PF2e Warlock class


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Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening everyone. I have spent some time looking at all the different versions of the Warlock class across D&D and Pathfinder, both homebrew classes and official classes. There was something missing from them all that I tried to incorporate into my own homebrew class. Below is a link to the PDF file for my custom Warlock class. I tried to add a lot of flavor into it and keep it balanced with other classes. Please review this if you are interested and let me know what you guys think. If there are any balancing issues, please let me know. Previously when I posted this there was a huge calculation issue that was revealed to me with how strong a Minmaxer could make this class. I'm hoping that this was resolved. Please let me know if there is anything missed that could break this class.

Pathfinder Second Edition Warlock Class v2.1

Thank you again for any interest in my creation and any assistance you can give to further balancing this with the official classes. Also please let me know if this is a class that any of you would be willing to play or allow in your games with how it is balanced.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Nice I like it.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I am very confused as to how Invocations work. Is the idea that Warlocks choose their Invocations from the Focus spells listed, or from all the spells of their Patron's tradition? If the latter, I have to say that gaining one 5th level spell as a 17th level ability is... pretty underwhelming.

Eldritch Blast also seems fairly weak. It falls slightly behind similar cantrips in damage, without the rider abilities cantrips usually have. You can upgrade it with blast shapes and the like, but I feel like the warlock's core ability shouldn't need upgrades to outshine a cantrip, especially since they also can cast cantrips. A 3rd level warlock is having to choose between 1d6+Cha blast damage or 2d4+Cha cantrip damage and that's going to feel bad when you realize your cantrips outdamage your core class feature.

On the other hand, the Patron boons seem to vary from quite minor to hilariously overpowered. Pact of the General gets you 4 bonus feats, two of which are relatively weak skill feats. Meanwhile, Pact of the Grimoire gets you full legendary spellcasting progression with spontaneous casting AND unlimited spells known on top of your other class features, which is just silly, while Pact of the Blade and Pact of the Cloak can give you legendary weapons or legendary armor, respectively, which are supposed to be class-defining features on their own.

I love the basic framework and the implementation of the core mechanics, but a lot of this badly needs a balance pass. Pact of the Grimoire in particular is insane - it would be overpowered if it were the only class feature Warlock had - and probably needs to be redesigned from scratch.

Blade and Cloak should probably give you master at 19th - this would be a slight improvement over other casters, who never get master, without being crazy - and something else (specialization, maybe?) at 15th.

The class should also gain expert proficiency in unarmored defense at some point, probably around 11 or 13, since every other class gets at least that. 11 would make sense, to line up with Pact of the Cloak.

Speaking of, not having a single initial weapon proficiency is a bit weird; even wizard gets some.

@Prince Setehreal
Thank you. I'm glad you like it and I hope you enjoy any changes that are made for balancing.

Thank you for the feedback. I will take everything into account to re-balance this class.

To clarify a couple of things first, the Invocations are required to be non-damaging and the cantrips were supposed to fall under the same rules as invocations. Invocation spells are also chosen off of the full spell list instead of the focus spell list. I also stopped at 5th level for the invocations because they are all heightened to half your level rounded up automatically. My idea was to give them unlimited support type spells (similar to what the D&D 3.5e Warlock class had) and have their only offensive spell be the Eldritch Blast ability.

As of now, a 20th level Warlock with the critical effects feats can deal between 17-104 damage with a single blast (unless my math is off). I didn't want the damage to get too high with a critical strike, but I can up the damage to scale with other cantrips to be more balanced.

As for the boons, I will take all of this into account and re-balance them. The Pact of the Tome boon is supposed to be separate spellcasting than the Invocations, and the known spells are supposed to be equal to the number of spell slots you have, with rituals being able to be learned by copying texts from other books. I'll look into this further for balancing. Thank you very much. I'll look into the Pact of the Blade and Cloak as well to give them a bit more of a boost and balancing.

As for the initial proficiencies, I can give them simple weapons training and expert unarmered defense at 11th or 13th level.

Thank you again for the feedback and the insight. I'll have a revised version out within 2 weeks.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oh, so with the invocations you have to picks spells that are "naturally" 5th level or lower but they automatically heighten?

Interesting... That's not a bad idea, but it does make the difference between the various levels of Invocations much narrower. Spending a Least to get Sleep is going to be almost as valuable as spending an Ultra to get Synaptic Pulse. I forsee basically everyone taking as many Incapacitate spells as possible.

On that note, if they automatically heighten, then giving them the Cantrip trait is too much. A 17th level Warlock then has nine different 9th level spells that they can cast at-will... Even just one of those is going to break things. At-will Synaptic Pulse is going to trivialize any encounter with more than one enemy, for example. I know you are going for the "cast all day" flavor of the 3.5 Warlock, but spells simply gain too much from being heightened in 2e for that to be viable. Even if you ban Incapacitate spells, you are still looking at things like at-will Fear or at-will Haste that are going to be very, very powerful.

Honestly, now that I see how Invocations work, I'd suggest having them not heighten, if you must keep them at-will. Even then, 3rd level Fear at-will is very strong... but it might not be game breaking, at least.

My stronger suggestion, though, would be to do the work to write a full custom set of Invocations that are balanced around being used at-will. Trying to just let the Warlock pick from regular spells is a time-saver, but it's going to lead to all kind of abusive edge cases around spells that aren't meant to be used at-will (Invisible Object is another one that comes to mind).

For balancing pact of the tome, I would probably look at Eldritch Trickster rogue - as well as roughly balancing each of the pact abilities to be more or less equal to a class feat or single class ability. For example, Pact of the Tome could give you a spellcasting multiclass archetype, and then the upgrades could give you the three levels of multiclass spellcasting, plus some other benefit at 19th. That's still pretty good, but not nearly as powerful as having full caster progression on top of everything else the Warlock is doing.

That also means that getting Legendary warlock spell DC doesn't give you Legendary DC with your pact of the tome spells, so you aren't totally showing up the party Wizard.

Thank you for the advice. I was definitely being lazy about the invocations and trying to take an easy route with them. It would definitely be better to make a list of custom invocations, so I'll work on that and post those a bit later then the rest of the balancing (cause that will take ma a while to get through, lol). And I'll get rid of the automatic heightening cause you bring up some very real/fair points with people abusing an ability.

As for the Pact of the Tome, I'll take a look at the Eldritch Trickster Rogue and the multiclassing spelllcasting.

Do you have any advice on the focus spells, patrons, multiclass dedication, or feats at all?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If you design the Invocations well, it could be fine for them to heighten... but in that case they'd need to be not much stronger than Cantrips, which I think is not what you want.

An alternative could be to make Invocations all be Focus spells, and maybe give the Warlock a trick or two for recovering Focus points so they can use them more freely.

If you look at capstone feats for classes like Sorcerer, the game seems to assume that "cast a 5th level spell once every 10 minutes at will" is a 20th level class feat, for reference.

The Patrons seem pretty straightforward. They are well-balanced against each other, but mostly by the metric of giving largely the same thing - skill increases at 9th level and flight at 17th level. Nothing game breaking. I get the impression that the real versatility in building the class comes more from the Pact abilities than the Patron abilities.

The multiclass archetype looks mostly fine, although it will probably need tweaking based on how you change Invocations around.

I haven't had the chance to look in depth at the feats and focus spells yet, just a quick read over so far. A lot of that depends on how the skeleton of the class works, though.

Thank you again for all the assistance with this. From what you have suggested, I have gotten a few ideas of how to implement the invocations. Which one do you think would be the most balanced to do?

1. Keep them relatively the same as they are right now with minor changes. Basically removing the heightening and making a custom list of invocation spells.

2. Give the warlock a focus pool to cast their spells out of with some feats/abilities that replenish focus spells in battle. and have them choose off the already made spell list for their invocations, with automatic heightening. Having the level of the spell affect how much focus the invocation costs.

3. Make a custom invocation list and have them choose an invocation every odd level that they can cast at will. with no heightening on any invocations. Exactly how the 3.5 warlock is.

4. Basically just give the warlock those three spellcasting feats from the multiclassing and have them be the tradition of the patron with the key spellcasting ability being Charisma only. Keeping it as limited spellcasting without heightening or casting at-will. (This sounds like the easiest way without keeping with the 3.5 warlock unlimited spellcasting theme.)

Thank you for the additional feedback on the other areas too. I'm thinking of switching the invocations in the multiclassing for a limited boon type progression. And yeah the Patrons where more for flavor than anything else.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think the multiclass style spellcasting is a really good fit for Pact of the Tome, and it would be a shame to "waste" it somewhere else.

If you want to hew close to the 3.5 Warlock, #3 is probably the best bet, although the Invocations will have to be carefully balanced to stay useful without being broken. You'll be looking at Bard a lot, I think; composition cantrips are probably the gold standard for this kind of ability, although you probably want to find the sweet spot for a 2-action version.

I might suggest a mix of #2 and #3, again sort of like bard. Have some Invocations that are at-will and some stronger Invocations that cost focus points. Maybe even pull from Oracle a bit and give Warlock a "variant focus pool"? I'm not sure exactly what that would look like, but it could be a good idea if you do plan to give them some focus point recharging abilities; if you have it only refill the "variant pool", then you don't have to worry about a Warlock being able to spam non-Invocation focus spells too much.

I have made some changes to the base class, Boons, Invocations, focus spells, Archetype, and Feats. The balancing suggestions of MaxAstro have greatly assisted me in balancing out this class with the core classes, and helped make this a unique class itself.

Pathfinder Second Edition Warlock Class v2.2

There is just one section that is missing and will be posted as soon as possible. That section is the custom invocation list. This class will no longer be pulling off the spells lists for the various traditions for its invocations.

I hope that anyone reviewing this enjoys the changes. If you find anything that makes this class unbalanced, please let me know and I'll make the appropriate changes. This class is heavily based off the D&D 3.5e Warlock class from the Complete Arcana book, with lots of flavor put into it, and some inspiration taken from other warlock classes that I have reviewed.

I don't get how a warlock isn't just a sorcerer.

I'm sure the commonality between some of the class powers names between the 5E warlock and the PF2 sorcerer is not a co-incidence.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thematically the two are very different - a sorcerer's power comes from their blood, while a warlock's comes from their pact with a patron.

Mechanically, warlock is much closer to kineticist than sorcerer; I joked several times in 1e that if I ever wanted to do a warlock conversion it would just be a kineticist with the serial numbers filed off.

Finally finished the Invocations and had to make some minor changes to the invocations section of the base class. Let me know what you guys think and if there are any balancing issues that you discover.

Pathfinder Second Edition Warlock Class v2.3
Pathfinder Second Edition Warlock Invocations v2.2

For the invocations I used the D&D 3.5 invocations, cantrips through 3rd level spells from all traditions of magic, and cantrips from the Bard class as the base for them. I made tweeks to each one so it is unique compared to the spell I was using as inspiration and tried to balance them out as best as possible to prevent them from being abused in a game.

Thank you again for any assistance you have or will be able to provide. It has been a lot of fun making this class conversion from D&D 3.5e, but also takes a ton of time. I tip my hat to the developers of Pathfinder for all the amazing and hard work they have put into such a wonderful game for us to be able to play.

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I have gone through all of the sections to correct any discrepancies that i could find, and made some clarifications to some of the sections. All of the changes are minor except the inclusion of one additional class feature. I included a similar class feature to other spellcasters, granting the warlock a single high level spell that cannot be changed after learning. This also added 5 more invocations to the invocations list.

Here are all of the various sections of the warlock class I have put together:
Base Class
Class Feats
Focus Spells

If you have any questions or if there are further balancing recommendations you have, please let me know and I'll make the appropriate changes and repost. Thanks again to everyone that has helped me bring this class to a balanced stage.

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