OGL Warlock for Pathfinder 1st edition (Part 2)

So yesterday we took a first look at adapting the 5e Warlock class for Pathfinder 1st edition. We tackled proficiencies and the class table. Now we need to outline how we are going to define the abilities we’re giving the class. We may adjust exactly how these things work as they come together in development, but it’s good to have a road map for where we think we’re headed.

Let’s look at spells first.

Warlock 2

(art by info@nextmars.com)

The Warlock Spell List

Obviously if the warlock is going to cast spells, it needs to have a spell list to draw from. One option would be to just give the class access to the sorcerer/wizard spell list, which has both blasty/combat spells and good utility magic, but that both lacks the kind of flavor warlocks traditionally have, and it less interesting. A second possibility would be to craft a custom spell list unique to the warlock. There are two main problems with this — first, there are thousands of spells in Pathfinder 1st ed already, so this would take a long time and require a lot of space. Secondly, anyone allowing the warlock in their game is likely to allow other third-party content as well, and there’s no practical way to get every spell from every publisher, especially since some publishers are still creating new content.

Instead, we’re going to give the warlock access to two other classes spell lists. the warlock gets a very limited number of spells known so this isn’t going to result in one character being able to do everything, but it does give a vast range of possibilities for a player to build a character concept around.

So, to ensure the class has both some good combat options and some neat, weirder stuff, we’re going to give our warlock access to both the magus and psychic spell lists, though only up to 5th level since that’s how the warlock spell access works.

Speaking of spell access…

Spells Known/Max Spell Level: This is your total spells known. When you gain a level and get more spells known, you can select them off the warlock spell list to a maximum of your max spell level. Thus at 5th level you would know five 1st-level spells, and one 2nd-level spell you just gained.

Spell Slots: Whenever you cast a 1st-level or higher spells, no matter what spell level it is, you expend one of your spell slots. However, you can regain ALL your spell slots by meditating for ten minutes. Thus you have fewer spells and lower-level spells than most spellcasters, but can generally use them all in every encounter.

This helps give our warlock a very different feel from any other spellcaster. They can’t pull off the huge-but-not-often magics of clerics and wizards, but absolutely can depend on having some resources available in most encounters.

Cantrips: The warlock will get a fair number of cantrips, which really are pretty minor in Pathfinder 1e. It may end up needing an entry on the class table, or we might just say you start with 4 cantrips,and gone one at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter.

So what direction are we taking patrons, gifts, and invocations? Does the warlock get access to hexes? (Hint yes, some).

Tune in tomorrow to find out!

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About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on August 27, 2020, in Game Design, Pathfinder Development and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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