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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Basically I've been trying to theory-craft a simple way to make a pure/main multiclass warlock more powerful while making them mildly less attractive to multiclass into (though still good). And i've REALLY been wanting to get some feedback on it. Here are the few things I've come up with that together should work.

    1.Hex becomes a power that the warlock obtains at level 2. They can use it as many times equal to their charisma modifier (minimum one) and it only lasts 10 minutes instead of the hour it does now. I'm not sure if it should refresh on a short or long rest...maybe long as i want to give it invocations.

    This should basically solve the early game issues of only having 2 spell slots AND having hex take up one of them. This should make the early game for main warlocks a lot more bearable as now you no longer have to burn HALF your spell slots for a key ability! (seriously you only have 2 slots why have a nigh core ability in the early game take up one of them?)

    2.Agonizing blast is a power the warlock gets for FREE (it's just a ability not a invocation) at level 3 showing alongside his pact that he/she is slowly mastering the dark arts.

    This does something VERY important...it makes getting the very powerful Eldritch blast+agonizing blast combo take one more level to get for multi-classes. This may seem like a small change but changing that to take three levels instead of two should make it a still compelling but more costly sacrifice that is more in line with a LOT of other classes people dip into. (Fighter for maneuvers/action surge, Rogues for Assassin or swashbuckler/skills)


    THE BELOW INVOCATIONS ARE DEFINETLY IN THE "Maybe" CAMP!

    I thought that adding some invocations for hex would be very useful but I think they're a bit too powerful...though you DO now refresh it on long rests instead of short ones.

    -Accursed Smite(level 7 or 9 requirement): Hex no longer needs concentration, however, it now expires at the end of your turn. You cannot take this invocation if you have Accursed shield.

    -Accursed Shield(Level 7 or 9 requirement):You can now cast shield using a Hex slot. If you cast shield this way deal your charisma modifier in force damage to any enemy that attacks you while shield is active. You cannot take this invocation if you have Accursed Smite.

    Basically I think these are both really powerful (which is why you can't have both) but I really wanted to give some more meaningful choices in the invocations like the ones I saw in the UA's!
    Last edited by Prince_Vorrel; 2017-08-13 at 04:33 AM.

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince_Vorrel View Post
    1.Hex becomes a power that the warlock obtains at level 2. They can use it as many times equal to their charisma modifier (minimum one) and it only lasts 10 minutes instead of the hour it does now. I'm not sure if it should refresh on a short or long rest...maybe long as i want to give it invocations.
    If you make Hex it's own ability, I'd go with 2x/Short Rest, which should be good for it's combat use, however, I'd not like this change as I really appreciate the use of Hex out of combat so the nerf to duration would be disappointing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince_Vorrel View Post
    2.Agonizing blast is a power the warlock gets for FREE (it's just a ability not a invocation) at level 3 showing alongside his pact that he/she is slowly mastering the dark arts.
    This is fine. You're essentially just granting a free invocation at level 3 to help deal with the Warlock's invocation tax.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince_Vorrel View Post
    -Accursed Smite(level 7 or 9 requirement): Hex no longer needs concentration, however, it now expires at the end of your turn. You cannot take this invocation if you have Accursed shield.

    -Accursed Shield(Level 7 or 9 requirement):You can now cast shield using a Hex slot. If you cast shield this way deal your charisma modifier in force damage to any enemy that attacks you while shield is active. You cannot take this invocation if you have Accursed Smite.
    Accursed Smite: A round of +3.5 dam per hit isn't nothing but I'd be fine just choosing to not use Hex while concentrating on something else. Plus I like the limitations Concentration imposes; Darkness + DS doesn't need more damage added on top of Advantage. I'd not mess with Concentration as a general rule to maintaining balance.

    Accursed Shield: I'd just make this invocation like the other Spell invocations. Otherwise, it seems like you're just trying to add spell slots to the Warlock chassis by making some spells not use slots. I'd word it something like this: "You can cast Shield using a Warlock Spell Slot. When you cast Shield in this way, deal your Charisma modifier in force damage to any enemy that attacks you while Shield is active. You can't cast Shield again using this invocation until you finish a long rest.

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince_Vorrel View Post
    Basically I've been trying to theory-craft a simple way to make a pure/main multiclass warlock more powerful
    Why? Warlocks are already plenty powerful. Anything giving them Hex and Agonizing Blast for 'free' is WAY out of line.

    While typing this, it occurs to me the best adjustment you can make to 'fix' the Warlock is make Agonizing Blast cost two invocations instead of just one. It's that powerful compared to other invocations.

    But Hex is a well balanced spell. It's not required by 'locks to make them viable as a class, certainly not as a 'free' ability. And other spells compete with it quite handily in terms of balance.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2017-08-13 at 10:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    In my opinion, the problem with dipping warlock for EB is not that you almost immediately get to add AB to it.

    The real problem is that EB scales with total character level. It is like you could dip into one level or two of fighter and get the full benefit of Extra Attack when your character reaches 5th, 11th and 20th 17th level.

    Turning EB into a class feature, perhaps with the option of learning a cantrip in its place, would change almost nothing for single-classed warlocks, while making the dip less attractive.

    Or just merge EB and AB into one invocation, if you don't mind leaving room for one more cantrip.

    What becomes of EB in your idea anyway? It would be odd getting AB as a feature if you are one of the blastless warlocks.

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    I didn't bother grabbing Hex until level 5 on my Warlock and didn't regret it at all. It just doesn't feel like it's worth it until one casting lasts more or less all day provided you stay out of the front line.

    If we're trying to make Warlock less of a dip-bait class, you could do the following:

    Agonizing Blast becomes Agony. It's description is changed as follows:
    Agony: Your cantrips deal bonus damage equal to your Charisma modifier. This damage is increased to twice your Charisma modifier at Warlock level 5, three times at Warlock level 11, and four times at Warlock level 17. This bonus damage is split evenly between Eldritch Blast's rays.

    There you go. Can't just dip two levels for the full benefit anymore AND the other damaging cantrips become way more attractive.
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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Like others said, making EB a class feature rather than a cantrip, so that it scales with warlock level, makes the dip less attractive. If you want to tack the agonizing invocation onto that, you'll have given warlocks +1 cantrip and +1 invocation. That's not necessarily a bad thing. As is, warlocks in general are far less varied than they should be.

    Hex is fine how it is. At low levels, it's a trap option. Most players don't realize how much more useful those spell slots are when saved for bigger issues. For example, at level 5, would you rather cast Hex on one target or fireball on four?
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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    For example, at level 5, would you rather cast Hex on one target or fireball on four?
    That would depend on my expectations regarding Hex jumping from target to target.

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    That would depend on my expectations regarding Hex jumping from target to target.
    Fireball does 8D6, meaning that against four targets you're looking at 32D6 damage, half on a save, so let's assume half failures and say 24D6. For Hex to do that much damage at level 5 (spell level 3), you'd have to get 24 hits in 8 hours. At a maximum of two hits per turn at that level, and considering concentration can break, and considering you might need to concentrate on something else...well, call me skeptical.

    On the other hand, if you have an extra spell slot at the beginning of a short rest, you can Hex yourself and maintain it throughout, then apply it in the next combat without losing anything. That's a good use.
    Last edited by Easy_Lee; 2017-08-13 at 12:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Try this for AB
    You add you Cha modifier, to a max of your War level.

    It has almost zero change to most warlocks, but means a 2lvl dip in warlock gets only +2 damage

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quick fix, you only get the increases to the number of attacks with Eldritch Spam (Blast) based on warlock levels not total character levels
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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Fireball does 8D6, meaning that against four targets you're looking at 32D6 damage, half on a save, so let's assume half failures and say 24D6. For Hex to do that much damage at level 5 (spell level 3), you'd have to get 24 hits in 8 hours. At a maximum of two hits per turn at that level, and considering concentration can break, and considering you might need to concentrate on something else...well, call me skeptical.
    That's pretty convincing.

    On the other hand, if you have an extra spell slot at the beginning of a short rest, you can Hex yourself and maintain it throughout, then apply it in the next combat without losing anything. That's a good use.
    Seeing how the target has to die, or close enough, before the curse can be transferred to a new target, that just doesn't work.

    But you can maintain Hex between two combats, yes. It doesn't have to be on a creature then.
    Last edited by Millstone85; 2017-08-13 at 01:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    Seeing how the target has to die, or close enough, before the curse can be transferred to a new target, that just doesn't work.
    Ah, I thought Hex could transfer with a bonus action before the target died. That makes the spell quite a bit less useful. Casting it on a bug or something you can quickly kill feels gamey, but I guess that's the way to go.
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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Ah, I thought Hex could transfer with a bonus action before the target died. That makes the spell quite a bit less useful. Casting it on a bug or something you can quickly kill feels gamey, but I guess that's the way to go.
    It is reminiscent of a certain bag or rats. But I don't think it is actually that much of an exploit. And you do not have to carry the creature, just kill it before a short rest.

    Plus, if any class is going to regularly sacrifice an animal for a magical purpose, it is the warlock.

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    It is reminiscent of a certain bag or rats. But I don't think it is actually that much of an exploit. And you do not have to carry the creature, just kill it before a short rest.

    Plus, if any class is going to regularly sacrifice an animal for a magical purpose, it is the warlock.
    It's more of an exploit if you are a fiend warlock and the bag of critters you carry are "hostile creatures." I agree it's valid by the rules, it's just the kind of thing that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Fireball does 8D6, meaning that against four targets you're looking at 32D6 damage, half on a save, so let's assume half failures and say 24D6. For Hex to do that much damage at level 5 (spell level 3), you'd have to get 24 hits in 8 hours. At a maximum of two hits per turn at that level, and considering concentration can break, and considering you might need to concentrate on something else...well, call me skeptical.

    On the other hand, if you have an extra spell slot at the beginning of a short rest, you can Hex yourself and maintain it throughout, then apply it in the next combat without losing anything. That's a good use.
    Sure, but all this is saying is Fireball is a good damage Spell against multiple targets, which I think we all already know.

    If your point is: "don't ever use a Warlock slot on Hex because you may at some point face 4 or more targets together," I'd counter with 8 hours of Hex allows you to fireball away, and do an extra d6 of damage every non-fireball round of combat, which will add up.

    Granted Hex uses Concentration but that's why you're staying in the back.

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Why? Warlocks are already plenty powerful. Anything giving them Hex and Agonizing Blast for 'free' is WAY out of line.

    While typing this, it occurs to me the best adjustment you can make to 'fix' the Warlock is make Agonizing Blast cost two invocations instead of just one. It's that powerful compared to other invocations.

    But Hex is a well balanced spell. It's not required by 'locks to make them viable as a class, certainly not as a 'free' ability. And other spells compete with it quite handily in terms of balance.
    I kind of agree with this. Warlocks could use some tweaking, sure. There's a lot of awkward in the class design, and a lot of homogeneity between builds. But "power?" No. Power is not something they need. Elegance, yes. Variety, yes. I can almost see granting them EB/AB/Hex for free on those grounds alone. But there should probably be some sort of tweaking to keep balance more in line if you do.
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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I kind of agree with this. Warlocks could use some tweaking, sure. There's a lot of awkward in the class design, and a lot of homogeneity between builds. But "power?" No. Power is not something they need. Elegance, yes. Variety, yes. I can almost see granting them EB/AB/Hex for free on those grounds alone. But there should probably be some sort of tweaking to keep balance more in line if you do.
    Right. I happen to be okay with the elegance and variety of the class myself. But I got no beef with people that take issue with what they see as a lack of elegance or variety or whatever. Provided they recognize that the 'lock is quite well balanced as is, seeing the difference between powering up unnecessarily and changing it to work in a way they find more elegant.

    There are several good suggestions for doing exactly that in this thread, IMO. Conversely there are some that work well for other reasons. I mean, giving all 'locks EB, one less cantrip, and scaling it by class level would reduce variety. But it'd certainly cement what's already viewed as a core ability while reducing multi class 'dip' viability. If that's a goal.

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Just leave the +Cha damage as a class feature, but make the scaling part of AB a level 5 invocation.

    I wonder if hex could work once per turn like SA... or BB...
    Last edited by bid; 2017-08-15 at 12:06 AM.
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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    It's more of an exploit if you are a fiend warlock and the bag of critters you carry are "hostile creatures." I agree it's valid by the rules, it's just the kind of thing that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
    For combat purposes there is no need for trying to have HEX maintained on a bug. The transfer part of the spell reads:
    If the target drops to 0 hit points before this spell ends, you can use a bonus action on a subsequent turn of yours to curse a new target.
    So if the target of HEX is killed and combat ends before your turn, you just maintain concentration. Your first turn in the next combat is a subsequent turn of yours and you curse a new target.

    As for fixing the Warlock dipping problem, i agree with other in just making AB a class feature in some way.

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    So long as EB is restricted to spellcaster level (to prevent these buffs be used by dippers effectively or your player from dropping further Warlock levels) then these changes should be fine.


    Warlocks suffer from two main problems:

    1. Too many different features altogether, all of which compete against each other (I assume the designers didn't want to cut any one cause they were all so cool, when they really should have).

    2. The assumption of a bare minimum of 2+ short rests and 6+ encounters (of any type) per day. e.g. the game intends and was explicitly balanced around the warlock having 3x there slots per day as a minimum and more importantly expects enough encounters to tax other casters of most of there spells. This however rarely works out in reality unless you're specifically doing a dungeon crawl, ~1 short rest and 3-4ish encounters is the normal average I've seen (both in my games and others I've seen like CR) which leaves other casters with huge excess of spell slots per encounter while reducing the total number of spells the warlock has.


    Hex as not a spell works good because of problem 2, odds are your warlock will rarely get his expected 6+ spells per day.

    And AB is fine as a feature because of it's invocation tax nature. A lot of invocations aren't that strong and as result you can never afford to take them.



    An alternate solution for invocations is marking all the weaker invocations as "minor" invocations and allowing the player to select two of these in place of one normal invocation.

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    Default Re: Agonizing blast baseline + Hex not a spell = Better Warlock?

    I like a lot of the ideas in this thread.

    Agonizing Blast
    Yeah. Make it a class feature (excellent idea), but maybe don't give full +Cha at level 3, because Cha will increase with levels in other classes. Instead just give +2 at level 3, +4 at level 8, and +6 at level 14. That means you can benefit from a dip, but you can't compete with a full Warlock in their own strength from just a dip.

    Eldritch Blast
    I love the idea of making OTHER cantrips also sever their damage into multiple attacks. This could be a level 5 Warlock ability. This also makes Warlock cantrip choice a lot more tactically interesting -- if you can sever Fire Bolt into multiple Fire damage attacks, that's great against a Fire-vulnerable monster.

    Hex
    Maybe something like...
    - At 1st level, a Warlock can cast Hex as a standard action without expending a spell slot. Hex lasts for 1 minute. Period, full stop. It's at-will but costs an action.
    - At 6th level, a Warlock can cast Hex as a Minor action without expending a spell slot. Hex still lasts for 1 minute. It's at-will but the action cost is lowered.

    Invocations
    A bunch of these could be consolidated & given non-combat uses. A bunch of the terrible ones (e.g. "cast Bane once", no thanks) can be augmented. Some specific ideas:

    Ascendant Step
    - You learn the Jump spell.
    - If you have at least 3 Warlock levels, you also learn the Levitate spell.
    - If you have at least 5 Warlock levels, you can use the Jump spell on yourself without expending a spell slot or any components.
    - If you have at least 9 Warlock levels, you can use the Levitate spell on yourself without expending a spell slot or any components.
    - If you have at least 12 Warlock levels, you can fly.

    Armor of Shadows
    - You learn the spells Mage Armor and Shield.
    - If you have at least 3 Warlock levels, you can use the Mage Armor spell on yourself without expending a spell slot or any components.
    - If you have at least 5 Warlock levels, when you are in an area of dim light or darkness, you can use your action to become invisible until you move or take an action or a reaction.
    - If you have at least 9 Warlock levels, you can use Shield without expending a spell slot or any components. You can cast Shield using this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Charisma bonus. All uses of this feature are refreshed when you complete a short rest or a long rest.

    Mask of Myriad Faces
    - You learn the spell Disguise Self.
    - If you have at least 3 Warlock levels, you also learn the spell Alter Self.
    - If you have at least 5 Warlock levels, you can use the Disguise Self spell on yourself without expending a spell slot or any components.
    - If you have at least 9 Warlock levels, you also the spell Polymorph.
    - If you have at least 12 Warlock levels, you can use the spell Alter Self on yourself without expending a spell slot or any components.

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