Or you can just pull a "copy and paste"
The warlock wasn't part of the adventuring party we originally pictured stepping out of the first 4th Edition Players Handbook. As you might expect, the original party included most all the incumbents, with sorcerers and bards alongside wizards and monks.
But the warlock was in our thoughts. Coming out of Complete Arcane, the class's chief innovation had been its eldritch blast ability, which provided unlimited arcane firepower round after round after round. After some initial shock, everyone admitted that the warlock's eldritch blast didn't break the game. The class's ability to maintain relevant arcane attack power, instead of running out of finite resources like a wizard, had a great deal of influence on our early thoughts about 4th Edition. We understood that the warlock didn't have to be the exception. All of our classes might be improved by having abilities they could count on all day long.
Fast forward a couple of drafts into the future. We'd started understanding that our power-rich approach to the classes meant that we almost certainly wouldn't be launching with every class we might want to. Our understanding of the party roles indicates that the sorcerer and the wizard might very well be standing on each other's toes and pointy hats. Then, once we saw the concept art Bill O'Connor provided for tieflings, we knew that we had to commit to including tieflings as a PC race, rather than just hopeful it would work out (more on that in a future Design & Development column).
And what class would tieflings naturally gravitate to? A class that acquired scary powers by negotiating , pacts with shadowy, infenral, or feral patrons? That worked for us. But what we didn't know at the time was how dramatically the warlock class would improve as we progressed through design. Of all the classes, the warlock has made the greatest strides from its initial concept to its final execution. In truth, we've been aided by the fact that the class doesn't have a weighty existing legacy. There aren't thousands of D&D players who have a solid and well-reasoned idea of exactly what a warlock's powers should accomplish. Whenever we came up with something cool and flavorful, we felt entirely free to try it out -- instead of qualifiedly free, as we often felt with several other classes.
Tieflings begin with a backstory of splintering betrayals and stolen power. Warlocks carry on with a fundamental choice of a pact with one of three varieties of supernatural patron. I'm leaving the specific pacts out of this, but I will say that the pacts provide direct benefits when you send an enemy you've marked to their afterlife reward; your patrons show their gratitude by giving you a Boon of Souls. And when you play a warlock, you have the tools to put your enemies away. Rather than relying only on eldritch blast, you'll also have an arsenal of curses (send enemy directly to hell for a round, then bring them back in more pieces), conjurations (maws -- connected to beings that remain thankfully off-screen -- materialize to chew your enemies), and movement powers (teleport and turn invisible, anyone?) to get you out of the trouble you're surely going to get yourself into.
From the perspective of lead designer, it's easy to see when a class is working out. I just have to notice the ease with which the designers and developers create cool mechanics for it. The warlock is feeling no pain, in contrast to her future enemies.
Not sure how I feel about what I just read. I'll have to let it sink in. Of course, it doesn't help that I completely disagree with the idea of something like the tiefling as a core race, but that is s discussion for another thread.
The powers you have appear to come from evil supernatural sources (though there are three so perhaps fey is one of those sources), but that doesn't mean you have to put them to evil uses. You might be tainted by the exposure, but not necessarily evil.
Remember too, they are going to change alignment as well.
Remember too, they are going to change alignment as well.
You know, until you reminded me of that, I was going to say that this didn't sound that bad. Heh.
But yeah, perhaps it is because they don't have a long established history, but if Warlock=arcane caster with a sinister pact of some sort giving him power, the rest is pretty well free for development, in my mind, and this sounds kind of interesting.
I actually like the new version of this class. Will have to see the real hard rules, but the options theme sounds both fine and fun.
Moreover, it's the first article that tells us something "real" about the new classes - what is the flavor, the abilities involved, the changes planned for it, etc.
Finally this article tells the truth: the 4th Ed. has a declared "Power-rich approach to the classes".
Better article than the tripe posted (I say posted, to distinguish it from “written”) so far, but it worries me a little.
On the one hand, I see a shift away from diversity, towards blasting. The warlock can be a fun class, but at the end of the day, you are left with, “Yeah, I blast it again…I’m going to go check the fridge…if I miss next round, I blast again.”
My second caveat is, this is going to send the fundamentalists into a frothing furor. Demon tainted characters who steal power from hell and consume souls….yeah, my mom would have totally purchased that for me….not! For the dingbat crowd that gets uptight when Harry Potter sneezes, this should be a great year.
I like it. Sounds pretty neat. I just think that if warlock is core and sorcerer/wizard are stepping on each others' toes, maybe sorcerer will end up being cut or the two will be folded together into a "mage" class.* If you have the warlock, you have that pure "blaster" thing covered, so sorcerers may not be quite as viable since I've seen many folks take sorcerers purely as combat arcanists.
*Pure supposition. Please do not go on a huge tangent to tell me how wrong I am and how having the sorcerer and warlock in the core will not be redundant because your friend played a totally awesome sorcerer that took nothing but utility and summon monster spells and never personally did a point of damage. You and your friend are beautiful and unique snowflakes that WotC just doesn't understand.
No thanks, I remember all the public attacks against D&D being a Devil Game and I just think that a core class that "makes a pact with a powerful (and likely evil) being to gain the power to send victims to hell for damage, summon the smacking mouths of some foul beast to chomp on the victim, and to offer up the victim's soul to the powerful being in charge of the pact in exchange for soul power" is just too much.
This is a bad marketing decision (wow, from WotC? Really?!?) that is going to make the game take a lot of PR damage and place a further stigma on D&D players.
The general public already has some weird preconceived notions about D&D players, lets throw into the mix a core class like that with a race of half-devils, and see how John Q. Straightlace feels about us.
If WotC is going for an "Any publicity is good publicity" type of thought train then they did the right thing, but I don't look forward to the attacks that will come from Politicians, church groups, and anyone who want to blame something else for their children's failures besides their own parenting skills (who are the majority in this country). It isn't gonna be a fun time to be a D&D Player.
I am not so worried about the backlash . . .that whole satanic game stuff is a different decade. Vampire and White Wolf Games are much 'darker' than D&D (with Warlocks), and you don't here much about that game as scapegoat in society much, do you . . . .besides all intelligent people know its video games fault now. ;)
Warlocks casting curses, eh? I've heard that somewhere before... But will my tiefling warlock be able to summon imps, voidwalkers, succubi (oops, no succubi), and felhounds? And if wizards and sorcerors get rolled into the mage class, how long before we start calling clerics - priests and fighters - warriors?
|TerraNova RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32
I don't think that catering the game more towards past detractors is a good way to go. It's not a game, obviously, for people that can't realize that there is such a thing as a fantasy nor is it for people looking for scapegoats. I realize that there's a point where you have to ask if someone is looking to be made a target, but if it fits within the context and the game is stronger because of its inclusion...I think it should be there. Most of the content in the game can be taken out of context and used against it. Because there are thieves portrayed as protagonists (oh, sorry 'rogues' which is a pretty close term) does the game as a whole support breaking and entering?
Most D&D players are generally 13 years of age and older. I would think that if they could handle first person shooters, fighting games full of blood and things like that (which, despite ratings programs, 13 year olds do get their hands on) they can more than separate "my character has brokered a pact with dark powers" from "I have brokered a pact with dark powers". Maybe it's asking too much to ask the majority of parents to take an interest in what their teenaged kids do for fun, but there are much worse things than this.
If a particularly pious Christian can separate having a character that engages in the worship of a polytheistic pantheon from their own personal faith, I wouldn't think that this is necessarily a huge gap to cross. The story of Dr. Faust is a pretty well-known theme (even if some folks may not know it as that) so, I dunno. Maybe there are big enough targets besides this to worry about.
Most D&D players are generally 13 years of age and older. I would think that if they could handle first person shooters, fighting games full of blood and things like that (which, despite ratings programs, 13 year olds do get their hands on)
Every other person I meet on X-box Live is a whiney 13-year-old. I wish their parents could hear the way they talk online. Though, I don't think it would help much. The box has a lable on it, the stores (usually) check ID. You would think the parents would catch on that these games are not made for children.
Sorry for the threadjack