Thursday, August 12, 2010

Critical Playtesting #5 The Warlock



Playtesting different classes and races so you'll give them a shot.

The Warlock of Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition is an Arcane Striker that comes in six different flavors. When starting on your journey as a Warlock you must choose a pact that will forever change the fate of your life. Sorry, no refunds. As of the time of writing this, there are six pacts: Infernal, Fey, Star, Dark, Vestige, and Sorcerer-King pacts. I could blabber on for days about the list of pacts and if you really want me to do that then comment below and vote for it.

Before we delve any deeper into the rabbit hole, let me warn all adventurers: this class takes effort. If you don't put the extra time into the mechanics of your Warlock then your character isn't going to shine. Think of this as a challenge rather than a setback. Stoutmeister has a wonderful little chart to explain this (I keep seeing his chart all over the place so now it's your turn):



Rangers, Rogues, and Warlocks pretty much all have the same potential but Rangers just happen to be much easier to build. So what makes the Warlock stand out in a crowded room full of Strikers?

1) Controller aspects - Many of the Warlock's powers sacrifice pure damage for lovely effects that will leave your enemies crippled in the most delightful of ways. The skies the limit with a vast variety of effects at your disposal thanks to manipulating arcane magic. There are plenty of AOE effects if you want to be a secondary controller but many powers incapacitate one foe while dishing out some hurt at the same time.

2) Defense - Between gaining concealment (+2 to all defenses) almost every turn thanks to one of your class features and teleporting to get out of sticky situations, you should be rather comfy for a mage. You would think that would be enough. Constitution based Warlocks state they can do far better. These guys take spikes through the chest and ask for more! Thanks to their primary stat being CON, they literally will have Defender level HP and healing surges.

3) Mobility - You get more teleportation powers than any other class and you get the best of the best it would seem. Fey pact Warlocks reap the benefits from this the most. Since most of your attacks are ranged, that in itself is a kind of mobility as you can move wherever you please and frag enemies with magic blasts.



4) Flavor - Making a pact with some mysterious being to grant you power sets up for so much roleplaying potential in and of itself. Not only does your background story suddenly become badass but it can setup your goals and what drives your character throughout the campaign.

5) Combat variety - Arcane blasts, dominating minds, curses, debuffs, teleportation, and a mile long list of other powers. It's even possible to design melee builds. You aren't forced to use the entire arsenal of kick ass but the options are at your fingertips if you so desire.

This is Kylak signing out because I have a pact with Cthulhu and he demands I take care of some other matters for now.

8 comments:

  1. Ah man, I really really hate Warlocks in my party. They feel like nerfed bow rangers who occasionally have funny effects.

    You are right about this class taking effort. In fact, it takes effort to make it fun and strong. If you don't put in effort and play by the book, you are nothing more than a simple boring turret.

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  2. There have been many updates since the early days of PHB1. You would be surprised how far they've come along. Are you a D&D Insider? The Dragon Magazine content alone has made these guys top notch. Arcane Power helped quite a bit as well.

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  3. Oh wow, I had no idea Warlock could be this cool. While it's not my cup of tea, it'll be cool to see one in action.

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  4. I'm glad the article shows off some of the kewl factor they have going for them.

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  5. I'm going to make a lvl 10 warlock for my upcoming game. God they are so hard to make. I'm trying to make a very good single target DPS but not infernal pact. Dark pact looks promising though. The Raven in your article just makes me want to make it happen XD (I'm a Raven fan)

    And unfortunately, despite being DND insider, most of my DMs don't allow Dragon Magazines =((

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  6. I'm a Raven fan as well. *high five*

    Why won't your DMs allow Dragon Magazine content? It's officially core content for all players and DMs to utilize. Best of luck on changing their minds about that. You have my support bud!

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  7. Warlock sounds like a very interesting class. Def gonna be hard to pick my next class when i want to play all of them lol

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  8. Then these articles are a success! I've tempted you to play EVERYTHING! :D

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