New Class: Warlock (Feedback and Criticism requested)


Homebrew and House Rules


Google Docs PDF

Hey, I have been tinkering with a new hybrid class and would like some feedback.

This class is intended as a hybrid of the bard, magus and witch classes. It is intended to be a “jack of all trades” class, capable of filling any role in a party, but not designed to excel at any of them. The broad competence of the class is intended to be balanced by a couple of facts:

1) Most of the important class features come online later, than with their parent classes and are either reduced in scope (number of hexes) or power (number of properties available through arcane pool).
2) Unlike a magus, the warlock lack access to the most effective/exploitative uses of spell combat and spellstrike (such as the scimitar + keen + shocking grasp build).
3) While the warlock can match the bard in number of skill ranks, the bard get more “bang for the buck”, because of Bardic Knowledge and Versatile Performance.
4) The class is designed to be fairly MAD (Multiple Ability Dependent). In most circumstances, a warlock will need god scores in Strength, constitution, Wisdom and Charisma, since his spells key off Charisma, while his hexes and arcane pool key of Wisdom. This will usually result in fair low DC to save against his spells and hexes, which is intended as a balance feature.


Maybe it's my preconception caused by the class name, but I don't feel like the melee aspect fits, especially not when you stack on a total of three different sources of arcane abilities - spells, hexes, and arcane pool. The formatting looks nice, as does the table.

WEAPONS AND ARMOR
Bastard proficiency feels weird to me. With so many arcane options, I'm not sure that proficiency in additional armors is neccessary.

FAMILIAR
Not everyone wants one. Perhaps it can be an option instead of a requrement.

ARCANE POOL / HEXES
Really mixed feelings about having both. I want to point out that your class lacks the ability to spend arcane points on anything but improving his weapon. If you're going to do both, you should re-evalute how they fit into the class. Perhaps once every X/levels he gains an arcane talent OR he gains a hex OR a familiar OR some other ability.

BONUS FEAT
This feels like it was put here because you didn't know what else to do.

Grand Lodge

I like the flavor, but it reminds me a lot of the Hexcrafter Magus. I see very little bardness in any of its features.

Specific comments:
-Class Skills: There aren't enough. All 6+ skill point classes have a plethora of skills to choose from. All knowledge skills doesn't seem to fit either.
-MADness: I need 5 stats (Str, Dex, Con, Wis, Cha) to be effective. That's worse than any other class. Limiting it to a single mental stat would be fine, in my opinion. The emphasis on melee means stacking a single mental stat like a witch would would be suboptimal.


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Google Docs PDF

Updated:
Class skills changed.
Familiar removed as a class feature and added as an option through a special hex.
Limited access to magus arcana added through a special hex.
Bastard Sword removed as a weapon proficiency.

Scarab Sages

I'm afraid I don't care for it, to be frank; you've got lots of different things in there, and very little of it says "warlock" to me.

I do like the new cantrips, though!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Yeah, I'm not a fan of it. It lacks in unique class features and game mechanics. I also see the class would fall off a bit at later levels and feel lackluster. And I think most players would prefer to just play a hexcrafter magus.

Keep in mind that even hybrid classes from ACG all came with unique features and game mechanics.


Perhaps you could roll arcane pool and hex into a brand new class features that includes options and aspects from both - yet offers something new, such as abiliies that help to accomplish your "fill any party role" theme.


Like an Invocation Pool perhaps? You could throw a few options like a melee boon and danger sense in there.

It really does just seem like the hexcrafter magus. Hexstrike seems like the only new mechanic, and even that is just a spellstrike with hexes.

Maybe drop the spellstrike and the spells, and focus on the hexstrike with an invocation pool of some sort, and maybe an eldritch blast type ability.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe move things around so your dead levels are at levels you get new spell levels: 4, 7, 10, 13, and 16.

But I would drop the bard bits and make it a magus/witch combo. Maybe call it the Hexblade? The Warlock name in D&D & PF has a bit of baggage attached to it. Maybe grant normal hex progression and make an eldritch blast hex option.

EDIT:

Also, don't balance high level powerful abilities with weak low level abilities. A well balanced class is fun to play at all levels.


Heavily revised 3rd version.

Scarab Sages

GREAT description, and some of the Boons are good too - but there remains the problem of the rest not managing to say "Warlock" to me (particularly not the spell list). It's clear you're starting to get a better vision, though. I'd also be inclined to shift the spellcasting to Intelligence-based and all the other magic (that you're presently basing on Wisdom) to Charisma.


This is heresy of the highest order on the PF boards, but the boons almost make me think you could do away with spell casting and go with a melee type who gets X supernatural abilities/enhancements per day: today will be a stealth day, so pick stealth boons; today will be a heavy combat day so pick some buff and strike enhancement boons; today will be social with a 40% chance of combat, pick some face boons with a couple of strike enhancements, etc.

If you wanted more complexity, you could keep the arcane pool and use the points to power up the boons....

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

This looks a lot better.

The boons are really cool and flavorful. The whole class is actually really full of flavor and utter coolness.

A few concerns, though.

It is VERY MAD. Str/Dex, Con, Cha, and Wis needed. Maybe key the special class features off of Cha instead of Wis? Your endnotes state you did that for balance, but it doesn't really need it.

Also, you have dead levels at 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18. Maybe give some bonus feats (Spell Focus & Greater Spell Focus to counteract the low save DCs? Maybe Spell Penetration, Greater Spell Penetration, and Skill Focus for zest?) or better yet, re-arrange your class features and boons so your dead levels are at 4, 7, 10, 13, and 16 where you get new spell levels.


Version 4.

Some abilities have been moved around so that the dead levels now appear at 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th and 19th level (When you gain a new level of spells). Also, the class now grants Trap Sense, which increases at these levels as well.

The text for the “Increased Arcane Pool” class feature was missing. This has been remedied.

To address some of the other points made by you guys:

Spells: I wanted the class to be able to model characters who had stolen/won/copied from a number of sources, including the Fae, Devils, Angles, Old Ones and even stranger things. Since I would like to avoid having to write dozens of pages of Boons to model this variety, I tried to use spells to achieve this, by giving the class access to a plethora of diverse spells.

From a more mechanical standpoint, I wanted the class spells to give the options of doing at least four things:

1: Combat buffing.
2: Heal damage and remove status effects.
3: Debuff enemies.
4: Provide out-of-combat utility – especially information gathering.

I wanted the class to be able to do all these things well enough that a party with a warlock could “function”, even if no other character brought these elements to the mix.

MAD: I really would like the class to key of both Wisdom and Charisma. The reason for this is three-fold.

1: Personally, I really just like the combination of Wisdom and Charisma. I think characters with good scores in these two abilities are fun to play and I think it is a shame that so few classes reward you for investing in both.
2: I think there is room for an arcane-based class which utilizes Wisdom.
3: I would like to make a class which gives you a good reason to invest in any ability, but not unduly punish you for not focusing on any one specific stat. I think doing so is an interesting design space for a jack-of-all-trades class.
With my warlock class, if you want to utilize offensive spells you will have to focus on Charisma (to drive up the save DCs). However, in doing so the character would most likely have to limit his Wisdom score and therefore also try to select his boons from those which are least affected by his abilities.


What about being able to choose a magus arcana or witch hex instead of a boon?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

OK. Now I feel like a jerk, but if you're going to add Trap Sense, it's traditionally given at levels 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18.

Instead of periodically increasing the Arcane Pool of 1/2 level + Cha + 0/2/4/6/8, change it to level + Cha.

Maybe boost Balefire a bit? Ignore 10 points of energy resistance, and expand it to acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic? Maybe even reduce immunity to ER 30?

The rest of the boons look pretty good, but sometimes the saving throws seem a bit muddled. Some have FortitudeWill [sic], some have Will saves that seem to affect the target's health, and some have Fort saves that seem to affect the target's mental facilities.

Also, some boons can be streamlined by removing some possibly unneeded restrictions. For example, you can change Eldritch Prowess to grant the warlock to gain 1 bonus Combat Feat they qualify for, instead of providing a list of a few options. Also, Otherworldly Beauty should probably affect any creature type and alignment.

Sorry if I'm being too critical, but this is a really intriguing class and I want to help you make it as cool and awesome as possible.

I also agree with Bardess's suggestion of allowing the warlock to choose a magus arcana or witch hex as a boon.

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