Talk:Deathlock (3.5e Prestige Class)

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This doesn't seem too overpowered to me. I mean you have to get to level 20 to become a level 1 deathlock. A level 20 wizard could crush a level 1 deathlock any day. The school specialization requirement seems really irritating to wizards who are specialized in something else or not at all. Maybe when you become a deathlock you immediately get that specialization and have to choose which schools of magic to drop. You have a typo, it says that they have a pool of 20 spells but it only lists 10. Also do your prepared spells from the previous day carry over or do you need to re-prepare them every day? The way the spells work with the essence of magic seems a bit vague maybe you could clarify? For example say a deathlock casts magic missile and mage armor then a round passes do they get one back is if they had prepared it again? Which one? Is it latest first or the deathlocks choice? The spell terror of the deathlock doesn't make sense. Do the spells together occupy those spots or individually? Also can you recast deathlock spells and terror of the deathlock via the essence of magic or are those spells once per day only? I hope you find my questions helpful to your otherwise excellent article. --Mmmmmm152

Response: Sorry for not checking this sooner - the Deathlock is a class I created to add an extra level of difficulty to game-play, so despite the very appealing abilities it grants, you have a worse than half chance of actually getting them before you die. I've been editing it lately to make things a bit simpler and work out some of the more glaring errors.

You might consider adding the whole immortality thing to the class features list. As it is the page is rather unclear about how that works. It suggests that a Deathlock is supposed to be effectively eternally young, but there’s really nothing as to why and how that works. The same could be said about the Sword Saint class. The class text suggests that Sword Saints live longer than is considered normal for their race, but there’s nothing to quantify it so it’s pretty hard to understand. Starless Knight 12:29, 23 November 2010 (MST)


Power - 4/5 I give this class a 4 out of 5 because while the deathlock is immensely powerful you have to reach level 20 and then you become level 1. While a deathlock would definitely destroy a creature of the same level they have to start all over. Though some of the powers seem like they may be too powerful particularly terror of the deathlock with destruction distilled and eternal suffering. --Mmmmmm152 14:46, 8 December 2009 (MST)

Wording - 3/5 I give this class a 3 out of 5 because some of the abilities are a bit difficult to understand. I posted more on this in the discussion section. --Mmmmmm152 14:46, 8 December 2009 (MST)

Formatting - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because the article is formatted perfectly --Mmmmmm152 14:46, 8 December 2009 (MST)

Flavor - 4/5 I give this class a 4 out of 5 because there is plenty of information about how deathlocks fit into the game world yet I feel that their could be a little more information on how they interact with other classes. --Mmmmmm152 14:46, 8 December 2009 (MST)

Mmmmmm152, are you also Elsibor?   Hooper   talk    contribs    email   15:26, 11 December 2009 (MST)
No I am not. I just saw this class and it looked cool. In hindsight the features of it might be a bit off...--Mmmmmm152 15:46, 11 December 2009 (MST)

Level 1[edit]

So now your an Epic character with only one Hit Die? How far can you expect to get with 6 hit points? Or do you keep your Hit Points and are now able to level up again with only another 1000 exp? How much exp do epic level monsters give again... Um, enough that you will be able to reach 10 after one encounter.

Whats with the screwed up BAB and Saves too? If your an Epic level character you progress according to the Epic progression, not your classes progression. Heck, those numbers are not even correct for a standard class anyway?

This class = Epic Fail. --Jay Freedman 14:56, 8 December 2009 (MST)

You aren't an epic level character you're a level 1 character. It's starting again except with more power. The reason someone would want to do this is because once you start getting to the higher levels harder monsters become rarer and you level slower. I could understand that not everyone would like this class but it is a great class. This class = Awesome --Mmmmmm152
Haha. Starting again? What does that even mean? Come on Mmmmmm152, we both know this class has tons of problems. We both stated enough errors to make this thing broken a million times over. Do you have any ideas on how to fix it? You know, so that it can become an Awesome class. --Jay Freedman 17:21, 8 December 2009 (MST)(Sign your posts and use formatting please. Hehe.)
I'll start with some ideas.--Jay Freedman 17:26, 8 December 2009 (MST)
  • Ditch the "Etheral Mystic Restarting Thing" and just call this a Base Class.
  • Remove the prereqs.
  • Remove the Epic stuff for your abilities. (10,000gp costs, 35 DC's, Epic Familiars, etc..)
  • Fix the saves and BAB progression to comform to 3.5 edition.
  • Give your character a sweet backstory where they used to be a powerful wizard who got nerfed by the Gods and wants revenge. (or something...)
Your turn!
I don't think this should be a base class. I really like the idea of starting over more powerful. But some of the saves for the spells are to difficult. The Deathlock spells are really powerful but it seems like sure you can cast this super powerful spell but then your not left with much. I think we should probably remove the school specialization so that sorcerers can be deathlocks as well but the other prerequisites seem pretty basic to me. The saves aren't that out of wack but we should probably remove one from fort and reflex so that there is still the 2 to 1 ratio. The point of the odd BAB seems like the creator wanted to make Deathlocks worse at melee. Do you think we should change it to 10/5 or not? I don't think that the original creator is still working on this so I think we should go ahead and make edits.--Mmmmmm152 07:06, 9 December 2009 (MST)
is this anyway related to the deathlocks from libris mortis? it doesnt look to be, but maybe this class needs to barrow from the races abilities--Name Violation 12:15, 9 December 2009 (MST)
I know nothing about libris mortis. Sorry. But, good ideas on fixing the saves and BAB. Constructive edits are always approved. If anyone can figure out how this Deathlock can start over without screwing the rest of his (now epic) adventuring party, then by all means do it. If you can't, then we are left with a level 1 Deathlock and his party of level 20 pals. But, by all means. Edit away! --Jay Freedman 14:25, 9 December 2009 (MST)
The biggest problem does seem to be how to work it with epic level seems like the class starts out weak put increases in power exponentially. So a level one deathlock is useless while a level 15-20 may be destroying everything or a addition to the party. Play testing will probably be needed. Maybe for purposes of xp CR of defeated creatures is -5 per epic level character assisting them? This would work unless PCs recognized it and intentionally exploited it. What do you guys think?--Mmmmmm152 19:33, 9 December 2009 (MST)
I'm really trying to be constructive here with being sarcastic. Seriously, you cannot just "Start Over" at level 20 without screwing your entire team and breaking the game. The sooner we accept this, the easier fixing the class will become. Sometimes it is easier to destroy a house and build a new one, then to fix the old one. --Jay Freedman 21:33, 9 December 2009 (MST)
Maybe what we could do is if you are a PC it functions as a prestige class while a DM could have the character go through the ethereal material thing if he desired a tougher opponent. Perhaps we could change the bonus feats to epic feats and it could work like this.--Mmmmmm152 08:01, 11 December 2009 (MST)
Actually, for all those people saying level 20; this class requires level 17. --TK-Squared 13:00, 11 December 2009 (MST)
Mmmmmm152, I think you are forgetting that DnD is played as a party, with other people. No party is going to want to sit around for another 17 levels while their Deathlock friend catches up. Likewise, no Deathlock will be able to keep up with his epic level friends. I think maybe, if you're dead set on this staying a PrC, you make it one of those 5-level advancements, lose the "start over at level 1" and go from there. You've only got 8 real class features, as it stands, and some of them need to be thrown out away. I have no idea what Essence of Magic is supposed to be, but if it's what I think it is, it's either useless or overpowered. As for Deathlock spells, maybe you just want to make a new school of magic, or a class-specific list of spells, like the Blackguard has. If you want to "start over" I recommend you just start a new game, and if you want more power, you start with some homebrew traits/flaws/feats and a 36pt point buy system. --Badger 14:14, 11 December 2009 (MST)
did you not read my last post? I'm pretty sure this class would work fine as a prestige class. As in not starting over. But the DM could have enemy npcs that where like a level 10 deathlock for lower level campaigns if he wanted. Instead of a level 20 wizard/10 deathlock which would kill them all. The 8 features would work fine since while they are powerful they are spread out over 20 levels. Also essence of magic isn't that powerful since the deathlock doesn't have as many spells prepared because of his deathlock spells and terror of the deathlock. Preparing deathlock spells normally removes the higher level spells for the deathlock. Also if you would notice most of the deathlock features are once daily. That would mean once the deathlock had cast those really powerful spells he would be less powerful for the rest of the day.--Mmmmmm152 14:26, 11 December 2009 (MST)

→Reverted indentation to one colon

I added Template:Needsbalance to reflect. --Green Dragon 14:34, 11 December 2009 (MST)
I must be misunderstanding you because it seems like you want a DM to include a level 27 NPC for lower level campaigns when you said "But the DM could have enemy npcs that where like a level 10 deathlock for lower level campaigns if he wanted. Instead of a level 20 wizard/10 deathlock which would kill them all". By definition, if this is a prestige class (it is) there is no way you can take levels in it without meeting the requirements. There is no way a level 10 character can meet the requirements. It almost seems by that sentence that you want this to be a base class, and just multi-class into it.
Also, let me just get this clear right now, how much HP does a Wizard 17/Deathlock 1 have? 17d4+1d6, 18d6, or 1d6? Also, when you are "returned to 1 and experience to 0" can you still cast 9th level spells at your new "level 1", or do you leave spells like Time Stop and go back to Color Spray? When it says " All spells are retained" I would assume it means you still know all the spells, right? Are you not able to cast them? What is the advantage of knowing them still? Wizards are the only ones taking this PrC right? They can know any number of spells.
Finally, you've yet to address what the rest of the party will be doing when the Deathlock is running around magic missile'ing kobolds. An Epic-ready character (like the rest of the Deathlock's party) would probably be offended if you made them fight 3 Kobolds as an encounter. Or am I having that backward? Is the Deathlock supposed to be tagging along during epic level quests? If that is the case, there are even more problems here. If you think this class would work within your party dynamic, that's cool. However, I don't think many, if any, parties would like a deathlock in their game. It really is starting over for the Deathlock. --Badger 16:59, 11 December 2009 (MST)
If I read you right that would all the case if the prerequisites required epic level however they do not. Although I have no looked at this extensively one only has to be level 17 to qualify. --Green Dragon 17:31, 11 December 2009 (MST)
Note: Myself and Mmmmmm152 where discussing how to fix this class and not how to keep it. Sorry but, neither of us has the answer to any of these questions. The original author left the descriptions too vague to interpret them. However, these are excellent questions. The downside is, that no matter how you answer them, problems still exist.
I completely forgot that ranks can be (3+class level) making the prereqs' accessible to a level 17 character. A stupid mistake on my part. Please disregard my continual use of the word Epic under these circumstances. Also, understand that we must continue to be constructive in our posts as to rewrite this class appropriately. No more bashing the broken class, just more fixing! I, personally, am going to keep a sandbox on my computer just for tweeking this class. Should be fun! --Jay Freedman 00:50, 12 December 2009 (MST)
Didn't expect anyone to get so interested in this. I'll be more active on here from here on out - this class was only about 1/3 finished when I got swamped and had to stop working on it. I'd appreciate a list of changes made if anyone wants to provide one. To answer a few questions - you definitely don't get to keep your old hp, and you are meant to continue along with your current party. After the transformation, a Deathlock is rendered sickly, weak, and incapable of forming complex spells - thus why they are unable to cast the 9th level spells they still know. The level degradation thing is just a very easy way to demonstrate that in at least one encounter, making clear to everyone that the Deathlock is having some serious trouble. Typically with the +3 level adjustment they will be at level 6 after an epic-level encounter - but for that first encounter, they will rely entirely on their companions to see them through. I've played Eseiran from the second quote - with modifications - and the group I was playing with actually liked it - they said it provided "emotional" situations and helped provide real depth to their own characters by thinking about how to interact with a friend who was in that state. Of course that's only if the group you're playing with is more interested in role-playing rather than hack-n-slash - and the DM isn't trying to kill all you. --Elsibor 00:18, 17 May 2010 (MST)
One quick note about leveling: I'm pretty sure the DMG says something about leveling only once per encounter, and if you get enough XP to level you get XP equal to the next level, minus one (that is, if you have 10 XP, and get 50,000 XP in an encounter, you get 1,999 XP). Level 6 characters should be toast in a standard epic encounter, even if the DM is going easy. One other note, it has been my experience (both as a DM and a player, across several groups), that the DM is always trying to kill you all (sometimes he just tries harder). --Badger 20:00, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
If your DM is running the campaign like that, he's probably not thinking about it in terms of having fun, but winning and losing. It is quite hard for the DM to 'win' in DnD - if the entire party is wiped out despite playing well, that is a sign the DM has failed, not the players, and if the players finish a long campaign where they came close to being wiped out many times and had a lot of fun, that is a great success for everyone. I also disregard the one encounter, one level rule. The experience you gain should be awarded when you finish off a large fight, not withheld because you succeeded too well. Instead I use the rule "no leveling up until you're recovered" so you have to rest for at least a few days to level up - so you can't suddenly become too powerful for what the DM had planned next unless he wants you to level. I came to that decision after thinking about what Experience means, and how to interpret its effect on a character. Then again, I tend to try to make DnD conform to more real-life terms, which I know some don't approve of. Note also that a level six Deathlock can probably cast three or four Epic spells and one Deathlock spell. If they chose Black Lances, then they can contribute greatly to an epic encounter, since you get no saving throw to escape their trapping effect(note the changes to Deathlock spell-casting if this seems off). --Elsibor 16:50, 17 May 2010 (MST)
Perhaps if it is your intention to make this character essentially "skip" levels 2 through 9(or at least let them get through 7 level in 2 or 3 encounters), you flat out remove them. Write some fluff about how a deathlock almost dies, and then is reborn stronger than ever. Then make mechanics to follow: weak level 1, then level 2 (which was level 9) you're suddenly back up to your old playing strength. Then level 3 starts the real deathlock, the killing powerhouse. Then when the rest of your party is level 20 and starting to play epic, you'll be about as strong as them. That way you condense a 20 level base/prestige class down to a typical 10 level prestige class, and still get the end result you wanted. Also, it helps those whose DMs wouldn't allow them to ignore the 1 level per encounter rule. I've not looked at how exactly the condensing would work, but I think the idea is worth examining. --Badger 22:14, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
This class definitly isn't suited to DMs who are not interested in playing the game for fun - but I'm not going to turn it into a prestige class. It makes gameplay far too interesting as it is to mess with it that far. As for skipping levels - why not? You've already played to level 17, minimum - you deserve to have a fairly powerful character. If you remained crippled for a long time it would make the character unplayable. Perhaps I should hard-wire that into the rules of the class. Also, make sure you look over the page carefully - the class has already been heavily altered. --Elsibor 18:10, 17 May 2010 (MST)

Version 2.0[edit]

What I have come up with so far in my quest to reconstruct the deathlock. --Jay Freedman 01:27, 12 December 2009 (MST)

  • Step 1: Take the Epic Wizard.
  • Step 2: Create a new school of magic just for deathlocks. Call it the deathlock school of magic and fill it with awesome spells of death and destruction.
  • Step 3: Rewrite the Spells Section to include: The deathlock’s caster level is equal to her class level. The deathlock’s number of spells per day does not increase after 20th level. Each time the deathlock achieves a new level, he or she learns two new spells of any spell level that he or she can cast, from the deathlock school of magic.
  • Step 4: Let them pick a new, dark, and sinister familiar. The new familiar with be of equal level to the one they just dismissed. Now, just keep the rules the same. Example: A dark-shadow zombie cat of doom. (You get the idea.)
  • Step 5: Add some dark and mysterious fluff, a sweet pic, and call it a Deathlock PrC. Easy as pie.

Note by Elsibor: Dropped working on this class last semester when I was busy with school and running three other campaigns - but now that I'm free, I've come back to find some major changes made here. Some of them are pretty good - like fixing the BAB. I'll be making some changes that make sense now - like getting rid of the crazy 1-spell slot from each level cost for the Deathlock spells. These spells are supposed to be overwhelming even for Epic sells, and should have a corresponding cost.

Note on Step 5 - I would prefer a good representation of a Deathlock - but beggars can't be choosers. Anyone willing to make a portrait for this page is welcome to it.

Edits List[edit]

If you make a change, please list it here.

Edit May 16, Elsibor: Altered many spells, made spell-casting spontaneous. Completely changed the Epic Familiar system and made alterations to some class abilities. Fixed up intro story. Expanding spell list to 20 in progress. In general changed the class greatly. Altered some parts of the Lore section.

Edit May 17, Elsibor: Continued expanding spell list - added 5 spells.

Rather than asking everyone to post what changes they make to the page, check the history. That's why it's there. --Badger 23:30, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Checked it - but I'm a lot more likely to check the discussion here than the history in the future, thus this section. -- Elsibor
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