Author Topic: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning  (Read 10780 times)

DragoonWraith

  • Sage
  • Global Moderator
  • Elite
  • *****
  • Posts: 408
  • Gender: Male
  • Typo Hammer Ballot Box Eye of Seeing Dev Team Art Aficionado
    • View Profile
    • DragoonWraith.com
    • Awards
Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« on: March 07, 2012, 11:06:59 PM »
The 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.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 11:09:21 PM by DragoonWraith »
Legend contributions: As Above, So Below (rewrite); Reap the Whirlwind, A Personal Touch, Kept Secret, Kept Safe (Professional Soldier); Combat Alchemist (extra track)

Grue

  • Monk
  • Elite
  • ***
  • Posts: 374
  • Gender: Male
  • Typo Hammer Eye of Seeing Dungeon Delver
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 11:41:19 PM »
you have Delegate Control listed as both a second and a fourth circle spell

DragoonWraith

  • Sage
  • Global Moderator
  • Elite
  • *****
  • Posts: 408
  • Gender: Male
  • Typo Hammer Ballot Box Eye of Seeing Dev Team Art Aficionado
    • View Profile
    • DragoonWraith.com
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2012, 11:52:00 PM »
Right you are, 4th-circle one is Abolish Control instead. Fixed. Thanks.
Legend contributions: As Above, So Below (rewrite); Reap the Whirlwind, A Personal Touch, Kept Secret, Kept Safe (Professional Soldier); Combat Alchemist (extra track)

gkathellar

  • Tactician
  • Global Moderator
  • Ace
  • *****
  • Posts: 610
  • Gender: Male
  • My right hand was thunder, and my left was stone
  • Scroll of Scribes RoC Staff Dungeon Delver Eye of Seeing Dev Team Art Aficionado Magic 8-Ball
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #3 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.
Seven is the Number of Legend.
This is my mod voice.

DragoonWraith

  • Sage
  • Global Moderator
  • Elite
  • *****
  • Posts: 408
  • Gender: Male
  • Typo Hammer Ballot Box Eye of Seeing Dev Team Art Aficionado
    • View Profile
    • DragoonWraith.com
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #4 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.
Legend contributions: As Above, So Below (rewrite); Reap the Whirlwind, A Personal Touch, Kept Secret, Kept Safe (Professional Soldier); Combat Alchemist (extra track)

afroakuma

  • Administrator
  • Elite
  • *****
  • Posts: 437
  • Gender: Male
  • Prayer Wing Scroll of Scribes Problem Solver RoC Staff Art Aficionado Eye of Seeing Aquarius Dev Team
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #5 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.

Prime32

  • Minion
  • **
  • Posts: 179
  • Problem Solver
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2012, 02:52:52 PM »
Cool stuff. I see potential in invisible [Bound] summons to represent advanced telekinesis.

DragoonWraith

  • Sage
  • Global Moderator
  • Elite
  • *****
  • Posts: 408
  • Gender: Male
  • Typo Hammer Ballot Box Eye of Seeing Dev Team Art Aficionado
    • View Profile
    • DragoonWraith.com
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #7 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.
Legend contributions: As Above, So Below (rewrite); Reap the Whirlwind, A Personal Touch, Kept Secret, Kept Safe (Professional Soldier); Combat Alchemist (extra track)

GreyMantle

  • Mook
  • *
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #8 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.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 06:15:36 PM by GreyMantle »

delvin_anaris

  • Administrator
  • Minion
  • *****
  • Posts: 63
  • Problem Solver
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #9 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.

GreyMantle

  • Mook
  • *
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #10 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.

delvin_anaris

  • Administrator
  • Minion
  • *****
  • Posts: 63
  • Problem Solver
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #11 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.

Flickerdart

  • Bathtub Admiral
  • Administrator
  • Minion
  • *****
  • Posts: 91
  • Problem Solver RoC Staff
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #12 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.

GreyMantle

  • Mook
  • *
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2012, 07:44:57 PM »
Ah, okay. That totally makes sense.

DragoonWraith

  • Sage
  • Global Moderator
  • Elite
  • *****
  • Posts: 408
  • Gender: Male
  • Typo Hammer Ballot Box Eye of Seeing Dev Team Art Aficionado
    • View Profile
    • DragoonWraith.com
    • Awards
Re: Warlock Class – Binding, Cursing, and Summoning
« Reply #14 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.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 08:29:48 PM by DragoonWraith »
Legend contributions: As Above, So Below (rewrite); Reap the Whirlwind, A Personal Touch, Kept Secret, Kept Safe (Professional Soldier); Combat Alchemist (extra track)