when you get lesser invocations (such as Fell Flight) that give you more versatile move modes.
    Summon Swarm (CArc, active): At-will Summon Swarm as a spell-like ability, only the duration is Concentration. Is this was Summon Swarm with the listed duration of Concentration + 2 rounds, it would be better, but as-is, you need to spend every standard action to let the swarm take its turn. Pass.
    Swimming the Styx (CM, passive): Grants you a swim speed equal to your movement speed, and the ability to breathe underwater, for 24 hours (usable at-will). Its usefulness is dependent on the campaign: in an aquatic or nautical campaign (ex. Stormwrack), it's anywhere from good to great; in a desert campaign (ex. Sandstorm), it's terrible.
    Last edited by Lonely Tylenol; 2012-08-15 at 09:33 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    ...ah, Summon Swarm is better than that. You don't concentrate on the swarm. You summon a new one every turn, right on the target. It's an area attack that you get to shape. It does a steady drain of damage, doesn't require you to make hit rolls, and can do some useful debuffing if you're lucky (and depending on whether the DM plays the monsters for "doing damage" or "self-preservation"). Obviously, it loses effectiveness very quickly with levels, but for a low-level Warlock it's a very useful offensive power.
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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    Darkness becomes blue or even purple if you're a stealth build using the drow of the underdark feat blend into darkness but you're definately correct on the red rating for anyone who isn't.

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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by Marlowe View Post
    ...ah, Summon Swarm is better than that. You don't concentrate on the swarm. You summon a new one every turn, right on the target. It's an area attack that you get to shape. It does a steady drain of damage, doesn't require you to make hit rolls, and can do some useful debuffing if you're lucky (and depending on whether the DM plays the monsters for "doing damage" or "self-preservation"). Obviously, it loses effectiveness very quickly with levels, but for a low-level Warlock it's a very useful offensive power.
    I know you don't concentrate on the one you have; the problem is, since the duration is only Concentration, the first one vanishes the moment you begin summoning the second. Thus, you have to spend every standard action on your turn in order to get a new swarm, which means that it's not just an attack; if you want to keep it going, it's your only attack form. If it had a duration of Concentration + 2 rounds, you could have multiple swarms, or simply use only one action every three turns while you do other things (which would make it blue, but as-is, you have to trade your standard action in order to force the Fort save vs. nauseated--an even trade, IF they fail. Unfortunately, the save DC is not based on your casting of Summon Swarm, but instead on the creatures summoned, so the DC is 11, and never really improves. Between this, Close range, and the Concentration duration, it's really a mess of an attack form, that is more or less obsolete, in spite of the strengths it does have, by level 3--a full three levels before you can get rid of it. I'd honestly rather have a single-target Will vs. shaken with my save DCs from twice the range, if I needed to have the attack form.

    Perhaps I was too rash--but it's no better than average, even with the advantages it has over Eldritch Blast at low levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malroth View Post
    Darkness becomes blue or even purple if you're a stealth build using the drow of the underdark feat blend into darkness but you're definately correct on the red rating for anyone who isn't.
    Noted; at the beginning of the post, I mention (albeit in an edit) that it is a rough draft, and that I will be looking at these feats soon.
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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    On sniping: the warlock is one of the only classes that can add bonus dmg (as opposed to sneak attack and skirmish) to an attack, and hide thereafter. With quicken you can make 2 attacks (standard action+quicken on high levels) and hide with the move action. Normally this would use ranger or any hips, but you can use greater invis (or whatever the invocation is named) to help hide.

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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    Oh, I agree SS has those faults. It's an ability you can have at first level though, and it has tactical uses in quite a few stuations.

    Anyway, the real point is Thank you for making a post of substance. I'll be chewing over it for a while.
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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    Minor nitpick:

    Beguiling Influence... I would make it black initially and then would say something that with a party face already it is more going red, if you are the party face it becomes Purple.
    The main point of this feat is for social interaction if your Warlock won't be speaking to the npc's it's near worthless (yes even for seduction!).
    As you said the Charm Invoc would be far better.
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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    EDIT: I will be working on the lesser invocations tomorrow. I am beat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marlowe View Post
    Oh, I agree SS has those faults. It's an ability you can have at first level though, and it has tactical uses in quite a few stuations.

    Anyway, the real point is Thank you for making a post of substance. I'll be chewing over it for a while.
    Anytime. I welcome the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krazzman View Post
    Minor nitpick:

    Beguiling Influence... I would make it black initially and then would say something that with a party face already it is more going red, if you are the party face it becomes Purple.
    The main point of this feat is for social interaction if your Warlock won't be speaking to the npc's it's near worthless (yes even for seduction!).
    As you said the Charm Invoc would be far better.
    Unless you're playing a game where only the "face"-type ever talks, this is not likely to ever be true.

    Fact of the matter is, regardless of whether or not you are the dedicated "face" of the group, Beguiling Influence is a good pick: it's +6 to the entire social triumvirate, and every last one of those skills is broken, plus the class has good CHA synergy (if you're building for it). 18 CHA and this invocation mean +10 to the full trio without a single rank invested, and this is a good thing, regardless of whether or not you're the "face" (just like taking options that make you more survivable are always a good thing, whether or not you're the "tank", and don't get me started on tanking in D&D). It can be good for a BFC-focused Warlock or a scout Warlock just as it can be for a face, because it makes you good at something with common applications for minimal investment.

    Out-of-the-box, Beguiling Influence is just good for Warlocks. The reason it's blue across the board and the other skill-boosting invocations aren't (but may be conditionally blue) is because they are options that are not conventionally good: Leaps and Bounds gives you bonuses to two checks you stop using after 5 levels (and one you can't use anyway), All-Seeing Eyes give bonuses to two good skills (but the Warlock can't do much to capitalize on them), and Otherworldly Whispers gives three knowledge skills with no INT synergy and doesn't let you make them untrained. Beguiling Influence lacks this problem unless you specifically build away from it.

    I mean, if you literally *aren't* talking to people in-game, as in Vow of Silence-style not talking, then yes, it's a bad option, just like Eldritch Glaive is bad if you've taken the Vow of Peace, and the Sack of Puppies trick is bad if you're a Paladin of Honor.
    Last edited by Lonely Tylenol; 2012-08-16 at 06:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    Unless you're playing a game where only the "face"-type ever talks, this is not likely to ever be true.
    Even with my Cha 16 Warlock (the highest Cha in the group) I don't do the "Face" things because it doesn't fit the character.

    Out-of-the-box, Beguiling Influence is just good for Warlocks. The reason it's blue across the board and the other skill-boosting invocations aren't (but may be conditionally blue) is because they are options that are not conventionally good: Leaps and Bounds gives you bonuses to two checks you stop using after 5 levels (and one you can't use anyway), All-Seeing Eyes give bonuses to two good skills (but the Warlock can't do much to capitalize on them), and Otherworldly Whispers gives three knowledge skills with no INT synergy and doesn't let you make them untrained. Beguiling Influence lacks this problem unless you specifically build away from it.
    Yeah I know that it is better than those other skill-boosters but my motivation for my nitpick was that it get's a lot better for a face. Since a single Warlock dip as a barde gives you +6 in 3 trained skills and that is something to write home about. It's a solid option (Black) for everyone but get's purple for someone who utilizes all 3 skills... thus ranking it as overall blue.

    Hope that was now clear enough... sometimes my writing skill drops dead...

    EDIT: seriously what did I wrote there?
    Last edited by Krazzman; 2012-08-16 at 07:55 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    The Various Kinds of Warlock:
    There are many possible builds for Warlocks. In this section, we'll discuss the most common builds.
    Blastlock: The blastlock stays ranged. This is the default for warlocks and the worst option when it comes to damage and debuffing. You practically need Hellfire Warlock for this to remain relevant and even with Legacy Champion/Uncanny Trickster abuse it's not a main damage dealer. You can increase your damage output with common Warlock items (Chasuble of Fell Power, Warlock's Scepter) and (Greater) Psionic Shot if your race allows for that. A blastlock probably fits better on very low OP groups, where you coud use your resources for stuff other than damage.
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it's not necessarily true. Use of the Eldritch Theurge PrC (with early entry tricks) lets you add blaster spells to your Eldritch Blast. While individually, the two options are poor, the power to Fireball someone while you Eldritch Blast them from range with an Eldritch Spear with just one Standard action gives the Blastlock some form of credibility. Dip Warmage 1 with Versatile Spellcasting, and get all the blasting spells you need with easy, early entry. Add Practiced spellcaster so that your extra damage is actually worth something, and you can, in fact, to relevant damage as a blaster.
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    Do not forget the Nosomatic Chirurgeon PrC. Lose a single use of a spell-like ability to cast spells opens up a lot of of Prcs etc.

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    Sadly only for bog standard halflings (since racial variants such as strongheart, glimmerskin are forbidden to take dragonmarks), though yeah it is a nice trick and can be very powerful with the correct set up.
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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    My own (ignorant) opinion. I've built many low-level Warlocks and then have the campaign fall apart before I actually get to play them. I have sort of resigned myself now to the apparent fact that the Warlock is my favourite class that it seems I'll never get to play.

    For a starter power, the best picks appear to be Summon Swarm (which yes, you will be switching out soon), Spiderwalk, and Baleful Utterance.

    Spiderwalk gives you movement options that can keep you safe. And many other things to.

    Summon Swarm gives you the ability to hurt and mess (low-level) people over without rolling dice. It has other tactical applications too, but that's the gist.

    And Baleful Utterance lets you break stuff. Sweet. Only as a combat power, it's the only one of these which is stat-dependant. It involves a saving throw, which means it's effected by Charisma. And Charisma, in my (ignorant) opinion, is less important than Dex and Con for Warlocks in general. In a starting character, it may very easily be this power involves too low a save DC to be reliable in combat.

    I'd take Baleful Utterance as my second power without question. For a first level power, I keep thinking that it's a straight choice between the other two. SS for offense, SW for survivability.

    It's quite situational. If you're playing in an urban or forested area, Spiderwalk is better than if you're playing in Orcish Nebraska. If your DM plays his early level opponents as people that would rather try and fix themselves up from continuous damage than fight, then the bleeding from batswarms becomes quite powerful. Whether they pass the save or not.

    And as I said, If I'd gotten more (any) chances to play with the class, I might have a different opinion.
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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by DMofDarkness View Post
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it's not necessarily true. Use of the Eldritch Theurge PrC (with early entry tricks) lets you add blaster spells to your Eldritch Blast. While individually, the two options are poor, the power to Fireball someone while you Eldritch Blast them from range with an Eldritch Spear with just one Standard action gives the Blastlock some form of credibility. Dip Warmage 1 with Versatile Spellcasting, and get all the blasting spells you need with easy, early entry. Add Practiced spellcaster so that your extra damage is actually worth something, and you can, in fact, to relevant damage as a blaster.
    Could you give us on average build with damage calculations? From your description it doesn't sound impressive.

    @LonelyTylenol and Marlowe: Summon Swarm is devastating at first level for a single reason - it's a standard action 1d6 sure damage with an added debuff effect. No attack roll, no save - just plain damage. This is at first level, where everyone is missing half their attacks. You can also use it to block line of sight in a way similar to Wall of Gloom.

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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    With a Sorcerer-heavy build, it wouldn't be tough to throw some Eldritch Chained metamagicked Wings of Flurries around for 70-80d6 damage without going into the Hellfire Warlock's rules abuses. Considering the daze tagalong and force/untyped damage, that's not bad.

    But in that situation, Warlock would hardly be doing the heavy lifting.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-08-16 at 01:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    With a Sorcerer-heavy build, it wouldn't be tough to throw some Eldritch Chained metamagicked Wings of Flurries around for 70-80d6 damage without going into the Hellfire Warlock's rules abuses. Considering the daze tagalong and force/untyped damage, that's not bad.

    But in that situation, Warlock would hardly be doing the heavy lifting.
    Spellblast only has the spell activate on the initial target, so chaining metamagic Wings wouldn't work. Still, it doesn't specify blasting spells, so you can easily drop Waves of Exhaustion, Circle of Death, Greater Fireburst, or Solid Fog onto an Eldritch Blast. Something like a Warlock 2/Warmage 2/Warlock +1/Eldritch Disciple 5/Hellfire Warlock 3/Eldritch Disciple +5/X 2, Versatile Spellcaster at level 3 and Practiced Spellcaster at level 6 would be able to do somewhat respectable damage per hit. At level 8, you can do 11d6 with your Eldritch Blast + a Fireball, which is more than a Glaivelock can do at that level, and you deal damage to everyone in a radius (at the cost of giving everyone a Reflex save to avoid some damage). At 10th level, you can be sending around Orbs of X with a second rider debuff, and after that you get Hellfire damage added to Blasting spells. And after you get Virtrolic Blast, you get to ignore Spell Resistance on any spell that deals damage. The damage is indeed far less than a focused Glaivelock can do, I will admit. However, at the higher levels, the damage does add up. At level 18, for example, you get 7d6 base EB damage + 6d6 Hellfire damage + 15d8 damage from Greater Fireburst. Alternatively, 7d6 base Eldritch Blast damage + 6d6 Hellfire damage + Circle of Death. Possibly with Sneak Attack damage from Martial Study + Martial Stance. More than the Eldritch Assassin build posted earlier, at least.

    Alternatively, Precocious Apprentice Sorcerer 2/Warlock 3/Eldritch Disciple 5/Hellfire Warlock 3/Eldritch Disciple +5/X 2 grants you Divine Companion, a better spell list that can take advantage of Greatreach Blast, Wings of Flurry tacked onto Eldritch Blasts or cast as a Virtrolic Blast spell. Base damage at level 18 from this build would be 16d6 Wings of Flurry damage + 6d6 Hellfire damage + 7d6 Eldritch Blast damage + 2d6 Assassin's Stance Sneak Attack damage. Or using something as silly as Arcane Fusion to combine Wings of Flurry with Burning Hands and Utterdark Blast for save v. 4 negative levels. And, again, any spell that deals damage, even 1d6/round spells, can be made instantly SR: No with Virtrolic Blast. Again, not the sheer damage per round that Glaivelocks can put out, but it can be done at range and has more options available.
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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by DMofDarkness View Post
    Spellblast only has the spell activate on the initial target, so chaining metamagic Wings wouldn't work.
    I may have misphrased that. I mean 8d6 to 9d6 Eldritch Blast damage (chained) + 60d6 to 75d6 from a Twinned Empowered Wings of Flurry (depending on CL) as an area effect + 2 saves v. daze - pretty reliable damage at level 20 that doesn't rely on any big bumps past ECL 10.

    If the spell were chained, it would be much higher.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-08-16 at 03:04 PM.

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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by DMofDarkness View Post
    Spellblast only has the spell activate on the initial target, so chaining metamagic Wings wouldn't work. Still, it doesn't specify blasting spells, so you can easily drop Waves of Exhaustion, Circle of Death, Greater Fireburst, or Solid Fog onto an Eldritch Blast. Something like a Warlock 2/Warmage 2/Warlock +1/Eldritch Disciple 5/Hellfire Warlock 3/Eldritch Disciple +5/X 2, Versatile Spellcaster at level 3 and Practiced Spellcaster at level 6 would be able to do somewhat respectable damage per hit.
    Early entry tricks to be 'respectable'... well, I'll mention this in the Eldritch Theurge (I think that's what you meant instead of Disciple), but I'm not getting excited about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMofDarkness View Post
    At level 8, you can do 11d6 with your Eldritch Blast + a Fireball, which is more than a Glaivelock can do at that level, and you deal damage to everyone in a radius (at the cost of giving everyone a Reflex save to avoid some damage).
    A singleclassed glaivelock with nothing except eldritch glaive is doing 4d6 a hit. 8d6 on two hits. With the barest hint of optimization (better return on chasuble of fell power and warlock's scepter, gauntlet of heartfelt blows, using an essence for extra damage) the glaivelock pulls ahead.
    Quote Originally Posted by DMofDarkness View Post
    At 10th level, you can be sending around Orbs of X with a second rider debuff, and after that you get Hellfire damage added to Blasting spells. And after you get Virtrolic Blast, you get to ignore Spell Resistance on any spell that deals damage.
    Wait - doesn't that ability count as applying an essence?
    Quote Originally Posted by DMofDarkness View Post
    The damage is indeed far less than a focused Glaivelock can do, I will admit. However, at the higher levels, the damage does add up. At level 18, for example, you get 7d6 base EB damage + 6d6 Hellfire damage + 15d8 damage from Greater Fireburst. Alternatively, 7d6 base Eldritch Blast damage + 6d6 Hellfire damage + Circle of Death. Possibly with Sneak Attack damage from Martial Study + Martial Stance. More than the Eldritch Assassin build posted earlier, at least.
    I'll add this build to the Eldritch Theurge sectin, when we actually get to adding one

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Early entry tricks to be 'respectable'... well, I'll mention this in the Eldritch Theurge (I think that's what you meant instead of Disciple), but I'm not getting excited about it.
    Early entry doesn't exactly break the game in the case of Theurge builds. It makes them on par with other builds. Alternatively, if there was a Practiced Invoker feat that advanced Eldritch Blast damage, or the DM lets a Chausible of Fell Power count as a permanent +1d6 Eldritch Blast damage, early entry isn't needed. Besides, you're still paying a price for early entry- either essentially wasting a feat slot on Precocious Apprentice, or consigning yourself to an inferior spell list in the case of Warcaster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    A singleclassed glaivelock with nothing except eldritch glaive is doing 4d6 a hit. 8d6 on two hits. With the barest hint of optimization (better return on chasuble of fell power and warlock's scepter, gauntlet of heartfelt blows, using an essence for extra damage) the glaivelock pulls ahead.
    True. They also need to somehow move into range before doing this damage, nor can they waste groups of foes with it, so it's probably even.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Wait - doesn't that ability count as applying an essence?
    As it turns out, Hellfire Blast isn't an essence. The wording- you can change your Eldritch Blast into a Hellfire blast, and the lack of mentioning the fact that it counts as an essence, means that it isn't an invocation. I mistyped when talking about adding Hellfire- I meant that it's possible to add the Hellfire damage to the Eldritch blast in addition to the blast spell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMofDarkness View Post
    As it turns out, Hellfire Blast isn't an essence. The wording- you can change your Eldritch Blast into a Hellfire blast, and the lack of mentioning the fact that it counts as an essence, means that it isn't an invocation. I mistyped when talking about adding Hellfire- I meant that it's possible to add the Hellfire damage to the Eldritch blast in addition to the blast spell.
    I know Hellfire Blast is not an essence, what I meant is the Eldritch Theurge's ability to add spells to eldritch blasts.

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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    You should note Beaststrike, Eldritch Claws, and Elightened FIst entry for a good option for melee damage.

    Epic Eldritch Theurges should note that one of the Epic warlock feats allow 2 essenses to be applied to a spell.

    DMofDarkness seems tp be covering my opinions on the ET pretty well. +1
    Last edited by Snowbluff; 2012-08-16 at 03:54 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    I know Hellfire Blast is not an essence, what I meant is the Eldritch Theurge's ability to add spells to eldritch blasts.
    The Eldritch Theurge gains this ability through the Spellblast Eldritch Essence learned at third level of the class, so unless other essences can't be applied to a Hellfire blast, I don't see why Spellblast can't...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krazzman View Post
    Even with my Cha 16 Warlock (the highest Cha in the group) I don't do the "Face" things because it doesn't fit the character.
    Yes, but to what extent? When Bobby Sue NPC from MagicMart asks if you want to sign up for the Super Saver discount for BIG $$$ BARGAINS, are you going to look expectantly to the Rogue? What if he's not there?

    Unless you literally have one person who handles every social interaction in your game, chances are the rest of the party will occasionally do some speaking, some of the time. That includes you. That means that, at least on those times, this invocation is useful. That doesn't mean it is a must-grab (it never is; it is merely a good option), or that you absolutely need to fill an invocation slot with it, but unless you have taken a vow of silence, or you're just that guy who never roleplays (or you have a group that does dice less social interaction or just dungeon crawls), this will come up at least occasionally, and it will be useful when it does. You can decide for yourself if that means it's worth an invocation slot--you've decided that it isn't. That's OK. If you *did* pick it, however, it would not likely go wasted.

    Yeah I know that it is better than those other skill-boosters but my motivation for my nitpick was that it get's a lot better for a face. Since a single Warlock dip as a barde gives you +6 in 3 trained skills and that is something to write home about. It's a solid option (Black) for everyone but get's purple for someone who utilizes all 3 skills... thus ranking it as overall blue.
    This invocation is also not purple for a face, because while it is perhaps the most useful invocation a face can have at this level, it's also not strictly necessary: after all, all it does is provide a bonus to your social interaction skills. A good-sized bonus for its level, and it is untyped, so it stacks with all other bonuses--both good qualities--but it isn't a catch-all game-breaker*. A face can still be a good face without it (provided they have good CHA), and have an extra invocation for their trouble, but it's still a good option if you want the extra bonuses.

    *The only time this isn't true is when you can put epic-level skill checks in play well before epic levels. If you can instill Suggestion with your Bluff checks, or turn people into fanatics with Diplomacy, then you basically get the equivalent of Devil's Whispers with a least invocation. Then, it's purple. But this is usually a component of a very specific, narrow build (which dips Warlock and Marshal, then goes Bard, etc. Namely, it's blue, but not purple, for a face, until you get into Epic (PO or TO, depending on level) Diplomancer builds.

    Thus, I rank it as blue because it is good (but not an absolute must-have) for faces, and it is also good (but not an absolute must-have) for non-faces.
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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    I think it deserves special mention that a Warlock is one of two classes that can function reasonably well with all stats being 3. The other is druid, for those interested in knowing.

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    I see your Druid and raise you a Wildshape Variant Ranger!
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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by Novawurmson View Post
    I see your Druid and raise you a Wildshape Variant Ranger!
    I didn't really think of any variant classes, the Warlock and Druid are fresh that way out of the box though.

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    Default Re: The New Warlock Handbook [3.5, WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by DMofDarkness View Post
    The Eldritch Theurge gains this ability through the Spellblast Eldritch Essence learned at third level of the class, so unless other essences can't be applied to a Hellfire blast, I don't see why Spellblast can't...
    So how are you using both this and Vitriolic Blast at the same time? In your post you specifically mentioned using Vitriolic Blast to ignore SR while using this ability.
    Quote Originally Posted by DementedFellow View Post
    I think it deserves special mention that a Warlock is one of two classes that can function reasonably well with all stats being 3. The other is druid, for those interested in knowing.
    You seem to have missed this, but this is already mentioned several times in the handbook as it stands.
    Last edited by ThiagoMartell; 2012-08-16 at 06:43 PM.

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