From Arelith Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

"Can you use demons for good? Of course you can, but therein lies the danger. You can use a rack for good work as well - but how long is it before you begin to enjoy the screams?"

From The Morals and Ethics of the Arcane, by Ypesliva

NWN Requirements

  • Base Class: Bard
  • Arelith allows lawful bards, and therefore allow lawful warlocks.
  • Infernal warlocks require non-chaotic non-good.
  • Abyssal warlocks require non-lawful non-good.
  • Fey warlock non-good.

General Information

Warlocks have an overall poor reputation, a result of their dealings with otherworldly and often malevolent outsiders. However, not all warlocks are evil by nature and may use such deadly gifts for more benign purposes. How far the warlock goes to fulfilling their pact is entirely up to them, though corruption is an ever-present danger for warlocks of all stripes.

Likewise, many warlocks make pacts with several creatures, rather than just one, in order to access even more power, though all warlocks must eventually favor one pact over all the others. Like sorcerers many warlocks come from a supernatural bloodline and it has been said that warlocks are "born, not made." This is not true for all warlocks, though many do indeed come from fiendish bloodlines. Those that aren't are still often touched by destiny in some special way, sought out by powerful extraplanar forces as tools and minions, altering their soul and giving them supernatural abilities beyond the ken of most mortals.

These forces behold warlocks to their power, though some break away from the chains of their servitude to forge their own destiny. More often, warlocks, by choice or by circumstance, become much like cruel and capricious beings they serve. Tieflings and others of fiendish blood are powerfully drawn to the ways of the warlock and are among the most common to take the path. Humans, thanks in large part to their capacity for ambition, also breed many warlocks, hoping to find a path to power that does not take them a significant portion of their short lifespans. Half-orcs are also commonly warlocks, in part because the powers that choose to give patronage to warlocks do not discriminate between them and other, more "purebred" races.

Warlocks have varying views of those who differ from them, in part because of their outsider place in society. Generally, warlocks view other arcanists through a lense of bitter rivalry but many have a healthy respect for fighters' strength or clever rogues. Few warlocks get along well with practitioners of divine magic, in part due to their dealings with unholy powers, but warlocks rarely try to deliberately upset allies who could prove useful, which includes healing clerics.

Warlocks in Campaigns

Even more so than sorcerers, warlocks tend to be viewed with great suspicion and fear, and only the most infamous necromancers come close to provoking the distrust and enmity that warlocks commonly elicit. Even the least superstitious know that a warlock's power is derived from dangerous and evil patrons; and even a warlock whose worth has been proven time and again in the service of good might still be thought to have the potential for dark treachery.

Few towns or cities will long abide a known warlock in their midst - low-level warlocks often risk being assaulted by pitchfork-wielding mobs. Warlocks of moderate power rarely need fear outright attack, but they might find themselves subject to a variety of hints (subtle or otherwise) that their presence is unwanted. High-level warlocks are generally considered far too dangerous to offend, but they can often find themselves subject to harassment of a different sort as successive waves of crusading adventurers show up on their doorsteps, each intent on eliminating such a clearly malevolent threat.

Warlocks fare a little better when under the protection of a local lord, but few good-hearted nobles freely offer a warlock employment. The reputation of these fell arcanists is simply too black.

Like the sorcerer, the warlock is valued less for his counsel and knowledge than for his ability to wreak havoc against his foes, and those rare few who obtain a powerful patron likely serve as bodyguards or highly capable arcane warriors. Most warlocks never swear fealty to another individual, though, preferring to wield their unique power only in their own name.

Excerpt from The Complete Arcane

On Consorting with Fiends

If characters can be judged by the company they keep, then those who deal with fiends - demons and devils - are surely evil beings themselves. Fiends are the ultimate expression of evil given animate form: literally evil incarnate. Destroying a fiend is always a good act. Allowing a fiend to exist, let alone purposefully summoning or helping one, is clearly evil.

Occasionally, a spellcaster may summon a fiendish creature to accomplish some task. Such an act is "evil" but not terribly so. However, some characters, particularly those who worship demons or devils or see them as valuable allies, may work with (or for) fiends to further their own ends. Worse still, some mortals sell their souls to fiends in order to gain more power or support.

Although dealing with fiends or selling souls is risky at best, the lust for power is a temptation too strong for some to resist. Yet fiends have great power, infinite life spans, and a delight for double-crossing others, so it's not surprising that most characters who ask for a fiend's aid end up on the wrong end of the deals they make.

Excerpt from The Book of Vile Darkness

On Demons: The Corrupter

The corrupter subtly brings the Abyss to the Material Plane. While it does employ temptation and lures beings into its influence with offers of favors and service, the Corrupter's nature keeps it from living up to all of its long-term bargains. While demons are known for impulsiveness, as ageless creatures, Corrupters have learned to look at least a short time into the future, recognizing that a little patience now might pay off with more chaos later.

Corrupters usually set up a base of operations somewhere on the Material Plane, finding or creating lairs reminiscent of their home. Indeed, Corrupter demons seek to corrupt more than just living creatures: they endeavor to change the Material Plane, and all other planes, into reflections or extensions of the Abyss. A haunted castle, a bottomless well, a labyrinthine maze of caverns hidden in a nearby hillside - any of these places could be home to a demonic corrupter.

Corrupter demons do venture out into the open, but they use disguises and possession (the demon's ultimate weapon) to collect souls and change the land to benefit their masters.

Here are a few examples of how well some kinds of demons align with the corrupter role.

Archetypical: Glabrezu, guecubu, nabassu (juvenile), succubus Interesting: Chasme, dybbuk, lilitu, marilith, nalfeshnee Unlikely: Armanite, babau, ekolid, mane

Excerpt from Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss

On Devils: Faustian Pacts

Devils take special delight in corrupting the souls of their enemies, and Faustian pacts have proven to be among the most effective ways to lure mortals stray. Such a contract exchanges the mortal's soul for any number of possible benefits. Over the centuries, many adventurers have proven themselves susceptible to the temptations inherent in Faustian pacts, because those pacts promise the sort of powers and abilities that adventurers covet.

Devils extend two types of contracts: the Pact Certain and the Pact Insidious. These terms are used only in the Nine Hells; they sound too sinister to share with prospective signatories.

In accordance with folklore, each contract is a physical object, whether a scroll or a small volume bound in fine leather and edged in gold. In it are scribed the terms of the contract in amazing detail. The devil always retains a copy of the contract and, if pressed, provides a second one to the signatory. Mortals must sign in their own blood to render the contract binding.

The Pact Certain is the favored choice of all devils who deal in Faustian pacts, but it is offered only to easy marks who have already proven themselves indifferent to the fates of their souls. A Pact Certain contains language in which the mortal explicitly affirms allegience to a Lord of Hell and promises to do their will in exchange for whatever benefits are offered.

The mere act of consciously assigning one's soul to a lord of Hell is, by the terms of the Pact Primeval, an irredeemably and intrinsically evil act.

A Pact Certain can be nullified only by proving that the bloody signature was extracted involuntarily through duress. According to the Pact Primeval, devils cannot reap signatures through torture or threats of force - including force against third parties. This rule does not, however, pertain to individuals who voluntarily sign a Pact Certain to ransom an imprisoned soul from Baator.

In a Pact Insidious, a devil promises to provide certain benefits for a mortal signatory in exchange for specified reciprocal favors. It does not explicitly bind the mortal's soul to Baator, nor does it require a statement of allegiance to any particular archdevil.

From the devil's point of view, such a pact is still an exercise in damnation - it is merely sneakier than a Pact Certain. A Pact Insidious allows a gullible mortal to believe he can gain the benefits of a flirtation with evil without suffering its consequences. Thus, it exploits the eternal self-delusion of the lazy and greedy.

A contract of this type is written to deliver its promises in stages. To reap the next stage of benefits, the signatory must perform a new service for the devil. A fool who signs a bargain rarely notices until it is too late that each service incrementally nudges him toward eternal damnation. Below are the most common corrupt acts requested at each stage and provided corruption value.

  • Using an evil spell (1)
  • Humiliating an underling (1)
  • Engaging in intimidating torture (1)
  • Stealing from the needy (2)
  • Desecrating a good church/temple (2)
  • Betraying a friend/ally for personal gain (2)
  • Causing gratuitous injury to a creature (3)
  • Perverting justice for personal gain (3)
  • Inflicting cruel or painful torture (4)
  • Inflicting excruciating torture (5)
  • Murder (5)
  • Inflicting sadistic torture (6)
  • Cold-blooded murder (6)
  • Murder for pleasure (7)
  • Inflicting indescribable torture (7)

Hidden provisions in the contract revoke the previous benefits if the mortal stops performing the specified tasks. Strict prohibitions forbid the mortal from disclosing the contents of the agreement to any third party. Though the contract does not explicitly say so, these prohibitions are meant to keep mortals away from meddlesome priests who would seek to absolve repentant signatories of their accumulated sins.

Excerpt from Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells

Roleplaying tips

How a Warlock is played varies from person to person, but here are some tips that apply to everyone.

  • If you are aiming to keep your identity as a Warlock a secret, be careful about using your invocations. You never know who might know enough about Warlock magic to identify you.
  • If your identity as a Warlock is openly flaunted, prepare to be shunned in character. Yes, even neutral warlocks. All the available pacts are made with dangerous and evil otherworldly beings.
  • A devil-pact Warlock would usually be a lawful character and/or have been given some kind of code to follow by the one they made the pact with. A demon-pact Warlock on the other hand would usually be a chaotic character. These tend to be the ones who flaunt their power openly.
  • Swearing fealty to X isn't the same as worshiping X. This means that you can still worship your previous deity.
  • You should know X's doctrines. But there will be a difference between the "believers" in those doctrines (more like worshippers), and those who follow the doctrines because of a pact (more or less willingly).
  • Hence, there will be a difference between being devoted to X (these characters will most likely blossom), and those reluctant or even defiant. The latter will most probably be mentally and spiritually corrupted (comparable to necromancers). They wanted the benefits of the pact, but are not 100% willing to pay the very high price for it.
  • At the very least, it is necessary to roleplay a significant influence from the pact. Believers will blossom from it. Those who did it for other reasons will most likely constantly run into problems wherever there is a conflict between the deity he/she serves and the doctrines of X.
  • Good/accidental/forced Warlock RP is not supported. All Arelith Warlocks have taken their pact voluntarily. The circumstances of this choice remain at the player's discretion.
For Arelith's purposes, every character with a Warlock pact makes the choice to pact, for whatever reason. -DM Watchtower

Warlock roleplay can be seen as a triangle of conflict between the one you make the pact with, your deity and your own selfish (and/or your community's) interests.

Mechanical Information

The Warlock is a subclass of the Bard. To become a Warlock, a character starts life as a Bard, but then makes a pact with an Abyssal, Infernal or Fey entity to draw on its power. You can either find the NPC in-game that offers the pact, or you can take the pact on character creation.

Note: Bard does not have to be the 1st class taken. It can be characters that multiclass later to bard.

"To become a Warlock you simply need Bard levels. Your Bard levels become your Warlock levels."

- Mithreas

Also, even though the Warlock technically has unlimited shots of magic, any spell lost to casting failure (defensive casting, spell failure on armour, etc) will actually lose you a spell slot

Warlock Class Abilities

A Warlock is similar to a Bard, with the following changes:

  • Bard Song is disabled (note that Curse Song is useless without Bard Song)
  • Bardic Knowledge is disabled
  • Hit Die changed to d8 (8HP/lvl)
  • Warlock Resilience (seen below)
  • Arcane Spell Failure for Armor and Shields is reduced by 20% for pure-class Warlocks, or multi-class Warlocks with at least 6 levels in the class
  • Warlocks may cast unlimited spells from a pre-selected list, based on their pact (regardless of which spells are chosen at level up, only those from the Warlock spell list will be available)
  • A Ranged Touch Attack must be made for any spell cast against a hostile opponent, and successful hits will inflict Eldritch Blast damage (Charm Person, Dominate Person, and Darkness will not inflict damage)

Warlock Eldritch Blast

When a spell is cast directly on a hostile opponent, Eldritch Blast damage of (1d6 + 1) / 2 levels is dealt to the target, along with the spell effect. Certain spells (marked below) that apply disabling or debuffing effects deal Eldritch Blast Damage of (1d3) / 3 levels to the target. While an AoE spell may affect multiple opponents, Eldritch Blast damage is dealt only to the target of the spell. Spell Resistance checks are made separately for the base spell and Eldritch Blast damage, meaning that one may penetrate while the other is blocked.

Using Eldritch Blast will cause the Warlock's eyes to glow. Spells may be cast on the ground to avoid making a Ranged Touch Attack and activating eye glow.

Abyssal and Infernal pact warlocks get Blood-Sealing Pact: so long as the Warlock's Summon is present, the warlock receives bonus Blast damage equal to their Charisma modifier.

The damage types listed below may be selected by using the -warlock console command, as well as the VFX.

Eldritch Blast Damage Types by Pact and Level
Level Fiendish/Abyssal Pact Fey Pact
1 Fire Acid
4 Cold Electrical
8 Negative Positive
12 Magic Magic

Eldritch Essence

A warlock's eldritch blasts perform additional effects based on the damage type used. These eldritch essences apply to the Fire, Cold, and Negative damage types.

Essence of Fire: Reduces the affected target's AB, and buffs the summon's AB for 4 rounds. Does not stack; each successive strike merely renews the duration. Scales based on the warlock's caster level:

  • Warlock Level 4: -1 AB to Target, +1 AB to Summon
  • Warlock Level 12: -1 AB to Target, +2 AB to Summon
  • Warlock Level 20: -2 AB to Target, +3 AB to Summon
  • Warlock Level 28: -2 AB to Target, +4 AB to Summon

Essence of Cold: Reduces the target's AC, and buffs the summon's AC for 4 rounds. Does not stack; each successive strike merely renews the duration. Scales based on the warlock's caster level:

  • Warlock Level 4: -1 AC to Target, +1 AC to Summon
  • Warlock Level 12: -1 AC to Target, +2 AC to Summon
  • Warlock Level 20: -2 AC to Target, +3 AC to Summon
  • Warlock Level 28: -2 AC to Target, +4 AC to Summon

Essence of Life-Steal: Steal's the target's HP and heals the summon. This adds an extra 1d4 Negative blast damage for every 3 Warlock levels, and heals the summon for 1d4 for every 3 Warlock levels. No healing takes place if the target is immune to negative energy damage.

Warlock Resilience

As a Warlock advances in level, she or he becomes more resilient against attacks, gaining resistance to damage types which vary by pact.

Warlock Bonus Defenses by Level and Pact
Level Fiendish/Abyssal Pact Fey Pact
10 Uncanny Dodge, 5/- DR vs Fire/Acid Uncanny Dodge, 5/- DR vs Cold/Electrical
20 5% Damage Immunity vs Physical, 10/- DR vs Fire/Acid 5% Damage Immunity vs Physical, 10/- DR vs Cold/Electrical
30 10% Damage Immunity vs Physical, 20/- DR vs Fire/Acid 10% Damage Immunity vs Physical, 20/- DR vs Cold/Electrical

Warlock Spell List

Warlocks may use the following spells with unlimited castings and no cooldown.

Warlock Spell List by Level and Pact
Level Fiendish/Abyssal Fey Pact
1 Flare (0), Light (0) Flare (0), Light (0)
2 Summon Creature (1), Lesser Dispel (1)* Sleep (1), Expeditious Retreat (1)
3 Balagarn's Iron Horn (1) Mage Armor (1)
4 Bull's Strength (2) Tasha's Hideous Laughter (2)
5 Resistance (0), Grease (1) Cure Minor Wounds (0), Resistance (0)
6 Protection from Alignment (1) Charm Person (1)
7 Bestow Curse (3) Displacement (3)
8 Summon Creature (2) Charm Monster (3)
9 Darkness (2) Ghostly Visage (2)
10 Dismissal (4) Invisibility (2)
11 Ultravision (2), Gust of Wind (3) Cloud of Bewilderment (2), Hold Person (2)*
12 Summon Creature (3) Slow (3), Haste (3)**
13 See Invisibility (2) Mind Fog (5)
14 Dispel Magic (3)*, Eagles Splendor (2) Dispel Magic (3)*, Eagles Splendor (2)
15 Fear (3)* Hold Monster (4)*
16 Energy Buffer (6) Energy Buffer (6)
17 Summon Creature (4) Summon Shadow ***, ****
18 Cat's Grace (2) Sound Burst (2)
19 War Cry (4), Blindness/Deafness (2)* Dominate Person (4)
20 Summon Creature (5), Magic Circle Against Alignment (3) Confusion (3)*
22 Greater Dispelling (5)* Greater Dispelling (5)*
25 Summon Creature (6) Dirge (6)
28 Ice Storm (6) Shadow Shield ****
* This spell does limited Eldritch Blast damage.
** Fey Pact Warlocks can cast haste an unlimited number of times on themselves, and it may only be active on one other target at a time. Any casts on targets other than the warlock will be subject to a cooldown equal to 10 rounds or warlock caster level - 1, whichever is lower.
****Has 3 minutes of cooldown
***These are implemented as spell-like abilities and can be accessed separately through the radial menu

Fiendish/Abyssal Summons

Fiendish and Abyssal Warlocks will summon alternate creatures with the Summon Creature line of spells.

Greater Spell Focus: Conjuration does not increase the tier as it normally does with Summon Creature, but instead, it will raise its stats slightly. Epic levels will continue to increase the power of Summon Creature VI as per the Summoning Changes. For the exact stats of the summoned creatures, read the summons article. Warlocks cannot use the -stream command to switch abyssal/infernal summons.

Warlock summons have a cooldown of (Spell Level + 1) rounds, starting the moment the creature is slain.

Fiendish/Abyssal Warlock Summons
Level Spell Fiendish Abyssal
2 Summon Creature I Lemure Mane
8 Summon Creature II Imp Quasit
12 Summon Creature III Erinyes Succubus
17 Summon Creature IV Osyluth Vrock
20 Summon Creature V Gelugon Glabrezu
25 Summon Creature VI Pit Fiend General Balor Lord