Warlocks

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1. One Punch Power
These guys are strikers, BOMBTHROWERS and walking haymaker machines. +3 magic attack, at 50 feet, that deals 4 to 24 damage, 14 damage a pop? Yes please! 14 damage in 3.0/3.5 was kinda crappy, even in single digits level. 50 foot range as a magic attack that deals 14 damage in Next makes you diabolical artillery. You honest to God 1 shot about 60 percent of the bestiary. Oh, and with a 20 Intelligence, you basically hit everything in the bestiary on an 8 or higher for drop damage or lethal or a huge chunk of their life, 50+ percent usually. Now, there is some debate to this one but I think Intelligence modifier should go to damage, which means at a minimum you'll likely be doing 7 to 9 damage at 50 feet at 3rd level minimum with 29 as a max damage roll possibility. Nice. Longbows eat your heart out. No ammo, either.

2. Speaking of Intelligence....
Warlocks exist in a world where it is blatantly obvious that good and evil, gods and devils, exist, and they throw their souls away while bargaining for power in this finite world in exchange for eternal damnation. Does that seem like a SMART thing to do? Then the suggested background, Charlatan is about swindling people, with all these Charisma skills and the suggested speciality...Increases your intelligence? What? 3.5 got this one right. CHARISMA CHARISMA CHARISMA. It needs to be the freaking casting stat. Robs Warlocks of skills? Spot them 1 or 2 more. Intelligence makes NO SENSE.    

3. Fey? Seriously?
It all comes back to point 2, Speaking of Intelligence. None of the Fey abilities have ANYTHING to do with Intelligence. Not a friggin' thing. The first power is about using beauty to get an advantage on Charisma checks. Hey, why swear a pact with the infernal Gods Before The Gods, The Things That Must Not Be or an Arch-Duke of Hell when you can get the advantage of cologne and a makeup kit twice a day? Oh, did I mention it is conditional, you need to have more HP than the person you are using it on? Good luck being a magical harlot against 75 percent of the race and class combos in the game. The Fey Warlock is shafted with these piddling Pact abilities like 30 foot teleport and Combat Disadvantage forcing that don't synch up with their core stat.
   

4. They have a spellbook.
This is WRONG WRONG WRONG. Pact magic, not print magic. Don't get your Wizard in my Warlock (books and Intelligence as core stat) and I won't get my Warlock in your Wizard (ranged blasting, Charisma, flavor aspects of soul selling). Two great tastes that taste like crap, like peanut butter and mayo.


5. Invocations Are Weak and Not Coherent
The best invocations do things you'd think somebody with a high Charisma would do, like Charm people. Back to point 2. Why not something about getting knowledge from a pact and having your benefactor give you knowledge that you could pass on and say, give Advantage or Disadvantage? Again, back to the crap with being pretty, witty and ahem...gay that has nothing to do with Intelligence.   Also, don't things like becoming Ethereal, gaining Darkvision and making Baleful Utterances of reality-slaughtering Dark Speech not really seem...FEY AT ALL?!

I think Warlocks using Intelligence, having spellbooks, and the fact that invocations don't match the pact are all because the Warlock is a gatherer of forgotten lore. In addition, they have found a way to contact a powerful being to gain even more power. They are researchers of the lost and ancient so Intelligence and a recording device make perfect sense. Also they have scraps of knowledge they use for effect, invocations, but these do not nessecarily match up with the being they contracted with.

Also "Smart" and "Intellect" are two entirely different things. I'd say Lawyers are very intelligent people, but they can still do stupid things like taking bribes and hiding evidence.
I sense you are angry about something. Tell us how you really feel.

1) They, right now, are very powerful with EB. All PC damage is high and this is a great power that points out the inflation. Damage will change, and I expect to see some major changes to EB in the next packet.

2) Warlocks use Knowlege to use their powers. They also use thier Charm to strike deals with patrons and whatever else. I will agree that Warlocks should be able to choose Charisma as one of their ability boosts, but making them a second 'charisma based non-vancian' casting class is mechanically backwards.

3) This Fey pact is only one of many pacts. Again, if Warlocks had a better incentive to choose Cha it would feel right.

4) They have the ability to cast rituals. This provides them with utility for a party that does not have a Wizard. Even if they were Charisma based the spellbook is a good mechanic (that can easily be discarded if the player/dm don't like it)

5) 'Encounter Power' resource favors are also very powerful, but the Flavor and Feel of the invocations is unique and interesting. Invocations that parity Wizard Spells would be grossly overpowerd. However, I do think a list of Invocations (or bonus ones) granted by your patron would be much better, thematically.
Another gripe? This is an intelligence based Binder. The idea of physical changes manifesting as a result of a Pact is the same mechanics used when Binding. Separate the Binder from the Warlock or make Binding something that you can choose as a variety of Warlock. To just shoehorn it into the Warlock when the whole mythos of Warlocks doesn't mention Pacts stealing and feeding upon the Warlock's aspects doesn't work for me.


I just ran a quick 2player session the other night, and one of the characters was a warlock so I thought I'd respond here.

1) Yeah, EB is too strong. I think it will be brought down a lot, but still be the lock's main source of damage (more on this in #5).

2) Meh. The Cha based lock in 4e was pretty cool, but it's not something I actually really like. The  lock in my current campaign is frequently looked to for all that lore and exploration stuff that comes with high Int. He has it as a secondary, and is happy to do fill that role. The point is, even now with Cha as primary, my party feels like locks should be smart too. I really like the Int-based, researcher or dark secrets flavor that currently exists.

3) I'm sure there will be other, more blasty pacts eventually. It makes sense that the fey pact give you charm-based powers. Any fey lock I ever make will have Cha as a secondary, to take advantage of that. 

4) We just disagree on this. I think it fits their current setup. All of the lock's big powers come from thier pact - their pact boons, and invocations. I like that the lock (as a reasearch-based caster) can cast rituals. His invocations are not in this book, but he can still "fake-it" enough to use ritual casting. Feels warlocky to me.

5) Keep in mind locks get 2 favors per encounter, and some of their invocations scale with level. In each fight, the lock can spam spells a lot more than the wizard can, even if they aren't quite as strong (at first). Regarding flavor of the invocations: I think there will be more, and with that expanded list I'm sure more fey flavored ones will pop up.

My additional thoughts:
As you might have guessed from my response so far, I really like the current flavor the warlock has. I believe their strength will be magical utility. Think Rogue is to Warrior as Warlock is to Wizard. Their ability to cast rituals speaks to this, and their current pact boons and invocations utility oriented. Even their big damage invocation at the moment, Baleful Utterance, has the additional effect of breaking all the unattended items in the blast. That could certainly be used to very good effect by a clever player.

I didn't realize until after the session I ran, but the favors warlocks get are per encounter, not per day (sort of, the lock needs to be able to plead to their patron for more power, which is also super cool). This means they can really throw their magic around. With that in mind, I actually think some of the invocations are too stong. Baleful Utterance is only slightly worse than Burning Hands, it scales, and could potentially be cast twice per fight. The one that charms everything within 30ft is also asking for abuse.

I think ultimately, EB will be the lock's main damage source, and their invocations will be more utility. It may no be flashy, but going ethereal or charming a room of people is damn powerful.

All in all, I hope they expand their current idea for the warlock and flesh it out with another pact or two and some more invocations. I think *some* of Morrowner's concerns will be allieved with more pact options.


EB damage is high.


It is almost as high as fighter damage.



Carl
True, but it attacks a different weakness and can be done at a 50 foot range.


After thinking about it I kind of realized that it one shots things because most people one shot things.


Also, twice an encounter forcing somebody to take disadvantage on a melee attack against you kind of rules.

     
True, but it attacks a different weakness and can be done at a 50 foot range.


After thinking about it I kind of realized that it one shots things because most people one shot things.


Also, twice an encounter forcing somebody to take disadvantage on a melee attack against you kind of rules.

     



The real problem - at present - is the too-low monster hit points.

Once that is fixed, we can see how the classes really work.


Carl  
I think Warlocks using Intelligence, having spellbooks, and the fact that invocations don't match the pact are all because the Warlock is a gatherer of forgotten lore. In addition, they have found a way to contact a powerful being to gain even more power.


That's actually what bewilders me a bit. Other arcane casters throw magic pebbles at level1, but the warlock inherently has figured out to communicate with the "demon/fey/whatever prince of awesomeness" and bargain with him/her for (un)holy powers - at level 1? Actually, that's what I would expect a lvl10+ wizard or sorceror after decades of studies (or sorcery-practice and soul-steeling) to barely accomplish (and then - because it went terribly wrong (or maybe right?) - become the end-boss in an epic campaign). Wink

I think Warlocks using Intelligence, having spellbooks, and the fact that invocations don't match the pact are all because the Warlock is a gatherer of forgotten lore. In addition, they have found a way to contact a powerful being to gain even more power.


That's actually what bewilders me a bit. Other arcane casters throw magic pebbles at level1, but the warlock inherently has figured out to communicate with the "demon/fey/whatever prince of awesomeness" and bargain with him/her for (un)holy powers - at level 1? Actually, that's what I would expect a lvl10+ wizard or sorceror after decades of studies (or sorcery-practice and soul-steeling) to barely accomplish (and then - because it went terribly wrong (or maybe right?) - become the end-boss in an epic campaign). Wink




That part doesn't bother me - the wizard trys to do it alone, through study and research.  The warlock bargains away part of himself for power now.   The literature is full of ordinary people who made bargains for immediate power (and usually paid a greater price than they intended).  The warlock fits solidly in that role. 


The powers that be want to make it easy for people to bargain away their soul or whatever - they are going to be looking for new suckers all the time.  Some of these suckers become warlocks.  The wizard is the one who spends years studying to figure out how to deal with these beings on an equal footing so that they don't have to pay that price (or so they can use someone else to pay their price for them).  

This, of course, says nothing about mechanics or balance.

Carl
The warlock bargains away part of himself for power now.   The literature is full of ordinary people who made bargains for immediate power (and usually paid a greater price than they intended).  The warlock fits solidly in that role.


I don't think so - usually (at least as far as I am familiar with literature) it amounts to this: Dude bargains for power, gets it (in more or less a single sweep) and dies soon thereafter because of the gained power or the resulting consequences of using it -> the entity granting the power has a one-time investment with the "bragainer" not being able to use it that much that the cost-benefit ratio for the entity becomes negative. (as you said: the price paid is usually greater than the bargainer had thought).

Let's look at the warlock: He strikes a bargain, uses the power granted over and over and over and over again, this power getting better and better in time due to the entity granting ever more "energy" or Soul-Power or whatever is channeled to supply the Warlock with power plus the favors the character asks (which are granted over and over ... again). Clearly, the entity is on the losing side here, without any palpable drawbacks to the character during play (I don't think some minor losses of "some aspect of *the character's* beauty - which does not even constitute some minor drawback like "-1CHA" or mali on the "getting laid" skill - can be worth a character's lifetime of power-feeding).
Even if the Soul is the piece of bargain: Probably by the time the character gets beyond lvl1 or 2, every progress the character makes (and thus making his soul more precious) is achieved through the entity pumping power into the character, thus probably at least negating any gain by it.

So no, I don't think the Warlock fits into that role, unless he convinced the entity (for example if it's an evil one) that he (as a lonly farmer) may rise to power with its help and then sacrifice the whole city/country/world in its name. Obviously, something like that is not (yet?) part of the character generation, giving the warlock all boons and no drawbacks beyond a pimple on the nose and stuff from the pact. To sum up: The drawbacks (ergo: the entity's gain) to the character don't convince me that the cost-benefit ratio is in balance (not even close to beneficial) for the entity granting the vast powers.
The warlock bargains away part of himself for power now.   The literature is full of ordinary people who made bargains for immediate power (and usually paid a greater price than they intended).  The warlock fits solidly in that role.


I don't think so - usually (at least as far as I am familiar with literature) it amounts to this: Dude bargains for power, gets it (in more or less a single sweep) and dies soon thereafter because of the gained power or the resulting consequences of using it -> the entity granting the power has a one-time investment with the "bragainer" not being able to use it that much that the cost-benefit ratio for the entity becomes negative. (as you said: the price paid is usually greater than the bargainer had thought).

Let's look at the warlock: He strikes a bargain, uses the power granted over and over and over and over again, this power getting better and better in time due to the entity granting ever more "energy" or Soul-Power or whatever is channeled to supply the Warlock with power plus the favors the character asks (which are granted over and over ... again). Clearly, the entity is on the losing side here, without any palpable drawbacks to the character during play (I don't think some minor losses of "some aspect of *the character's* beauty - which does not even constitute some minor drawback like "-1CHA" or mali on the "getting laid" skill - can be worth a character's lifetime of power-feeding).
Even if the Soul is the piece of bargain: Probably by the time the character gets beyond lvl1 or 2, every progress the character makes (and thus making his soul more precious) is achieved through the entity pumping power into the character, thus probably at least negating any gain by it.

So no, I don't think the Warlock fits into that role, unless he convinced the entity (for example if it's an evil one) that he (as a lonly farmer) may rise to power with its help and then sacrifice the whole city/country/world in its name. Obviously, something like that is not (yet?) part of the character generation, giving the warlock all boons and no drawbacks beyond a pimple on the nose and stuff from the pact. To sum up: The drawbacks (ergo: the entity's gain) to the character don't convince me that the cost-benefit ratio is in balance (not even close to beneficial) for the entity granting the vast powers.


You are assuming a lot about these "Beings" in saying that they would require his life, sacrifice, etc. Some may, yes. But not all of these beings have to be completely malevolent in nature. Like the Fae being in the playtest packet, they are not destructive or evil, it's just vain. Some may also like to see the warlock suffer rather than just take his life. In fact, this is CLASSIC behavior of gods/godesses in litterature. 

To me, all of it sounds fine.
My two copper.
I think Warlock damage (and by extension, all other classes') is the sole major problem at the moment. I think when everyone's HP scales up and damage is fine-tuned, that issue will be resolved, and everyone will be able to focus on adding features and fine-tuning, such as arcane traditions, more pacts, more fighting styles, new classes, adding a skill list to choose from, instead of just 3 skills, multiclassing fine-tuning, etc.
I've always found Warlocks.... lacking... wen i imagine a someonne who makes pacts with fey or demons, i imagine a guy who makes your crops die, puts diseases on your livestock, maybe make your arm wither and shrink.  Not a reallt boring pew pew pew guy who hits you ever and over again with  eldritch lasers.
I really don't like the new warlock fluff. I've been saying on the sorcerer thread that fluff is mutable and shouldn't be harped upon, but here it's messing with the mechanics.

The Warlock fluff from 4E was right on. In fact, along with the warlord, it was the best fluffy development in all of 4E. It focused a random experiment from late in 3.5's history and made it something special and awesome...one of the coolest things in the game from a story standpoint, actually. It made the warlock its own class.

So what's this warlock then? An evil wizard. Or at best a wizard who goes to the restricted section of the library too often. That's it. He's got his wizard spellbook, he casts his wizard rituals. You know what the difference is? He's a wizard with connections. That's not a class people. That's a freakin' specialty.

Cut the spellbook and the rituals from the warlock and give them something unique. Something im-pact-ful. (Sorry. I couldn't resist.) Pact boons and various gifts granted by their fae, infernal, or demonic patrons. Hexes and debuffs and curses, hellfire and glamours.

To this end, CHA or CON primary (the warlock is channeler, in effect), INT can be secondary or just an optional roleplay-ee stat. Maybe I didn't go study in some dusty library. Maybe I shook my fist at the stars and said to whomever could hear "Grant me my revenge." INT is not what makes a warlock a warlock. The bargain struck with some outside force, the will and the fortitude to channel that power, these are a warlock's schtick.


I'm not keen on the very binder-esque flavor either, but this bit of flavor is not mechanically enforced, so I'm cool with it being something I can just ignore. They belong with the binder, which yes, should be a warlock option.


Yes, the warlock does use his power over and over again. It's up to the DM to come up with motivations for that patron (a HUGE part of the fun for the 4E warlock's flavor! Built in story hooks and background information!). If you downplay your patron's motivations, maybe you have muliple patrons pooling resources to some end or to gain power through your deeds (like the gods gain power through worship) or maybe your patron's goals are simply inscrutible. That, ladies and gentleman is the beauty of the warlock as it should be...as it was in 4E.
1. Eldritch Blast at 3d6 damage may be too strong. They've said as much. Of course, I suspect alot of adjustments are still going to be made to monster HP and such, so it's too early to say. I'd suggest that they make it deal 1d10 + charisma modifier instead.

2. I agree that they should use Charisma by default, though some pacts could use other ability modifiers instead.

As for throwing their souls away... what? There's nothing in the class description that says they damn their soul, and not all of the beings you can make pacts with are evil. Some might even be good. 

3. Yes, fey warlocks should use Charisma. Moving on...

4. I LIKE the spellbook. It makes perfect sense to me. I imagine most warlocks start out as ritual casters and then discover some forbidden ritual that lets them forge their pact and become a warlock. Remember, these are only ritual spells. They don't get to cast any other spells out of their spellbook and it doesn't affect any of their other powers. It's just there to give them some extra versatility, which they badly need. You can have my warlock's spellbook only when you pry it from his cold, dead hands.

5. I agree that the invocations we have so far are weak, usually offering some minor buff for 1 round. It's like having 4e powers in 3.5 when wizards are flying around and fireballing things to death. Pretty pathetic.


The real problem - at present - is the too-low monster hit points.

Once that is fixed, we can see how the classes really work.


Carl  



Can we change that to too high PC damage?

Cause I wouldn't want to be the rogue player having to roll 20d6... at 20th level. Or the DM tracking 1000s of damage in that thought. 
I agree with most of the OP's posts. Charisma should be the main stat for warlocks. Their "gifts, bargains or pacts" are the result of a bargain. Smart people are usually terrible negotiators. Think of engineers or doctors.  There is already an intelligence based caster and that is the wizard. A warlock who specializes in intelligence and forbidden lore should be a background or theme option. Warlocks are totally at the mercy of their patrons just like clerics so the ability to charm, device, suck up, etc are very important.  Get rid of the spellbook. That is stepping on the wizard's toes. At best, a warlock should have a familiar that teaches it powers such as the witch from the Pathfinder game. Having a crow, black cat, frog or rat that allows the warlock to commune with her patron to switch evocations has much more flavor to it than a copycat borrowing the ink and quill from the wizard to write her own symbols in a spellbook. Eldritch blast is a bit overpowered but I am glad that a caster can finally outshine the mighty longbow. That was a huge flop of 4E. Joe six pack can shoot a longbow and outdamage a spellcaster. Complete garbage.
I really don't like the new warlock fluff. I've been saying on the sorcerer thread that fluff is mutable and shouldn't be harped upon, but here it's messing with the mechanics.


I will agree that fluff being too specific here is a problem, but when we completely remove fluff from mechanics why don't we just make a "Magic User" class and allot them to just pick? Classes are different classes for a reason, and that reason is almost always fluff. Without fluff there's almost no difference between rangers and fighters. 
My two copper.
Two great tastes that taste like crap, like peanut butter and mayo.



At the risk of derailing the thread, this combination happens to be rather popular on burgers in the midwest. Wink
Two great tastes that taste like crap, like peanut butter and mayo.



At the risk of derailing the thread, this combination happens to be rather popular on burgers in the midwest. 


PB&P 4 life! That's Peanut Butter and Pickles if you didn't know.
My two copper.