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D&D Next: A Revised Warlock

This is another of those things that I am not entirely sure it's okay to post, so if someone from Wizards of the Coast comes across this and tells me to take it down, I will do so, with apologies. (That said, I suspect a lot more than this has been posted on forums somewhere.) I've posted additional content for warlocks before, of course.

This is my attempt to update the warlock class from the 8/17/12 playtest packet to the 1/28/13 playtest packet. I have also proposed some new content and made changes that I think are badly-needed fixes, such as the altered mechanics of Verenestra's first pact boon; I note that WotC has trended more and more away from hit point thresholds for effects as the playtest has proceeded. Other than that, I have reiterated as little of the text from the playtest packet as possible and expanded the warlock class only as far as 7th level, a point I've chosen completely arbitrarily. It was necessary to alter the ritual list to match the revised Spells playtest document. The ritual list is still quite bare, and I hope to see that addressed in the future.

Well, okay, there's one other big change. I've overhauled almost every aspect of eldritch blast, because I think that it offers an excellent at-will attack, but 4e shows us that at-will attacks of all kinds are far more interesting if you're choosing between two or three different options that are distinguished by something more than range and damage. To that end, warlocks automatically receive eldritch blast (or its new variant, eldritch blade) and a second at-will attack that does less damage but carries an alternate effect of some kind. It's a shaped force effect, so I thought it would be cool to offer a few other shapes the warlock can assign it. I assume that warlocks would be able to pick up more primary and secondary forces by spending Invocations Known slots. The one other thing that I think warlocks need in a big way is an option internal to the class that supports allies in some way, but I haven't come up with a good idea for that yet.

Likewise, why not let warlocks have a melee option? One of my few deep regrets from my time PCing 4e is that I didn't get to play with the hexblade warlock. Since I'm taking it for granted that WotC would eventually get around to re-releasing such a class or class option, I've posited one form of it here.

Because I'm treating the eldritch attack options as shaped mystical weaponry, it makes sense to me to grant the warlock an expertise progression identical to the cleric's, but restrict that expertise to eldritch blade and eldritch blast attacks, as well as related secondary forces.

Finally, a plotline in Aurikesh has put me in need of powers for infernal warlocks, so I've sketched out what a pact with Graz'zt might look like. This pact is built more on Aurikesh's idiosyncratic interpretation of Hell than on a pure interpretation of Graz'zt in D&D canon, but then my knowledge of same is limited to the linked Wikipedia article.


Creating a Warlock: When you create a character whose first class is warlock, you gain these benefits.

Level Hit Dice Weapon Attack Spellcasting Bonus Invocations Known Spell Level Class Features Arcane Damage Dice Martial Damage Bonus
1 1d6 +0 +1 3 1 Eldritch Lore, Pact, Invocations, Ritual Magic
2 2d6 +0 +1 4 1
3 3d6 +0 +1 4 1 Pact Boon
4 4d6 +0 +2 5 2
5 5d6 +0 +2 5 2 Pact Boon
6 6d6 +1 +2 6 2 Arcane Expertise 1d6 --
7 7d6 +1 +2 6 3 1d6 --

Eldritch Lore

Choose a Knowledge skill: arcana, forbidden lore, or planar lore. You are trained in that skill.




Level 1: Invocations

You gain the minor invocation eldritch force, plus two additional invocations of your choice, which can be minor or lesser. To use a lesser invocation, you must spend one of your patron's favors. Minor invocations do not require you to use your favors.

Baleful Utterance - Lesser Invocation (Unchanged)

Breath of Night - Lesser Invocation: Every nonmagical flame within 50 feet of you is extinguished. A flame is unaffected by this magic if it is larger than a fire typically borne by a torch. You also gain darkvision with a range of 60 feet for 1 minute. By expending additional favors, you can extend this darkvision to allies within 60 feet, at the cost of one additional favor per two allies.

Eldritch Force - Minor Invocation: When you learn this ability, you gain one primary force and one secondary force.
Primary Forces:

Secondary Forces:

Ethereal Stride - Lesser Invocation (Unchanged)

Fabrication of the Weave - Lesser Invocation (Unchanged)

Shadow Veil - Minor Invocation (Unchanged)

Visage of the Summer Court - Lesser Invocation (Unchanged)

Level 1: Ritual Magic

Warlock Spells
Level 1:
Comprehend Languages
(Proposed: ritualized version of Disguise Self)

Level 2:

Level 3:
Speak with Dead

Level 6: Arcane Expertise

Your extensive training in eldritch forces makes you deadly on the battlefield.
Benefit: You gain the following features.
Weapon Attack Bonus: You gain a +1 bonus to your attack roll when you're using an eldritch blade or related secondary forces. This bonus increases as you gain levels.
Arcane Damage Dice; You gain a single arcane damage die, a d6. As you gain levels, you gain additional arcane damage dice. When you hit a creature with an eldritch blade or eldritch blast (or related secondary forces), you can spend any number of your arcane damage dice. Roll those dice, and add their total to the damage dealt by that attack. Some feats and features grant maneuvers, which are fueled by arcane damage dice. If you know a maneuver that can be performed with your eldritch blade or eldritch blast, you can spend any of your arcane damage dice on it, rather than on extra damage.
Arcane Damage Bonus: At higher levels, you gain a bonus to eldritch blade and eldritch blast damage rolls, as well as related secondary forces. Starting at 18th level, once per turn when you hit a creature with an eldritch blade or eldritch blast attack, you can add a +5 bonus to the attack's damage against that creature.

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