Wart-lock

I'm playing a Warlock in a DDN playtest game. Each time I use my Pact Boon, I get a shiny new Wart. I've done this a few times already, so my face is already littered with Warts. My worry is that, by the time I reach 10th level (or heaven forbid 20th) I will literally be a giant, walking, talking wart.

I can't be the only one who can see this coming, am I?

I love the idea of the Oak Princess stealing a portion of my rugged good looks but there has to be a time limit on it. I shouldn't be stricken with a Wart I got at level 1. I propose the following house rule:

One week after using a Pact Boon, the Wart disappears.

Simple, easy, elegant. I'm still stricken with a wart and I still have to live with it for a short time but that's all it is - a short time.

The catch seems to be in the use of one, single word in the pact boon.  I had to re-read it myself.

Level 1: Through your pact with Verenestra, you channel some of her ability to manipulate others with her words. When you gain this boon, a small wart appears on your face, as Verenestra claims a piece of your beauty for herself.

If it said instead, "When you use this boon . . . ", then I could see a situation much as you describe.  As it is, the PC gains a single wart (not many).  

The physical changes continue of course as the Warlock increases in power. The link to Verenestra (the patron) grows stronger, little by little, step by step.  For instance:

Level 3: Verenestra sometimes extends to you the magic of her otherworldly beauty.  When you are in peril, you can call upon this magic to assume a beguiling presence, disrupting your enemies’ focus as they attempt to strike you. Your irises turn a bright gold when you gain this boon [not use], marking your link to Verenestra.

So by 3rd level, the PC has a big honkin' wart and now has bright gold eyes.  Strange looking fellow .
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Oh, I can totally see your point of view. That is much less horrid than I was thinking.

Still, I am not the only one reading it as "you get a wart every time." I've seen lots and lots of people making this mistake. I think it just needs to be a bit more clear.
Yeah that would be horrifying.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

It's also fluff, so you can simply throw it out the window and say it doesn't happen.
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Yeah, by the time the warlock has 20 invocations and a couple of pacts, he'll be a rolling mass of drooling warts and nervous tics.  


It's badly thought out, unfortunately.  They're trying to go for the 3E Binder of Incarnum flavor.  It can turn off folks who don't want their role-playing spelled out for them but want to play a dark pact-forger.    


I think what the designers overlooked here is that most folks want their characters to be "cool", and they want their characters to role-play without restriction.  It's offputting to play Sinistrad, the Dark Binder...with his nervous pact-farts.


Few people think the wart-lock is a cool concept; there's a major turn off right there.  I'm having a hard time envisiaging playing an awesome dark warlock...who has a major Tourette's problem. "Nrt! Nrt! NRRT!"

It's also fluff, so you can simply throw it out the window and say it doesn't happen.



The base assumption of a game is that you follow the fluff that is given to you unless your DM says otherwise. If you have a DM that allow you to come up with the fluff that you want, great. Not everyone will have the same benefit, most especially when dealing with official events.
Since this has been so confusing, I'd spell it out.  I'd re-word the pact boons to something like this:

Level 3: Verenestra sometimes extends to you the magic of her otherworldly beauty. When you are in peril, you can call upon this magic to assume a beguiling presence, disrupting your enemies’ focus as they attempt to strike you. 

When you gain this boon:  Your irises turn a bright gold, marking your link to Verenestra.  You are free to use some other flavor if you wish. [I'd note that too.]

= = =

I'd just drop in a seperate line, rather than mix it in with the other fluff.  Too easy to overlook otherwise.
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While your take is one of many, I would absolutely play a lock in your setting just for the challenge.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Yeah, by the time the warlock has 20 invocations and a couple of pacts, he'll be a rolling mass of drooling warts and nervous tics.  


It's badly thought out, unfortunately.  They're trying to go for the 3E Binder of Incarnum flavor.  It can turn off folks who don't want their role-playing spelled out for them but want to play a dark pact-forger.    


I think what the designers overlooked here is that most folks want their characters to be "cool", and they want their characters to role-play without restriction.  It's offputting to play Sinistrad, the Dark Binder...with his nervous pact-farts.


Few people think the wart-lock is a cool concept; there's a major turn off right there.  I'm having a hard time envisiaging playing an awesome dark warlock...who has a major Tourette's problem. "Nrt! Nrt! NRRT!"




I just had soda come out my nose..
DMG pg 263 "No matter what a rule's source, a rule serves you, not the other way around."
I'm imagining a warlock who starts out his career with a slight but constant giggle.  As time goes on and the connection to the patron grows stoner, the giggling becomes outright laughter.  By the end of days, he's a busting a gut so hard he can hardly stand up straight.

I think I just imagined the Joker as a D&D warlock  Why so serious?! 

Maybe his 'make-up' gets more and more smeared as the days go on.
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I think maybe only have a wart appear when your enemy rolls a 20 on their save or you roll a 1 on your attack.

While I like variety and would never want to suggest only one flavor is good, I am saddened by the attitude that something bad should go just because it's bad.

 

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Meanwhile... a former peasant has amassed a fortune and established his own fiefdom, simply by creating a salve he calls "Ye Olde Compound W".
I'm imagining a warlock who starts out his career with a slight but constant giggle.  As time goes on and the connection to the patron grows stoner, the giggling becomes outright laughter.  By the end of days, he's a busting a gut so hard he can hardly stand up straight.

I think I just imagined the Joker as a D&D warlock  Why so serious?! 

Maybe his 'make-up' gets more and more smeared as the days go on.



See stuff like this would be kind of awesome like I've said before I like the Idea behind it the implementation just seems off.
I have too say thhat all these roleplaying fluff are bit too passive for me, i want pacts to be a bit more....pro--active on  the part of the character. A good example of this is Sacrifice to Caiphon, where you had  to hurt yourself each time you  used the power.  But i don't like warlocks  anyways, they're just one or two trick ponies with a some weird fluff to them.
Yeah, gaining a wart everytime you use that boon is no fun...but at least your teammates might find it hilarious.
Yeah, gaining a wart everytime you use that boon is no fun...but at least your teammates might find it hilarious.


Depends on your interpretation on the wording. 

When you gain this boon...


Your ..."effect"... when you gain this boon



Seems like it is only when active. Though the other interpretation is also interesting. I like the gold irises effect the best though.
Ant Farm
As it has been pointed out, the cosmetic changes are when you gain the boon, nopt gain the effect of the boon.

Also remember, by default, this is a world where warlocks are already despised
Seems like it is only when active. Though the other interpretation is also interesting. I like the gold irises effect the best though.


It's all the time.  You gain a new boon at odd levels.  The boon is the ability to do this thing.  You get a wart at level 1.  You get gold eyes at level 3.  You get scars at level 5.

She is leaching beauty in trade for power.  And it's a two way thing.  At level 1, the warlock gets a wart, and the patron gets slightly more beautiful.  The patron doesn't get less beautiful when the boon's power is not in active use. 
A giant walking wart!  Oh dear.  I won't deny, that's the image I got too.  Anyway, since I'm going to be DM for playtest (no one else wanted to...), I'll just say that if you don't like the fluff, change it!  If you like it... Please, have fun with it!  So, if you want to play as a mobile wart ball, you can do that.  Man, that sounds positively revolting!

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Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

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While I like variety and would never want to suggest only one flavor is good, I am saddened by the attitude that something bad should go just because it's bad.



It's not an issue of those darned kids not wanting anything bad to happen to their characters, it's that having your character gain a wart every single time you use a power is stupid. I think this sort of thing is great flavour for a pact user, but I think it should be kept more open, only SUGGESTING ways the pact can affect you.
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I'm not a fan of the fluff, and probably would change it to something better. I don't see why it has to have a negative connotation?
I'm not a fan of the fluff, and probably would change it to something better. I don't see why it has to have a negative connotation?

Because it's a "price"

While I like variety and would never want to suggest only one flavor is good, I am saddened by the attitude that something bad should go just because it's bad.



It's not an issue of those darned kids not wanting anything bad to happen to their characters, it's that having your character gain a wart every single time you use a power is stupid. I think this sort of thing is great flavour for a pact user, but I think it should be kept more open, only SUGGESTING ways the pact can affect you.



Ok.  Then my comments don't apply to you.  I think they might apply to some people. 

I think they are trying to explain why in traditional literature witches are ugly.  I know thats just one trope but it's a common one.   As DM I'd likely allow this to change pretty easily but I'd want something appropriate suggested to replace it.   Because I agree with Daganev that this is a "price" for power kind of thing. 

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Where do you guys get the idea of gaining multiple warts from?

It says 'when you gain this boon a wart appears' not 'when you spend a favour to use a boon a wart appears'.

So unless I'm mistaken you get one wart at level one and that's it.
I'm not a fan of the fluff, and probably would change it to something better. I don't see why it has to have a negative connotation?

Because it's a "price"



Sorry to say but that's horrible design. For one thing, you don't want to penalize your players because they want a different spellcasting mechnic. For another, the negative forced flavor is just bad in general. I don't see any such "price" for wizards and THEY'RE the ones with the full access to practically everything. I'd much rather have it as some flavorful sign of the Warlock gaining the boon or using it which promotes a neutral or (*gasp*) positive attribute instead of becoming more Ugly. And no, waiting for more options ISN'T a good enough solution.
[Snipped to focus on the part I wanna reply to]

I think they are trying to explain why in traditional literature witches are ugly.  I know thats just one trope but it's a common one.   As DM I'd likely allow this to change pretty easily but I'd want something appropriate suggested to replace it.   Because I agree with Daganev that this is a "price" for power kind of thing. 

Just remembered something:  'Warlock' is sometimes considered to be the male equivalent of 'witch'.  Some people contest this (from what I understand) but that aside, this tid-bit helps me accept a D&D wartlock all the more (as described at least).  Witches are fugly and commonly wart covered ;).
/\ Art
I'm not a fan of the fluff, and probably would change it to something better. I don't see why it has to have a negative connotation?

Because it's a "price"



Sorry to say but that's horrible design. For one thing, you don't want to penalize your players because they want a different spellcasting mechnic. For another, the negative forced flavor is just bad in general. I don't see any such "price" for wizards and THEY'RE the ones with the full access to practically everything. I'd much rather have it as some flavorful sign of the Warlock gaining the boon or using it which promotes a neutral or (*gasp*) positive attribute instead of becoming more Ugly. And no, waiting for more options ISN'T a good enough solution.

Wizards also have a price. They have to spend 8 hours learning spells, and forget them once cast.
Just remembered something:  'Warlock' is sometimes considered to be the male equivalent of 'witch'.  Some people contest this (from what I understand) but that aside, this tid-bit helps me accept a D&D wartlock all the more (as described at least).  Witches are fugly and commonly wart covered ;).



A friend of mine that's into that whole scene once explained this to me.  It's ... foggy.  Did I say friend?  I meant 'guy what I got drunk with every once in a while'.  ;)  Anyhoo, both men and women are witches.  Warlocks are 'bad'.  So yeah, the way the people that actually care about the names see it Warlock is always bad.  Umm ... for whatever that's worth.
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Where do you guys get the idea of gaining multiple warts from?

It says 'when you gain this boon a wart appears' not 'when you spend a favour to use a boon a wart appears'.

So unless I'm mistaken you get one wart at level one and that's it.


This is correct.
Where do you guys get the idea of gaining multiple warts from?

It says 'when you gain this boon a wart appears' not 'when you spend a favour to use a boon a wart appears'.

So unless I'm mistaken you get one wart at level one and that's it.


This is correct.

I also mentioned it, second post in ;).
/\ Art
I also mentioned it, second post in ;).


Yes.  Sadly, though, a lot of people don't seem to understand that.  It's a common complaint I'm seeing about the warlock's writeup not just in this thread, but in pretty much every thread mentioning the warlock.

I'm not a fan of the fluff, and probably would change it to something better. I don't see why it has to have a negative connotation?

Because it's a "price"



Sorry to say but that's horrible design. For one thing, you don't want to penalize your players because they want a different spellcasting mechnic. For another, the negative forced flavor is just bad in general. I don't see any such "price" for wizards and THEY'RE the ones with the full access to practically everything. I'd much rather have it as some flavorful sign of the Warlock gaining the boon or using it which promotes a neutral or (*gasp*) positive attribute instead of becoming more Ugly. And no, waiting for more options ISN'T a good enough solution.

Wizards also have a price. They have to spend 8 hours learning spells, and forget them once cast.



Heh, totally forgot about that. Probably because that too is moronic in nature. Sorry but for some reason I have this feeling that the designer see these significant 'draw backs' as some sort of stupid balancing point to allow magic to completely break the game (like v3.5). So, two things I now have to homebrew in my games is to eliminate the "price" for magic of the Warlock and reduce spell memorization to about an hour a day. *ugh*
Oh, I can totally see your point of view. That is much less horrid than I was thinking.

Still, I am not the only one reading it as "you get a wart every time." I've seen lots and lots of people making this mistake. I think it just needs to be a bit more clear.



Sadly, going to have to say you and those other people are just really misreading things.  It doesn't say when you use the boon, but when you get it.  You only get it once.  Doesn't have to be more clear.  And yeah, it's fluff so you can throw it out or change it to something like greying hair, wrinkles, etc etc.
Yeah, having a set price is not fun, but the idea of a price is awesome. what i think is there should be3 or 4 example prices, and then at the end of each boon say "when you gain this boon, you also gain a price." that way the player and the dm can sit down and the player can say "i want my character's price to be 'you gain a glowing pentogram on the back of your right arm', is that ok?" and the dm can say "sure, that sounds like it's be fun. are you sure you want it to glow, though?" etc.

that said, if givin the system i just outlined, i would act like the Darker than Black* fan that i am, and make my price "whenever you use this boon, you must lay out small stones in a precise grid pattern." Wink 


*Darker than Black is an anime in which there are people who have supernatural powers, but every time they use their powers they have to perform a specific action (usually something the person doesn't like to do, but not necessarily) as a 'price'. 
Darker than Black is an anime in which there are people who have supernatural powers, but every time they use their powers they have to perform a specific action (usually something the person doesn't like to do, but not necessarily) as a 'price'. 


In D&D, that would be more akin to a ritual casting.  of course, then the stones would probably be consumed.  Or perhaps they're a reusable focus, and you need some sort of tapers or what not that are used up.

Oh, I can totally see your point of view. That is much less horrid than I was thinking.

Still, I am not the only one reading it as "you get a wart every time." I've seen lots and lots of people making this mistake. I think it just needs to be a bit more clear.



Sadly, going to have to say you and those other people are just really misreading things.  It doesn't say when you use the boon, but when you get it.  You only get it once.  Doesn't have to be more clear.  And yeah, it's fluff so you can throw it out or change it to something like greying hair, wrinkles, etc etc.



Just add the word "initially" and it will completely nip this mis-read in the bud.
Just a side note, as this is a playtest, any feedback we give WotC should be based on ruthless and literal interpretation of the rules they present us. That way we can actually move forward the design porcess and either support what we like or stand against what we (and our gaming group) absolutely refuse to stomach.
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
A price is flavor, it is not a balance mechanism.
A price is flavor, it is not a balance mechanism.


If it is RAW, then it does contribute to the play of the character, and thus enjoyment of the game, which, I hope, is our highest priority. An enjoyable game.

I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
I'd rather see "prices" handled like 3.5 Wu Jen taboos, except maybe a little less harsh than those. (Many Wu Jen taboos were narrow but pretty significant limitations). So, like, the Fey Pact would say something like, "when you gain this ability, you gain a Fey Pactmaker's Mark; you or your DM may choose one from the list here, or one of you can create one similar to the examples given. In any case, whatever you choose should not confer any sort of advantage to you." And then it would just be a list, like

- A wart appears in a prominant place on your flesh
- Your irises become silver, violet, yellow, or another color not natural for your race
- A streak of your hair changes color.
- Metal objects, particularly those made of cold iron, make you slightly ill or uneasy when you touch them.
- Your hair becomes a wild, tangled mess.
- You feel irrationally irritated towards people who are especially attractive.
- Whenever you perform a ritual, you age in appearance before slowly returning to normal at the end.
- Jewelry, nice clothing, or other items of adornment quickly tarnish or become worn-looking when you don them. They can be restored as normal when you take them off. Magic items are not immune, but they do retain their magical potency despite the physical transformation.

Then other pacts could have other lists; a pact with an otherworldly entity from beyond the stars could wake you up screaming at night, torment you with whispers, sprout tentacles on you, or remove your ability to ever close your eyes. An demonic pact could turn your eyes red or black, sprout little horns on you, sharpen your teeth, or make you smell like brimstone.
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