OGL Warlock for Starfinder Part 2: Spell Slots

My class table and proficiencies for the Starfinder OGL warlock has an entry for “spell slots” rather than the normal “spells per day” for a starfinder spellcaster. This difference in terminology is intentional, and crucial to how I am designing the Starfinder warlock.

Rather than have a daily limit of spells, a warlock will gain spells that are restored each time they recuperate*. However, they will always be a full spell level behind a traditional caster — a warlock doesn’t gain 1st level spells until the “full” spellcasters (mystic, technomancer, and witchwarper) all have access to 2nd level spells, and so on. Because the overall power level of Starfinder spells does not rise nearly as sharply with caster level (compared to the original 3.5 game rules, of PF 1st edition), this means the warlock needs to have a large selection of spells known to make sure their dramatically less-powerful best spells are likely to include something appropriate to a given situation.

Thus a warlock has much less powerful spells, and can’t unleash nearly as many spells in a single encounter as a fresh “full” spellcaster, but can reliable restore their spell power numerous times per day, making them less likely to have to carefully conserve their spells.

With longarms and heavy armor options a warlock need not depend on spells for basic offense and defense, and each will receive an eldritch blast with their patron. They do have a potential issue with spell DCs being too low compared to “full” spellcasters, but we’ll address that in different ways in different places.

(Art by James Thew)

So, let’s look at the actual game rules for warlock cantrips and spell slots.

Cantrips

Warlocks cast spells drawn from the technomancer and witchwarper spell lists, though they cannot cast spells that require them to have class features they lack. They begin play knowing 4 cantrips. They gain bonus cantrips known equal to their key ability modifier, to a maximum of one bonus cantrip known per warlock class level.

Spell Slots

Warlocks cast spells drawn from the technomancer and witchwarper spell lists, though they cannot cast spells that require them to have class features they lack.

Each time a warlock gains access to a new level of spells, they begin play with six spells known of their choice, and gain one additional spell known of each lower level of spell or cantrip. For example, when a warlock reaches 7th level, they gain access to 2nd level spells, and begin play knowing six 2nd level spells of their choice. They also gain one additional 1-st level spell and 0-level cantrip known.

A warlock can cast any warlock spell they know by expending a spell slot of the same or higher spell level. A warlock regains all used spell slots when they recuperate*.

A warlock with a key ability bonus gains a single additional spell slot. This spell slot is of a spell level equal to the key ability bonus, to a maximum of 5th level.

*Recuperate is my proposed game term to represent when a character spends 1 Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.

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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 September 15, 2020, in Game Design, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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