Saturday, September 19, 2020

The clockwork Warlock

 One of the interesting things about the 5e warlock is how varied their patrons can be.  Someone (Trappy Jenkins) on the Dungeon Dudes discord wondered "what if this guy was your patron"

by Travis Anderson

A number of good ideas were quickly proposed by many people - I had a small part in it (tiny servant!!!) but this isn't my creation.  But then people wondered "how to preserve this?" - unlike the OSR, there isn't a strong culture of blogging there.  So I offered, and here we are.

Patron abilities:

Biomechatronical Body:
You have sacrificed a piece of your body to your patron and in return they replace your chosen body part with a mechanical copy.
Arm: Gain proficiency in Athletics. +1 to melee attack and damage rolls that use strength using this arm.
Eye: Gain proficiency in perception. +1 to ranged attack and damage rolls. 
Leg: Gain proficiency in acrobatics. +10 speed, +5 jumping distance.
Heart: Gain proficiency in constitution saving throws. Increase maximum HP by 5 and an additional 1 per Warlock level. 

At levels 6, 10, and 14 you may sacrifice and replace another body part.

I note that warlocks almost always have a defensive feature at level 6.  I think the above is very cool but could be expanded a bit.  Perhaps at level 6, the following appears:

Partial exoskeleton:  You encase your torso in metal.  Your base AC is now 14  (treat as medium armor).

Or.   Smoke screen.  As a reaction, you can eject greenish smoke from your body, imposing disadvantage on attacks against you.  The smoke dissipates at the beginning of your next turn.  This power renews after a short or long rests. 

But I am opened to suggestions.  Level 14 deserves a very cool body part too, or perhaps a partial, whole body transformation.

Bonus Spell List (Influenced by artificer)
1st: Grease & Snare 
2nd: Heat metal & Rope Trick
3rd: Stinking Cloud & Tiny Servant
4th: Fabricate & Freedom of Movement
5th: Animate Object & Creation

I note that Tiny Servant is a spell that "up-casts" well and that last 8 hours.  A higher level warlock may have a small army of tiny servants doing his every whim.  A lot of these spells can be "jazzed up" for roleplaying purposes.  Eldritch blast is *definitely* some kind of arm or shoulder cannon, or perhaps an eye-laser.   In a game that allows war-forged, this is a great fit.

There is definitely a lot of potential for roleplay here.  The Iron Kingdoms monster manual had the iron lich ,which were both flavorful and powerful.  The warlock may be pursuing the knowledge to complete this transformation.  Meanwhile, the patron may be requesting of their followers to gather various esoteric items, reagents and parts - clearly they are building some grand artifact that will shake the foundations of the multiverse... the image clearly indicates a personage who is refined, polite but ... ruthless. 

I repeat that this is just a draft, and not play-tested... but clearly this would be a lot of fun, and it again illustrates the strength of the Warlock class in 5e.  Thank you to the DungeonDudes discord community for allowing me to host this neat content :)  

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