Warlock In The Dungeon (3.5e Class)

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Warlocks are arcanists and scholars that dwell with eldritch and occult powers, gaining their abilities either by trade with otherworldly or supernatural entities, by occult rituals or by their bloodline, if they have mysterious and magical ancestors. In fact they resemble sorcerer more than wizards when talking about the source of their abilities.

In any case, regardless of the origin of their powers, be it a curse or a voluntary pact, they gain magical abilities, called invocations, that are generally weaker than arcane spells but they are not bound to a daily limit to use them, and a mystical weapon, the eldritch blast, that they may use to inflict damage and channel some of their invocations.

Making a Warlock[edit]

The main ability of the warlock are its invocations and your choices define what kind of warlock you are and what you are capable of (from flying to beguiling to field-control). Beside those your eldritch blast gives you, more or less, the same damage output of any other warlocks. You gain some defenses in the form of damage reduction, spell and energy resistance and fast healing. At last, you gain some useful abilities that let you manipulate magical items as and better than a traditional arcanist and you may even create magic items, even without spells.

Abilities: Your main statistics is likely to be Charisma as it synergizes best with a lot of invocations and class skills. But you may also forgo Charisma altogether and focus on Dexterity and Constitution to become a glass-cannon without so much glass, choosing invocations that don't need saving throws to work. At last Intelligence may be a nice choice to capitalize your list of class skills and your role as a scholar.

Races: Altough any race may be tainted with occult forces or just with lust for power, humans and half-orcs are the most common races. Tieflings and half-fiends follow, their origin granting only a complement to the mark in the soul of a warlock. Halflings and gnomes may also be attracted to this rapid way of gaining magical powers. In any case any individual that searches for power or is unlucky enough to have had ancestors that did, may become a warlock, regardless of its race.

Alignment: Any evil, neutral or chaotic (but even lawful warlocks may be a reality, although rare).

Starting Gold: 4d4 x 10 (100 gp).

Starting Age: Simple or Moderate.

Table: The Warlock

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Invocations
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Eldritch blast 1d6, Invocations (least) 2
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Detect magic 3
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Damage reduction 1/cold iron, Eldritch blast 2d6 4
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Deceive item, Eldritch grace 4
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Eldritch blast 3d6 5
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Eldritch resonance 10, New invocation (least or lesser) 7
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Damage reduction 2/cold iron, Eldritch blast 4d6 7
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Bonus feat, Fiendish resilience 1 8
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Eldritch blast 5d6 8
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Energy resistance 5 9
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Damage reduction 4/cold iron, Eldritch blast 6d6, New invocation (least, lesser, or greater) 11
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Eldritch resonance 15, Imbue item 11
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Eldritch blast 7d6, Fiendish resilience 2 12
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 Bonus feat, Occult soul 12
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Damage reduction 6/cold iron, Eldritch blast 8d6 13
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Eldritch resonance 20, New invocation (least, lesser, greater, or dark) 15
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Eldritch blast 9d6, Eldritch mind 15
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 Bonus feat, Fiendish resilience 5 16
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Damage reduction 10/cold iron, Eldritch blast 10d6 16
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Energy resistance 10, Supernatural power 17

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)

Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge(arcana) (Int), Knowledge(the planes) (Int), Knowledge(religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Class Features[edit]

As previously stated your main strength is your eldritch blast and the array of invocations you have. This variant of the warlock tries to give enough reason to take all the twenty levels by increasing the number of invocations you gain, readjusting the eldritch blast damage to make it more competitive, adding some features and some fitting feats. All of the following are class features of the warlock.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Warlocks are proficient with all simple weapons. They are proficient with light armor but not with shields.

Because the somatic components required for warlock invocations are relatively simple, a warlock can use any of its invocations while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like arcane spellcasters, a warlock wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure (all invocations, including eldritch blast, have a somatic component). A multiclass warlock still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from levels in other classes.

Invocations: A warlock does not prepare or cast spells as other wielders of arcane magic do. Instead, it possesses a repertoire of attacks, defenses, and abilities known as invocations that require it to focus the wild energy that suffuses its soul. A warlock can use any invocation it knows at will, with the following qualifications:

A warlock's invocations are spell-like abilities; using an invocation is therefore a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. An invocation can be disrupted, just as a spell can be ruined during casting. A warlock is entitled to a Concentration check to successfully use an invocation if it is hit by an attack while invoking, just as a spellcaster would be. A warlock can choose to use an invocation defensively, by making a successful Concentration check, to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity. A warlock's invocations are subject to spell resistance unless an invocation's description specifically states otherwise. A warlock's caster level with its invocations is equal to its warlock level.

The save DC for an invocation (if it allows a save) is 10 + equivalent spell level + the warlock's Charisma modifier. Since spell-like abilities are not actually spells, a warlock cannot benefit from the Spell Focus feat. It can, however, benefit from the Ability Focus feat, as well as from feats that emulate metamagic effects for spell-like abilities, such as Quicken Spell-Like Ability and Empower Spell-Like Ability.

The four grades of invocations, in order of their relative power, are least, lesser, greater, and dark. A warlock begins with knowledge of two invocations, which must be of the lowest grade (least). As a warlock gains levels, it learns new invocations, as summarized on Table: The Warlock and described below.

At any level when a warlock learns a new invocation, it can also replace an invocation it already knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade. At 6th level, a warlock can replace a least invocation it knows with a different least invocation (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be either least or lesser). At 11th level, a warlock can replace a least or lesser invocation it knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be least, lesser, or greater). At 16th level, a warlock can replace a least, lesser, or greater invocation it knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be least, lesser, greater, or dark).

Finally, unlike other spell-like abilities, invocations are subject to arcane spell failure chance as described under Weapon and Armor Proficiency above. Warlocks can qualify for some prestige classes usually intended for spellcasters; see below.

Invocations are like rapid rituals, embedded into your soul, that is where your mystic power comes from. Any time you learn a new one you have grown in the understanding of the power that dweel within you and on how to harness it.

Official invocations: Warlock invocations list

Homebrew invocations: 3.5e Warlock invocations

Eldritch blast (Sp): The first ability a warlock learns is eldritch blast. A warlock attacks its foes with eldritch power, using baleful magical energy to deal damage and sometimes impart other debilitating effects.

An eldritch blast is a ray with a range of 60 feet. It is a ranged touch attack that affects a single target, allowing no saving throw. An eldritch blast deals 1d6 points of damage at 1st level and increases in power as the warlock rises in level. An eldritch blast is the equivalent of a 1st-level spell. If you apply a blast shape or eldritch essence invocation to your eldritch blast, your eldritch blast uses the level equivalent of the shape or essence.

An eldritch blast is subject to spell resistance, although the Spell Penetration feat and other effects that improve caster level checks to overcome spell resistance also apply to eldritch blast. An eldritch blast deals half damage to objects. Metamagic feats cannot improve a warlock's eldritch blast (because it is a spell-like ability, not a spell). However, the feat Ability Focus (eldritch blast) increases the DC for all saving throws (if any) associated with a warlock's eldritch blast by 2.

A warlock can use eldritch blast at will.

The eldritch blast is the simplest and most direct invocation that you need to protect yourself in this dangerous world.

Detect magic (Sp): Beginning at 2nd level, a warlock can use detect magic as the spell at will. Its caster level equals its class level.

A basic and fundamental spell for any spellcaster, an intimate and natural ability for you.

Damage reduction (Su): Fortified by the supernatural power flowing in its body, a warlock becomes resistant to physical attacks at 3rd level and above, gaining damage reduction 1/cold iron. At 7th level and every four levels thereafter, a warlock's damage reduction improves as shown on Table: The Warlock.

The eldritch power within makes you resistant to many kinds of harm.

Deceive Item (Ex): At 4th level and higher, a warlock has the ability to more easily commandeer magic items made for the use of other characters. When making a Use Magic Device check, a warlock can take 10 even if distracted or threatened.

To beguile a person or an object it's the same thing, when magic is involved. Your special connection with all that it's eldritch gives you an head start against other spellcaster when it comes to using magic devices.

Eldritch grace (Ex): Starting from 4th level a warlock adds its Charisma modifier to all of its saving throws.

Through supernatural willpower you gain incredible resistance to any danger directed towards you.

Eldritch resonance (Su): Starting at 6th level a warlock may resonate its inner magic with magic from the outside to protect itself. As a standard action It may gain spell resistance 10 + its Charisma modifier (maximum 15) for one minute per Charisma modifier per day. It may split the time in smaller increments, dismissing it as a move action. Its invocation are not affected by this spell resistance.

At 12th level it increases to 15 + its Charisma modifier (maximum 20) and again to 20 + its Charisma modifier (maximum 25) at 16th level.

You may not be as able as other spellcaster, but at least your altered spirit makes it more difficult to target you with magic, while your powers continue to operate.

Bonus feat: At 8th, 14th and 18th level a warlock gains a bonus feat. It may choose it from any item creation feat or any feat that modifies, empowers or grants spell-like abilities (such as Arcane mastery, Boost spell-like ability, Corrupt spell-like ability, Maximize spell-like ability, Mortalbane, Spell hand or similar ones) or that has prerequisites that only a warlock could have (such as the Extra invocation feat or Infernal Adept).

You must strive to do your best to stay at the top and being skilled is a sure way to rise up some steps.

Fiendish resilience (Su): Beginning at 8th level, a warlock knows the trick of fiendish resilience. Once per day, as a free action, it can enter a state that lasts for 2 minutes. While in this state, the warlock gains fast healing 1.

At 13th level, a warlock's fiendish resilience improves. When in its fiendish resilience state, it gains fast healing 2 instead and it may enter Fiendish resilience two times per day. At 18th level, a warlock's fiendish resilience improves to fast healing 5 and it may enter Fiendish resilience three times per day.

A feature that your soul gives you to maintain itself. Often hunted down by clerics rather than cared for, your individualism is being pushed by necessity alone to preserve you.

Energy resistance (Su): At 10th level and higher, a warlock has resistance 5 against any two of the following energy types: acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic. Once the types are chosen, this energy resistance cannot be changed. At 20th level, a warlock gains resistance 10 against the two selected types of energy.

The wild forces inside of you confer a special resistance to bodily harm.

Imbue item (Su): A warlock of 12th level or higher can use its supernatural power to create magic items, even if it does not know the spells required to make an item (although it must know the appropriate item creation feat). It can substitute a Use Magic Device check (DC 15 + spell level for arcane spells or 25 + spell level for divine spells) in place of a required spell it doesn't know or can't cast.

If the check succeeds, the warlock can create the item as if it had cast the required spell. If it fails, it cannot complete the item. It does not expend the XP or gp costs for making the item; its progress is simply arrested. It cannot retry this Use Magic Device check for that spell until it gains a new level.

The trick of persuasion and imitation of magic grants you an ability usually reserved to spellcasters.

Occult soul (Su): At 14th level a warlock eldritch powers improve. It gains a +1 to the DC of all its invocations and a +2 to caster check to overcome spell resistance with its invocations (this bonus stacks with any similar bonus). Its eldritch blast may overcome lawful or good damage reduction. It must choose one and it may never change it.

Your soul is completely fused with mystical powers and it strengthen your invocations.

Eldritch mind (Su): From 17th you gain a special resistance to effects that target your mind. You become immune to one kind of mind-affecting effects (such as sleep, charm, compulsion, fear or hallucination). In addition you negate any effect of a succesful Will save and you are subject to the partial effect of a Will save if you fail it (similar to Improved evasion).

Your nerves become irradiated with mystic forces so much that mind-affecting abilities have a weaker effect on you.

Supernatural power (Su): At 20th level a warlock may add a +1 damage per die of damage of its eldritch blast when hitting with it. If it has more dices of damage than normal the bonus damage applies to them too (such as from the Mortalbane feat or from magic items). From now on its eldritch blast overcomes lawful and good damage reduction, regardless of its previous choice.

Even if you are not evil your entire being is infused with strange and arcane powers that escape the grasp of reality, tranforming you in a supernatural being.

Warlocks and prestige classes[edit]

Warlocks benefit in a specific way from prestige classes that have "+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class" or "+1 level of existing spellcasting class" as a level advancement benefit. A warlock taking levels in such a prestige class does not gain any of its class abilities, but it does gain an increased caster level when using its invocations and increased damage with its eldritch blast. Levels of prestige classes that provide +1 level of spellcasting effectively stack with the warlock's level to determine its eldritch blast damage (treat its combined caster level as its warlock class level when looking at Table: The Warlock to determine eldritch blast damage) and its eldritch blast caster level (half its total caster level from its warlock levels and its levels in the prestige class that grant it an increased spellcasting level). A warlock also gains new invocations known at these prestige class levels as though it had gained a level in the warlock class.

A warlock cannot qualify for prestige classes with spellcasting level requirements, as it never actually learns to cast spells. However, prestige classes with caster level requirements, such as the acolyte of the skin, are well suited to the warlock. A warlock's caster level for its invocations fulfills this requirement.

For some warlock's only prestige classes check my profile page: The bluez in the dungeon


If you take the alignment restriction strictly a warlock may not become legal, or it will lose its powers (except detect magic and deceive item). But, given the variety of the warlock's power sources, this rule may be abandoned or softened (maybe not all its powers are gone). If you play with the idea that a warlock receives its power by some kind of patron maybe breaking express orders or guidelines of the patron may result in some form punishment, such as revoking the warlock's features.

Epic Warlock[edit]

Table: The Epic <-class name->

Hit Die: d<-Die size for Hit Die->

Level Special
21st <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
22nd <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
23rd <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
24th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
25th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
26th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
27th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
28th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
29th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->
30th <-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->

<-number of skill points-> + Int modifier skill points per level.

<-existing class feature->: <-how this class feature increases or accumulates at epic levels->

<-another existing class feature->: <-how this class feature increases or accumulates at epic levels->

<-Lather, rinse...->

<-... repeat.->

Bonus Feats: The epic <-class name-> gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic <-class name-> bonus feats) every <-number of feats per level-> levels after 20th.

Epic <-class name-> Bonus Feat List: <-list of bonus epic feats->.

<-Sample race of your choice-> <-class name-> Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: <-Weapon selection for starting at 1st level with this class.->.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
<-Skill name-> <-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills-> <-Abbreviated key ability-> <-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If inapplicable put "—"->
<-Skill name-> <-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills-> <-Abbreviated key ability-> <-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If inapplicable put "—"->

<-copy and paste the rows as necessary.->

Feat: <-1st-level feat selection->.

Bonus Feats: <-1st-level feat bonus feats due to class or sample race. remove this section if this sample doesn't get any bonus feats at 1st level. ->.

Gear: <-Starting armor and other equipment outside of weapons.->.

Gold: <-Starting gold using this package.->.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Warlock[edit]

Religion: Religion and warlocks have usually strange, if not hostile, relationships. Warlocks are often considered heretics and evil cultist by most of the good major religions so their attitude is tense at best. Sometimes though a warlock may be related to a god, more often an evil or chaotic one, or revere its patron as a god. Sometimes warlocks substitute clerics in organized religion, especially in small cults or primitive cultures.

Other Classes: Paladin and good clerics have the most difficult relationship with companions warlocks. Sorcerers and wizards may look at them as rivals, or as poor imitations of an arcanist. Other classes should be a lot more neutral towards them, if no other motives occur.

Combat: Given that your specific role is determined by your invocations, generally you should be a long range blaster with magical abilities that may help with general or combat utilities. You are too fragile to be a front line combatant although the eldritch glaive invocation may make you an eldritch warrior.

Advancement: Your class features don't integrate with any others from other classes so, unless you desire a particular build or a specific prestige classes, you benefit the most by continuing in the warlock class.

Warlocks in the World[edit]

Idiot! Prepare to feel the wrath of Nanpligh'Nyobaagg!
—Andator Bloodtooth, half-orc warlock

Warlocks are usually loners and estranged from society, as they usually don't fit in most of civilitations. Despite this, with diplomacy and some bluff, they may actually become well received members of society, especially where their powers are, if not praised, not frowned upon.

Daily Life: A warlock may be a cultist, a scholar or a cursed and borderline crazy person. Your background should determine your life not as much as being a warlock.

Notables: <-notable NPCs of this class->.

Organizations: They are often solitary individuals, as not a lot of formal organizations exist, but they may have pupils or masters or live together in small companies or cabals. Sometimes they become leaders or notable figures in their respective society.

NPC Reactions: Normal people and authorities react to the presence of a warlock as their society tells them to treat occult adepts: either with fear and hate or with more reverence.

Warlock Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (the planes) or Knowledge (religion) can research warlocks to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (the planes), Knowledge (religion)
DC Result
5 Those arcanists dwell with evil powers.
10 Warlocks are a varied and diverse group, with no common purpose and often treated as a threat.
15 Their power usually comes from some pact or taint in their soul, not always voluntarily obtained.
20 Some say that sorcerers are just warlocks that weren't mistreated as much and developed more powerful powers.

Warlocks in the Game[edit]

<-How characters of this class fit in the game (PC and NPC) and what roles they play.->

Adaptation: As previously stated, you may forgo the alignment restriction and you have a lot of flexibility with the origin of your powers (maybe they are divine or celestial?). You may look for other warlock variants on this site as the excellent Warlock, Baatorian or Celestial Warlock or Warlock (Keran) or any other (simply type "warlock" in the research bar).

Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPCs of this class.->.

EL : <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.

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