Monday, December 30, 2013

Warlocks, part 2

Over the past week I had the chance to run an AS&SH game and loved it.  My only request to my players was for someone to play a Warlock character.  That was also really fun.

I have never really considered the warlock much. But I have been thinking a lot about the warlock as a class in D&D of late.  There is a Warlock in Eldritch Witchery. It is a type of Wizard basically. I liken it to "Wizard Grad School" to be honest.  They use the same spells as the witch and gain a few extra powers.

The AS&SH warlock is something more akin to a swordmage.  We see something similar in D&D4 Essentials Hexblade.  In general I liked the D&D4 Warlock.  They were a class that wanted quick access to power and none of the work that Wizards had to do.  That was a fine role-playing excuse, but not something that played out in the rules.  Warlocks gained powers just like the Wizards did and had no more or no less requirements.

The Warlocks in Fantastic Heroes & Witchery are another sort.  It is a chaos aligned wizard and has a lot of the same features really.  It uses the same xp per level tables, same HD and same spell progressions.  The FHW Warlock does gain some power, similar in many ways to my own witch, but at a cost.  On the surface this doesn't make it much different than a wizard, with a different selection of spells.  What makes this class, and really this book, different are the selection of spells (the book has 666) and the additional rules for acquiring magic and casting spells.  Adding this material makes the Warlock a much more interesting character.

The Pact-Bound in Magical Theorems & Dark Pacts is another warlock-like class.  Again the idea here is a class that takes a quick path to power for a price, usually to an other worldly power.

There is a similar one in the pages of the ACKS Player's Companion.

In the 3e era we have a couple of "warlocks".  There is a warlock in the Complete Arcane and the witch in Pathfinder, which always felt more like a warlock to me.

Somewhere at the intersection of all these warlocks is the one I want to play.

These are the features I am looking for:
- spontaneous spellcasting
- same spells as the witch or at least some sort of connection
- pacts with other worldly powers that grant the warlock power
- shortcuts to power, so they should get more spells faster, but maybe fewer as time goes on.
- some idea of corruption. Warlocks should be unnatural and not part of this world anymore.

Going to be playing around with this a lot more in the new year.

1 comment:

Erik Tiernan said...

The binder class from Tome of Magic for D&D 3.5 has a lot of the things you are looking for. But, unfortunately, it does not have them all.

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