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D&D 3E
Warlocks? 
15th-Dec-2006 06:27 pm
Choppa
A buddy wants to play a warlock, but doesn't want to shell out of the money for Complete Arcana(that's the right book, isn't it?). I'm not exactly in a position to just go out and buy it - on an amphibious warship. I have no problem buying it when I get home, but I'd like him to be able to create a character now. Is there a place where the warlock abilities are listed on the web?
Comments 
15th-Dec-2006 06:28 pm (UTC)
The warlock is the excerpt from Complete ARcane available via 'search inside this book' on Amazon.com, for free.
15th-Dec-2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the help!

(Sheesh, warlocks seem overpowered....)
15th-Dec-2006 08:09 pm (UTC)
They really, really aren't.

Warlocks are to spellcasters like fighters are to ... well, Ritual Warriors from Arcana Evolved, but DnD Doesn't have a good comparison. Well, consider a Melee based class that has a lot of x-per-day abilities, and after they run out of those x-per-day abilities, they're left with one attack a round, minimal damage, and Cleric or Mage BAB.

Warlocks have the ability to do a few magic tricks, but are able to do them all day. They don't have to worry about tight resource management -- they can blast every round, and have a few other tricks they can do frequently (or are always-on), but that's ALL they can do, and none of their abilities are terribly overpowered.


A quick comparison -- 7th level Sorceror v 7th level warlock. The warlock has 4 invocations, plus the blast, minor DR (DR/2), Detect Magic at will, and the ability to take-10 on Use Magic Device.

The Sorceror has a familiar, 6 0th, 7 1st, 7 2nd and 5 3rd level spells per day (including bonus spells). If the Sorceror casts only Scorching Ray, they roll touch attacks and do 8d6 damage per round, 12 times a day. Plus 7 magic missles that do 4d4+4 damage. And they can (almost) do Detect Magic at will. They can't wear armor, and have slightly worse Hit Points (and no DR).

The Sorceror has a WHOLE LOT of flexiblity. He can know a lot of other spells. He can (with Complete Mage) take Reserve Feats and do low level effects all day, as long as he doesn't cast 5 3rd level spells. He has area affect spells (Fireball) that do almost as much damage as scorching ray. And he has spell effects that affect long range. And any reasonable character build would have at least 2 levels of a full-spell-progression prestige class, by seventh level.

The warlock can stack a minor status effect on their blast. And may have 3 other tricks they can do, but they have very little flexiblity. Now, they can use any wand or almost any scroll they find. Which gives them some additional flexiblity, but the cost is high, as they're blowing through gold every time they are more flexible. They can't counterspell, ever (well, there's a Dark invocation that lets them). And, they're maximum spell range is a single target at 250', or multiple/area targets within 60'. That never changes.


(Anyways, there are a bunch of coimprehensive comparisons online. The idea of an always-on arcane type is nice, and the warlock is that, but it isn't that broken. Not even with the new prestige class in Fiendish Codex II ).
15th-Dec-2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
The other comparison, I forgot:
7th level Warlock against a 7th Figher Melee:

The warlock is hitting 1 target a round for 4d6 (+1, if they took Point Blank Shot. And there is no reason not to, with a max range of 60).

The single-weapon, 2-hand weapon melee fighter is hitting 2 times (single or multiple) targets for 4d6+18 (18 Str, Specialization, +1 magic weapon). The single weapon sword&shield is hitting for 2d10+14, but has a MUCH better AC. The 2 weapon specialist is hitting 4 times (single or multiple targets) for a total of 4d6+24 (2 +1 weapon).

The Bow-fighter is hitting 3 times a round for a total of 3d10+18 (+1 weapon, specialization, 16 Strength).

The rogue is hitting for d6+3 (+4d6 sneak attack ) (+1 weapon, 14 Str). And either has a shield or a second attack (depending on single weapon/improved feint or 2 weapon/flanking build).


Admittedly, Clerics and bards put out less damage than the warlock, (barring clerics Righteous Might/Divine Favor etc.). But they should be doing less.
15th-Dec-2006 08:45 pm (UTC)
Aren't Warlock invocations ranged touch attacks? I don't have the book in front of me. If so, that does give an advantage.

Have you played a Warlock or just running the numbers? That's not meant to be accusatory. I've never played one. Just curious how they play. I've been thinking about using one as an NPC.
15th-Dec-2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
I've played alongside a warlock - it's really not that spectacular by itself. If you start combining other class abilities (skirmish, for instance), you can get some nice damage, but a straight warlock is a marathon runner and doesn't put out much that quickly.
15th-Dec-2006 08:53 pm (UTC) - Indeed they are...
That's a bad thing for fighters, especially considering that the eldritch blast can be altered depending on what invocations are available.

Personally, I think the class is broken and I've barred it from my table. With all the abilities they can get, why play a wizard/sorcerer? They have more hitpoints on average, better armor capabilities and while they're limited to the number of incantations in their repretoire, there's no limit to how often they can use them. Plus they also get damage reduction (like a barbarian, except tuned to cold iron), the ability to use magic items not normally available to them, and -- if I recall correctly -- craft items (if they have the feat) in a way that bends the rules in the first place.

Take that last statement with a grain of salt -- I don't have the book in front of me, so I can't state the problem in detail, but I remember seeing it and going "huh?"
15th-Dec-2006 09:09 pm (UTC) - Re: Indeed they are...
They can craft items, without having the spell or spell effect, immediately available.


Really, I think you're short changing the class. I'd advise letting a player take the class and seeing how broken it is.


The reason to play sorc/wizs are still there.
Area affect spells are a good one -- the Warlock doesn't get access to Cone or Line affects until 11th level. So, your first level mage who has had Burning Hands or 5th with FireBall is much better at crowd control than the warlock. (The warlock, admittedly, could affect a 2nd target from level 6 on, if they took Eldrich Chain, but it is only 2 targets, and the second target takes half damage).

Flexiblity is another. The Warlock COULD use a wand of Fireballs, but that's 225 GP per charge on the wand. More, if you want to do more than 5d6 damage. And it is much easier to counterspell from a wand than if a PC cast it themselves. The Warlock cannot counterspell, until 16th level. The warlock doesn't have access to a large spellbook of flexiblity, so while they COULD buy a scroll of every spell, they're not going to get the use out of those scrolls a wizard would. And while the sorceror has limits, they're going to have several dozen additional options the warlock will not.

16th-Dec-2006 12:10 am (UTC) - Re: Indeed they are...
My thought is that if you can argue both sides (whether Warlock vs. Wizard, or Psion vs. Wizard), then it obviously isn't THAT overpowered since a case can be made either way.

16th-Dec-2006 05:19 pm (UTC) - Unfortunately...
... I'm not convinced.

1) The warlock essentially can fight like a bard -- i.e. he has the hit dice, armor, and attack bonus of the same class.

2) His eldritch blast is a spell-like ability, which means it bypasses DR. Granted SR applies, but a player wanting to optimize this asset can use the Spell Penetration feats. Since high touch ACs can be rare without invoking DM fiat, the warlock has a better chance of hitting than a wizard with equal DEX.

3) Detect Magic at will. One could argue that a Paladin can use Detect Evil at will, but that's part of the Paladin's purpose. For a wizard to have this ability, it requires a Permanency</a> spell, 500 XP, and that the caster be 9th level.

4) Damage Reduction -- This kicks in at 3rd level. A barbarian until 7th. Now, the argument is that with the warlock it's tuned to cold iron, but how often do the enemies have such weaponry?

5) Deceive Item -- I can't a feat that replicates this ability. Rogues/bards can use the same skill, but they can't take 10 to do it while threatened.

6) Fiendish Resilience -- similar to the monk's healing ability, although it is over time. Still, it's a free action, which means the warlock can pretty much do it without consequence.

7) Energy Resistance -- Again, like a permanent spell.

8) Imbue Item -- This was the kicker for me. Anyone wanting to take a warlock in this direction need only keep the Use Magic Device skill maxed out. If they have a decent Intelligence, they'll have the skill points to do so. At 12th level, UMD will be at 15 ranks, which means at an Intelligence 10, he need only roll a 1 to get his wand of Magic Missiles prepped (as natural 1's aren't automatic failures for skills). Not only does this allow the Warlock to emulate spells he can't cast, he can also emulate spells he wouldn't have the ability to cast even if he was of the proper class. (Although with a maximized UMD, he has only a 50% chance of creating a Cure Light Wounds wand.

In addition, there's no consequence for failure. If a wizard gets interrupted, all the gold and XP invested in the item is lost. Not so with the warlock should he fail the UMD check.

And while the invocations may not give the warlock flexibility, he doesn't need it. His invocations have no material components, no focii, and no XP costs, and no upper limit on how often he can use them in a day. And given that most invocations are of direct benefit to the warlock himself (not his allies), you have, in my opinion, a character that is not only overpowered, but also self serving.
15th-Dec-2006 08:56 pm (UTC)
So are almost all of the relevaant attack rolls for the Sorceror/Wizard comparison. Admittedly, the Warlocks BAB progression is better, but the Sorc/Wiz get area affect spells LONG before the warlock.

Now, The Fighter is going to have a little disadvantage at this point against heavily armored opponents, but is better off against unarmored. (THe melee/ranged figher is going to have BAB 7, +1 weapon, Weapon Focus, +4 Stat (Dex or Str) as appropriate The Ranged is going to have another +1 for PBS, most of the time. TAB of about 14. The Warlock is going to have BAB 5, PBS, +3 stat, TAB of 9. 5 behind. So, if the opponent has 5 points of armor, they're even. More, the warlock is ahead, less the Fighter. This range opens up even more as time goes on.



I'm currently playing one (in a double-feat progression, no PHB Base Classes game). Against opponents that do not have spell resistance, I'm putting out a nice amount of damage, but its climb out of range, shoot. Rine, lather, repeat. I got Relentless Dispelling as my lesser invocation at 6th level (casts a targetted dispel this turn and again the next turn, without concentration). It gives me something else to do.

The melee characters are certainly doing more (Swashbuckler/Scout/Dervish, Warblade, Hexblade). I'm doing okay, pace wise, as the Dragon Shaman. The Warmage is doing less, but that seems to be because the PC doesn't set himself up for crowd control spells (burning hands, or the other 1st level that does 1d4 per level but takes a full round to cast). The Healer stays out of combat, when she can.
15th-Dec-2006 11:06 pm (UTC)
A warlock is my standard threat to keep the twinker in my game group in line -- Stop sundering all my BBEG's shit in the first round of battle, or the Warlock with Eldritch Spear and Ranged Sunder is going to break all your crap from hundreds of feet away and then spook off.
16th-Dec-2006 04:47 am (UTC)
Eh. if the PC wants to break all the cool shit they're going to find on the BBEG, let them. its their lost Cool Shit.
16th-Dec-2006 05:27 pm (UTC) - Exactly!
Whoops, there goes that +schnanner Sword of Nanner I was gonna give ya...
15th-Dec-2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
One other comment -- there is an errata that severly affects the Warlock. THe Eldich Blast, unmodified, is considerd a 1st level spell affect, unless modified by a Essence or Shape invocation (in which case, it is treated as the invocation's level).

So, it is completely blocked by Minor Globes unless modified by a 4th level effect. And you need a Greater Invocation (Eldrich Essence or Blast Shape) before you get a 5th level spell effect, so a 10th level warlock is nigh-useless against a Globe of Invunerablity.
16th-Dec-2006 05:25 pm (UTC) - Ah... didn't know that...
That takes care of the Blast worry. I still don't like the class though...
15th-Dec-2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
I've heard... that if you search file sharing programs, you can find PDFs of many books online. I own every single book I use, and many many that I don't... but there were times during my poverty when those online resources were useful.
15th-Dec-2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
Somehow advising a military personel (or someone otherwise subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice) to commit a crime seems like a Really Dumb Idea to me.

16th-Dec-2006 12:43 am (UTC)
Which part of the 'Code says "Thou Shalt Not Download PDFs of Books"?
16th-Dec-2006 04:46 am (UTC)
If you're buying it, that's fine.

If you're illegally downloading a copy, that's not only a crime, in and of itself (copyright violation), but it is also 'Conduct unbecoming an officer', as well as violation of other conduct regulations.
16th-Dec-2006 05:52 am (UTC)
You completely missed the point. I was asking for the actual statute that says "downloading a PDF is a criminal offense."
17th-Dec-2006 04:54 am (UTC)
Wasn't there a Supreme Court ruling about intellectual property and junk? It's not a law, but it's precedent--and if I understand the system properly, "precedent" means "this is already in the laws implicitly."
17th-Dec-2006 07:33 am (UTC)
Could you be a little more specific?
19th-Dec-2006 01:50 am (UTC) - IANAL...
That's why I said "Wasn't there..." --because I don't know the specifics. I'll try Wikipedia.

Copyright
"Several exclusive rights typically attach to the holder of a copyright:
--to produce copies or reproductions of the work and to sell those copies (including, typically, electronic copies)"

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that if this is included under copyright law, it means it's illegal to produce copies other than for your own personal use. For example, I can copy a CD to a cassette tape to play in my car if my car has no CD player; I may not sell that cassette tape. I'm unsure about just giving the cassette tape to someone, though. It's a messy jungle of rules and regulations.

A distributor cannot be held liable for a user's infringement... --But that infringement is still infringement.
19th-Dec-2006 03:25 am (UTC) - Re: IANAL...
I wouldn't trust Wikipedia for legal analysis.

What I'm really looking for is: What does the law actually say about the recipients of the casette tapes in your examples?
20th-Dec-2006 12:07 am (UTC) - Re: IANAL...
"IANAL" means "I am not a lawyer." Of course you don't trust Wikipedia for legal analysis. But it's not too shabby on basic facts when they're not too colorable by opinion.

It's too bad I'm the only person on this journal who cares about finding this out, but not enough to do any serious research on it. Oh well. I guess I'll cede the point to you then.
20th-Dec-2006 01:17 am (UTC) - Re: IANAL...
I KNOW what IANAL means, there's no reason to be a snotty ass.

As to Wikipedia's accuracy in this matter, well, it's a rather controversial issue.

There's no reason to "cede the point" to anyone; it's clear that neither of us really knows what we're talking about. How surprising it is, given that we're talking about what the law is.
28th-Dec-2006 04:34 am (UTC) - total cluelessness on my part
Yeah, I really should have extricated myself from that earlier. Sorry 'bout that.

And defining acronyms does NOT make one a snotty ass, by the way. I have no way of knowing what your background is.
28th-Dec-2006 04:36 am (UTC) - Re: IANAL...
And when I said "only person" I meant "only person but you," since the other commenter (wisely) jumped ship on this conversation long ago.

Anyway, in sum: Didn't mean to offend, but my gut feeling still thinks you're wrong (i.e. my gut feeling is still that downloading pdf's is technically illegal).
28th-Dec-2006 04:50 am (UTC) - Re: IANAL...
Probably because they couldn't say much more than "Baa! Baa! RIAA good, fair use rights bad!"

And "gut feelings" don't go very far in court. No one has ever been able to point out the "thou shalt not download files" statute to me. It's rather disturbing because I'd much rather know the law than the RIAA, et al propaganda.

Ethics of downloading rather than buying aside, I'd rather be well-informed than a slave of the media corporations.
29th-Dec-2006 04:28 am (UTC) - Re: IANAL...
True.
15th-Dec-2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
oh... and Complete Mage has a great deal of new warlock stuff.
15th-Dec-2006 09:28 pm (UTC)
Yeeeeees. Yes it does.

Dragon Magic does, as well. Some of which are even better/cooler.

(Like, Eldrich Glaive, which is what Hideous Blow should have been. It is a full-round action that turns the blast into a reach weapon, that lasts a round. You can take AoO with it, and make iterative attacks, if appropriate.)
15th-Dec-2006 09:58 pm (UTC)
Yep, it's a pretty cool book. :-D
15th-Dec-2006 09:53 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure--possibly check the WotC site and see if they have it?

You could also go to Amazon.com and "Search Inside This Book."

Good luck!
18th-Dec-2006 04:05 pm (UTC) - Download it fool!
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