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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Steampunkette's Avatar

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    Default Warlock Necromancy

    One of the largest flaws I feel that 5e has is that it's minionmancy, specifically as a regards Necromancy, is that it's very limited in structure and feels very samey. There's also the issue that Warlocks, the class with the most "Dark" concept bound up in it, has no access to any of it.

    So, to rectify these issues while preserving Action Economy, I created this spell:


    Create Skeletons
    1st Level Necromancy
    Casting Time: 1 action
    Range: Personal.
    Components: V, S, M (A handful of teeth or bone fragments)
    Duration: 10 Minutes

    As part of the casting of this spell, choose 1d4+1 squares within 20 feet of yourself. Some of the material components land in those squares, and grow into medium sized skeletons. These skeletons do not follow the standard rules of NPCs, however.

    Instead, these skeletons take up a space, and can make opportunity attacks against creatures that attempt to move past them, if you expend your reaction. They can also perform menial labor. As an action, you can force one of the skeletons to make an attack. By expending your movement, you can move all of them up to 15ft, each, following normal rules for difficult terrain.

    Skeletons created in this way use your charisma modifier to attack and damage, rather than their own strength or dexterity modifier, and when the duration of the spell ends they collapse into bone-dust.

    At Higher Levels: When cast as a 2nd level or higher spell, increase the number of skeletons summoned by a number equal to your charisma modifier.

    When cast at 3rd level or higher, you may form the skeletons you have summoned into a wall a number of squares wide equal to the number of skeletons summoned. This wall radiates terror, and any creature within 10ft of the wall must make a Will save or be frightened for 1 minute. While in this form, combine the hit points of all of the skeletons to determine the hp of the wall, which has a damage threshold of 8.

    When cast at 4th level or higher, you may choose to maintain concentration on this spell. If you do so, you can expend a bonus action on your turn to cause one of the skeletons to shatter and explode in a shower of shards. Targets within 10ft of the skeleton must make a Dexterity Save or take 2d10 piercing damage and necrotic damage equal to your Charisma modifier. On a successful save they take half damage.

    When cast at 5th level, skeletons created by this spell deal double damage on a hit and you can direct a skeleton to attack as a bonus action
    With the intent of the spell being unavailable outside of a Pact Ability granted by an Undead Patron...

    Thoughts?
    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    Not everyone has the resources or the ability to become a wizard or a sorcerer, after all. Warlocking just requires a pact, very democratic, really. Doesn't require wealth or a magical lineage, just a promise, and all of your problems will go away.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Warlock Necromancy

    First of all a question - by being available via a pact ability, do you mean it is a spell on the patron's list or do you mean it comes from something like an invocation only available to the patron once per long rest? Or is it an additional spell as a level 1 ability instead of GOO telepathy or fiend temp HP?

    As a raw spell it is powerful. It isn't a universally powerful spell but it should be common enough that you face melee enemies that need to get past some kind of space in front of you. This tends (I find) to be especially common at low levels. d4+1 is not enough to reliably make a wall but it is enough to shut down areas of the battlefield.

    At level 2 the spell takes a bit of a spike, and this is where I think the problem is. An 18 in Charisma at this level would be common for d4+5 skeletons. Now THIS is enough to act as a wall - minimum 30ft long. This is early level to have a wall spell, especially one without concentration.

    At 3rd level it is a fear spell (already good) but with bonus damage attached. With d4+5 skeletons you can practically cover the area of a fear spell. Not quite sure what the "damage threshold of 8" means? Add to this no concentration and it is a bit obscene.

    At 4th level it isn't clear how this interacts with being a wall. Does the explosion damage other wall sections? At this stage the bonuses are getting more reasonable - a bit of damage and a fun explosion mechanic seem fine.

    At 5th level? Well a wall of skeletons is less of an issue. YOu should be facing more regular AoE, flyers etc.. At this level it is still fine but loses some of it's shine.


    Generally I think it is ok at high levels but I think level 3 slots and below have it being a bit powerful for the level at which it happens. The warlock can kind of get away with having powerful spells so long as they compete for concentration. The long(ish) duration coupled with no concentration makes this really powerful at low levels.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Warlock Necromancy

    This may be a question of personal preference, but I have trouble with how well this spell scales. I don't think that a 1st level spell should upcast so well that it's as good as casting a spell of the slot's level, even when it's a Warlock spell.

    Basically, what reason would a Warlock ever have to exchange this spell for another one? Why wouldn't every Warlock pick it and then cast it in basically every combat for the rest of their adventuring career?

    I'd be much happier with it if it were broken up into two or three spells which scaled independently without gaining new features. As written I think it makes a reasonable 1/day invocation.
    Last edited by Flashy; 2017-05-15 at 06:53 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: Warlock Necromancy

    Quote Originally Posted by Flashy View Post
    This may be a question of personal preference, but I have trouble with how well this spell scales. I don't think that a 1st level spell should upcast so well that it's as good as casting a spell of the slot's level, even when it's a Warlock spell.

    Basically, what reason would a Warlock ever have to exchange this spell for another one? Why wouldn't every Warlock pick it and then cast it in basically every combat for the rest of their adventuring career?

    I'd be much happier with it if it were broken up into two or three spells which scaled independently without gaining new features. As written I think it makes a reasonable 1/day invocation.
    Op does say it'll be gated behind a specific patron and only be available as an invocation-granted spell, so you're spot on on the plan for it. I have to agree about the scaling thing - while I'd love for scaling spells to not fall off, all the existing ones do, so while it's annoying, a spell like this is too strong comparatively. Making it a long-rest rather than short rest and having it take an invocation ought to balance it somewhat.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Warlock Necromancy

    This is a fascinating idea and I will begin my experiments with it when time permits.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Warlock Necromancy

    Some kind of invocation that allowed warlocks to pursue big end of town necromancy would be cool. People would shout to the heavens that it wasn't balanced, but meh, a level 15 innvocation which gave access to create undead- and that reached a level 9 create undead by level 18- would be fine IMHO and lots of fun.

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