Alternate Class - Warlock

Born of a supernatural bloodline, a warlock seeks to master the perilous magic that suffuses his soul. Unlike sorcerers or wizards, who approach arcane magic through the medium of spells, a warlock invokes powerful magic through nothing more than an effort of will. By harnessing his innate magical gift through fearsome determination and force of will, a warlock can perform feats of supernatural stealth, beguile the weak-minded, or scour his foes with blasts of eldritch power.

Adventures: Many warlocks are champions of dark and chaotic powers. Long ago, they (or in some cases, their ancestors) forged grim pacts with dangerous extraplanar powers, trading portions of their souls in exchange for supernatural power. While many warlocks have turned away from evil, seeking to undo the wrongs of their former colleagues, they are still chained by the old pacts through which they acquired their powers. The demand to further the designs of their dark patrons, or to resist them, drives most warlocks to seek the opportunities for power, wealth, and great deeds (for good or ill) offered by adventuring.

Characteristics: Warlocks harbor great reserves of mystical energy. The font of dark magic burning in their souls makes them resistant to many forms of attack and arms them with dangerous power. Warlocks do not wield spells, but they do learn to harness their power to perform a small number of specific attacks and tricks called invocations. Warlocks make up for their lack of versatility by being tougher and more resilient than sorcerers or wizards.

Alignment: Warlocks are often chaotic or evil (and more than a few are both). The powers they serve can be cruel, capricious, and wild, unbound by conventional views of right and wrong. However, even warlocks who derive their powers from the most sinister of patrons have been known to turn the black powers at their command against evil. A good-aligned warlock is a grim and fearsome enemy of evil. All too familiar with the darkness lurking in his heart, he gazes unflinchingly on the evil in others and battles the foulest of foes without fear.

Religion: Warlocks know firsthand the power of supernatural beings, so they do not scorn religion. Evil warlocks sometimes seek the favor of cruel and bloodthirsty deities, while good warlocks often turn to the worship of noble and true deities for the strength to win the battle raging in their tortured souls.

Background: Warlocks are born, not made. Some are the descendants of people who trafficked with demons and devils long ago. Some seek out the dark powers as youths, driven by ambition or the desire for power, but a few blameless individuals are simply marked out by the supernatural forces as conduits and tools. The exact nature of a warlock's origin is up to the player to decide; just as a sorcerer is not beholden to the magic-wielding ancestor that bequeathed his bloodline with arcane power, a warlock is not bound to follow the source that gifted him with magic.

Warlocks are not half-fiends or tieflings by default (although many creatures of those kinds become some of the most powerful and terrifying representatives of the class). The mark that the supernatural powers leave on their servants is often a mark in the soul, not the flesh. In fact, many warlocks are created by non-evil powers - wild or fey forces that can be every bit as dangerous as demons or devils. Whatever their origin, warlocks are widely feared and misunderstood. Most are wanderers who rarely stay in one place for long.

Races: Ambitious and often unprincipled, humans are the most likely to seek out the dangerous shortcuts to power that lead to life as warlocks. Half-orcs are common as warlocks as well, since they often find that the powers that create warlocks do not discriminate against individuals of mixed heritage. Warlocks of other races are rare at best.

Other Classes: The warlock views sorcerers and wizards as bitter rivals. He values the strength and cleverness of resourceful fighters and rogues but rarely gets along with clerics or paladins. Of course, most warlocks understand that it's a bad idea to antagonize their comrades (especially those who hold the key to healing magic), and so they work out an uneasy truce with characters who otherwise might ostracize them.

Role: A warlock serves much the same role in an adventuring party as a sorcerer or wizard would. He is much more limited in his abilities compared to the spell selection of spellcasters, and he must rely on his eldritch blast in place of the spell power of an arcane caster. Like a bard, he often fits best in a party that already has another spellcaster or two, since his unique abilities provide him with little magic to use for his companions' benefit.

Abilities: A high Charisma score makes a warlock's invocations harder to resist. High Dexterity is very valuable to a warlock, allowing him to better aim his eldritch blasts, and a good Constitution score is also useful.

Alignment: Any evil or any chaotic.

Class Skills

The warlock's class skills are Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Disguise, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Knowledge (the planes), Profession, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at each additional level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All the following are class features of the warlock.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Warlocks are proficient with all simple weapons. They are proficient with light armor but not with shields.

Because the somatic components required for warlock invocations are relatively simple, a warlock can use any of his invocations while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like arcane spellcasters, a warlock wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure (all invocations, including eldritch blast, have a somatic component). A multiclass warlock still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from levels in other classes.

Invocations: A warlock does not prepare or cast spells as other wielders of arcane magic do. Instead, he possesses a repertoire of attacks, defenses, and abilities known as invocations that require him to focus the wild energy that suffuses his soul. A warlock can use any invocation he knows at will, with the following qualifications:

A warlock's invocations are spell-like abilities; using an invocation is therefore a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. An invocation can be disrupted, just as a spell can be ruined during casting. A warlock is entitled to a Concentration check to successfully use an invocation if he is hit by an attack while invoking, just as a spellcaster would be. A warlock can choose to use an invocation defensively, by making a successful Concentration check, to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity. A warlock's invocations are subject to spell resistance unless an invocation's description specifically states otherwise. A warlock's caster level with his invocations is equal to his warlock level.

The save DC for an invocation (if it allows a save) is 10 + equivalent spell level + the warlock's Charisma modifier. Since spell-like abilities are not actually spells, a warlock cannot benefit from the Spell Focus feat. He can, however, benefit from the Ability Focus feat, as well as from feats that emulate metamagic effects for spell-like abilities, such as Quicken Spell-Like Ability and Empower Spell-Like Ability.

The four grades of invocations, in order of their relative power, are least, lesser, greater, and dark. A warlock begins with knowledge of one invocation, which must be of the lowest grade (least). As a warlock gains levels, he learns new invocations, as summarized and described below. A list of available invocations can be found following this class description, and a complete description of each invocation can be found in Chapter 4 of this book.

At any level when a warlock learns a new invocation, he can also replace an invocation he already knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade. At 6th level, a warlock can replace a least invocation he knows with a different least invocation (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be either least or lesser). At 11th level, a warlock can replace a least or lesser invocation he knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be least, lesser, or greater). At 16th level, a warlock can replace a least, lesser, or greater invocation he knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be least, lesser, greater, or dark).

Finally, unlike other spell-like abilities, invocations are subject to arcane spell failure chance as described under Weapon and Armor Proficiency above. Warlocks can qualify for some prestige classes usually intended for spellcasters; see Warlocks and Prestige Classes, for details.

eldritch blast (Sp): The first ability a warlock learns is eldritch blast. A warlock attacks his foes with eldritch power, using baleful magical energy to deal damage and sometimes impart other debilitating effects.

An eldritch blast is a ray with a range of 60 feet. It is a ranged touch attack that affects a single target, allowing no saving throw. An eldritch blast deals 1d6 points of damage at 1st level and increases in power as the warlock rises in level. An eldritch blast is the equivalent of a spell whose level is equal to one-half the warlock's class level (round down), with a minimum spell level of 1st and a maximum of 9th when a warlock reaches 18th level or higher.

An eldritch blast is subject to spell resistance, although the Spell Penetration feat and other effects that improve caster level checks to overcome spell resistance also apply to eldritch blast. An eldritch blast deals half damage to objects. Metamagic feats cannot improve a warlock's eldritch blast (because it is a spell-like ability, not a spell). However, the feat Ability Focus (eldritch blast) increases the DC for all saving throws (if any) associated with a warlock's eldritch blast by 2.

Detect Magic (Sp): Beginning at 2nd level, a warlock can use detect magic as the spell at will. His caster level equals his class level.

Damage Reduction (Su): Fortified by the supernatural power flowing in his body, a warlock becomes resistant to physical attacks at 3rd level and above, gaining damage reduction 1/cold iron. At 7th level and every four levels thereafter, a warlock's damage reduction improves as shown below.

Deceive Item (Ex): At 4th level and higher, a warlock has the ability to more easily commandeer magic items made for the use of other characters. When making a Use Magic Device check, a warlock can take 10 even if distracted or threatened.

Fiendish Resilience (Su): Beginning at 8th level, a warlock knows the trick of fiendish resilience. Once per day, as a free action, he can enter a state that lasts for 2 minutes. While in this state, the warlock gains fast healing 1.

At 13th level, a warlock's fiendish resilience improves. When in his fiendish resilience state, he gains fast healing 2 instead. At 18th level, a warlock's fiendish resilience improves to fast healing 5.

Energy Resistance (Su): At 10th level and higher, a warlock has resistance 5 against any two of the following energy types: acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic. Once the types are chosen, this energy resistance cannot be changed. At 20th level, a warlock gains resistance 10 against the two selected types of energy.

Imbue Item (Su): A warlock of 12th level or higher can use his supernatural power to create magic items, even if he does not know the spells required to make an item (although he must know the appropriate item creation feat). He can substitute a Use Magic Device check (DC 15 + spell level for arcane spells or 25 + spell level for divine spells) in place of a required spell he doesn't know or can't cast.

If the check succeeds, the warlock can create the item as if he had cast the required spell. If it fails, he cannot complete the item. He does not expend the XP or gp costs for making the item; his progress is simply arrested. He cannot retry this Use Magic Device check for that spell until he gains a new level.

WarlockHit Die: d6
LvlBABFortRefWillSpecialInvocations Known
1st+0+0+0+2eldritch blast 1d6, invocation (least)1
2nd+1+0+0+3Detect magic2
3rd+2+1+1+3Damage reduction 1/cold iron, eldritch blast 2d62
4th+3+1+1+4Deceive item3
5th+3+1+1+4eldritch blast 3d63
6th+4+2+2+5New invocation (least or lesser)4
7th+5+2+2+5Damage reduction 2/cold iron, eldritch blast 4d64
8th+6/+1+2+2+6Fiendish resilience 15
9th+6/+1+3+3+6eldritch blast 5d65
10th+7/+2+3+3+7Energy resistance 56
11th+8/+3+3+3+7Damage reduction 3/cold iron, eldritch blast 6d6, new invocation (least, lesser, or greater)7
12th+9/+4+4+4+8Imbue item7
13th+9/+4+4+4+8Fiendish resilience 28
14th+10/+5+4+4+9eldritch blast 7d68
15th+11/+6/+1+5+5+9Damage reduction 4/cold iron9
16th+12/+7/+2+5+5+10New invocation (least, lesser, greater, or dark)10
17th+12/+7/+2+5+5+10eldritch blast 8d610
18th+13/+8/+3+6+6+11Fiendish resilience 511
19th+14/+9/+4+6+6+11Damage reduction 5/cold iron11
20th+15/+10/+5+6+6+12eldritch blast 9d6, energy resistance 1012

Warlock Invocations

Warlocks choose the invocations they learn as they gain levels, much like bards or sorcerers choose which spells to learn. However, a warlock's arcane repertoire is even more limited than that of a sorcerer, and his invocations are spell-like abilities, not spells.

In addition to its grade (least, lesser, greater, or dark), every invocation has a spell level equivalent, which is used in the calculation of save DCs and for other purposes. A least invocation has a level equivalent of 1st or 2nd; a lesser, 3rd or 4th; a greater, 5th or 6th; and a dark invocation has a level equivalent of 6th or higher (maximum 9th). The level equivalent for each invocation is given in its description.

A warlock can dismiss any invocation as a standard action, just as a wizard can dismiss a spell.

Invocations and eldritch blast: eldritch blast is not an invocation, but some invocations provide a warlock with the ability to modify his eldritch blast or add new eldritch attacks.

Eldritch Essence Invocations

Some of a warlock's invocations, such as frightful blast, modify the damage or other effects of the warlock's eldritch blast. These are called eldritch essence invocations. Unless noted otherwise, eldritch blasts modified by eldritch essence invocations deal damage normally in addition to imparting the effects described in the invocation description.

A warlock can apply only one eldritch essence invocation to a single eldritch blast, choosing from any of the eldritch essence invocations that he knows. When a warlock applies an eldritch essence invocation to his eldritch blast, the spell level equivalent of the modified blast is equal to the spell-level of the eldritch blast or of the eldritch essence invocation, whichever is higher. If a warlock targets a creature with an eldritch essence blast that has immunity to the invocation's effect, it still takes the damage from the blast normally (provided it isn't also immune to the eldritch blast).

A warlock can apply an eldritch essence invocation and a blast shape invocation (see below) to the same blast. When a warlock uses both kinds of invocations to alter an eldritch blast, the spell level equivalent is equal to the spell level of the eldritch blast, the level of the eldritch essence invocation, or the level of the blast shape invocation, whichever is higher.

Example: Morthos, a 1st-level warlock, decides to make his eldritch blast attack into a frightful blast. Morthos's eldritch blast is the equivalent of a 1st-level spell, while frightful blast is an effect equivalent to a 2nd-level spell. His frightful blast is thus the equivalent of a 2nd-level spell.

Blast Shape Invocations

Some of a warlock's invocations, such as eldritch spear, modify the range, target(s), or area of a warlock's eldritch blast. These are called blast shape invocations. Unless noted otherwise, eldritch blasts subject to blast shape invocations deal damage normally in addition to imparting the effects described in the invocation description. A warlock can apply only one blast shape at a time to an eldritch blast, and he can choose from any of the blast shape invocations that he knows. A warlock need not apply a blast shape invocation to his eldritch blast. When a warlock applies a blast shape invocation to his eldritch blast, the spell-level equivalent is equal to the spell level of the eldritch blast or of the blast shape invocation, whichever is higher.

A warlock can apply a blast shape invocation and an eldritch essence invocation (see Eldritch Essence Invocations above) to the same blast. When a warlock uses an eldritch essence and a blast shape to alter an eldritch blast, the spell-level equivalent is equal to the spell level of the eldritch blast, the eldritch essence invocation, or the blast shape invocation, whichever is higher.

Example: Morthos decides to make his eldritch blast attack a helltime eldritch spear. As a 6th-level warlock, Morthos's eldritch blast is the equivalent of a 3rd-level spell. Eldritch spear is the equivalent of a 2nd-level spell, while helltime blast is the equivalent of a 4th-level spell. His helltime eldritch spear is therefore the equivalent of a 4th-level spell.

Other Invocations

In addition to the potent blast shape and eldritch essence invocations, warlocks learn a number of others that enable them to perform many tricks and attacks.

Warlock Invocations

Source: Complete Arcane

Alternate Character Classes