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An OGL Warlock for Pathfinder 1e (Part 8: Archetypes)

At this point, our Pathfinder 1e warlock has the class advancement chartspell access rules, a Fiendish patron , a Draconic patron, some pact boons, and the base invocation rules along with the hex-access invocations, and a set of non-hex invocations. What’s left?

Well, one of the things you need in Pathfinder for a class to be “complete” is archetypes.

Honestly? A LOT of archetypes. This is a place where Pathfinder 2e and Starfinder are much easier to work with, because their archetype schemes work for all classes.

But we’re doing a PF1 class, so we need some archetypes to give it the full flexibility typical of base classes. I likely can’t turn this into the Warlock Archetype Blog (although, I mean if you are paying me on my Patreon and want to see that, let me know!) But I can do one or two, just to give some examples of what those might look like.

So, let’s create an archetype!

Art by Dominick

Shadow-Haired Warlock

A shadow-haired warlock is so infused with shadow energy it leaks out of her body in her eyes, skin… and long, animate shadowy hair.

The shadow-haired warlock is an archetype of the warlock class.

Shadow Hair (Su)
At 1st level, a shadow-haired warlock gains the ability to use her hair as a weapon. This functions as a primary natural attack with a reach of 5 feet. The hair deals 1d8 points of damage (1d6 for a Small warlock). The warlock adds her Charisma bonus to attacks and damage with her hair in place of any other ability score bonus (such as Strength or Dexterity).

In addition, the warlock gains one of the following feats of her choice: Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Drag, Improved Grapple, Improved Reposition, Improved Steal, Improved Sunder, or Improved Trip. She gains this feat without meeting the prerequisites, but if she does not meet the prerequisites she may only use it with her shadow hair. As long as her hair is free to make attacks, the shadow-haired warlock can add her Charisma bonus to her CMD and CMB in addition to the typcial ability score modifiers.

When grappling a foe with her hair, the warlock does not gain the grappled condition.

At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, a shadow-haired warlock’s hair adds 5 feet to its reach, to a maximum of 30 feet at 20th level.

The hair cannot be sundered or attacked as a separate creature.

At 2nd level, when the shadow-haired warlock’s successfully performs a combat maneuver with her hair (including to maintain a grapple) she can also constrict the target as a swift action*, dealing damage equal to that of her hair attack.

This replaces the eldritch blast gained from the warlock’s patron, and the pact boon class feature.

Shadow-Hair Warlock Invocations

A shadow-haired warlock can select from the following invocations in addition to the standard list.

Maneuver (Ex): The shadow-haired warlock gains another Improved Combat maneuver from the list given in the shadow hair archetype feature.

Pull (Ex): If the shadow-haired warlock successfully strikes a foe with her hair, she can attempt a Reposition combat maneuver check to pull the creature 5 feet closer to her as a swift action. this does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Rogue Talents: The shadow-haired warlock can learn rogue talent from a limited list, using her warlock level in place of her rogue level.

A shadow-haired warlock cannot select an individual rogue talent more than once, and can select from among the following: assault leader, combat trick, finesse rogue, positioning attack, resiliency, surprise attack, and weapon training. beginning at 17th level, she can choose from among the following advanced rogue talents: another day, defensive roll, improved evasion, opportunist, redirect attack, slippery mind, and thoughtful reexamining.

Shadow Form (Sp): You can cast shadow projection once per day. If you are at least 15th level, you may instead choose to shadow body once per day. You must be at least 9th level to select this shadow-haired warlock invocation.

Shadow Magic: The following spells are added to your warlock spell list at the listed spell levels. You must still select them as spells known if you wish to cast them with your spell slots–shadow trap (1st), shadow anchor (2nd), shadow step (3rd), shadow conjuration (4th), shadow walk (5th).

Strangle (Ex): When the shadow- hair warlock is using her hair to grapple with an opponent, that creature cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components.

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An OGL Warlock for Pathfinder 1e (Part 7: Other Invocations)

So far on our project to create a Pathfinder 1e warlock, we’ve done the class advancement chartspell access rules, a Fiendish patron , a Draconic patron, some pact boons, and the base invocation rules along with the hex-access invocations.

So, let’s get to the other potential invocations, shall we? These follow the rules we outlined yesterday (and it’s worth noting even spell-like invocations use the invocation rules for determing save DCs, unless otherwise noted).

(Art by Asanee)

Armor of Shadows (Su): You gain a +3 armor bonus. In bright light, the armor bonus is reduced by 1. In dim light, the armor bonus is increased by 1.

Beast Speech (Sp): You have a persistent speak with animals. If this is dispelled, you can cast it on yourself at will.

Beast Whispers (Sp): You can cast animal messenger at-will. You must have beast speech to select this invocation.

Eldritch Might (Su): You gain a +1 enhancement bonus to the attack and damage rolls of the eldritch blast you gain from your patron. This increases to a +2 bonus at 9th level, and a +3 bonus at 18th level.

Eldritch Might, Greater (Su): The enhancement bonus you gain for your eldritch blast increases by 1. At 14th level, the enhancement bonus instead increases by 2. You must have eldritch might to select greater eldritch might. You must be at least 7th level to select this invocation.

Eldritch Reach (Su): The range of your eldritch blast increases. If it has a range increment or is a cone or line, it’s range doubles. If it is a melee attack, its reach increased by 5 feet. If it is a radius, its radius increases by +10 feet.

Eldritch Vigor: You gain Endurance and Toughness as bonus feats.

Eldritch Vision (Ex): You gain the see in darkness ability. If you have darkvision of low-light vision, you also gain a +2 bonus to Perception checks in dim or no light.

Fel Words (Sp): You can cast bane at will.

Mask of Many Faces (Sp): You can cast alter self on yourself at will. You can use this to make a Disguise check as part of the same action, without taking penaties for altering your gender, size (if it is the size of your new form), or species (if it is a humanoid species).

Minions (Sp): Once per day you can cast a summon monster spell with a spell level up to half your warlock level. The summoned creatures all speak one language you know of your choice. The spell has a duration of 1 minute/level, but when in combat each round of combat reduces the duration by 1 minute.

Misty Visions (Sp): You can cast silent image at-will.

One With Shadows (Sp): In areas of dim light or no light you can cast vanish at-will. The invisibility ends if you are even in normal or greater light.

Otherworldy Leap (Sp): You can cast jump on yourself at will.

Repelling Blast (Su): When you successfully damage a creature with the eldritch blast from your patron, you may choose to push the creature 10 feet directly away from you. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Shield of Shadows (Sp): You can cast shield on yourself at will. In bright light, the AC bonus it grants is reduced by 1. In dim light, the AC bonus it grants is increased by 1.

Sign of Ill Omen (Sp): You can cast bestow curse once per day.

Sinful Comforts (Sp): You can cast create food and water, prestidigitate, and unseen servant at will. Only you can benefit from the food or water you create. If others touch it, it turns to dust.

Vengeful Blood (Su): When a creature scores a critical hit against you, the critical effect is not someone countered, and you take damage from the attack, your eldritch blast gained from your patron becomes bane against that creature for 10 minutes. You can only be bane against one creature at a time, any new bane ends a previous one.

Visions (Sp): You can cast arcane eye at will. You must be at least 15th level to select this invocation.

Warlock Sight (Sp): You gain persistent true seeing, but it only allows you to see the true form of creatures within 30 feet — all other illusions affect your normally.

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OGL Warlock for Pathfinder 1st edition (Part 6: Hexes as Invocations)

So far on our project to create a Pathfinder 1e warlock, we’ve done the class advancement chartspell access rules, a Fiendish patron , a Draconic patron, and some pact boons.

Let’s get started with Invocations.

While we WILL have other invocations, this is also how warlocks access hexes. So let’s take care of those options, shall we?

Fantasy warrior girl

(Art by Maxim B)

Invocations
A warlock gains their first invocation at 2nd level, and gains an additional invocation at 3rd level and every other level thereafter. If an invocation requires a saving throw, the DC is 10 + 1/2 your warlock level + your Charisma modifier unless otherwise noted. You cannot select the save invocation more than once unless otherwise noted.

Hex: One of the most common invocations is the hex, a power patrons grant to warlocks more sparingly than witches, but remain a common symbol of their otherworldly power.

Each time you select this invocation, you gain a common hellion, shaman, or witch hex. You cannot select a spirit hex or patron hex. You treat your warlock level as your the appropriate class level for all purposes with hexes, and you must meet any prerequisites the hex has. You cannot select an individual hex more than once. If a hex by the same name exist for both the witch and another class, you use the witch version. You cannot select a hex that affects class features you do not have. Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The save to resist your hexes is 10 + 1/2 your warlock level + your Charisma modifier.

You can select this invocation more than once, but not more than once for every 2 levels of warlock you have. Each time, you select a new common hex.

Major Hex: As the hex invocation, but you gain a major hex. You cannot have more major hexes known than hexes known. You must be at least 11th level before you take this invocation.

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OGL Warlock for Pathfinder 1st edition (Part 5: Pact Boons)

Okay, so while working on the Pathfinder 1e warlock, we’ve done the class advancement chart, spell access rules, and a Fiendish patron and a Draconic patron.

Let’s move on to Pact Boons.

Horned Warlock
(Art by bueroeisenmann)

Pact Boon
Your pact boon is a special link between you and a creature or object that is granted to you by your patron. In most cases any patron can grant any pact boon–the nature of the pact boon says more about the warlock than the patron. Once you select a pact boon, this choice cannot be changed.

Pact boons are obviously the kind of thing we could expand endlessly, but let’s start with three very different kinds of pact boons, which build three very different kind of warlocks.

Pact of the Blade (Su): As a standard action you can create a pact weapon in your empty hand. You can choose the form that this melee weapon takes each time you create it, and are automatically proficient with it while you wield it. This acts as a magic weapon. Your pact weapon disappears if it is more than 5 feet away from you for 1 minute or more. It also disappears if you use this feature again, if you dismiss the weapon (a free action), or if you die. W When you make attacks with your pact weapon, you add your Charisma bonus (rather than Strength, Dexterity, or any other ability score) to attack rolls and damage. This value is not adjusted for light, finesse, or 2-handed weapons.
You can transform one existing weapon (including a magic weapon) into your pact weapon by performing a special ritual while you hold the weapon. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour. You can then dismiss the weapon, shunting it into an extradimensional space, and it appears whenever you create your pact weapon thereafter. You can’t affect an artifact or a sentient weapon in this way. The weapon ceases being your pact weapon if you die, if you perform the 1-hour ritual on a different weapon, or if you use a 1-hour ritual to break your bond to it. The weapon appears at your feet if it is in the extradimensional space when the bond breaks.
At 6th level you can summon your pact weapon as a move action. At 9th, you can do so as a swift or immediate action. At 12th, you can do so as part of an attack, and as long as you have a free hand you are considered to be threatening with the weapon even when it is not summoned.

Pact of Loyalty (Ex): You gain a familiar, as a wizard with a level equal to your warlock level. This is automatically an improved familiar, as if you had the Improved Familiar feat. You qualify for improved familiars as if your level was 4 higher. The familiar cannot have an elemental or alignment subtype that does not match your patron (subject to GM approval).
The familiar has a typical alignment for a creature of its kind. However, due to its bond of loyalty with you, it acts and makes decisions as if its alignment matched yours precisely. Though it may complain about such acts if they diametrically oppose its alignment, it does not attempt to skirt typical alignment decisions.
It is entirely loyal to your and your commands, even unto its death.
If it dies, you receive a new improved familiar when you next gain a warlock level. You cannot gain one before this.

Pact of Whispers (Ex): You bond with an object of your choice that grants you secret knowledge, becoming a lore whisperer. The item cannot be a weapon, magic item, toolkit, shield, or armor. Knucklebones are common, as are playing cards, bowls, rune-sticks, knotted cords, and even skulls.
When the item is either adjacent to you or in your hand (essentially it must be exposed to attacks as either a held or unattended object), you can make a special Knowledge (any) check, or a Diplomacy check to gather information (at no cost) or Use Magic Device check. The bonus for this check is 3 +your Charisma bonus + your warlock level. Once you have done this, you cannot do so again until you next regain spell slots.
Additionally, at 8th level you gain a bonus feat your can use as long as you have access to your lore whisperer (it need not be exposed). This feat may be a Crafting feat, or Skill Focus, or a feat that does nothing other than give you access to class skills, additional skill points, or bonuses to skills. You must meet the feat’s prerequisites normally. You gain an additional such feat at 12th level, and every 4 levels thereafter.
If your lore whisperer is lost or destroyed, you can create a new one in a ritual that takes 1d12 hours, ending your bond to your previous lore whisperer.

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Want me to create more adaptations from other games to pathfinder 1e? Want to see the warlock for other game systems? Want something else? Really Wild West content? Would you rather see more material for 5e, or industry insider articles? Join my Patreon for a few bucks a month, and let me know!

OGL Warlock for Pathfinder 1st edition (Part 4: Draconic Patrons)

Given how popular the Fiendish patron was for thePathfinder 1e Warlock class I worked on last week and wrote the spell access rules for, I thought we’d tackle another Patron before moving on to the Pact Boons and Invocations.

Draconic Patron
You have become tied to draconic power, and bound forever to one or more dragons or groups of dragons. This link may be a classic pact made with a dragon god or elder dragon, perhaps even similar to your being the familiar of a true dragon wizard. But it also might be a more primal tie, such as being born of a sorcerer with a draconic bloodline when the Constellation of Draconis was ascendant, or being marked by a ritual as an infant with the blood of a dragonne.
Regardless of where your bond comes from, it is as much a part of you as your mind, soul, and blood. There is draconic might coursing through your veins, demanding you meet its needs, even if you don’t have a pact with one specific dragon or council of wyrms.

Dragon Warlock
(Art by ratpack 223)

Patron Spells
The following spells are considered part of your warlock spell list, allowing you to select them as spells known and use spell completion items linked to them.

1st—snapdragon fireworks, 2nd—burning arc, 3rd—draconic reservoir, 4th—detect scrying, 5th—spell resistance.

Eldritch Blast (Su)
You gain the power to breath an energy attack that does. You can use this as an attack action, and do not need a hand free to do so. Beginning at 8th level, you can take a full attack action to make multiple eldritch blasts just as you would with a standard weapon. You are proficient with your eldritch blast, and can select it for feats and class features that apply to weapons (such as Weapon Focus).

Your eldritch blast can benefit from effects that augment natural attacks, such as an amulet of might fists or the magic fang spell. However, any augmentation to damage applies to only one target of your choice in the area.

Your draconic eldritch blast is a 15-foot cone that deals 1d4 damage of the the same energy type you gain resistance to from your draconic affinity feature. You make a ranged attack roll against each creature in the area (rolling once, and comparing the result to the AC of each creature). You add your Charisma bonus, rather than your Dexterity bonus, to your attack rolls, and also add half you your Charisma bonus to the damage of your eldritch blast.

Your eldritch blast has a critical threat range of 20. You make one attack roll to see if you confirm the critical hit, comparing the result to the AC of all targets. On a critical hit you do double damage, and may make a free Intimidate check to demoralize each creature damaged.

Draconic Affinity
Select one type of true dragon. Once this choice is made, it cannot be changes. You gain resistance to one energy type (selected from acid, cold, electricity, fire, sonic) that dragon deals as breath weapon damage. You may choose the type, and once made this choice cannot be changed. If the selected dragon does not do one of the possible energy types you automatically gain fire resistance. This is your affiliated energy type

Your resistance is equal to 5 + your warlock level. At 15th level, you gain immunity to the selected damage type.

Additionally, whenever you do energy damage that is not of your affiliated damage type (or grant other creatures the ability to do energy damage, or grant them resistance to an energy type) you may choose to make it your affiliated damage type instead.

Patron Gift: A warlock with the fiendish patron can choose from any of the following patron gifts.

Breath Weapon (Su): The primal power of dragonkind seethes within you. You gain a breath weapon. This breath weapon deals 1d6 points of damage of your affiliated energy type per warlock levels you have (Reflex half ). The shape of the breath weapon is either a 30-foot cone or a 60- foot line, selected when choosing this revelation. You can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time at 5th level and one additional time per day for every 5 levels beyond 5th.

Draconic Presence (Ex): Whenever you successfully do damage of your affiliated damage type, as a swift or immediate action you can make an Intimidate check to demoralize one creature that can see you and the damaged target.

Draconic Resilience (Ex): When you suffer a fear effect other than being shaken, you are instead shaken for the same duration. You are immune to magic sleep and paralysis.

Draconic Resistances (Ex): Like the great dragons, you are not easily harmed by common means of attack. You gain resistance 5 against one chosen energy type and a +1 natural armor bonus. At 9th level, your energy resistance increases to 10 and your natural armor bonus increases to +2. At 15th level, your energy resistance increases to 20 and your natural armor bonus increases to +4.

Dragon Magic (Sp): Your draconic power grants you a limited form of access to arcane magic. Select one spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list that is 2 levels lower than the highest-level spell you can cast, or two spells that are both at least 3 levels lower. You can cast each of the selected spells twice per day as a spell-like ability.
You must be at least 10th level to select this patron gift.

Dragon Senses (Ex): Your senses take on a keen draconic edge. You gain darkvision with a range of 60 feet, or low-light vision, or scent. At 9th level, you can select one of those options you do not already have or gain gain blindsense with a range of 30 feet. At 15th level, you one of the previous option you do not already have, or add 60 feet to your darkvision, or 30 feet to your blindsense, or gain a +4 bonus on Perception checks.

Form of the Dragon (Su): Your kinship with dragonkind allows you to take on the form of a dragon. As a standard action, you can assume the form of a Medium dragon, as per form of the dragon I. At 15th level, you can assume the form of a Large dragon, as per form of the dragon II. At 19th level, you can assume the form of a Huge dragon, as per form of the dragon III.
You can use this ability once per day, but the duration is 10 minutes per warlock level. If you are at least 15th level and choose to have this ability function as per form of the dragon I, the duration is instead 1 hour per warlock level.
Rather than form of the dragon spells, you can choose for this revelation to act as form of the alien dragon I, II, and III or form of the exotic dragon I, II, and III if your draconic affinity is for such a dragon. This choice must be made when you first gain this revelation, and cannot be changed.
You must be at least 10th level to select this revelation.

Kith of the Shell (Ex): Even as you are bound to dragonkind, there is a drake bound to you. You gain a drake companion, and it has one bonus drake power.

Mystic Arcanum (Sp): You gain a spell you can cast once per day as a spell-like ability. You may select one spell from the following list. You may select this patron gift more than once. Each time, you select a different spell. You must meet the listed minimum level to select the listed spells.
Warlock Level 12th– ancestral memory, command, greater, siphon magic, true seeing, or any 5th level spell from your warlock spell list.
Warlock level 14th– age resistance, chain lightning, transformation 
Warlock level 16th– arcane sight, greater, firebrand, spell turning
Warlock level 18th– spell absorption, greater

Presence of Dragons (Su): Those who would oppose you must overcome their fear of dragons or be struck with terror at your draconic majesty. As a swift action, you can manifest an aura of draconic might around yourself. Enemies within 30 feet who can see you when you activate this ability must attempt a Will save (DC 10+1/2 warlock level + Cha bonus). Success means that the creature is immune to this ability for the following 24 hours. On a failed save, the opponent is shaken for 2d6 rounds. If the creature is already shaken its level of fear is not increased, but the duration of its shaken condition is extended by 2d6 rounds. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. You can use this ability once per day, plus one additional time per day at 10th level and for every 5 levels beyond 10th.

Scaled Toughness (Su): You can manifest the scaly toughness of dragonkind. Once per day as a swift action, you can harden your skin, giving it a scaly appearance and granting you DR 10/magic. During this time, you are also immune to paralysis and sleep effects. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to your warlock level. At 13th level, you can use this ability twice per day. You must be at least 8th level to select this revelation.

Tail Swipe (Ex): You express your wrath through sweeps of a wicked tail. You can grow a scaly tail. This tail can be used only to make attacks of opportunity, but it allows you to make one additional attack of opportunity each round. This tail attack deals an amount of bludgeoning damage equal to 1d8 (1d6 if you are Small) + your Charisma modifier. At 10th level, you can attempt a free trip combat maneuver check against any creature damaged by your tail attack. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Talons of the Dragon (Su): You fight with the fearsome talons of dragonkind. You can grow claws as a free action. These claws are treated as natural weapons, allowing you to perform two claw attacks as a full attack action using your full base attack bonus. Each of these attacks deals an amount of slashing damage equal to 1d4 (1d3 if you are Small) + your Charisma modifier. These claws are considered magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming DR. At 8th level, the damage die increases by 1 step, to deal an amount of slashing damage equal to 1d6 (1d4 if you are Small). At 11th level, these claws deal an additional 1d6 points of damage of your affiliated energy type on a successful hit. You can use your claws for a number of rounds per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.

Wings of the Dragon (Su): Like the great dragons, you can take to the skies and terrorize opponents from above. As a swift action, you can manifest leathery dragon wings that grant you a fly speed of 60 feet (clumsy maneuverability). At 10th level, your maneuverability increases to poor. You can use these wings for 1 minute per day for each warlock level you have. This duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be spent in 1-minute increments. At 12h level you can use these wings for 10 minutes per day for each warlock level you have. At 15th level, you can use the wings indefinitely. You must be at least 8th level to select this gift.

Eldritch Master
At 20th level, you gain the ability to cast spells as a sorcerer of 9th level (gaining spells known and spells per day as a 9th level sorcerer, with a caster level of 9 for these spells).

Additionally, you can select any one patron gift from any patron that does not list a level requirement, or any patron gift from your own patron.

Patreon
Want me to create more adaptations from other games to pathfinder 1e? Want to see the warlock for other game systems? Want something else? Really Wild West content? Would you rather see more material for 5e, or industry insider articles? Join my Patreon for a few bucks a month, and let me know!

OGL Warlock for Pathfinder 1st edition (Part 3: Patrons)

So Monday we took a first look at adapting the 5e Warlock class for Pathfinder 1st edition. (tackling proficiencies and the class table), and yesterday we outlined how we are going to handle spell access and spell slots.

It’s time to tackle a Patron.

Your patron is one of the crucial elements of the warlock. It represents the otherwordly force with which you have made a pact, and from which you gain your powers. The concept is extremely similar to witch patrons, but warlocks interact with their patrons using different rites and rituals, and have access to their own list of possible patrons.

At 1st level each patron gives you an eldritch blast, a granted power, an expanded list of spells you may select as warlock spells known at the appropriate level, and a series of patron gifts you can choose from.

While we’d likely to patrons for most of the same ones witches have access to in a full version of the class, for now let’s create the classic fiendish patron option.

Fiendish Patron
You have made a pact with a fiend from the lower planes of existence, a being whose aims are evil, even if you strive against those aims. Such beings desire the corruption or destruction of all things, ultimately including you. Fiends powerful enough to forge a pact include demon lords, archdevils, pit fiends and balors that are especially mighty, and ultroloths and other lords of the yugoloths.

Tiefling Warlock

(Art by Brian Brinlee)

Patron Spells
The following spells are considered part of your warlock spell list, allowing you to select them as spells known and use spell completion items linked to them.

1st—protection from good, 2nd—align weapon (evil only), 3rd—magic circle against good, 4th—unholy blight, 5th—dispel good.

Eldritch Blast (Su)
You gain the power to channel a form of fiendish fire as an attack against your foes. You can use this as an attack action, and must have a hand free, or holding a weapon with which you are proficient, to use this power. Beginning at 8th level, you can take a full attack action to make multiple eldritch blasts just as you would with a standard weapon. You are proficient with your eldritch blast, and can select with for feats and class features that apply to weapons (such as Weapon Focus).

Your eldritch blast can benefit from effects that augment natural attacks, such as an amulet of might fists or the magic fang spell.

Your fiendish eldritch blast is a ranged attack with a range increment of 30 feet, that deals 1d8 fire damage. You add your Charisma bonus, rather than your Dexterity bonus, to your attack rolls, and also add your Charisma bonus to the damage of your eldritch blast.

Your eldritch blast has a critical threat range of 19-20. On a critical hit you do double damage, and your target takes a -2 penalty to saving throws for 1d4 rounds.

Dark One’s Blessing
Starting at 1st level, when you reduce a hostile creature to 0 or fewer hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier + your warlock level (minimum of 1). These hit points last until expended or you next regain your spell slots, but do not stack.

Patron Gift: This is be a flexible class feature similar to oracle revelations. In fact, I borroewed heavily from an oraclae mystery for the following  into patrons, just so I don’t have to create a whole slew of new class features.

A warlock with the fiendish patron can choose from any of the following patron gifts.

Balefire (Su): You call upon the searing fires of the lower planes to burn your foes. As a standard action, one target within 30 feet is wreathed in screaming flames and takes 1d6 points of fire damage per level. A successful Reflex save halves this damage. At 10th level, the fire’s howls cause any creatures damaged by it to be staggered for 1 round. At 15th level, creatures who fail their saves against the balefire are staggered for 1d4 rounds and stunned for 1 round. You can use this ability once per day plus one additional time per day at 10th level.

Dark One’s Own Luck (Su): You can call on your patron to alter fate in your favor. When you make an ability check, skill check, or saving throw, you can use this feature to add a d6 to your roll. You can do so after seeing the initial roll but before any of the roll’s effects occur. This increases to 1d8 at 8th level, and 1d10 at 16th level. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you regain your spell slots.

Demonhide (Su): You alter your flesh to be as tough as a demon’s hide, granting you a +4 armor bonus. At 7th level, and every four levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +2. At 13th level, this armor also grants you DR 5/cold iron. You can use this revelation for 1 hour per day per warlock level. The duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be spent in 1-hour increments.

Dread Resilience (Ex): You have been hardened by exposure to the otherworldly energies of the lower planes, and you just keep getting tougher. You gain a +1 inherent bonus to Constitution upon taking this revelation and another for every four warlock levels gained thereafter. You must be at least 10th level to select this revelation.

Fiendish Magic (Su): Your spells gain a +4 bonus on caster level checks made to overcome the spell resistance of chaotic, good, or lawful outsiders.

Fiendish Resilience (Su): Each time you regain your spell slots, you can choose one damage type. You gain protection against that damage type until you choose a different one with this feature. If you select bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing you gain DR/gld iron equal to 1/4 your warlock level. If you select acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic, you gain energy resistance equal to your warlock level.

Fiendish Weapon (Su): Your understanding of the powers that move through the lower planes allows you to imbue weapons with the ability to penetrate the defenses of creatures native to other planes. Once per day as a standard action, you can touch one weapon (or a group of up to 20 similar pieces of ammunition) and give it the ability to penetrate DR/cold iron for 1 minute per caster level. At 9th level, you can also grant the additional ability to bypass DR/chaotic, DR/evil, or and DR/law. You can use this ability an additional time per day for every 5 warlock levels you possess.

Hurl Through Hell (Sp): Once per day when you hit a creature with your eldritch blast, you can use this feature to instantly transport the target through a temporary demiplane you create that emulates the lower planes. This is treated as plane shift with a spell level equal to 1/2 your class level, though the effect is as follows — the creature disappears and hurtles through a nightmare landscape. At the end of your next turn, the target returns to the space it previously occupied, or the nearest unoccupied space. If the target is not a fiend, it takes 10d10 damage as it reels from its horrific experience.

Mystic Arcanum (Sp): You gain a spell you can cast once per day as a spell-like ability. You may select one spell from the following list. You may select this patron gift more than once. each time, you select a different spell. You must meet the listed minimum level to select the listed spells.
Warlock Level 12th– caustic blood, commune, flame strike, unholy ice, or any 5th level spell from your warlock spell list.
Warlock level 14th– curse of the outcast, dust form, invoke deity (chaos, evil, fire, law only)
Warlock level 16th– blasphemy, dictum, word of chaos
Warlock level 18th– divine vessel (anarchic, axiomatic, or fiendish only)

Planar Haze (Su): You can fill an area with the smoky miasma of the lower planes. Once per day when you cast a spell that has an area, as a swift action you may also fill that area with a thick haze that acts as obscuring mist, except it originates at the center of your spell effect and cannot expand beyond the spell’s area. At 10th level, the haze functions as fog cloud. You may use this ability one additional time per day at 7th level, and one additional time per day at 14th level.

Planar Infusion (Su): As a standard action once per day, you can cause a 20-foot-spread to gain the mildly chaotic-aligned, mildly evil-aligned, or mildly-lawfully aligned planar trait for a number of rounds equal to your warlock level. Lawful creatures in a chaotic-aligned area take a –2 circumstance penalty on all Charisma-based checks, as do good creatures in an evil-aligned area and chaotic creatures in a lawful-aligned area. At 11th level, the infusion makes the area strongly aligned, which causes the –2 circumstance penalty to apply on all Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based checks made by any creature that lacks the matching alignment component (these penalties stack with those from the lower-level effect).

Telepathy (Su): You can mentally communicate with any other creature within 100 feet that has a language, as per the telepathy power of demons. You must be at least 10th level before selecting this gift.

Unearthly Terrain (Su): You can twist the material world into the harsh, jagged edges and uneven angles of the outer planes. As a standard action, you can turn one 20-foot square into difficult terrain for 1 round per level. Once you use this ability, you cannot do so again until you next regain your spell slots.

Wings of Terror (Su): You can manifest a pair of enormous, batlike demon wings that grant you a fly speed of 60 feet with average maneuverability and a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks. At 10th level, your speed increases to 90 feet, your maneuverability increases to good, and the bonus increases to +8 on Intimidate checks. You can use these wings for 1 minute per day per warlock level. This duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be spent in 1-minute increments.

Eldritch Master
At 20th level, you gain the ability to open rifts between planes. This allows you to use gate as a spell-like ability once per day. If you use this ability to call creatures, you still need to provide 10,000 gp in offerings to secure the creature’s aid.

Additionally, you can select any one patron gift from any patron that does not list a level requirement, or any patron gift from your own patron.

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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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An OGL Warlock for Pathfinder 1e?

So, 4e had a really interesting class, the warlock. I played a few, and enjoyed them. I kinda wanted to make a pathfinder st ed version, but since nothing in 4e was covered by the Open Game License, I couldn’t.

Now 5e also has a warlock, and it IS covered by the OGL. That means I could legally take the OGL ideas fo the 5e warlock, and adapt them for any other OGL game. I might well do this for Pathfinder 2e or Starfinder at some point, but I am going to start by looking at a Pf1 version.

Let’s look at what the class table and proficiencies and such might look like.

Warlockess

(Art by Ratpack223)

Alignment: Though they are often seen as dire and untrustworthy, a warlock may be of any alignment.

Hit Die: d8

Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The warlock’s class skills are Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha)

Skill Ranks Per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: The Warlock
                                             Base Atk                                   Spells       Spell     Max Spell    
Level  Class Features       Bonus  Fort    Ref  Will      Known     Slots     Level
1st       Cantrips, Patron      +0         +2       +0       +2         2                  1           1st
2nd     Invocation                +1         +3        +0      +3         3                  2          1st
3rd     Invocation                 +2         +3        +1      +3         4                  2           1st
4th     Pact Boon                   +3         +4        +1      +4         5                  2          1st
5th     Invocation                  +3        +4        +1      +4          6                 2          2nd
6th     Patron gift                  +4        +5        +2       +5         7                 2          2nd
7th     Invocation                  +5        +5        +2       +5         8                 2          2nd
8th     Patron gift                  +6        +6        +2       +6         9                  2         2nd
9th     Invocation                  +6        +6        +3       +6         10               2          3rd
10th   Patron gift                  +7        +7        +3       +7         10                2          3rd
11th   Invocation                  +8        +7        +3       +7         11               3          3rd
12th   Patron Gift                 +9        +8         +4       +8         11               3          3rd
13th   Invocation                  +9        +8        +4       +8          12              3          4th
14th   Patron Gift                  +10      +9        +4       +9         12               3          4th
15th   Invocation                  +11      +9         +5       +9         13               3          4th
16th   Patron Gift                  +12      +10      +5       +10       13               3          4th
17th   Invocation                  +12      +10      +5       +10        14               4          5th
18th   Patron Gift                  +13      +11      +6       +11       14               4          5th
19th   Invocation                   +14      +11      +6      +11        15               4          5th
20th   Eldritch Master          +15      +12      +6      +12        15               4          5th

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
A warlock is proficient with all simple weapons and light armor. She can cast warlock spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a warlock wearing medium armor, heavy armor, or a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass warlock still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

So, what do all those class features mean? And why is spell slots a single entry, rather than a whole table like most spellcasters?

Tune in tomorrow to find out!

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Alternatives to “All or Nothing” Options For Hampering Magic

In many rpgs, spellcasting is an extremely powerful option that is difficult to curtail without shutting it down entirely (or at least creating a risk of shutting it down entirely). While it’s often fairly straightforward to make life more difficult for weapon-users without making them entirely ineffective, that can be harder for spellcasters. Especially when spells are a very limited resource (such as using spell slots or prepared spells), even things that can be used to put a weapon-wielder at a  disadvantage (such as a penalty to attack rolls)

The following options are specifically designed for Pathfinder 1st ed, Pathfinder 2nd Ed, Starfinder, and 5e, but could certainly be expanded to a wider range of games by an experienced GM.

Ogre Caster
(Art by DM7)

Blackout Zones

You CAN use antimagic shells as minor hindrances if you make them very small, and spread them out. And don’t allow the main villain to just sit in one and be immune to all magic. A few small areas where magic works but spells cannot be cast (perhaps strange metoric iron disrupts the act of conjuring the power for a spell, but doesn’t negate magic in general) can become a form of battlefield terrain spellcasters just need to work around.

Extra Actions

Rather than make it impossible to cast spells or highly likely that efforts to do so will result in failure, you can make spellcasting take additional effort. In Pathfinder and Starfinder, casting times of 1 standard action become full rounds. In 5e, you cannot move or take a bonus action or reaction in a round you cast a spell with a casting time of 1 action. In Pathfinder 2e, add one action to any spell with a casting time listed in actions.

This option forces a spellcaster to make more tactical decisions, but doesn’t make it any more likely their precious resources are wasted if they take the needed extra time.

Feedback

Rather than make spellcasting more difficult, you can just slap some consequence on it that hinders or damages the caster for using spells. This can be as minor as one point of damage per level of spell cast, or a minor penalty to saving throws and attack rolls for 1-4 rounds after casting a spell (perhaps that stacks if you rapid-fire spells every round), to more major neative erffects depending on how harsh you want your penalties to be. You could also simply add a risk of penalties, such as forcing the caster to make a Constitution or Fortitude save every time they cast a spell or gain a level of fatigue.

Increased Spell Cost

A much more impactful options it to increase the cost of spellcasting. Perhaps casting a spell requires additional eldritch power, which must come from somewhere. A character could be required to use multiple spell slots, or sacrifice an additional prepared spell.

You could also require the expenditure of some additional resource beyond additional spells. For example in Starfinder you could require a Resolve Point be spend, or in 5e a Hit Die. Pathfinder 2nd edition could require a focus point (though not all characters have focus points). These are pretty steep costs, so it might be smart to have the additional cost only be needed once every 2d4 rounds or so, or even just once per ten minutes, as the spellcaster “attunes” themselves to some specific circumstance.

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Fallback Feats for 5e, PF1, PF2, and Starfinder

Tuesday’s Fallback feats were a bit hit. Sadly, circumstances prevented me from posting two new rules-elements worth of content Wednesday.

So, today not only am I giving your four new Fallback feats, they all work in four game systems — 5e, PF1, PF2, and Starfinder. Though these these feats are written using Pathfinder 1e/Starfinder terminology and formatting (I didn’t take the time to write 4 slightly different versions of each), the actual feats and rules themselves work in all 4 game systems.

These feats all fallow the normal Fallback Feat rules.

ELDRITCH BACKLASH [Fallback]
Your magic harms those that ignore it.
Benefit: When you cast a 1st level or higher spell that does not affect any creatures or significant objects you target or that are in the area, one target of your choice with an AC no greater than 15 + your caster level takes damage equal to one weapon in your possession with which you are proficient (without adding any bonus damage from ability scores, feats, or special abilities), or 5 HP per level of the spell, whichever is greater.

LEARN FROM FAILURE [Fallback]
You are constantly analyzing your efforts, and even when you do not succeed, you may learn something useful from your failure.
Benefit: When you fail at an attack roll or an ability check or skill check to identify, recall lore about, disarm, disable, or bypass a creature, trap, or hazard, or survive or get along in the wilderness, you may immediately make an appropriate ability or skill check to learn one new relevant fact about the creature, object, or region involved at the normal skill DC to learn information or recall knowledge. Multiple failed checks can reveal multiple new pieces of information without the DC increasing.

Fallback Entangled
(Art by GrandFailure)

SIMMERING RAGE [Fallback]
Even when a foe incapacitates you, your anger at being sidelined grows.
Benefit: When you are unwillingly bound, charmed, enchanted, entangled, grabbed, grappled, held, paralyzed, petrified, or magically slept by a foe (or foe’s trap or hazard) during a combat encounter in such a way that you cannot take any effective actions, you gain a +1 bonus to saving throws, rolls, or checks to end the situation incapacitating you (if any), which is cumulative if you are incapacitated for multiple rounds.
Additionally when you stop being incapacitating, you gain a +4 bonus to any attack roll or skill check you make in your first full around, and tot he save DC of any spell or ability you use that round.

STREAKBREAKER [Fallback]
Your bad luck doesn’t last forever.
Benefit: When you fail an attack roll or skill check roll (not including taking 10 or taking 20) and your d20 result for the check was 11 or worse, you gain a +1 luck bonus to all attack rolls and skill checks where you make a d20 roll until you succeed at one. If you already have a luck bonus active from this feat when you qualify for it again, you luck bonus increased by 1 until you succeed at a skill check or attack roll.

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