Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

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Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Murdling » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:03 pm

I want to propose a middle ground between the notion of homebrew invocations and our current state of no new shit ever period. Upgrading existing ones.

You'd still pay a research cost, and it would take up a slot of it's newly enhanced level, but it allows some flex room. Shit like a Lesser version of Baleful Utterance (Perhaps working on magic items an carrying a stronger debuff. Maybe eventually advancing into doubling as a dispel and breaking force effects if you keep pushing it into Greater or Dark range.)
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Murdling » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:57 pm

Note: this is explicitly fishing for feedback and suggestions, also possibly for suggested upgrades. Less work for Ian to do later.
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Stam » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:05 am

Flee The Scene
Greater: Long range. Major Image duration 1d4 rounds and Illusion (Shadow) instead of Illusion (Glamer); it may attack with weaponry or any eldritch blast effect you possess, including essences and blast shapes, but not with any other equipment or invocation. Any creature that interacts with the image can make a Will save to recognize its true nature; on a success, the image is only one-fifth (20%) as effective. Spell level equivalent L6.
Dark: As Teleport (self & familiar only), creates a duplicate of yourself for 1 round/2 levels. Full sensory input plus mental control of the duplicate's actions. May only have one duplicate in existence at any one time, and any charged or limited use equipment on the duplicate is nonfunctional. Spell level equivalent L8.
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Ian » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:31 am

Quick thoughts:

Stam wrote:Greater: Long range. Major Image duration 1d4 rounds and Illusion (Shadow) instead of Illusion (Glamer); it may attack with weaponry or any eldritch blast effect you possess, including essences and blast shapes, but not with any other equipment or invocation. Any creature that interacts with the image can make a Will save to recognize its true nature; on a success, the image is only one-fifth (20%) as effective. Spell level equivalent L6.

So an L5 spell equivalent (Flee the Scene with x16 range), and 1d4 uses of an L4/L5 spell-equivalent in addition to your normal actions. This is closer to L6 than the below is to L8; evaluation would depend on the control mechanics and whether you could have more than one at a time (below implies not, but it's not stated here), but this is still high-end due to action economy shenanigans.

Stam wrote:Dark: As Teleport (self & familiar only), creates a duplicate of yourself for 1 round/2 levels. Full sensory input plus mental control of the duplicate's actions. May only have one duplicate in existence at any one time, and any charged or limited use equipment on the duplicate is nonfunctional. Spell level equivalent L8.

As long as you renew it every 8-10 rounds, you have two of yourself at nearly full capacity. So it's the bad part of Leadership with some maintenance required and a cohort that is totally disposable; alternately, it's Teleport + Quickened Simulacrum (trading material components for duration at an arguable exchange rate, but then improving the simulacrum to be 100% of you instead of 50%, and note that Simulacrum can't even be Quickened normally). This is not an 8th-level spell by itself, and at-will usage blows it to hell. I would not allow this.
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Stam » Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:41 am

Whoops. Totally overshot that mark, did I then?

Fix ideas:
Greater: Set range at Medium if necessary. Limit to one image (with a duration of 1d4 rounds, I didn't think it necessary as I did with the Dark version I posited). If still requiring a nerf, cut duration further to one round. The base invocation limits you to "appropriate reaction to attacks" "as if you were concentrating on it," so there's very little discretionary control in the initial on which to base expansion. I'd suggest "pre-programmed on usage, plus reacts to attacks as per Lesser" to allow some basic additional flexibility but not the full control of Concentration. The base invocation also rules out any actions after usage (it's as Dim Door) so unless you took your turn and then used a quickened SLA (additional resource cost and limited daily uses), action economy should not be a significant issue.

Dark: Long-range Dim Door instead of Teleport, if the distance is still an issue. For the main problem, either have it function as the shadowstuff-Greater version with a 2d4 round duration, perhaps allowing mental control and perception, or have it function as a short-duration simulcra (half HD instead of full, with corresponding reduction in threat utility) at either initially posited duration or the 2d4 rounds, above.
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Murdling » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:18 pm

I submit an alternative.

Greater: Range 50+5/clvl - Greater Image (shadow) that lasts 1d4 rounds and can use Eldritch Blast (and only Eldritch Blast) modified in any way you can do so but with the usual will save to disbelieve for 20% damage in place.

Dark: Range 100+10/clvl - You may either choose to leave behind an image akin to the one described above, or you can choose to spawn 1d4+1 of the likes of it that cannot use EB and last only one round that appear scattered around where you land. (No further than 15 away for any individual image.)
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Murdling » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:36 pm

Baleful Utterance:

Lesser: Affects magical items as well with the usual sundering rules. Can affect Constructs as well as Crystalline monsters. Those wearing gear broken by this are both Deafened and Blinded for 1 minute.

Greater: Affects undead as well as the above types, maximum damage 15d6. Those wearing gear broken by this are Deafened, Blinded, and Nauseated for 1 minute.

Dark: Can be used on any target, maximum damage 20d6. Those wearing gear broken by it are Deafened, Blinded, and Stunned for 1 minute.
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Stam » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:24 pm

Breaking your own treasure isn't ... usually a favored option. ;)

The Greater and Dark versions, the latter especially, seem like they need something else to moderate them. As soon as you are looking at save-or-suck stuff of a duration long enough to shut you down for an entire fight, step carefully. In Dark's case, the damage quantity and the pile of stuff you'd be under is just too hardcore. Have the same save halve the damages, perhaps, or cut the duration of the effects. Deafened for one minute has no real comparison to Nauseated or Stunned for one minute. (Yes, I know there's an invocation that does this. Nauseated is one minute, stunned is much less, and both are only available as add-ons and not accompanying staggering damage.)
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Murdling » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:32 pm

Make it save vs. half damage and reduce to deafened/blinded for 1 round?
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Ian » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:57 am

Some rules of thumb to be looking at:

- Each invocation level focuses on two spell levels' worth of equivalents. Least is L1-L2, Lesser is L3-L4, Greater is L5-L6, Dark is L7-L8. This is probably obvious.

- Generally speaking, within a given tier, the more powerful or versatile base spells will be taken from the lower level in the range. Very powerful or highly versatile spells from the level below the range (at tiers above Least) are likewise in play--invisibility at-will being in the Lesser range, for example. Spells taken from the top level in the range are usually single-purpose, static, and/or not among the more powerful options at the level listed.

If your change is adding a great deal of versatility to the effect, take that into account when balancing against the equivalent spell level.

- As you look at this stuff, factor in both what other invocations at the same level are doing, and what the wizard is doing at the same equivalent spell level (not character level) within the suggested bounds above. If possible, consider starting with direct spell or spell effect transfers, as many of the existing invocations do, as this will make evaluation less subjective.

The final description clearly doesn't have to read this way, but if you can describe your effect in the terms I used with Stam previously ("This is an Extended-range flee the scene (L5) + 1d4 Quickened shadow conjurations (versatile L4-ish) with different limitations"), that makes balance a lot easier.

- Also factor in implications of at-will usage as best as possible; the reason we've never allowed this stuff to be customized is in part the very subjective nature of factoring in at-will usage. Obvious Example: Wall of iron and disintegrate are terrible candidates for invocation by dint of being infinite sources of instantaneous creation and destruction. Take your idea to its most extreme use case, and if it looks absurd, you've done something wrong. (Yes, this applies to a lot of existing WotC stuff. Whatever.)

Note that since this is something we've never gotten into before, I'm going to be very picky. The easier you can make it for me to say "Yes," the better.
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Murdling » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:08 pm

So I'd want to describe it as a limited Shadow Conjuration of yourself for the one option, and a 1 round duration Mirror Image for the other?
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Stam » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:13 pm

Duly noted for further revisits. :)
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Murdling » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:04 pm

Scalding Gust +1 - Lesser


Blistering Airburst (Equivalent spell level: 4th)
Components: S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 45 ft.
Area: Cone-shaped burst
Effect: Blast of superheated air emanating outward
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates knockback.
Spell Resistance: No

A blast of superheated air emanates from the caster's hand, dealing 1d4 fire damage per 2 caster levels (maximum 10d4). It also blows back any enemy caught inside the range in a manner similar to a more powerful Gust of Wind effect.

Tiny or smaller creatures are blown back to the extreme of the Cone's range or until they hit a solid object at which point the impact does 1d4 nonlethal damage per 10 feet traveled.
Small creatures are blown back 1d4x10 feet taking 1d4 nonlethal damage per 10 feet.
Medium creatures are knocked prone.
Large creatures cannot move forward against the wind.

Anything larger is unaffected by the wind but may still be burned. Airborne creatures are treated as 1 size smaller than they actually are. Non-sentient swarms with more than 50% of their mass in the area are dissipated entirely if their save is failed.

I was far more concerned with the knockback here than the damage to be entirely honest. I wanted to see some kind of improvement in the size of the creatures it could affect, keeping it meaningful a bit more often.

Curse of Despair +1 - Greater


Vile Curse of Despair (Equivalent spell level: 6th)

As Bestow Curse, Greater.
The spellcaster places a curse on the creature touched, choosing one of the three following effects:

One ability score is reduced to 1, or two ability scores take -6 penalties (minimum 1).
-8 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks, and skill checks.
Each turn, the subject has a 25% chance to act normally; otherwise, he takes no action.

You may also invent your own curse, but it should be no more powerful than those described above, and the DM has final say on the curse's effect. A greater curse cannot be dispelled, nor can it can be removed with a break enchantment, limited wish, or remove curse spell. A miracle or wish spell removes the greater curse, but each greater curse also must have a single means of removing it with some deed that the spellcaster designates.

Not much to say about this one. The spell already existed. It's a bit high for a Greater maybe but the level range on spells vs. invocations HAS got some exceptions to the usual. See Dark Foresight (9th level spell effect) and Word of Changing (5th level spell effect - and nerfed compared to the spell) both being Dark Invocations. Also remember this is a touch range spell that has a save and allows SR. Using it in a fight is a huge risk.

Flee the Scene +1 - Greater


Liesmith's Misdirection (Equivalent spell level: 6th)

As Flee the Scene but requiring no Verbal or Somatic component, and you may choose to either leave behind a Major Image from where you were or to spawn 1d4+1 mirror images upon arrival at your new location. (Duration of images is Concentration + 1 round)

This always struck me as more of an escape power than a movement focused one, so I aimed for it being usable while captive and for being able to pick which end of the teleport you leave the illusion on.

Devour Magic +1 - Dark


Thaumivore (Equivalent spell level: 8th)

The Warlock's touch can deliver either a targeted Greater Dispel Magic or the effects of a Ruby Ray of Reversal (but only regarding ailments whose source was a spell, spell-like ability, or SU property. You can't disarm traps and shit with this). Each spell level for a spell or SLA thus removed heals the caster for 5hp, or provides 5 temporary hp should they be at full health. Effects ended that stem from something with no spell level instead restore 2hp per clvl of the user.

Addendum: If you try to strip your own Invocations for healing you'll find that you heal exactly 2hp, no more no less. Not per clvl, but 2hp total. Yes you can kind of mimic fast healing 1 with this (if you keep using a standard action every round to do it). If you're level 16 plus and so screwed up that this matters at the moment then by all means do so. Stripping effects you got via consumables or multiclassing works like normal.

Against a target whose spiritual or physical makeup is in some way reliant on magical energy (constructs and elementals for example, possibly some species of undead - probably DM discretion there but something like a Lich whose existence is solely due to magic comes to mind) this may be used in a manner similar to Vampiric Touch (right down to still requiring hitting with a touch attack). The dice and effects re: them losing health and you gaining temporary HP are identical, but the damage is typeless.

I find Caster's Lament to be very underwhelming. Break Enchantment is okay, but that's another instance of a Dark being used to mimic a spell of 5th level (and again nerfed compared to it's spell variant) which is a total travesty. Ruby Ray is a 7th level spell, but we're limiting it touch range here and cutting it's list of viable targets in half. The Dispel option is still there in much the same capacity it used to be, I honestly don't know if it still matters when you can use Ruby Ray with it but erring on the side of me missing something I left it there. The final VT usage is kind of like the side use of Baleful Utterance - only useful in very specific circumstances but included because it absolutely fits with the theme of the thing.
Last edited by Murdling on Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:48 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Stam » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:54 am

Dark One's Own Luck - Lesser, Greater, Dark wrote:Balancing points: ruin delver's fortune (Lesser, Greater); superior resistance (Dark)

"Guess I just got lucky." - Herrod the warlock on how he managed to escape the building collapse without so much as a singed hair.

Lesser: (Spell level equivalent: 4th)
As a standard action, you gain one of the following benefits for 24 hours.
  • Gain a luck bonus on Fortitude saving throws equal to your Charisma modifier, and immunity to poison.
  • Gain a luck bonus on Reflex saving throws equal to your Charisma modifier, and the evasion ability.
  • Gain a luck bonus on Will saving throws equal to your Charisma modifier, and immunity to fear effects.
You can’t apply this ability to two different save types at the same time. This bonus can never exceed your class level.
Notes: This is a 4th-level sorcerer spell, cut down in responsiveness to adapt for no effective limit or duration. Temp HP option was sliced out due to abuse potential.

Greater: (Spell level equivalent: 6th)
As Lesser, but you may switch to a different benefit as an Immediate action. Doing so ends the prior benefit.
Notes: This is the same as above, and is a 4th-level spell effect, and is only given full reign (ish, there's still no temp HP) because at this level it's much less worrisome. Sorcerers had this at L8, Bards got it at L10, and you the Warlock only get it at L11.

Dark: (spell level equivalent: 8th)
As a standard action, gain a luck bonus to all saving throws equal to one-third your caster level (max +7 at CL 21st) for 24 hours. You also gain immunity to fear and poison, and both the evasion and slippery mind special abilities.
Notes: Why a sudden switch? Because at Dark level, your Warlock will be rocking a Cha score of 26-30, and at that point you've actually outpaced what the Wizard can put up. Setting this at 1/3 caster levels gives you a +5 at earliest grab point and +7 cap in case you've invested in caster level boosting stuff. Wizards got superior resistance ages ago, so that is insufficient by itself, and if you're spending one of your three Dark invocations on survivability, it'd damn well better pony up with more than just a L6 spell, so I added the side benefits of the earlier iterations. Throw in Slippery Mind for chuckles.

Addendum for consideration: If one pays for and researches both the Lesser and Greater version, allowing benefit to two saves at once. Should wording be added to prohibit such, or is the part where they're allocating two of twelve invocation slots and some of their cash sufficient to pay for the benefit?
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Re: Warlock invocation not-exactly-homebrew.

Postby Murdling » Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:24 pm

I posit an alternative set of options for Dark One's Luck. I believe the theme here isn't centrally linked to saving throws, it's to luck in general.

Least involves your Charisma bonus to one save as a Luck bonus.

I propose the following; side bonuses stack

Lesser: 2 of the below bonuses at a time: you auto-stabilize at negative hp any time you reach that level of injury
Greater: 3 of the below bonuses at a time: also you may reroll any one failed roll per day
Dark: As Greater, but also the 1st time in any day you would receive enough damage to kill you you are instead are set to -9 hp and are surrounded by an Otiluke's Resilient Sphere effect at your own clvl. (Possibly have switching reduced to a move action at this level.)

Apply your Charisma bonus to any of the following as a luck bonus;

AC
Fort Save
Reflex Save
Will Save
Initiative
Skill Checks (Individually) (Possibly excepting UMD?)

Benchmarks: Superior Resistance is a 6th level spell, and this catches up roughly with that in the Greater range which is appropriate assuming your Charisma is solid. The extra tweak I don't think is out of the range of reason. An Init tweak of +5 is available as an immediate action cast time 1st level spell. (Nerveskitter) Luck bonus to skill checks likewise comes in very early spell wise. (Improvisation.)

The advancing value comes from having them always-on and being able to swap them around relatively freely based on the needs of the moment.

Regarding the final Dark ability the inspiration I saw there was from Fortunate Fate, but not the same obviously. It's not a Heal, it's just a not dead. But it also puts you in a nice bubble afterward. Why? Because the Devil's luck is selfish.
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