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Warlock Design
Mike Mearls

A s we compile the last of the feedback from the D&D Next public playtest, we're also working on a couple of classes. This week, I wanted to talk a bit about the warlock.

Since its first appearance in 3rd Edition's Complete Arcane, the warlock has evolved in terms of both its background and its magical abilities. The original warlock stood out for its ability to use magic at will. A warlock could unleash an eldritch blast again and again, climb walls like a spider, or see through invisibility or magical darkness without running out of spells for the day. In terms of its background, the class was similar to the sorcerer, gaining power through a distant ancestor. But where sorcerers were tied to dragons, warlocks could trace the origin of their power back to planar fiends.

With 4th Edition, the class evolved to make its background more distinct, gaining elements of the binder character class from Tome of Magic. Rather than drawing from a bloodline, the warlock gained arcane power by entering into a pact with a planar or otherworldly patron. Eventually, new warlock options came to incorporate elements of the hexblade character class from Complete Warrior. This allowed a warlock to create a mystical weapon used to deliver powerful melee attacks fueled by arcane magic.

For D&D Next, we've gone back and fully integrated these approaches into the core class. A warlock chooses a patron—a powerful being from the outer planes or beyond—that supplies the character with arcane secrets. In return, the warlock grants something in trade or acts as the patron's agent in the world.

The nature of the warlock's pact shapes the class's magic. A warlock might enter into a pact based on the blade, the book, or the chain. The pact of the blade allows a warlock to forge a weapon of pure arcane power. Drawing inspiration from the hexblade, a blade pact warlock can serve as a ferocious warrior in close combat.

The pact of the book unlocks ancient secrets and mystic knowledge. A warlock that has this pact calls upon arcane magic and shapes it into a variety of effects, based on the character's patron. The pact of the book focuses more on spells than the other pacts.

The pact of the chain deals with summoning and binding a planar creature to serve as the warlock's minion. This creature is a powerful ally capable of wading into battle at a warlock's command or serving as a conduit for the character's magic.

In addition, the warlock is notable for its ability to channel spells again and again. A warlock masters the secrets of spells to use them repeatedly, though compared to a wizard, a warlock has a much smaller spell list.

The overall approach to the warlock for D&D Next aims to cover the bases of what we've done before, while also adding some new wrinkles. As the class design firms up, we'll have more details on its progress.

Mike Mearls
Mike Mearls is the senior manager for the D&D research and design team. He has worked on the Ravenloft board game along with a number of supplements for the D&D RPG.
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Why i have to make a pact?

Why i cant bind a demon to serve me just like Ammon Jehro in NWN2.

Bind five demons, build a Raven and they all do as i command.

I really need to be the servant not the master??
  
Posted By: Viziel (2/27/2014 8:16:32 AM)
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I really like to see a option on Warlock like this:

"Born of a supernatural bloodline, a Warlock seeks to master the perilous magic that suffuses his soul. Unlike Sorcerers and Wizards, who approach arcane magic through the medium of spells, a Warlock invokes powerful magic through nothing more than an effort of will"

Who dont need depends on weave, deities or pacts to cast spells, but just his own soul.
  
Posted By: Viziel (2/27/2014 8:03:35 AM)
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It's short-sighted to fold Hexblades, Binders, and effectively Duskblades and Warmages into the Warlock class. Nobody thinks those classes are gone forever, and it would be more responsible to keep your successors, or yourselves, from introducing different versions of them by using 2 or 3 of the names for Warlock subclasses. Patron and objects as foci or emblems can still be class features, just as Barbarians and conceivably some Druids have a totem spirit, and Fighters have maneuvers and fighting styles they share with Rangers and Paladins, who can also project various Auras.
  
Posted By: RadperT (11/19/2013 9:06:01 PM)
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How is a warlock different than a cleric? A cleric dedicates himself to powerful, extra-planar entities and receives spells and powers in return. So does the warlock. Other than the spell list being different, I just don't see this class being able to stand on its own. And we already have the Wiz and Sor covering arcane magic. Why do we need a third arcane class? If you want to play a character that casts spells he learned from a devil, then roll up a wizard and check with the DM. "Hey, is it okay of my character's background is that he learned his spells by making a deal with the/a devil instead of going to Hogwart's?"
  
Posted By: TheWilds (11/15/2013 11:58:30 PM)
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So glad to hear more about the Warlock class in Next. Thanks! Though not at all edition-specific, I've always liked the idea that, one day, the warlock will eventually be used/sacrificed/destroyed by his patron, that, after all, he was just a pawn in his patron's game. This probably comes to me from reading Michael Moorcock's Elric stories when I was a kid. What a great ending that would be for a high-level warlock!
  
Posted By: eullman (11/12/2013 12:47:15 AM)
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Very exciting news!
  
Posted By: Pyrate_Jib (11/8/2013 10:05:56 AM)
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There's great RP opportunity in the negotiation of contracts, their perks, and their flaws, bargaining with the NPC (DM) for your magic. Not only this can set warlocks apart from clerics, but also that they may have overlapping contracts and watch that they don't violate one while making another. Also, summoned creatures could be more powerful, but could turn on their binders if the contract or focus/chain is broken.
  
Posted By: Dreamstryder (11/6/2013 9:26:22 AM)
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In http://wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20130930 Mike wrote (referring to Warlocks and Sorcerors), "it's unlikely that we want to give those classes blanket access to all mage spells." When he says (in this article) "a much smaller spell list" I think he's referring to conceptually related subsets of the Mage's arcane spell list, not spells granted by a higher (or lower) power like the Cleric's daily allotment (maybe next week he'll let us know to what sort of subset a Sorceror might have access).
  
Posted By: RadperT (11/6/2013 9:03:11 AM)
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Fantastic. Great direction, absolutely love the blade/chain/book pact mechanic.

I'm really hoping you have the warlock powers have fluff drawbacks like you did earlier in the playtest, like a mole appearing on the warlock's nose or light becoming uncomfortable to the warlock if they knew certain spells.

Think we could have an idea of what sort of patrons would be available to new 5e warlocks?
  
Posted By: wetsail (11/5/2013 6:53:55 PM)
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I liked the light one, but I didn't think the mole would affect NPC or PC behavior as much. Anyway, I'd like RP fuel as a class trait, too.
  
Posted By: Dreamstryder (11/6/2013 9:30:35 AM)
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Consider that the mole applied to a character if they pursued a pact with an Archfey obsessed with beauty. Any such character would likely be very beautiful, and very much opposed to losing that beauty, even to something as inconsequential as a mole.

I agree that not all the drawbacks were made equal for the early 5e warlock, but all the drawbacks were fluff-based rather than having any crunch to them. Thus, the player would ultimately decide exactly how uncomfortable daylight made them and in what way, or how much they disliked their new, mole-marred complexion.
  
Posted By: wetsail (11/6/2013 6:09:29 PM)
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I am very pleased that the Warlock is going to be a separate class away from the Wizard/Sorcerer. It didn't feel right that they'd be subclass sharing the same pool of spells, despite some mechanic making it different. Warlock's draw their spells from a completely different source than Wizards/Sorcerers after all.
  
Posted By: AK_Endgame (11/5/2013 6:12:47 PM)
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Hrm. Not bad. If the Six Stat Save System wasn't so repugnant to me, I might be interested.
  
Posted By: Telwar (11/4/2013 10:31:21 PM)
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You could just combine STR and CON, INT and DEX, and WIS and CHA...make a 3 save system...add 10 and have a 3 defense system...

Or just play 4e ;)
  
Posted By: seti (11/5/2013 12:59:45 AM)
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Each ability score also being a save is one of the biggest draws for me. It means that dump stats are actually a liability now.

Besides, it's much easier to houserule away than it is to houserule in.
  
Posted By: Shroom-Mage (11/5/2013 6:49:48 PM)
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There's not much I immediately liked about 4e. It had to get to a critical mass in terms of support, and then that really had to grow on me. Warlock pacts were something I immediately liked. Infrernal, fey, and star pacts all seemed appropriately different, and seemed to pay attention to the sources of magical power. (Vestige pacts as a way to folder in 3rd ed. binders didn't seem as clean, but acceptable.) So that's one more vote for "make sure the patron matters".

I never really thought about hexblades (blade pact) as warlocks. I had to look them up before I saw that they had the power to curse an opponent, and weren't strictly a gish. I guess that curse makes them fit in better as warlock than fighters or wizards. Shamans as warlocks (chain pact) is a bit more of a stretch for me.

Oddly, the topic just made me think about the Sha'ir, and how it would fit in if it ever got another update. The Sha'ir from Al-Qadim had a small elemental bound in service... (see all)
  
Posted By: longwinded (11/4/2013 6:29:42 PM)
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Sounds like a Chain Pact Warlock is pretty much identical to a 4e Shaman.
  
Posted By: pauldanielj2 (11/4/2013 5:32:27 PM)
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Not at all. the 4e shaman could heal and buff allies. There's no indication that a 'chain' warlock will be able to do those things.
  
Posted By: seti (11/4/2013 7:57:35 PM)
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This is the approach I wanted for the Cleric. A method and mechanic of magic completely distinct from the wizard, based on a RELATIONSHIP.

Sigh. Well, maybe I can hope that they'll offer a pact of the Ankh, or whatever. A divine warlock path where the patron is a deity.

What I'm saying is that it'd be interesting to see a divine class where the choice of deity actually matters. Specific deity, rather than just broad domains.
  
Posted By: Zaruthustran (11/4/2013 4:52:55 PM)
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Agreed, I'd have much preferred the Cleric getting a Pantheon or Patron Deity that they worship with Domains being granted progressively (so you get multiple domains over the course of the game).
  
Posted By: OskarOisinson (11/4/2013 5:33:29 PM)
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I really like the flavor. Playing Moses as a Book pact Warlock would be really flavorful, as you also get 'books' (ok, tablets) to carry around and spread your patron's commandments!

  
Posted By: OgreBattle (11/4/2013 4:10:06 PM)
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SO basically being a more flavour-appropriate Cleric?
  
Posted By: OskarOisinson (11/4/2013 5:34:22 PM)
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I'd like to see this grid design people are talking about with Pact and Patron, but also, I almost think it would be better if the "Blade" pact was "Blood" pact instead, that way you could use it with various weapons… plus blood pact is just classic.
  
Posted By: OskarOisinson (11/4/2013 3:45:57 PM)
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Maybe one way to go is to say that, at first level, you chose to have a book of ancient power penned by an extra planer being, a sword forged in another realm and made of a variety elements not native to the prime material plane, or a small figurine that summons a. Bound being from the viel. Your character, at level one and two, uses this item to get by in the world. Then, at level three, the use of this item attracts an extra planer being's attention and shows up to converse with thePC,and establish a patron bond to grant more powers. At this point the player can chose his patron, or perhaps the DM can chose it for him (so that he can make an NPC out of this patron that is mysterious). The patron should fit with the alignment (just like lawful good dwarf paladins aren't going to worship hextor, the god of orcs) but should be allowed to pick what ever patron benefits they want (the dwarf could still pick war domain, for example). It's just like cleric domains, keep the benifites generi... (see all)
  
Posted By: moes1980 (11/4/2013 3:30:07 PM)
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My only real question is when are we going to see the warlock and the sorcerer? I really, really want to play them and it feels like I am being taunted a second time...
  
Posted By: Xynthoros (11/4/2013 3:05:27 PM)
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Brilliant. Three good approaches merged cleverly. Would play.
  
Posted By: LordOfTheFlies87 (11/4/2013 3:00:08 PM)
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Just a comment guys - I'm pretty sure the Blade/Book/Chain are more metaphors than LITERAL objects. At least I hope so... I also wanted to say that I LOVE the concept of the chain-pact. I love the idea of binders, and have explored character options to that effect in every RPG I've played.

I agree with some that trying to fit the hexblade into the same base class as the warlock/binder is tricky, but I'm open to seeing it. I also agree that that choice of patron should be very significant probably leading to "grid" class design, where you pick a pact and a patron, and get the intersection of those choices.

I do agree somewhat with those that suggest it should be a subclass of mage, rather than a totally separate class. The ONLY reason I feel this way is this: IN THE FICTION, these types of characters seem to usually start as traditional wizards, who then choose an expedited path to power, or start investigating down forbidden roads of research. On the ot... (see all)
  
Posted By: Razorstorm (11/4/2013 2:55:36 PM)
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Sounds interesting, although as someone already pointed out, the main reason warlocks were at-will casters was a reaction against Vancian preparation. I hope all classes can choose to cast spells without that system.

The bit at the end about warlocks vs. wizards being "at will but limited selection" vs. what we all think about a wizard being is really the most disappointing thing I've read in this article series for a while, because it just doesn't sound that original or different. There have been some really cool ideas in 5.0, but many of them - in the playtests, anyway - have been discarded in favor of "more or less like 3rd Edition again". These sort of class decisions are something that I hope really get inspired and interesting, and stay as far away from a rehash of 3.5 as possible.
  
Posted By: nukunuku (11/4/2013 2:05:32 PM)
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The separate packs sound really fun. The pact of the chain sounds particularly entertaining, thinking of a character concept where the warlock's job as an agent is to enslave new minions for his patron. As it's been mentioned in other comments, I don't understand the abandonment of the subclass idea. This seems like it would work really well. Of course I'll wait and see.
  
Posted By: Gorthar_the_Honorable (11/4/2013 1:54:31 PM)
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Making at-will a major facet of the warlock is silly. That was a gamist decision in response to demand for alternatives to memoization (as with the sorceror). Game mechanics should support the story, not the other way around.
  
Posted By: Goken100 (11/4/2013 1:41:07 PM)
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Why, what's so bad about acknowledging that mechanics exist? Some people don't want to play a wizard because it is too much to keep track of, some people don't want to play fighters because there aren't enough bells and whistles. Some people like high ACs and some people like high damage dice. No need to pretend that mechanics don't exist if they don't interfere with the story.
  
Posted By: mordicai (11/5/2013 3:29:13 PM)
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I don't know... As usual, I'll hold back my judgment until I see the final product. However, I still very much preferred the idea of having the Warlock - and the Sorcerer, for that matter - be subclasses of the Mage, not separate classes.
  
Posted By: FelisLynx (11/4/2013 1:25:59 PM)
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I'm fully behind this particular idea. I thought the mystery of warlock power was pretty interesting in comparison to traditional magic use that you would find with a Wizard/Sorcerer.
  
Posted By: dejectedgeek (11/4/2013 12:58:12 PM)
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Please make sure of balance being maintained, I often feel these newer classes to the game often break the system because they are too powerful because they borrow concept from many classes and roll them into one overpowered class. Be careful pleeeease!
  
Posted By: tirwin (11/4/2013 12:56:52 PM)
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I like what I am seeing here so far, and am very much looking forward to seeing the playtest for this class.
  
Posted By: The_Eye_of_Kyi (11/4/2013 11:40:31 AM)
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It's bad enough that we have a class called the Sorceror, now you're going to have Warlocks who grant you-know-what to infernal powers. The Bible-thumpers are going to want to burn our new book without dragging summoned creatures in and around on their chains! Plus I'm having trouble picturing a captive Fay minion or NPCs wanting to have anything to do with a character who shows up with a Starspawn tethered to h/h like some ghastly balloon.
  
Posted By: RadperT (11/4/2013 11:06:08 AM)
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My suggestion: in the same way Clerics choose a divine domain at 1st level, the warlocks should do the same with their patrons. It would be strange to select it at 3rd level, because signing a pact with a fey lady or with a devil master are VERY different from each other and involve divergent backgrounds. Every patron should give a small bonus, just not to make it too difficult for new players. For example, they could give a boost to certain types of spell or grant an at-will attack associated with a kind of energy (fire for devils, psychic for aberrant creatures and so on).

At 3rd level, once the warlock has earned experience, the patron sees him or her as an useful ally and entrust the ability to wield a magical "relic", each one associated to a big set of mechanical options: the Book (spellcasting), the Blade (melee combat) and the Chain (summoning). Again, the initial pact should give just a small addition. For example, an infernal pact could allow the Chain ad... (see all)
  
Posted By: Songxer (11/4/2013 10:49:44 AM)
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Honestly I'm in the fence about this. I liked 3.5 Warlock, the 4e classic Warlock, and the Essentials Hexblade. However I tend to separate classes not folding them up.
As it was presented, it was so-so to me. Not bad, but I like the 3.5-4eclassic-Essentials stuff better.
  
Posted By: cassi_brazuca (11/4/2013 10:25:30 AM)
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This seems less like an actual Warlock class design than a way for the Devs to introduce the misc spellcasting classes.

Main sticking point, the focus should be less on making the pact, and more on Who the pact is made with. Fey-pacts and Infernal pacts shouldn't have the same options or play the same (which is a big problem I have with the current Cleric setup as well, unlike earlier packets).

Frankly, I think trying to mash the hexblade and binder concepts in with Warlock is a mistake. I'm inclined to think it's done less out of design concept reasons than in an effort to just get those into the game so we shutup about it.
  
Posted By: LupusRegalis (11/4/2013 10:15:27 AM)
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I agree with this.
  
Posted By: Darkwon (11/4/2013 11:02:57 AM)
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Totally agree with this. All of it: the bit about patron being more important than pact type, and the bit about cleric domains being bland.

"I'm a blade pact" vs. "I'm a book pact" is less interesting than "I have a pact with Asmodeous." vs. "I have a pact with Oberon."

As for clerics, right now there's no difference between a cleric of Ares (War) and a cleric of Athena (War). That's unsatisfactory. There should be mechanical differences between gods.
  
Posted By: Zaruthustran (11/4/2013 5:01:07 PM)
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So you want Clerics to have different mechanical benefits for all possible deities? That's a little ridiculous. If you want the clerics of two different war gods to feel different, then roleplay it. Give them different weapons, different domain spells, different teachings and dogma. There's more to the game than mechanics. Use your imagination.
  
Posted By: Ramzour (11/4/2013 5:57:39 PM)
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I like the sound of the design. However, I hope this will leave room for a hexblade subclass of a fighter.
  
Posted By: tsf (11/4/2013 9:55:53 AM)
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The patrons were the most interesting part of the 4e Warlock. I'd love to hear more about how they will be implemented with this three sub-class design. It sounds like there will basically be two different themes that flavor the warlock - pact type and patron. It'll be tricky to make both of those feel applicable without having to come up with something different for each pairing! How would you add pacts or add patrons without having to grow the sub-sub-classes exponentially? I'm sure there's a theory in WotC's mind, would love to hear more about that.
  
Posted By: Rils (11/4/2013 9:33:21 AM)
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Overall, I like the flavor and feel, and that you're building interesting choices in from first level. Obviously, the actual mechanics matter a lot, too.

There should be strong ties between the patron and the character. One of the issues w/4e was that the game design was so committed to never leaving a character with nothing to do that you couldn't disempower a cleric or a paladin, or silence a wizard or keep him from regaining spells, etc. I understand why this was done, because "doing nothing" is the antithesis of fun, and we play RPGs to have fun, but also to be challenged and to immerse ourselves in a fictional world. I would like to see strong mechanical support, or at least considerable DM advice, regarding what a patron might demand from their pet, and what the consequences might be of denying it. It should be possible to have a good-aligned character who draws power from an evil source -- the "I must use the darkness to strengthen the light!" trop... (see all)
  
Posted By: Lizard_SF (11/4/2013 9:30:52 AM)
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Make Patrons matter. That's all we want. Stick with what the playtest made them feel like. those whos need and lust for power outwayed everything to form the pact!
  
Posted By: RedHeadSamurai23 (11/4/2013 7:59:13 AM)
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This sounds very cool! I really like the sound of the three main types of pacts.

I would also like to see some differences from the type of patron as well as the type of pact.
  
Posted By: Arithezoo (11/4/2013 7:54:29 AM)
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I adored 3e warlocks.
I adored 4e warlocks.
DnDNext warlocks sound like they are shaping up just fine.

Personally I want to see them be Charisma based and I think looking at the anti-paladin or blackguard for inspiration is a good way to go, too.

Making the pact part of the warlock a little more distinct would help anchor them, I think; like, the nature of the relationship between the creature and the warlock can be fluid, I'm not saying it needs to be locked down or the same for every PC, I just would like to see the pact made manifest in some way...but I'm not sure how.
  
Posted By: mordicai (11/4/2013 7:35:11 AM)
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I like this too. Flavor meets mechanics. My only hope now is for the spell list to be grounded from those found in 1st Edition and the Mage class, with minor additions, instead of an entirely new list that doesn’t overlap at all.
  
Posted By: VividAntivirus (11/4/2013 7:20:58 AM)
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Very nice. I love the flavor and mechanics of the proposed Warlock. I think this will really make the Warlock stand out from other caster classes, while providing an interesting backstory for the class. Lots of potential. Great job wotc team!
  
Posted By: Ramzour (11/4/2013 6:40:25 AM)
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Another vote to "please, make the pacts different depdning on patron". That was something 4E did well, IMO.
  
Posted By: Avin (11/4/2013 5:44:15 AM)
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I'm not very fond of what Mike is suggesting. I liked 4e pacts and *really* liked the playtest version of the Warlock a few packets back *a lot*. I think the Warlock subclasses should be divided by patron type, as it is a more defining narrative choice - not by some random inventory item which is really very limiting.

Sure, it makes sense that a devil might give a chain - but can't he also give a book, amulet or a 'Live Strong' bracelet? I would rather have the item as something like an Arcane Bond - rather than the defining feature of Warlock subclasses.
  
Posted By: man.of.tomorrow (11/4/2013 5:31:19 AM)
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I always saw the 4th ed. warlock as someone who wanted (or better yet, needed) instant Power(!) without having to engage in long weeks and months of study and practice; I saw the 4th ed. warlock as someone who saw a chance to grab Power(!) (or at least what he assumed was 'Power') irregardless of the 'price' to acquire that Power(!). Thus, the Star Pact warlock realizes far too late that his deal with Caiphon and Ulban has rendered him a tiny pawn on the celestial chess board in a game between the Faerunian deities and the enitities of the Far Realm; the Infernal Pact warlock realizes far too late that his deal with Asmodeus in gradually transforming him into a compliant little cambion.

In short, for at least the first four or five character levels, the warlock is little more than a plaything for his patron.

If you can maintain this idea of a warlock in 5th Ed., then I will try to play such a doomed character.
  
Posted By: arnvid2008 (11/4/2013 4:35:16 AM)
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That sounds cool, but, I hope that the type of creature you make a pact with still makes a difference. I'd hate it if, for example, a Bladelock who makes a pact with an archdevil is completely equal (in mechanical terms) with a fey-pact Bladelock.

So, the way I'm envisioning it, it'd be like a grid class. Three options for type of pact (blade, book, chain) with three (or more) options for source of power (fey, infernal, alien, and perhaps even more... I like shadow), up to a total of 9+ combinations from the get go. It'd be somewhat complex, but then again, it's the Warlock. I'd be ok with the complexity if it allows for the awesome.
  
Posted By: Valien (11/4/2013 4:14:15 AM)
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WARLOCK INFORMATION
Warlocks burn and destroy weakened foes with a combination of crippling illnesses and dark magic. While their demon pets protect and enhance them, warlocks strike at their enemies from a distance. As physically weak spellcasters bereft of heavy armor, cunning warlocks allow their minions to take the brunt of enemy attacks in order to save their own skin.

Affliction: A master of Shadow magic who specializes in drains and damage-over-time spells.

Demonology: A master of demonic magic who transforms into a demon and compels demonic powers to aid him.

Destruction: A master of chaos who calls down fire to burn and demolish enemies.

Source: http://wowpedia[dot]org/Warlock
  
Posted By: Duqian (11/4/2013 4:11:45 AM)
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I like the pacts from 4E and the version in Pathfinder. I didn't like the 3.5e version much, unfortunately. Somehow, the class never quite clicked with me because it always seemed that the class never fitted with the idea of a "witch". KoboldAvenger makes a point close to the mark. Is it now a hybrid of Hexblade-Warlock-Binder? Some people will be happy with the new Warlock - I just hope I will be!
  
Posted By: Maerlius (11/4/2013 4:10:20 AM)
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How does the warlock's magic interact with the current spell list? I remember one of the reasons for going back to the more traditional spell list was so that there's not 5 different versions of what is essentially Fireball for 5 different classes (for example). I'd hate for the warlock to have to use a unique spell list when there's a perfectly functional one already in the game.
  
Posted By: Aavarius (11/4/2013 2:39:22 AM)
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I'm excited to see how this plays out. I liked how 4e fleshed out more of the warlocks background, but it lost the fun of the 3e version due to the homogenization of abilities to the at-will/encounter/daily model. I hope the 3e book style lock lives up to its roots.
  
Posted By: devilsadvocate (11/4/2013 2:38:45 AM)
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There seems to be a lot of potential here. Different effects based on different patrons that are chosen, and a unique flavour for each character based on whether you choose blade, book or chain. Depending on how this is done, it could be a really interesting class.

For example, imagine making a warlock with a chain pact: the planar creature that you bind keeps struggling against you, obeying your commands while cursing your name and waiting to strike against you once its free. Seems like a great way to convey the darkness and danger that should be inherent in a warlock's pact.
  
Posted By: BadMike (11/4/2013 1:45:19 AM)
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Sounds really cool! I like the fluff of choosing different patrons sort of like how clerics can chose different deities and get domain powers. I like the three you have going, magic, combat, and summoning. Sounds like a fun class!
  
Posted By: moes1980 (11/4/2013 1:31:39 AM)
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So...what abilities do these 3 warlock 'styles' key to?

Are they all charisma based casters? Or will the blade use STR or CON, the book use INT, and the chain use CHA?

I think this is a question everyone interested in 5e warlocks wants answered.

Personally, I lean towards all warlocks using CHA, but having strong secondary abilities based on the type of warlock they are...ie: Book = CHA and INT, chain = CHA and CON, and blade = CHA and STR (or even DEX if the summoned blade is more a finesse weapon like a light saber.)
  
Posted By: seti (11/4/2013 12:52:52 AM)
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Does the nature of the patron affect the type of magic, as it did in 4e, or does only the type of pact? I like the idea of pact and patron both mattering, but that may be too complex for a single class...
  
Posted By: Atlemar (11/4/2013 12:46:07 AM)
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I hope so...The patron of the pact should be more than just fluff. I liked how 4e did it, where a fey pact vs. an infernal pact vs. a star pact all played very differently. The only thing they really had to have in common was eldritch blast. You could have a party of all warlocks in 4e and they'd all have a different arsenal of powers...That was awesome.

I don't think it'd be too complex. Besides, a warlock should be a more 'advanced' class than a 'I swing my weapon at it' round after round fighter-type.
  
Posted By: seti (11/4/2013 1:29:01 AM)
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Agreed, I like the kind of pact one makes having some effect over mechanics, but I ultimately think to whom a pact is made should determine the finer details of that basic option (gish/pets/control).

Actually, and I've been trying to argue this to wizards in various places. I really would like to see this approach to Clerics as well by going back to a Patron/Deity choice and then a Domain/Sphere/Totem choice (DIvine/Elemental/Primal) for class abilities.

I had even thought it wouldn't be too off kilter to combine the Warlock and Cleric in some way, but I guess that can be handled via multiclassing (creating a Templar or some such).
  
Posted By: OskarOisinson (11/4/2013 11:56:02 AM)
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Reminds me of the 4ed Wizard from PHB1: choose between orb, wand, or staff for different feel and playstyles.

I like that there is an option for a Warlock that cares whom they made a pact to, and I really like the idea of a Warlock Petmaster. And if the Blade option gives us a fighter/wizard hybrid class that doesn't require multi-classing, that will make me very happy.
  
Posted By: Alter_Boy (11/4/2013 12:46:02 AM)
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It will be interesting to see how the Pact of the Chain works. As there isn't a single subclass of anything that relies on companions at the moment. So it's pact of blade=Hexblade, book=classic Warlock, and chain=binder?
  
Posted By: KoboldAvenger (11/4/2013 12:22:31 AM)
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So, Doctor Orpheus would probably be a Warlock in DND next.
  
Posted By: the_Horc (11/4/2013 12:13:59 AM)
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