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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Warlock Patron: The Eternal Drake

    This is my first attempt at creating a Warlock option that approximates the feel and abilities of the 3.5 base class Dragonfire Adept (Dragon Magic). As a first draft, it's as much brainstorm as it is proposal, and I fully expect changes of both power and flavor before I'm done with it. Your recommendations are much appreciated.

    I've pieced this together from elements of the 3.5 class and the descriptions of dragons from the 5e monster manual, as well as my own attempts to account for the fact that this warlock must operate at a closer combat range than your average warlock. The result seems pretty defensively focused and, to my eyes, a little underpowered compared to the PHB patrons. I guess I'm counting on the common warlock abilities to provide more offensive and arcane versatility.

    In addition to the basic patron information, I've included a new cantrip which replaces Eldritch Blast for warlocks with this patron and three new invocations (two of which are specific to the Eternal Drake, and one of which could be available to any warlock).

    Any and all constructive suggestions are welcome.

    Spoiler: Warlock Patron: The Eternal Drake
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    The Eternal Drake

    You have forged your pact with a draconic entity of great power, possibly a servant of the dragon gods Bahamut or Tiamat, or a wyrm so aged and powerful that its might approaches that of a demigod.

    Eternal Drake Expanded Spells
    The Eternal Drake lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

    1st - Alarm, Burning Hands`
    2nd - Darkvision, Scorching Ray
    3rd - Fireball, Protection from Energy
    4th - Polymorph, Wall of Fire
    5th - Dominate Person, Flame Strike

    Dragon's Tongue
    Remove the Eldritch Blast cantrip from your class spell list, and add the Breath of Fire cantrip. Add Draconic to your list of languages known.

    Dragonscale Defense
    While you are not wearing any armor, your Armor Class equals 13 + your Dexterity modifier. If you are proficient with shields, you can use a shield and still gain this benefit.

    Dragonkin
    Starting at 6th level, you have advantage on Charisma (Persuasion) and Wisdom (Insight) rolls to communicate with creatures of the dragon type, as well as Wisdom saves to resist a dragon's Frightful Presence ability.

    Draconic Resistance
    Starting at 10th level, if you fail a saving throw, you can choose to succeed instead. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.

    Fireproof
    Starting at 14th level, you gain immunity to Fire damage.


    Spoiler: Breath of Fire cantrip
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    Breath of Fire
    Evocation cantrip

    Casting Time: 1 action
    Range: Self (15' cone)
    Components: V, S
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You exhale a gout of draconic flame. Each creature in a 15-foot cone must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 1d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

    The spell's damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6). In addition, at 11th level the spell's area of effect increases to Self (30-foot cone).


    Spoiler: New Eldritch Invocations
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    Draconic Breath
    Prerequisite: breath of fire cantrip
    When you select this invocation, choose one of the following damage types: acid, cold, lightning, or poison. When you cast breath of fire, you may choose to deal damage of the chosen type instead of fire damage.

    Draconic Immunity
    Prerequisite: 15th level, draconic breath invocation
    Gain immunity to the damage type that you have selected for the draconic breath invocation.

    Eldritch Wings
    Prerequisite: 12th level
    You sprout wings and gain a flying speed equal to twice your land speed. To use this speed you can't be wearing medium or heavy armor.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: Warlock Patron: The Eternal Drake

    Alright, a warlock patron! These are always fun as hell to review.

    Expanded Spells
    Alarm's a weird choice, but I can totally imagine a warlock using it to protect a hoard, so I'm down with it. Burning hands is a good choice.
    Darkvision is very meh, since Devil's Sight exists. If you're willing to use Xanathar's spells, the Dragon's Breath spell would be perfect for this patron. Scorching ray's fine, though.
    Everything but Flame Strike seems fine, for the rest. I get that Fiend gets Flame Strike (hell it gets like half the spells here), but it didn't fit Fiend much, and I think it actually fits this patron even less. Fiend you could try and play it off as something like a fallen angel (even though we have the Celestial now), but I don't think you can really do that, here. Immolation (from EE and also Xanathar's) would work better, imo.

    Dragon's Tongue
    The fact it removes Eldritch Blast makes this patron really bad, and kinda restricting in that you can't use it. It's fine to give it an exclusive cantrip and make it have invocations for it, hell, I love it when that's done. But you shouldn't remove the cantrip that is so integral to the class that it's basically the only spell it gets that's unique (barring hex, which, by the way, works great with eldritch blast).

    Dragonscale Defense
    Nothing wrong here.

    Dragonkin
    Decent, but it's really specific, and not even helping a very big amount. If you want to make it still only be against dragons for benefits, maybe have advantage on saves against Breath Weapon? That might make it too good dependent on the campaign, but it's better than how it currently is.

    Draconic Resistance
    I get that this is a dragon patron, but it really bugs me when every feature in a subclass says 'dragon' or 'draconic' if it's a dragon. Since this is based on Legendary Resistance, why not call it that?
    Aside from that nitpick, though, the feature's pretty good.

    Fireproof
    This is probably fine, though typically 14th level warlock features tend to be more offense based than defensive, I suppose it works? I'd personally have made it a breath weapon, though.

    Breath of Fire Cantrip
    Cantrips don't really deal half damage on a successful save. Compare this to acid splash, which has the same damage, can affect less creatures, and is only a slightly better damage type. Hell, for a cantrip, the range is really big, but since the damage is low it should be fine. It's still worse than EB, which, since it's removed, makes this warlock really weak offensively.

    Invocations
    Draconic Breath
    I like this invocation, it's good!
    Draconic Immunity
    One immunity is skeptical, balance-wise. Two is definitely too much. Especially on an invocation, which, while powerful, shouldn't be this good. Maybe resistance?
    Eldritch Wings
    Compare this to draconic sorc's wings, which it gets 2 levels later, is a full class feature instead of a feat-esque thing, and is only your land speed. It is, admittedly, unrestricted by armor (if properly made for the wings), but you're a warlock. Most warlocks that aren't bladelocks will only have light armor. Personally, I wouldn't give it flight as an invocation due to how strong that is, but if you do keep it, maybe just lower it to your base walking speed.
    Last edited by Blackbando; 2018-01-03 at 05:12 PM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Warlock Patron: The Eternal Drake

    I second the idea of not replacing Eldritch Blast but instead granting a Breath Weapon. How about the following;

    Dragon's Breath
    Beginning at 1st level, you can channel the Arcane power granted by your patron into a powerful breath weapon. As an action you breathe a 15ft cone of fire that deals 1d6 damge, or half on a successful dex save. The base damage increases with your class levels, at 5th (2d6), 11th (3d6), and 17th (4d6).

    Invocations
    Ruinious Breath
    As part of the action for using your Dragon's Breath class feature, you may expend a spell slot of any level. This increases the damage dealt by 2d6 per level of the expended spell slot as well as increases the area of effect by 5ft per level (to a maximum of a 60ft cone with a 9th level slot).
    Last edited by SkipSandwich; 2018-01-03 at 07:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Warlock Patron: The Eternal Drake

    Thank you both for your thoughts. You've given me a lot to consider, and I can already see some changes I could make to improve things. I hope you don't mind if I respond to a few points specifically.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbando View Post
    Alarm's a weird choice, but I can totally imagine a warlock using it to protect a hoard, so I'm down with it.
    That's exactly what I had in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbando View Post
    Everything but Flame Strike seems fine, for the rest. I get that Fiend gets Flame Strike (hell it gets like half the spells here), but it didn't fit Fiend much, and I think it actually fits this patron even less. Fiend you could try and play it off as something like a fallen angel (even though we have the Celestial now), but I don't think you can really do that, here. Immolation (from EE and also Xanathar's) would work better, imo.
    Very fair point. I had some of the same qualms, and I agree immolation is a better choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbando View Post
    Dragon's Tongue
    The fact it removes Eldritch Blast makes this patron really bad, and kinda restricting in that you can't use it. It's fine to give it an exclusive cantrip and make it have invocations for it, hell, I love it when that's done. But you shouldn't remove the cantrip that is so integral to the class that it's basically the only spell it gets that's unique (barring hex, which, by the way, works great with eldritch blast).
    I hear what you're saying. My very deliberate goal here is not to create just another cantrip, but to make something that is as good as Eldritch Blast and serves the same essential function, but is different. A variant signature ability. So approaching it from that perspective, it feels like I'm getting some mixed messages about whether it's too powerful or not powerful enough-- too good to be a cantrip, but not good enough to replace eldritch blast. Do you have any suggestions how I could make it powerful enough to be a viable alternative to eldritch blast, without moving it out of that cantrip territory? Maybe more proprietary invocations to add some versatility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbando View Post
    Dragonkin
    Decent, but it's really specific, and not even helping a very big amount. If you want to make it still only be against dragons for benefits, maybe have advantage on saves against Breath Weapon? That might make it too good dependent on the campaign, but it's better than how it currently is.
    I've been considering using the alternative "Starting at 6th level, you gain proficiency in Insight and Persuasion, and your proficiency bonus is doubled when dealing with creatures of the dragon type." I think this would make the ability more generally useful, plus it accounts for the fact that neither ability is technically on the Warlock list. Maybe advantage on Wisdom saves against dragons' spells and abilities would be sufficiently more powerful, too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbando View Post
    Draconic Resistance
    I get that this is a dragon patron, but it really bugs me when every feature in a subclass says 'dragon' or 'draconic' if it's a dragon. Since this is based on Legendary Resistance, why not call it that?
    Aside from that nitpick, though, the feature's pretty good.
    Yeahhhhh, I had the same thought. I don't think Legendary Resistance is quite right, because the character isn't legendary yet, and they only get to use it once to the dragon's three times. But I'll keep looking for ways to tone down the avalanche of dragons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbando View Post
    Draconic Immunity
    One immunity is skeptical, balance-wise. Two is definitely too much. Especially on an invocation, which, while powerful, shouldn't be this good. Maybe resistance?
    I didn't think it would be so bad, what with there being a dozen different damage types now, but I'll take your word for it that this is too powerful for an invocation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbando View Post
    Eldritch Wings
    Compare this to draconic sorc's wings, which it gets 2 levels later, is a full class feature instead of a feat-esque thing, and is only your land speed. It is, admittedly, unrestricted by armor (if properly made for the wings), but you're a warlock. Most warlocks that aren't bladelocks will only have light armor. Personally, I wouldn't give it flight as an invocation due to how strong that is, but if you do keep it, maybe just lower it to your base walking speed.
    I have to admit, I really want this to work. I want Warlocks to be able to grow wings. Not just dragon-warlocks, but fiend-warlocks and fey-warlocks too! The double land speed thing was a last-minute addition because I saw warlocks get Fly as a third-level spell, and I didn't want this to be redundant. I'm happy to drop it back down to land speed and maybe increase the minimum level to 15? Would that work better?

    Quote Originally Posted by SkipSandwich View Post
    Dragon's Breath
    Beginning at 1st level, you can channel the Arcane power granted by your patron into a powerful breath weapon. As an action you breathe a 15ft cone of fire that deals 1d6 damge, or half on a successful dex save. The base damage increases with your class levels, at 5th (2d6), 11th (3d6), and 17th (4d6).

    Invocations
    Ruinious Breath
    As part of the action for using your Dragon's Breath class feature, you may expend a spell slot of any level. This increases the damage dealt by 2d6 per level of the expended spell slot as well as increases the area of effect by 5ft per level (to a maximum of a 60ft cone with a 9th level slot).
    These are great! I'm still going to try and make the cantrip thing work before I give up on it, but this is now my official backup plan.
    Last edited by Blackjackg; 2018-01-03 at 09:44 PM.
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    Optional rules I'm working on (please contact me if you have ideas for developing them!):
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Warlock Patron: The Eternal Drake

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post

    Eternal Drake Expanded Spells
    The Eternal Drake lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

    1st - Alarm, Burning Hands`
    2nd - Darkvision, Scorching Ray
    3rd - Fireball, Protection from Energy
    4th - Polymorph, Wall of Fire
    5th - Dominate Person, Flame Strike
    Your spell list is rather strange to me. Some of the spells here make sense, but a lot of them do not seem thematically appropriate and kind of strange. Here is what I would recommend you change about it.

    1st: Burning hands is cool, but alarm is a rather odd choice. I can see why you added it in, but I think you could do better. I would replace it with either feather fall (it is the closest you will come to flying with a 1st level spell), disguise self (many mythological dragons were said to have the capability to shape shift and appear in human form), fog cloud (just reflavor it so that instead of you conjuring a fog cloud, it is actually a steam of smoke summoned by your dragon breath), or unseen servant (what, your part dragon, what self respecting dragon does the menial labor for themselves?). I would personally choose fog cloud, but that is just my opinion.

    2nd: scorching ray seems about right, but where did darkvision come from? I would replace darkvision with either alter self (you grow the claws/maw of a dragon), arcane lock (could be useful for defending your hoard), flaming sphere (a moving fireball seems like something a dragon would want in their arsenal), gust of wind (this could resemble you causing an affect not unlike a dragon beating its wing), or locate object (To find that item you needed to add to your hoard). If you ask me, i would tell you to go with gust of wind, but flaming sphere is also a good choice.

    3rd: fireball is a must have, but I am a little skeptical about protection from energy. I would replace it with either fear (reflavored as something close to a dragon's frightful presence), fly (dragons can fly, so should you), glyph of warding (useful if you wish to protect your hoard). Fly seems like the best option for me, but protection from energy isn't the worst choice

    4th: wall of fire makes sense, and polymorph is not the worst of all choices, but you could do better. Fire shield is the first one that comes to mind, but private sanctum and secret chest could be useful for defending your hoard. I would replace polymorph with fire shield

    5th: dominate person seems fine, but I think you would have trouble explaining how flame strikes manifests. I would replace that with cloudkill (green dragons gain a similar ability IIRC), or even conjure elementals (dragons are heavily related to the elements) if you are desperate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    Dragon's Tongue
    Remove the Eldritch Blast cantrip from your class spell list, and add the Breath of Fire cantrip. Add Draconic to your list of languages known.
    It seems entirely unnecessary to remove eldritch blast as a whole. Can't you simply add the breathe of fire cantrip without removing eldritch blast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    Dragonkin
    Starting at 6th level, you have advantage on Charisma (Persuasion) and Wisdom (Insight) rolls to communicate with creatures of the dragon type, as well as Wisdom saves to resist a dragon's Frightful Presence ability.
    This is on of the most situational abilities I have ever seen. It seems way to specific to me. You should really abandon this feature or work to create something a little less niche. Perhaps granting proficiency in persuasion and insight, but your are considered to have expertise in it when communicating with dragons? What could also work is maybe you could steal something like nature's ward or nature's sanctuary from circle of the land druids.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    Fireproof
    Starting at 14th level, you gain immunity to Fire damage.
    I have got too admit, that is a really lack-luster feature for level 14. I would recommend giving them something a little more dramatic than that. Some limited flight, something that lets you strengthen a casting of breath of fire with sorcery points, some aura of fear, etc. I would probably steal something straight from a dragon's stat block if i were you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    [SPOILER=Breath of Fire cantrip]Breath of Fire
    Evocation cantrip

    Casting Time: 1 action
    Range: Self (15' cone)
    Components: V, S
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You exhale a gout of draconic flame. Each creature in a 15-foot cone must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 1d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

    The spell's damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6). In addition, at 11th level the spell's area of effect increases to Self (30-foot cone).
    This is a really underpowered spell. Sure it can attack a decent amount of enemies, but it does terrible damage and has an intensely low range. I would not advise making this class dependent on an AoE cantrip, as the only way you could keep it from being too strong is by making its damage absolutely terrible. That being said, i would not give up on the idea of a similar cantrip. Make it single target though. What I would do where I in your situation, i would base that spell of the poison spray cantrip, which is the only arcane cantrip that forces a target to make a saving throw. Here is what I would make

    Spoiler: breath of fire (revised)
    Show

    evocation cantrip

    Casting Time: 1 action

    Range: 40 feet

    Components: V, S

    Duration: Instantaneous

    You exhale a gout of flame at a target of your choice that you can see. The creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or take 2d8 poison damage.

    This spell’s damage increases by 2d8 when you reach 5th level (4d8), 11th level (6d8), and 17th level (8d8).


    The reason I made the damage so uncharacteristically high for a cantrip is so that it could compete with eldritch blast. EB has a far better range, can target multiple opponents, and deals a damage type which is far less commonly resisted, so it seems only fair that breath of fire does so much damage. So long as it is restricted to this particular class it should be fine.
    Last edited by Requilac; 2018-01-03 at 11:49 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Warlock Patron: The Eternal Drake

    More ideas for class Features, based around Smaug's famously bada$$ quote.

    Armor like tenfold shields:
    Beginning at 1st level, you begin growing a set of Draconic scales that grow ever stronger as your connection to your patron deepens. Regardless of equipment, your AC cannot be less than 10+1/3rd class level + dex mod (max 2).

    Worded after the barkskin spell, maxes out a 16+dex (max 2) at 18th level.

    Teeth like Swords, Claws like Spears:
    Beginning at 6th level, you gain the ability to manifest the natural weapons of a dragon. As a bonus action you may summon or dismiss these weapons, which appear superimposed over your body and look to be formed of ghostly flames which cause no harm to you or your equipment. While active, your Unarmed strikes deal a base 1d6 points of magical piercing, slashing or Bludgeoning damage, and you may use your charisma modifier in place of Str for attack and damage rolls with your Unarmed Strikes. Finally. Whenever you perform a melee weapon attack or cast a spell or cantrip with your natural weapons active, you may make a single Unarmed Strike attack as a Bonus Action.

    Breath like Death:
    Beginning at 10th level, whenever you inflict fire damage through a spell or class feature, half of the damage you inflict is considered to be raw arcane damage that ignores all damage resistance and immunity. You add your Charisma modifier to any fire damage you deal through spells or class features, but only once per action.

    Wings like the hurricane:
    Beginning at 14th level, when you manifest your natural weapons, you also manifest a pair of wings. Your wings cannot be used to fly but can be used to make a Shove attack as a Bonus Action once per round, using your charisma modifier in place of strength. Creatures shoved by your wings are both knocked prone and pushed away a distance equal to 5ft + 5ft per point of your charisma modifier.
    Last edited by SkipSandwich; 2018-01-05 at 12:03 PM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Warlock Patron: The Eternal Drake

    As a solution to being offensively weak due to the loss of eldritch blast, I might bump the damage of it a bit, probably to a d8. Here's the kicker, though: any eldritch invocation that modifies how eldritch blast works also applies to breath of fire. Agonizing blast for damage, repelling blast for knockback, etc. As for eldritch spear (increases range to 300 feet), you could simply double the range of the cone instead. That seems like the only problem invocation. I think it would lead to interesting tactics and might add some add some extra draw to the subclass.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Warlock Patron: The Eternal Drake

    What if you replace Eldritch Blast as a cantrip but then allow the players to take it as another cantrip? I like the above idea a lot, but really it's generally excellent.

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