Rule of Cool Community Forums

Legend System Discussion => Legend Homebrew => Topic started by: DragoonWraith on March 07, 2012, 11:06:59 PM

Title: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on March 07, 2012, 11:06:59 PM
The Warlock (http://dragoonwraith.com/legend/class/warlock/)

Warlocks are spellcasters, relying on summoning fiendish minions to do their jobs. These fiends can be bound to others with the Convoker track; this puts brutal curses on them. They may instead be bound to an Invoker himself; this grants powerful boons. Or they may simply be summoned using traditional Spellcasting; the fiends make for disposable Mooks that can open up a variety of tactical opportunities.



Mechanically, Convoker is a powerful offensive track. Possibly too powerful, honestly; feedback would be nice. Word of Pain, in particular, seems to scale improperly: it deals substantial portions of its potential damage right from level 1. The damage multiplication of Maladict is probably just inappropriate, but for now I'm keeping it because it amuses me. Tweaking there will happen though.


The Invoker track uses a scheme that was originally suggested for Combat Alchemist, that is to have a semi-"spellcasting" track with four tiers, mirroring the item tiers, and three non-tier-based circles (so it's half a track, and half a progression a la spellcasting). Combat Alchemist is still incomplete, so I think this is the first public use of the concept. Essentially, it's very similar to the Tome of Magic Binder from 3.5. The specific effects of the binds are all in need of balance critique.


The Spellcasting track uses two new conditions I've created, [Bound] and [Summoned]. The exact rules can be found at the end of the document, but the gist of it is that [Bound] creatures get no independent actions. Instead, they have a controller who can spend an action (typically a Swift action) to order them to attack or use a special ability. [Summoned] creatures simply disappear when they die or lose the [Summoned] condition.

The idea behind the vast majority of the Warlock's spells is that they spend a Standard action to summon a Mook, who they can then order about as Swift actions. Effectively, the expenditure of a Standard action and a spell slot sets up a Swift-action ability that can be used for the rest of the encounter.



Anyway, I am very interested in responses, thoughts, and most definitely any balance help. My sense of Legend balance is not as strong as you might think; most of my contributions to Legend have been conceptual, and I don't have a good sense for the numbers and expectations yet.

Also, feel free to comment on the formatting of the webpage itself. I developed a fairly-intricate PHP-based scheme for the automatic creation of these pages, and it still requires fine-tuning, so feedback there is appreciated. In particular, I know the Table of Contents is in desperate need of population.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Grue on March 07, 2012, 11:41:19 PM
you have Delegate Control listed as both a second and a fourth circle spell
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on March 07, 2012, 11:52:00 PM
Right you are, 4th-circle one is Abolish Control instead. Fixed. Thanks.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: gkathellar on March 08, 2012, 08:48:12 AM
This is a huge amount of work, dude. Very impressive. I'll see if I can wade through it all in the near future, but I look forward to seeing how you figure out the problems of summoning.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on March 08, 2012, 01:17:56 PM
Thanks! Yeah, I dunno, there's really a lot of work (proper research into balancing the numbers, most importantly) that should have gone into it that didn't, but I'm rather busy right now. I'm pretty pleased with the results.

The summoning mechanic itself, I think, is the most valuable part of the class - it really does allow pretty effective summoning without blatant action economy abuse. Particularly at low levels, it may be problematic to have at all, so that will take some tinkering, but I think the general concept is quite useable. The Mook rules are incredibly useful for it.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: afroakuma on March 08, 2012, 02:46:25 PM
Oh cool, you got this up. I'll have to take a more thorough look tomorrow or later this evening.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Prime32 on March 08, 2012, 02:52:52 PM
Cool stuff. I see potential in invisible [Bound] summons to represent advanced telekinesis.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on March 12, 2012, 04:46:11 PM
Minor bump, hoping for some more feedback on this.

Prime32: That's an awesome idea and I really like it.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: GreyMantle on March 12, 2012, 05:54:38 PM
This seems really neat. I totally dig.

Minor suggestions/queries: Is there any reason that Warlock spellcasting uses the old (3 spells/circle) system instead of the newer (1 spell/level) one?

And Word of Pain does seem a bit on the OP. Removing the 1d6 damage might be enough to put it more in line with the rest of Legend, but I'm not sure.

The Token mechanic in Maladict seems like a lot of extra accounting for a fairly small benefit. You could just make the Word of Pain deal double damage or something.

Also, the effect of the Babau invocation seems totally dissociated from its fluff.

And, in general, the fluff of this class seems almost too specific in comparison to the other Legend classes. The invocations in particular necessitate the existence of fiends very specific to traditional D&D lore. This isn't inherently a bad thing, but it's certainly different. I almost wonder if it might be a better idea to deanchor this class's abilities from those specificities. If you do that, with a few more invocations and spells, this class could probably represent summoners of almost any type, not just fiends.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: delvin_anaris on March 12, 2012, 06:37:34 PM
Minor suggestions/queries: Is there any reason that Warlock spellcasting uses the old (3 spells/circle) system instead of the newer (1 spell/level) one?

Now, I'm frequently behind the times, but I was pretty sure it was the other way around.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: GreyMantle on March 12, 2012, 06:53:15 PM
Minor suggestions/queries: Is there any reason that Warlock spellcasting uses the old (3 spells/circle) system instead of the newer (1 spell/level) one?

Now, I'm frequently behind the times, but I was pretty sure it was the other way around.

I don't think so...

I just redownloaded Legend, and both the Tactician and the Shaman text sez that they gain one spell/level.

Also, I've actually read most of the invocations, and they are not nearly as fiendspecific as I initially thought. As written, this class could almost totally be a generic summoner. It just needs a few more spells, I'd say.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: delvin_anaris on March 12, 2012, 06:56:06 PM
I just redownloaded Legend, and both the Tactician and the Shaman text sez that they gain one spell/level.

I believe that means that the revision to make it three spells/circle has not yet made it into the doc.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Flickerdart on March 12, 2012, 06:57:46 PM
3/circle is just the progression being tossed around. It's so new that it hasn't even been implemented, much less put into the doc.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: GreyMantle on March 12, 2012, 07:44:57 PM
Ah, okay. That totally makes sense.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on March 12, 2012, 08:24:15 PM
Re: 3/circle Spellcasting – Yeah, I happened to be around when people were talking potential fixes, and I liked it enough that I implemented it in my own. I have no idea if the number '3' is going to remain.

This seems really neat. I totally dig.
\o/

And Word of Pain does seem a bit on the OP. Removing the 1d6 damage might be enough to put it more in line with the rest of Legend, but I'm not sure.
That minor, really? I would have thought the initial damage is almost ignorable compared to the damage over time effect.

The Token mechanic in Maladict seems like a lot of extra accounting for a fairly small benefit. You could just make the Word of Pain deal double damage or something.
Well, the idea is that [Healing] can mitigate the damage. Also, note that you record the target's HP before dealing the damage after the first round: this means that the target takes triple damage for tokens in the first round (once spread out the first round, again at the end of the round, and again at the end of the second round), and double damage for tokens in the second round (once spread out over that round, and again at the end of it).

If you think that's overcomplicated, I'm really glad you didn't see initial drafts of the track. All of the abilities transfered tokens to and from the Convoker as he cast the SLAs and the target took damage from WoP. It was... really complicated. It actually had some really cool results that I'm sad to lose, but it was just absurd to try to explain.

Also, the effect of the Babau invocation seems totally dissociated from its fluff.
Eh, the Invoker track is supposed to be the defensive one, so it got that. I was trying to balance them along with the actual items from those tiers, and there are items that give that bonus, soooo...

And, in general, the fluff of this class seems almost too specific in comparison to the other Legend classes. The invocations in particular necessitate the existence of fiends very specific to traditional D&D lore. This isn't inherently a bad thing, but it's certainly different. I almost wonder if it might be a better idea to deanchor this class's abilities from those specificities. If you do that, with a few more invocations and spells, this class could probably represent summoners of almost any type, not just fiends.
Also, I've actually read most of the invocations, and they are not nearly as fiendspecific as I initially thought. As written, this class could almost totally be a generic summoner. It just needs a few more spells, I'd say.
This makes me really happy, I have to say. I mean, yeah, I used the names and some vague idea of the fiends' abilities from the SRD, but they're just names and mechanics. The Summoning spells in particular could easily summon just about any other sort of creature.

The real difficulty of other creatures is that the justification, in my head, for the creatures being in full lock-down mode (i.e. [Bound]) is because you can't trust fiends. If you had some sort of trustworthy creature you could summon (say... an Angel Summoner), I'm not sure how you would justify that.

Though, of course, an Angel Summoner would be awesome.


Also, gkathellar: thanks for linking Warlock in the GitP thread, considering someone brought it up. I appreciate that.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: GreyMantle on March 12, 2012, 09:35:32 PM
Yeah, I was somewhat misreading the text for Maladict. I don't think it's inordinately convoluted. It's still a bit on the complex side, but it seems neat.


Regarding Word of Pain's OP: Removing the 1d6 still might not be enough. You could do something like 1/2 Cha. Or you could give the target a new save each turn to see if it will be Word of Pain for that turn. That would be a bit unwieldy, but it fits the flavor of the target struggling to thrust the fiend out of her body.


Regarding Angel Summoners: I was picturing it like this: Regardless of what he's summoning, the Warlock is still binding other sentient creatures to his will. He might be doing it for The Greater Good, but his actions are still kind of Morally Grey at best. As such, he's unlikely to trust anything he summons, because, at the very least, it's probably going to want to escape. Even if you're some paragon of virtue, if a random mortal summons you to do his bidding, you're likely to be at least slightly resentful, right?

You could make another class that has as its schtick the summoning of willing outsiders.

Side note: I think it would be neat if [summoned] and [bound] creatures could do things like pass messages and open doors. Limiting them to Move, Attack, Special does help with balance, but it really hurts the verisimilitude.

On a similar note, I wish some of the spells lasted longer than just [Encounter]. That way, you could use them to spy on people, or act as watchdogs, or collect alchemical ingredients, or... That could almost just be the province of Feats, though.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on March 12, 2012, 10:12:56 PM
I mean, personally, I'd probably allow things like opening doors to be a part of movement or whatever.

Passing messages is definitely something I'd want to allow, but I'm not sure how rules for it would work. But the Succubus, in particular, is intended to be used for out of combat things like that.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Hyozo on March 14, 2012, 09:06:41 PM
Would it be reasonable to make the damage over time from Word of Pain equal to the number of circles you have in Convoker?
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on March 14, 2012, 10:20:49 PM
I'd personally been considering 2/circle, actually. But I think that /circle definitely scales better, whether it's one or two per.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Hyozo on March 15, 2012, 12:02:00 AM
2/circle seems like it would actually get even more excessive than Charisma modifier at later levels.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on March 15, 2012, 09:11:36 AM
Yeah, probably. I dunno, I want it to count, but not be too much. One means that the Convoker can basically give his entire team +1 damage per action (not even per attack) against one opponent as a standard (Will negates). That doesn't seem all that impressive.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Djtooth on March 15, 2012, 11:41:40 AM
I like the summoning track but i would think to expand it so you have  choice first level to summon either demons, undead, angels, animals, plants or constructs. Maybe this can be done with a summoning template and a list to choose from for adding abilities and types?
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Grue on March 15, 2012, 03:08:11 PM
I like the summoning track but i would think to expand it so you have  choice first level to summon either demons, undead, angels, animals, plants or constructs. Maybe this can be done with a summoning template and a list to choose from for adding abilities and types?
that would boil down to giving them a racial subtype ([undead], [construct], etc.) and changing the fluff.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: GreyMantle on March 15, 2012, 04:23:39 PM
You could do something like this:

Each spell just has one "Summon" spell. It reads something along the lines of
"You summon a creature with one of the following sets of special abilities and traits: " And then you'd have that level's list of creatures, essentially.

You could also choose to summon a creature that had multiple lower level abilities and traits.

That change I think would increase the Warlock's versatility a bit, and make it more of a generic summoner, which most people seem to want.

However, I don't think making this specific class capable of summoning plants, animals, or constructs is an especially good idea. The Convoker track just does not fit at all with those creatures. It necessitates the use of some "spirit" type creature.''

Sets of summoning that I could see working coherently with the Warlock's three tracks:
Fiend summoning
Angel or "Celestial" summoning
Undead summoning
Spirit summoning or something: This would include elementals, fey, nature spirits...
We could also have some sort of Lovecraftian Star summoning or whatever. The 4E implementation sucked butts, unsurprisingly, but the concept is still a very cool one.

Now, making this adjustment wouldn't really mean that much more work for the Summoning track. Just add in a bit that you have to choose what type of creatures you summon when you first get the track, and that all summons have that specific subtype.

However, if you wanted to be really cute, you could add subtype-specific summons. The Kython one that you currently have seems fairly Fiend-specific (although potentially a Ghost) could have abilities like that too. You could even have Invocations that are subtype specific, which would be neato.

But all that would be a lot of extra work.




Also, I would recommend not giving Warlocks access to every Invocation on the list. It means that adding extra Invocations makes every Warlock noticeably more powerful. It's the same problem that Clerics and Druids had in 3.x.

I could see just giving them x invocations/classification. Or you could do it like a wizard's spellbook, where you learn y invocations/classification (where y<x), but you can learn more invocations via scrolls or old tomes or something.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on March 15, 2012, 09:55:51 PM
The summoning mechanic and spells were intended as an exploration of summoning in general and a prototype for how it might be done. The Warlock was a showcase of these mechanics, but not, in and of itself, intended to cover every sort of thing you might want to summon. I would apply similar mechanics to undead (though not summoning because that irks me greatly, unless they're spirits), and more-or-less identical mechanics to a summoner of other sorts of creatures – but I don't see the Warlock as the one who actually has those spells on his spell list.

As for having one spell with a "list" of creatures, I'm not sure I like that idea. You get 3 spells/circle; use them. I dunno, it does need testing – it may be that it's too limiting as-is. But I suspect it is in line with other spellcasters in Legend.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Decatus on March 23, 2012, 02:24:12 PM
DW, I just wanted to jump in here and say I really appreciate the amount of work you put into the Warlock. 

As to Word of Pain, wouldn't 1 damage/circle work? It seems like that would be the easiest way to balance it, as it parallels to the Rage track fairly easily; also, keep in mind that while 7 extra damage doesn't seem like a huge amount, on a full attack you're adding 21 to 28 extra DPR at higher levels. I think that just that brings it roughly in line with the other damage tracks via other classes, and that's not even taking account of the summons and Maladiction.

I did have a question, though. Word of Pain says that whenever something takes damage, it takes extra X damage. So, does word of pain deal the same type of damage as the other attack? What about the case for your HP reduction abilities? Would it simply deal damage, or would it deal additional amounts of HP reduction?
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on March 24, 2012, 01:33:17 AM
DW, I just wanted to jump in here and say I really appreciate the amount of work you put into the Warlock. 
Woot, thanks!

As to Word of Pain, wouldn't 1 damage/circle work? It seems like that would be the easiest way to balance it, as it parallels to the Rage track fairly easily; also, keep in mind that while 7 extra damage doesn't seem like a huge amount, on a full attack you're adding 21 to 28 extra DPR at higher levels. I think that just that brings it roughly in line with the other damage tracks via other classes, and that's not even taking account of the summons and Maladiction.
Ah, you're misreading it: it deals its damage per action that causes damage, not per attack. A full attack is one action, and therefore you'd only deal the damage once.

1/circle/attack might be something to consider though.

I did have a question, though. Word of Pain says that whenever something takes damage, it takes extra X damage. So, does word of pain deal the same type of damage as the other attack? What about the case for your HP reduction abilities? Would it simply deal damage, or would it deal additional amounts of HP reduction?
Simply deals damage, and at least in my head it was irresistible "curse" damage (similar to how the 3.5 Warlock's Eldritch Blast did irresistible, er, eldritch? damage). I don't know for sure that this is a valid thing to do in Legend, though.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Mystify on March 24, 2012, 01:36:36 AM
Legend has a lot of ways to flat out resist damage, so an irresistible damage type doesn't make sense. Being untyped doesn't seem to be much of an issue though.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on March 24, 2012, 01:37:52 AM
Yeah, untyped is pretty much what I meant.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Decatus on March 26, 2012, 06:48:22 PM
DW, I just wanted to jump in here and say I really appreciate the amount of work you put into the Warlock. 
Woot, thanks!

As to Word of Pain, wouldn't 1 damage/circle work? It seems like that would be the easiest way to balance it, as it parallels to the Rage track fairly easily; also, keep in mind that while 7 extra damage doesn't seem like a huge amount, on a full attack you're adding 21 to 28 extra DPR at higher levels. I think that just that brings it roughly in line with the other damage tracks via other classes, and that's not even taking account of the summons and Maladiction.
Ah, you're misreading it: it deals its damage per action that causes damage, not per attack. A full attack is one action, and therefore you'd only deal the damage once.

1/circle/attack might be something to consider

I did have a question, though. Word of Pain says that whenever something takes damage, it takes extra X damage. So, does word of pain deal the same type of damage as the other attack? What about the case for your HP reduction abilities? Would it simply deal damage, or would it deal additional amounts of HP reduction?
Simply deals damage, and at least in my head it was irresistible "curse" damage (similar to how the 3.5 Warlock's Eldritch Blast did irresistible, er, eldritch? damage). I don't know for sure that this is a valid thing to do in Legend, though.

Derp on the whole damage per action thing, lol. The big bad philo major who can't read.

On the subject of the damage per round though, do you thing my suggestion would cause a huge amount of imbalance, or does it seem reasonable given the way I read it? I mean, it seemed ok to me, especially because it's buffing the entire party. On the other hand, that could cause a huge amount of damage that the 1/action schtick completely avoids, while still letting you contribute to everyone's damage.

 Thanks for clearing up my misconceptions. I'm looking forward to testing this out when I get to run a game.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on March 26, 2012, 07:09:30 PM
I'm beginning to suspect that your version works best, though of course it needs testing.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Decatus on March 26, 2012, 07:12:07 PM
...wow, really?  ;D
I feel special now. Well, here's hoping you and the rest of the devs can get it ironed out. I'd love to see the warlock as a core class.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Greenish on April 09, 2012, 01:10:42 AM
Can you stack Words of Pain on a single creature?
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: DragoonWraith on April 09, 2012, 01:18:38 AM
Only with Blasphemy (5th Circle).
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Greenish on April 09, 2012, 01:27:08 AM
Only with Blasphemy (5th Circle).
…Maybe I'll read it through before asking more questions.
Title: Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
Post by: Narsis on April 14, 2016, 07:40:37 PM
Curious but does anyone have a link to this?  The one in the OP doesn't work anymore.