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Is this Archetype well balanced?
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 Post subject: Ordainer 5e Warlock Archetype >Opinions Requested<
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:31 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:13 pm
Posts: 7
I was playing around with the idea of getting some of my new players that enjoy 5e D&D into Arcanis by taking the old 3.5 modules and converting them to 5e for home play. I wanted to let them play whatever type of character they wanted and one of my players really liked the stories I told him about the Sorcerer-King and said he'd like to play one of his followers as a Warlock.

Intrigued by the concept, I went back to the Magic of Arcanis (MoA) book and took a look at the Ymandragore Prestige classes and then at the 5e Warlock design as I've only been playing 5e for a short time and I'd really only looked at the Paladin and Monk classes thus far.

When my eyes fell on "Otherworldly Patron" aspect of the Warlock class I had a total lightbulb moment and realized that because the Sorcerer-King originates outside Arcanis, he is - by definition - an Otherworldly Patron. As Ordainer of Ymandragore was the first Prestige class in MoA and it had certain properties that were only effective as long as someone remained faithful to the Sorcerer-King I was inspired... What if Ordainers were merely Warlocks with the Sorcerer-King as their Patron?

I then pondered further - in 3.5, you had to be at least 5th or 6th level to become an Ordainer, thanks to the skill prerequisites and I noticed that Warlocks get Patron abilities at 1st, 6th, 10th, and 14th levels. Knowing what I did about the Sorcerer-King I realized this would be a perfect fit as well - after all, His Majesty Sorcery would want proof of an Ordainer's fealty before giving him access to the better abilities.

I then went through the Prestige class with a fine-toothed comb, figuring out which aspects of the Class would be good items for Patron Abilities, what would make sense for Patron spells, which class features would be best as Eldritch Invocations, and so forth. I attempted to strike a balance between gameplay effectiveness and honoring the spirit of the Prestige Class.

Below are posts containing my ideas; I share them freely (consider them OGL) to anyone else who may want to use them for homebrew, but I'd also like honest opinions back - the character is relatively weak at first (compared to other Warlock Archetypes) but I think it balances out as time goes along.

I look forward to hearing responses.

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 Post subject: Re: Ordainer 5e Warlock Archetype >Opinions Requested<
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:42 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:13 pm
Posts: 7
1st Level Patron Ability

Detect Arcane – As an Ordainer, it is your responsibility to keep those subject to his Sorcery-Majesty’s rule (i.e. all arcane spellcasters) in line, whether they reside in Ymandragore or elsewhere in Arcanis. To this end, the first gift his Majesty-Sorcery grants his Ordainers is the ability to sense the use of arcane magic and track it back to its point of origin within your vicinity.

Beginning at 1st level, you can as a bonus action that requires Concentration begin to sense any current or recent (within the past week) arcane spell usage within 1 mile / level of your current location. If the arcanist successfully cast with subtlety, you will be able to sense that magic has been used, but will need to perform an Arcana check (DC the caster’s Subtlety roll total) in order to back trace the source.

You also gain use of the Disguise Arcana cantrip (listed below.)

At 6th level, this ability improves, allowing you to sense older arcane spell usage (up to 1 month in the past) that occurred within 500 ft / level of your current location. Within this range, you have advantage current/recent back trace rolls and can perform back trace rolls for any arcane usage more than 2 weeks old (DC 25.)

Disguise Arcana
Illusion Cantrip
Casting Time: 1 Bonus Action
Range: Self
Component: S
Duration: Your next spell cast as an Action

As an Ordainer, your powers differ greatly compared to the Warlocks that follow the Spirits, Infernals or the Entropic Void. This spell grants you Advantage on a Deception check for Subtle Spellcasting (because you’re trying to blend in to infiltrate a Sanctorum group or you don’t want Harvesters who don’t know any better to interfere with your missions) or a Persuasion check to convince anyone who may be suspicious about your powers if you cast openly. Use of this cantrip only works on spells you cast; it does not work on your Eldritch Storm or other Patron-granted abilities (though if you’re standing by another caster when you unleash the Storm, you may be able to convince others that the other person unleashed it.)

This cantrip also places an indicator in the Detect Arcane sense of your fellow Ordainers that identifies you as a servant of his Majesty Sorcerery. It also carries a risk: because of the extra motions you go through to cast the spell, a Hawk or Shield member that gets an Arcana or a Perception roll (DC your Subtle Spellcasting/Persuasion roll total) will recognize your true nature and may attack you (Hawk) or will report you to interfere with your mission (Shield.)

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 Post subject: Re: Ordainer 5e Warlock Archetype >Opinions Requested<
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:44 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:13 pm
Posts: 7
6th Level Patron Ability

Absorb Spell Energy – Beginning at 6th level you instinctively absorb a portion of energy from all spells that target you or include you in the area of effect to turn these energies to your own purposes.

If the spell requires a save that you successfully make, you gain resistance vs. spells (similar to the Paladin of Ancients Aura of Warding) for yourself alone (cutting any post-save effects the spell you suffer in half) and you absorb spell energy as listed below. If you fail the save, you do not get the spell resistance, but do absorb spell energy as listed below.

If the spell does not have a save (such as a ray) you instead make a spellcasting ability check (DC 15 + Slot of the Spell Used) to activate the spell resistance. Regardless of whether you gain the resistance, you absorb spell energy as listed below.

You absorb magical energy equal to ½ the spell slot of the spell cast at you (round down, minimum 1.) You can absorb spell energy equal to your Charisma modifier + ½ your Proficiency bonus (round down.) When you have absorbed spell energy equal to your Warlock spell slot level, you may expend that much energy to cast an additional spell without a short rest. This energy can NOT be converted for additional Mystic Arcanum spell slots until the ability improves at 14th level.
If you absorb more slots than your limit, the extra energy harms you and bleeds off without being stored. For every 2 spell slots in excess of your limit, you suffer 1d6 Necrotic Damage. (So 1d6 for 1-2 slots, 2d6 for 3-4 slots, etc.) This damage is processed at the start of your turn, before you can act to use this excess energy. If you absorb 12 or more total spell slots in a single round, you could accidentally trigger an uncontrolled Eldritch Storm (see Level 10 ability below) unless you make a Constitution Save (DC your Spell Save.)

At 10th level, this ability improves, allowing you to take a full action to absorb spell energy from chargeable magic items on your person (regardless of whether you are currently attuned to the item or not.) You drain charges at a rate of 1 charge for 1 full spell level of energy and drain all the available charges from it, unless you are attuned to the object which allows you to know how many charges you are draining and can stop at will. If you drain an item completely in this fashion, the object DOES NOT run the chance of disintegrating that it would if you were using the wand’s final charge normally. Remember, unless you are attuned to the object, it cannot regenerate charges each day.

At 14th level, this ability improves one final time, increasing to allow you to hold energy equal to your Charisma modifier + your full proficiency bonus and you may expend your accumulated energy to recharge your Mystic Arcanum spell slots (but each slot may only be recharged once per Long Rest.) You may also perform a bonus action Arcana check to identify magical items another person is carrying and then perform a full action to attempt to drain the charges from a chargeable magic item held by another person by making a melee touch attack that uses your spellcasting modifier (DC the target’s unarmored AC.) As you are not attuned to the item you drain all available charges and the object has a 50% chance of disintegrating.

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 Post subject: Re: Ordainer 5e Warlock Archetype >Opinions Requested<
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:45 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:13 pm
Posts: 7
10th Level Patron Ability

Eldritch Storm – Once per Long Rest, you may vent all the spell slots accumulated through your Absorb Spell Energy ability only (you cannot use your Warlock Spell slots for it) to craft a storm of raw magical energy.

All creatures within a 40’ radius, centered on the Ordainer (who is immune to their own storm damage as long as it was not an uncontrolled storm [as mentioned in the Absorb Spell Energy ability section]), takes 1d6 Magic damage for each spell slot vented and must make a Dexterity Save (DC Ordainer’s Spell Save) for ½ damage.

If it is an Uncontrolled Eldritch Storm, the Ordainer is not immune to this damage and must make a save. The Ordainer cannot attempt to absorb spell energy from the uncontrolled storm, but they still get their spell resistance on a successful Reflex save. They would also take the appropriate Psychic damage they suffer for absorbing too much spell energy (which is not blocked by the spell resistance.)

After the Eldritch Storm is used of his own volition, the Ordainer experiences Exhaustion 2 and cannot use his Absorb Spell Energy ability (to absorb or protect himself) until completing a Short Rest. If an Uncontrolled Eldritch Storm occurs, the Ordainer experiences Exhaustion 3 and cannot use his Absorb Spell Energy ability again until he completes a Long Rest.

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 Post subject: Re: Ordainer 5e Warlock Archetype >Opinions Requested<
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:46 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:13 pm
Posts: 7
14th Level Patron Ability

Spell Thief – Once per point of Proficiency Bonus per Long Rest, an Ordainer may make a melee touch attack using their spellcasting modifier (DC the target’s unarmored AC) to attempt to steal magical energies from their target.

A successful attack does 1d12 + CHA modifier Psychic damage and the target must make a modified Concentration check (DC the higher of the Ordainer’s Spell Save DC or the total damage done.) If the target fails this save, in addition to breaking any spell with a Concentration requirement, the Ordainer rips the energy of one of the caster’s highest available spell slots and absorbs it into themselves, point for point.

If the spell slot absorbed is 5th level or higher, it recharges an expended 5th level Warlock spell slot or Mystic Arcanum spell slot of the appropriate level. If the Ordainer has not expended any spell slots or the spell slot absorbed is greater than an expended spell slot, any excess energy flows into the Ordainer’s Absorb Spell Energy pool.

ex. The Ordainer has used his 7th level Mystic Arcanum and absorbs a 9th level spell slot, the Mystic Arcanum is recharged and the 2 extra spell levels go to the Ordainer’s energy pool. If he hasn’t used any of his spell slots, all 9 spell levels go into his pool.

If the excess spell slots overload the Ordainer’s spell pool or cause the total energy absorbed in one turn to equal 12 spell levels or more, the Ordainer experiences the normal effects stated in the Absorb Spell Energy ability above.

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 Post subject: Re: Ordainer 5e Warlock Archetype >Opinions Requested<
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:53 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:13 pm
Posts: 7
Ordainer Exclusive Eldritch Invocations

Arcane Blade – Requires Pact of the Blade. You may channel any single-target spells through your Pact Weapon and unleash them as part of your attack action.

Arcane Concentration – Requires Pact of the Tome. Your patron-granted tome is an intelligent magic item linked directly to your mind. As long as the book is intact, it can hold Concentration on a spell for you, allowing you to cast a 2nd Concentration spell. If you are required to make a Concentration save, your tome succeeds or fails if you do. If you and your book are both holding concentration and you take Psychic damage, however, you have Disadvantage on the Concentration Save and on a failure your Tome is destroyed (but can be recovered in the usual fashion.)

Arcane Healing – Requires Level 10+. You have learned to harness the power of the Eldritch Storm to enhance yourself. Once per Long Rest, you may expend your use of the Eldritch Storm to heal yourself for 1d6 HP / vented spell slot. Using the charge in this fashion does not result in Exhaustion nor does it block your ability to Absorb Spell Energy. However, you cannot use the Eldritch Storm of your own volition (either to attack or to heal) until you complete a Long Rest, though an Uncontrolled Storm may still occur in the normal fashion.

Arcane Health – As long as your remain faithful to your Patron and his objectives, you are immune to all diseases and poisons (be they mundane or magical in nature.) This does not protect you against Curses.

Arcane Mind – If affected by a charm, compulsion or other Mind-Affecting effect, you get a 2nd save against this effect on your following turn (even if the spell normally does not grant an additional save.) If you fail the second save, you receive no other saves against the effect unless the spell states otherwise.

Arcane Servant – Requires Pact of the Chain. When you summon a familiar, you may summon a Ymandrake Bio-construct instead of a normal familiar.

Improved Absorb Spell – Requires Level 14+. You can safely absorb spell energy up to your Charisma Modifier + 1 ½ your Proficiency Bonus. You can still trigger an Uncontrolled Eldritch Storm if you absorb more than 12 spell levels in a single turn.

Shape Eldritch Storm – Requires Level 10+. If you deliberately unleash your Eldritch Storm, you may exclude a number of targets of your choosing up to your Charisma Modifier from the effects of the storm. This does not work during an Uncontrolled Eldritch Storm

Sorcerer-King’s Blessing – Requires Level 6+. His Majesty Sorcery has taken some small note of your efforts in his service and has chosen to grant you a boon for your loyal service. When you wake from a long rest and renew your fealty to the Sorcerer-King you gain one of the following boons until your next Long Rest:

• Your AC increases by ½ your Proficiency Bonus (round down)
• You gain a bonus to saves you are not proficient in equal to ½ your Proficiency Bonus (round down)
• You gain your full proficiency bonus to any ONE save you are not normally proficient in.
• You get double your proficiency bonus to your class-granted skills you selected at character creation and ½ proficiency bonus to the ones you did not select (provided you are not proficient in them through background or nation.)

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 Post subject: Re: Ordainer 5e Warlock Archetype >Opinions Requested<
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:37 pm 
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Location: Portland OR
An nteresting idea!

As a matter of fluff I think the Ordainer is better tied to the wizard/sorcerer class. They're (ever so slightly) the top of the pecking order in day to day life in Ymandragore, which to me strongly implies full progression caster. The research we've seen from Orata (and a few other less important NPCs) implies an Int based experimental approach to learning magic which also says wizard to me.

I agree though that the SK ties in nicely as a potential patron to the warlock class. He's powerful enough to be a patron and certainly interested in acquiring devotees. Personally I think the wine drinkers would make the best fit with Warlocks in 5e.

Since it's a home campaign though, you can do whatever you and your player agree to/think feels right.

FYI the polls on the forums have rarely worked. Would be curious if you get feedback.

Eric Gorman

AKA Ambassador Tukufu, man of letters, tomb raider and Master Sword Sage
. . . and Sir Szymon val'Holryn, Order of the Phoenix
Formerly Sir Jaeger val'Holryn. Weilder of the Holy Avenger: Thonanos. Gave his soul to help free King Noen

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