Pact Warlock (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||Slaves would be tyrants, were the chance theirs.||”|
Warlocks are often born with natural magical ability, but some desire more. They seek greater strength, and are willing to pledge themselves to a higher power to get it. These higher powers can cunning range from powerful cunning devils to free hearted archfey and everything in between, so long as its powerful.
Becoming a Pact Warlock
|Alignment:||Dependent on the chosen patron|
|Skills:||Knowledge (planes): 6 ranks|
|Spellcasting:||Eldritch blast +2d6|
|Patron:||The abilities of the class depend heavily on the patron the pact warlock chooses. You can find the patrons here.|
|Special:||Must know an invocation related to your patron, the list of acceptable invocations are listed on the patron's wiki page.|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Pact Bound||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Damage Reduction X/2||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|3rd||+2||+1||+1||+3||Patron's Resilience||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|4th||+3||+1||+1||+4||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|5th||+3||+1||+1||+4||Otherworldly Aura||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|6th||+4||+2||+2||+5||Damage Reduction 3/X||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|7th||+5||+2||+2||+5||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|8th||+6||+2||+2||+6||Gift of the Patron||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|9th||+6||+3||+3||+6||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|10th||+7||+3||+3||+7||Transcendence, Damage Reduction 4/X||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|11th||+8||+3||+3||+7||Pact Ability||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|12th||+9||+4||+4||+8||Eternal Form||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|13th||+9||+4||+4||+8||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|14th||+10||+4||+4||+9||Damage Reduction 5/X||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|15th||+11||+5||+5||+9||Chosen Attendant||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|16th||+12||+5||+5||+10||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
|17th||+12||+5||+5||+10||Final Blessing||+1 level of existing invocation using class|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the pact warlock.
Spellcasting: At each level, you gain an increase in caster level (and invocations known and maximum invocation type if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a invoking class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one invocation using class before becoming a pact warlock, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining caster level and invocations known.
Pact Bound (Su): At 1st level, a pact warlock selects a patron with whom she strikes a deal or pledges her services. This deal marks you as a servant of your patron until you die. This mark is invisible but magic can detect faint divination magic on your as your patron watches you. The exact details of the relationship are up to your DM but in exchange for power a player should be required to perform certain acts or act a certain way as pleases your patron. The exact details for most Pact Warlock abilities are patron specific and are detailed along with the patron themselves.
DM note: a good place for inspiration of how to handle the influence of player’s patrons is the Binder class in the Tome of Magic. A patron's influence is also described in its wiki entry.
Damage Reduction (Ex): At 2nd level a you gain damage reduction starting at DR 2/X. The X represents the material or effect that overcomes the damage reduction of the warlock's patron. The damage reduction increases by +1 every four levels after the 2nd. This effect overrides the preexisting DR 1/cold iron granted by the standard warlock class.
Patron's Resilience (Ex): At 3rd level, you gain some of the resistances of your patron. This can be a resistance to an energy type, a bonus on saves versus a particular type of magic, or both. The specifics are patron dependent and detailed in their wiki entry.
Otherworldly Aura (Su): Beginning at 5th level, a pact warlock radiates an aura similar to that of their patron. This aura can be suppressed as a free action and resumed as a swift action. The details are listed in the patron's entry.
Gift of the Patron: At 8th level, your patron sees fit to grant you a small reward of power in exchange for your loyalty. You gain a bonus invocation dependent on your choice of your patron. This invocation replaces the one a warlock would normally receive at their 11th level.
Transcendence (Ex and Sp): At 10th level, your dedication and service is rewarded. You undergo a supernatural transformation and become more like your patron, see the patrons for what each transformation does. Upon achieving transcendence, a pact warlock’s appearance undergoes a minor physical change appropriate to their patron. Followers of your patron instantly recognize your transcendent nature and you gain +2 on Cha based checks when dealing these creatures. In addition to the transformation, you gain the ability to cast commune 1/day with a caster level equal to your pact warlock level. Depending on the status of your patron (dead, imprisoned, lost, etc.) your responses may be especially cryptic or the Patron may not respond at all. The judgement of this is up to the DM.
Pact Ability (Su): Beginning at 11th level, you gain another gift of power from your patron. This time in the form of an ability similar to that wielded by your patron.
Eternal Form (Ex): At 12th level, the power of your patron infuses you with eternal vigor. You no longer age physically and will not die of old age. Benefits of growing older still accrue however.
Chosen Attendant (Sp): At 15th level you’ve become one of the most, if not the most, dedicated servant of your patron. You may cast miracle one time as a spell like ability (thus not requiring xp expenditure). This may be used immediately or saved for a later occasion. Additionally. as the possibly the most devoted follower of your patron, it becomes necessary to communicate with them often. You may use plane shift 2/week, appearing within 1d6 miles of your patron instead of the 5d% miles usually dictated by the spell. This ability can only be used to reach your patron and to return from your patron’s location to the location on your home plane from which you departed. All attempts to use the ability differently simply fail without consuming a weekly use although your patron may take note if you attempt it repeatedly. If desperate need arises (i.e. the DM decides such) your patron may grant extra uses of plane shift.
Final Blessing (Sp): At 17th level your patron bestows upon you a unique and powerful invocation. You gain this bonus invocation and may use it as you do with your other invocations. As a chosen attendant of your master, it’s possibly you are the only one who possess this power. The final blessing invocation replaces the invocation you would usually receive at level 20. If you entered the pact warlock class later than level 3, the pact ability replaces one of your dark invocations. Your Cha bonus with followers of your patron increases to +4 as well.
|18th||Damage Reduction 6/X|
|19th||Eldritch Blast +1d6|
|21st||Eldritch Blast +1d6|
|22nd||Damage Reduction 7/X|
|23rd||Eldritch Blast +1d6, Bonus Feat|
|25th||Eldritch Blast +1d6|
|26th||Bonus Feat, Damage Reduction 8/X|
|27th||Eldritch Blast +1d6|
Eldritch Blast (Sp): An epic warlock's eldritch blast damage increases by 1d6 at every odd-numbered level higher than 17th.
Damage Reduction (Ex):: The epic pact warlock's damage reduction increases by 1 point at 18th level and every four levels after (DR 7/X at 22nd, DR 8/X at 26th etc).
The epic pact warlock gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic warlock epic warlock feats) every three levels after 17th level.
A Pact Warlock who deviates from the acceptable alignment, continuously disappoints their patron, or actively attempts to betray their patron loses all the abilities and bonuses associated with gaining levels in this class except for the type change caused by Transcendence. Depending on your patron choice, this break of faith may have dire consequences (possibly even forfeiture of your soul).
Playing a Pact Warlock
Combat: Like a normal warlock, a pact warlock is capable of dishing out reliable damage as well as applying debuffs to enemies. They're straightforward style makes them less versatile than sorcerers and wizards but their bottomless reservoir of magic means they can go for longer.
Advancement: Your patron expects loyalty above all else. Any class that takes a level in a non-invoking class after taking a level of pact warlock may not continue to advance as a pact warlock as they have betrayed their patrons trust. The mark placed upon you by your patron means no other patrons will accept you as a pact warlock once you have been bound to another patron.
Resources: Due to their deep loyalty, pact warlocks of the same patron are likely to work together to support their master. The opposite can be said about pact warlocks of different patrons. Upon achieving transcendence, a pact warlock can communicate directly with her patron and use them as a resource.
Pact Warlocks in the World
|“||Those are the eyes of a man who has seen god and laughed.||”|
|—Unknown citizen, Coscan Kingdom Criminal Records: Volume 23|
NPC Reactions: Like normal warlocks, pact warlocks are frequently misunderstood and often feared. A pact warlock who has struck a deal with a good aligned patron may struggle to gain the trust of strangers and NPCs until they realize he works for a benevolent power rather than a malign one.
Pact Warlock Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (planes) can research pact warlocks to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Contrary to most beliefs, unlike the average warlock, a pact warlock may serve a good aligned higher purpose and pose no threat to the common folk.|
|15||Pact warlocks are strengthened against the same effects their patrons are resilient against.|
|20||In serving their master, pact warlocks eventually become otherworldly entities like their patrons.|
|25||It is said that for each patron there no more than a single pact warlock they consider their "chosen". This chosen attendant is said to possess power rivaling the strongest spellcasters in the land. If they even exist that is.|
Pact Warlocks in the Game
A pact warlock takes more work from a GM than a normal warlock. Managing interactions and expectations of a patron may be more than a GM is willing to put up with. That said, an otherworldly patron may add an interesting element as a source of knowledge, advice, or missions.
Adaptation: Functionally, a pact warlock plays very much like a normal warlock, thus it should fit in quite well so long as the GM approves its use.