Posts Tagged With: Warlock

5e – Warlock Pact – The Grey Lady (and Associated Eldritch Invocations)

The Grey Lady

You have made your pact with one of the Grey Ladies, the Keepers of Magic. These beings are wise and mysterious, known for a lack of concern for mortal ethics and morals. They hew fiercely to women, rarely accepting men into Their service, and concern themselves with all things arcane and magical. The Grey Lady could be anyone from Lady Night, the Mother of the Heptarchy, to Lilith, the First Woman, to Hecate, the Goddess of the Crossroads, or any number of other powerful beings with similar interests.

 

Expanded Spell List

The Grey Lady allows you to choose from an expanded spell list when you learn Warlock spells. The following spells are added to the Warlock spell list for you.

  • 1st Level: Magic Missile, Shield
  • 2nd Level: Arcane Lock, Knock
  • 3rd Level: Glyph of Warding, Protection from Energy
  • 4th Level: Confusion, Polymorph
  • 5th Level: Teleportation Circle, Wall of Force

Arcane Sight

At 1st Level the Warlock is granted the ability to see the patterns of arcane force and magic in the world. The effect is that they may use Detect Magic as a Reaction and Identify spell as an Action (which also requires Concentration).

Aura of Power

Upon reaching 6th Level the Warlock can evoke an Aura of Power with a radius of 20 feet as a Standard Action. Glowing runes appear wherever the Aura interesects objects and the Aura acts in all ways as the Magic Circle spell. The feature may not be used again until after a Long Rest.

Arcane Spirit

At 10th Level the Warlock is Immune to Force damage, and is actually healed for half the hit points of damage it would caused.

Spellbind

Upon reaching 14th Level the Warlock may, without Concentration, paralyze a number of humanoids if they fail a Wisdom Saving Throw in a manner otherwise identical to the Hold Person spell. The ability may not be used again until after a Short Rest.

 

Associated Eldritch Invocations

Spellcleaver

(Prerequisite: 5th Level, The Grey Lady Patron)

The Warlock may, as an Action, Reaction, or Bonus Action cast Counterspell. This ability may not be used again until after a Short or Long Rest.

Spellweaver

(Prerequisite: 9th Level, The Grey Lady Patron)

The Warlock may, as a Standard Action, with Concentration, cast a spell not currently known to them, but of a level that they may normally cast. If the spell is not is not a Warlock spell it also damages them for 1d4 Hit Points per level of the spell and causes one level of Exhaustion. This ability may not be used again until after a Long Rest and any levels of Exhaustion have been removed.

Spellturner

(Prerequisite: 15th Level, The Grey Lady Patron)

The Warlock has Advantage on spell attacks that target them directly (not Area of Effect spells). In addition, if a 20+ is rolled for the save and the spell is 7th level or lower, the spell has no effect on the character and instead targets the caster, using the slot level, spell save DC, attack bonus, and spellcasting ability of the caster.

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5e – Warlock Patron – The Shadow King

The Shadow King

You have made your pact with one of the Lords of Shadow, powerful, liminal beings who dwell in the Shadowlands and beyond. Wise and ancient, selfish and patient, the Shadow Kings work behind the scenes, neither of the Light or the Darkness, to survive against threats from across creation. None can say what their true motives are, but their subtle hand is feared by those that know of it.

Expanded Spell List

The Shadow King allows you to choose from an expanded spell list when you learn Warlock spells. The following spells are added to the Warlock spell list for you.

  • 1st Level: Shroud the Shadow, Debilitate
  • 2nd Level: Shadow Sight, Shadow Embrace
  • 3rd Level: Shadow Bolt, Blackout
  • 4th Level: Shadowform, Shadowbind
  • 5th Level: Devouring Darkness, Mantle of Dread

Embraced by Shadow

At 1st level your patron grants you a cloak of shadows when it is desired – enveloping the character Dim Light. This makes Charisma skill checks more difficult but lessens the difficult if Stealth and similar checks. The character is also now treated as a native of the Shadowlands when considering it’s negative effects.

Shadowstep

Starting at 6th level the character may teleport, as a Reaction, up to 120′ away as long as they end up in an area of shadow. This feature may not be used again until after a Short or Long rest.

Shadowstuff

At 10th Level the character has become infused with Shadow to such a degree that they are Resistant to Non-Magical weapons.

Spiritual Malaise

Upon reaching 14th Level the character can touch a target and inflict a number of levels of Exhaustion equal to their Proficiency Bonus. The target is allowed a Con save against the effect at the Spell Save DC of the character for half effects – creatures of the Shadowlands are Resistant to this effect. This feature cannot be used again until the character finishes a long rest.

 

Note: The Spells of the Expanded Spell List are from Necromancer Games Book of Lost Spells

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Tools and Instruments of the Wizard (5e)

Humans wizards and those trained by them or in their traditions, have developed a selection of tools and instruments that even beginning wizards start their careers with. This includes Sorcerers and Warlocks, as well as Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters – though only Wizards use Grimoires and Codices or gain any benefit from the spells contained within. Their training represents quite an investment of time and energy on the part of their Master, and the world at large is often even more hostile to wizards than it is to other adventurers. As a result, part of the training of a Wizard involves the creation or attunement to their Foci. This investment has the unfortunate effect that any opponent who holds a Wizard’s Wand, Kris, or Staff (or Orb or Wizard Blade) gains Advantage against that Wizard’s spells and other magical effects. Any Wizard who has their Wand, Kris, or Staff broken or destroyed suffers 1d4 Psychic damage per level – these items have an AC of the appropriate material, Hit Points equal to 2x the Wizard’s level, a Damage Threshold equal to the Wizard’s level, and Resistance to non-magical weapons. A Wizard’s Wand, both Kris, and Staff must be Attuned items. The same is true for Orbs, Wizard Blades, and Wizard Aegis or any other similar or related item.

The Wizard’s Grimoire – All Wizards maintain a Grimoire in which they record their spells and other arcane formula. In appearance it can vary immensely, from a collection of loose papers and scrolls to the most impressive of tomes, bound in dragonskin and with black adamant bindings. Learning a new spell and transcribing it into a Grimoire takes two hours and 50sp per level of the spell, copying a spell you already know into a new Grimoire only takes 1 hour and 10sp per level of the spell. A standard Grimoire has roughly 100 pages, and each spell take up one page per level of the spell.

The Wizard’s Codex – These are the basic instructional manuals of magic, with a selection of easy to understand and basic spells of varying levels depending upon the Codex itself. The spells and other arcane secrets contained within them reveal the beliefs and attitudes of the creator about the proper development or practices of a wizard at the various levels. There are numerous examples of a Codex, from the ponderous and ubiquitous, ten-volume Codex Magic, to the Sefer Ratziel of the Church of the Lords of Light, or even the classic Book of Seven penned by the great mage Dulain. A wizard always begins play with a basic Codex as determined by the DM.

Both the Grimoire and Codices are Resistant to all damage types, and they are Immune to Fire and Arcane damage. They have Advantage to save against all spells or spell-like effects.

The Wizard’s Wand – The Wizard’s Wand is their primary arcane focus (Components are a backup). It can have a variety of appearances, from a simple wooden implement to an ornate creation of adamant and diamond to a solidified creation of elemental fire. In any case, a Wand as an Arcane Focus replaces the need for Components and the possession of one invariably marks the bearer as a Wizard.

The Wizard’s Kris – A wizard’s kris are two double-edged daggers, they could be bodice knives, they could be fighting knives, the style depends upon the wizard in question. There is a white-handled kris and a black-handled kris, the white is for physical and mundane threats, the black is for spiritual and magical threats. They can be used for offense and defense, in combat or otherwise. Each are specifically enchanted against those threats (the white is treated as Coldsilver Enchanted Blade, the black grants the wizard the effects of a Protection vs Good & Evil spell while drawn and held). A Kris is also an Arcane Focus, and can substitute for a Wand if need be. It is quite common for wizards to layer enchantments upon their Kris, increasing them in potency as they advance in level – it also common for a wizard to replace them over the years with more substantial creations.

It is not uncommon for higher level mages to have even more puissant resources such as the following.

The Wizard’s Staff – The Wizard’s Staff is, in some ways, their most puissant instrument aside from their spells themselves. It combines the abilities of the Wand to aid in the casting of spells and those of the Kris to protect the mage and act as a weapon. This potency and utility comes with a price however, a wizard who has created a Wizard’s Staff but does not hold it or another Arcane Focus (other than Components) has Disadvantage when casting spells and saving against magic. The benefits:

  • Allows use of the Light Cantrip.
  • Treated as a+1 weapon per five full levels of the Wizard class.
  • Provides an AC bonus equal to half the Proficiency Bonus of the Wizard.
  • Can hold Concentration for one spell cast by the Wizard.
  • The Wizard gains one additional Spell Slot for each Spell Level.
  • The Staff may be summoned to the Wizard’s hand if the Wizard is 9th Level or greater.
  • The Wizard always knows where their staff is located.

The Wizard’s Orb – Similar to the Staff, the Wizard’s Orb is a puissant magical instrument in its own right. It functions quite similarly to a Staff, and has the same potential problem. A wizard who has created a Wizard’s Orb but does not hold it or another Arcane Focus (other than Components) has Disadvantage when casting spells and saving against magic. The benefits are as follows:

  • Allows use of the Light Cantrip.
  • Act’s as a Crystal Ball.
  • Can hold Concentration for one spell cast by the Wizard.
  • The Wizard gains one additional Spell Slot for each Spell Level.
  • The Orb may be summoned to the Wizard’s hand if the Wizard is 9th Level or greater.
  • The Wizard always knows where their Orb is located.
  • Is always controlled as if under the effects of a Mage Hand cantrip.

A Wizard Blade – A rarer instrument, a Wizard Blade is a combination of a Wand, Kris, and Staff, usually in the form of a Shortsword or Longsword. Much like a Staff or Orb a wizard who has created a Wizard Blade but does not hold it or another Arcane Focus (other than Components) has Disadvantage when casting spells and saving against magic. The benefits of using a Wizard Blade are the following:

  • Allows use of the True Strike Cantrip.
  • Always treated, at a minimum, as a Coldsilver, Enchanted Weapon.
  • Treated as a+1 weapon per five full levels of the Wizard class.
  • Does additional Force Damage equal to the Proficiency Bonus of the Wizard
  • Can hold Concentration for one spell cast by the Wizard.
  • The Wizard gains one additional Spell Slot for each Spell Level.
  • The Wizard Blade may be summoned to the Wizard’s hand if the Wizard is 9th Level or greater.
  • The Wizard always knows where their Wizard Blade is located.

A Wizard’s Aegis – A term for a somewhat ubiquitous magical item that has protective and occasionally offensive properties. The most basic forms consist of a broad gorget, commonly made of precious metals in a serpent- or dragon-scale pattern or motiff with a stylized representation of some fearsome, supernatural beast on the front. More advanced forms of the Aegis also include a cuirass of shining, metallic scales that cover the chest and upper arms of the wearer (AC11). Occasionally an Aegis includes a matching ephaptis (fighting cloak) made of a similar leathery and metallic scales (AC12) that can be used by Wizard.

  • The Wizard is under the Effects of Blade Ward Cantrip at all times.
  • The Wizard has Resistance to Force damage.
  • Provides a bonus to AC equal to +1 per five full levels of the Wizard class.
  • The Wizard has Advantage on saves versus Spells and Magical Effects.
  • The Wizard may use a Hellish Rebuke, but the damage is Psychic and the Save is Wisdom.
  • The Wizard may cast Fear once, with 15’ radius Area, usable again after a Short Rest.

Elves do not use or create Wands, either not needing them or preferring to use a piece of jewelry as an Arcane Focus. Their Wizards have Longknives that operate as both Kris combined, and while some use Staves, others (especially their Eldritch Knights) have a sword or occasionally a spear that functions as a Wizard Blade. Instead of Grimoires they use Crystals that record the formula, and many of their Codices are in similarly strange and wondrous forms.

Sh’dai do use and create Wands but invariably create and use Wizard Blades rather Staves early in their career. Their most powerful Wizards often craft a full complement of instruments and tools, unlike human wizards which often omit a Wizard Blade. Rather than Kris, they create a dark weapon known as a Fellblade that functions as both Kris combined.

Dragonborn have a long history of Arcane study, and live and breath Arcane energies as part of their essential nature. As a result of this, both Sorcerer and Monk levels count for purposes of determining the power of their Staff (and these are commonly used). They use a peculiar tri-bladed form of Kris that are otherwise identical in function (though they are also known to make them in a Shortsword format), and as noted in their description they have no need for an Arcane Focus so they rarely if ever make or use Wands. The Dragonborn record their spells in a variety of idiosyncratic methods (scrolls and tomes, flame sculptures, wind chimes and mobiles, etc), making it difficult to make any statement about Grimoires in specific.

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The Pact of the Hourglass – with associated Eldritch Invocations

Pact of the Hourglass

Mostly commonly found among those Warlocks who serve the Delian, the Pact of Hourglass grants a small level of mastery of time, both the perception and manipulation of it. As a result, the Warlock is never surprised and they always win Initiative.

 

Eldritch Invocations

Timedancer’s Luck

(Prerequisite: Pact of the Hourglass)

The Warlock may either take Advantage on a single roll, or force Disadvantage on a target for a single roll. This ability may not be used again until after either a Short of Long Rest.

Delian Speed

(Prerequisite: 5th Level, Pact of the Hourglass)

The Warlock may use a spell slot to cast Haste.

Timedancer’s Grace

(Prerequisite: 9th Level, Pact of the Hourglass)

The Warlock may use their Reaction to take half damage from attacks that cause damage – weapons, damage-causing spells, etc.

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5E – Warlock Patron – The Delian

The Delian

You have made your pact with one of the Delian Powers, the Hidden Masters behind the Delian Order, the Lords of Time. Becoming one of their agents, a “grey cloak” the character leaves the River of Time and moves to the heart of the Deep Time, able to travel across all of Creation, as protectors from threats both esoteric and dire. The Hidden Masters of the Delian Council send agents across time and space to act as observers, looking through their eyes, hearing through their ears, and using them to maintain a presence at crucial junctions of fate and destiny.

Expanded Spell List

The Delian allow you to choose from an expanded spell list when you learn Warlock spells. The following spells are added to the Warlock spell list for you.

  • 1st Level: Alarm, Feather Fall
  • 2nd Level: Aid, Blur
  • 3rd Level: Haste, Slow
  • 4th Level: Confusion, Freedom of Movement
  • 5th Level: Mass Cure Wounds, Raise Dead

Unseen Observer

At 1st Level the patronage of the Delian means that the Warlock has learned to hide within the currents of the River of Time. They may become Invisible at will and all attempts at divining their location or presence have Disadvantage.

Hard to Kill

Existing outside of the normal River of Time, starting at 1st Level, the Warlock Stabilizes automatically upon dropping to 0 HP. The Warlock also regenerates 5HP every hour and is Resistant to Disease and Poison. The Warlock can also grant a small bit of this blessing to others – the Warlock learns the Spare the Dying cantrip.

Leywalk

At 10th Level, the Warlock may tap into and ride the Ley Lines to Teleport as a Reaction. This ability may not be used again until after a Long Rest.

Timestorm

Upon reaching 14th Level the character can touch a target and send a target on a hellish trip through multiple timelines until the end of the characters next turn. If the target is not a Timedancer of some sort it takes 5d10 necrotic damage and 5d10 psychic damage. This feature cannot be used again until the character finishes a long rest.

 

 

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Familiars and more for Wizards

Anyone else notice that they really nerfed Familiars in 5e?

I mean, on the one hand, they did utterly remove the whole “you’re screwed if your familiar dies” thing to compensate, but at the same time Familiars are now pretty much almost as worthless as the canon 1e version. I’d always been looking for ways to beef up Mages in 1e to make up for their generally “glass peashooter” nature at low levels that might actually work up to an actual glass cannon if they were lucky.

So Familiars were beefed up and casting the spell was essentially considered a “essential part” of an apprentice mage’s training, material components were tweaked (essentially making Arcane Focus), I ruled that spells could be cast directly from spellbooks with a longer casting time (aka 5e Rituals) and the proper equipment, and I added the idea of Grimoires (instructional spellbooks with “standard spells” that were easy to get ahold of) to the setting.

But as I look at 5e, I’m really underwhelmed with how Familiars work. Rituals, while fantastic, are simultaneously too easy to cast while at the same time being kind of useless because there are barely any spells with the Ritual tag. Learning spells is amazingly easy, but there seems to be little or no control on what spells get learned – plus the whole quest to find a “lost spellbook” is relatively “meh” because Wizards already gain lots of (unrestricted) spells as they advance.

I’ll get to Rituals, Arcane Foci, and Grimoires for 5e in a bit, at the moment I want to look at Familiars.

My game has a long history of really fun familiars – Edgar the Raven, Fafnir the Dragonet, She-Who-Chases-After-Rabbits-And-Runs-Into-Trees (aka “Rabbit”) the wolf, Asket the Frakir, the Ring of Ashkhelion, Elhiehu the Guardian Spirit, and many more besides. They can quickly become an active and engaged NPC/Ally/Henchman that builds a lot of color into the story, but mostly by being an active resource. 5e seems to have dropped this idea and instead moved to “flavor text for a couple of permanent magical effects” that are worthless the minute those big area effect spells start getting dropped.

So here is my very simple proposal to wrench Wizard (and Warlock) Familiars back into something more relevant.

  • Familiars gain 1HD for each level of the pacted Wizard or Warlock.
  • Familiars act independently of the Wizard or Warlock, including the ability to attack.
  • When the Wizard or Warlock is granted a Ability Score Improvement/Feat Gain, the Familiar may also take one (it does not have to be the same as their Wizard/Warlock’s). Alternately they can gain some other ability with the agreement of the DM.
  • A Familiar can, by proxy, maintain Concentration for one spell.
  • A Familiar uses the Proficiency Modifier of their pacted Wizard or Warlock instead of their own.
  • A Mage or Warlock may, as a Reflexive Action, choose to take on any damage that their Familiar would suffer, less one point (that the Familiar must suffer – with the effects described below).
  • When a Familiar takes damage, the Wizard or Warlock takes an equal amount of Psychic Damage. The Wizard or Warlock is Stunned for 1 round (Charisma Save for No Effect, DC15).
  • If a Familiar is “slain” the Wizard or Warlock takes Psychic Damage equal to the Hit Points of the Familiar (Charisma Save for Half Damage, DC15). The Wizard or Warlock is automatically Stunned for 1 Round.

Let me know what you think! This seems relatively balanced to me, though certainly with the potential to be abused in either direction – but my goal is not to “prevent abuse” but to instead “promote roleplaying and fun.”

TTFN!

D.

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5E – Warlock Patron – The Celestial

The Celestial
You have made your pack with a Celestial, one the great powers of Good who are committed to combatting and thwarting evil in all it’s forms. This being is most likely one of the members of the Angelic Host of Heaven, there are a variety of other powerful beings with similar motives who are dwell in the higher realms but who are not angelic in nature. Beings of this sort include the Nin Lammasu and Bel Shedu; the Lord Kulkukan; Marduk, the Binder of Winds; various of the Great Elder Dragons, and a handful of the most powerful of Council of The Elect.

Expanded Spell List
The Celestial allows you to choose from an expanded spell list when you learn Warlock spells. The following spells are added to the Warlock spell list for you.

1st Level: Divine Favor, Thunderwave
2nd Level: Calm Emotions, Lesser Restoration
3rd Level: Beacon of Hope, Spirit Guardians
4th Level: Death Ward, Guardian of Faith
5th Level: Dispel Good and Evil, Hallow

Healing Touch
As 1st level your patron grants you the ability of a soothing, healing touch by virtue of your presence and attention. This ability acts without limit, healing those you wish once, for an amount equal to one of their own Hit Dice (though this does not act against their own use of Hit Dice). A character cannot benefit from this again until they have undergone a short or long rest.

Armor of Faith
Starting at 6th level the character may add their Wisdom modifier to their AC as a Response to an attack by an evil creature. They may also use the same bonus to any single saving throw against an spell or spell-like attack from an evil creature as well. Use of either ability means that neither can be used until after a short or a long rest.

Mantle of Heaven
At 10th Level the character has Resistance to Necrotic damage and has Advantage to all saving throws against Fear or Possession.

Celestial Harrowing
Upon reaching 14th Level the character can touch a target and immobilize a target until the end of the characters next turn as it is racked by a weighing and judgment of all it’s evil, selfish, and impure thoughts. If the target is not a Celestial it takes 5d10 radiant damage and 5d10 psychic damage. This feature cannot be used again until the character finishes a long rest.

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