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  • Originally posted by Maitrecorbo View Post
    I am currently playing tomb of annihilation with my friends. My character is a halfling wild magic sorcerer called Twitch Nervously. Thing is i've already had a character die (at lvl 1 no less sigh) and i'd like to be prepared and have another character as backup in case the 'unthinkable' happens (again).

    So far, i've been interested in trying the warlock class (it would be my first warlock). I was looking at the Cthulhu patron but the Xanathar's Guide Celestial patron has caught my eyes. I am sort of thinking a (nondisruptive) lawful Evil that is forced to do good things because of his patron. Sort of going the inverse to what one would expect from warlocks generally.
    But i am stumped as to what race, pact and background to choose. The pact of blade intrigues me but i've heard it is not great (which to be fair never stopped me before from making a character).
    Pact of the Blade isn’t really as bad as it’s made out to be. I think it gets more flak than it deserves because people want it to be a primary melee combatant and it just isn’t. It’s a bit like being a Druid with Shillelagh or a Bard with a rapier - at the end of the day, you’re still a caster; that melee weapon is your backup. It’s a good backup, but it is a backup. I’ve had a lot of fun with a bladelock using a reach weapon with Sentinel, Polearm Master, and the Darkness/Devil’s Sight trick. If SCAG is on the table, you could add in Booming Blade and Mage Slayer. I was just a walking 30 foot zone of denial, it was awesome. Only thing is, that zone is equally unappealing to your allies, so it’s good to have a plan B to use in tight quarters so you don’t just block everyone’s line of sight. And god help you if one of the other players is the type to shoot blindly into the bubble of nightmares if they can’t see any enemies outside of it.

    Another fun strategy for bladelocks is to go Winged Tiefling or Aarakocra if your DM allows, and poke enemies with a glave from 10 feet above them. Also works with the above Darkness/Devil’s Sight strategy, but might become a pain having to do the math to figure out how much of your hell sphere is touching the ground from how high.

    Bowlock looks appealing with the new Improved Pact Weapon Invocation, but it’s a trap. If you’re going to be hanging back and shooting stuff, Eldritch Blast is just better than a bow. The Invocation is still worth taking for the +1 magic bonus on your pact weapon though.


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    • I played a few Warlocks and I generally found the Pact of the Blade to be the weakest. I'm not sure if I wasn't using it right, but I found that simply using Eldritch Blast with the Agonizing Blast Invocation was often better than attacking with your weapon, simply due to the range on the Blast (120 feet) and the fact that you got extra attacks at higher levels. It really didn't feel like the Pact of the Blade brought anything that the base Warlock didn't get, and certainly didn't seem like it was expanding the Warlock's power in the way the Pact of the Chain or Tome did. I like the concept but was pretty disappointed with it in play and ended up preferring to play Bladesingers to get my sword and sorcery on. What was I doing wrong with the Blade Pact?

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      • Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
        I played a few Warlocks and I generally found the Pact of the Blade to be the weakest. I'm not sure if I wasn't using it right, but I found that simply using Eldritch Blast with the Agonizing Blast Invocation was often better than attacking with your weapon, simply due to the range on the Blast (120 feet) and the fact that you got extra attacks at higher levels. It really didn't feel like the Pact of the Blade brought anything that the base Warlock didn't get, and certainly didn't seem like it was expanding the Warlock's power in the way the Pact of the Chain or Tome did. I like the concept but was pretty disappointed with it in play and ended up preferring to play Bladesingers to get my sword and sorcery on. What was I doing wrong with the Blade Pact?
        Eldritch Blast is indeed better than your Pact Weapon. If you’re trying to fight that, that’s what you’re doing wrong. Like I said, being a Bladelock is like being a Druid with Shillelagh or a Bard with a rapier - you’re still a primary caster, you just also have a good melee weapon to use when the need arises. Compare this to the benefits of the other two Pact Boons - three extra Cantrips and the ability to cast rituals, or a beefed-up Familiar. They’re all just minor boons, not meant to significantly change the way the class plays. If you want to be a primary melee combatant who can cast spells, you are indeed better off with a Bladesinger or Eldritch Knight.
        Last edited by Charlaquin; 01-12-2018, 01:05 PM.


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        • I guess my question is, is there ever situation where you would be better off using your pact weapon than just firing off an Eldritch Blast? It didn't seem like there would be until you hit level 12 and could finally add your Charisma to the damage of your Pact Weapon, but by then your Eldritch Blast would be making 3 attacks and your Pact Weapon still only 2. It just felt like I could be more effective in battle (thanks to longer range, more attacks and more damage) by ignoring the blade weapon entirely and just using the base Eldritch Blast.

          With my Pact warlock I was making good use of my shapechanging familiar. And with the Tome lock I grabbed Guidance (which I spammed pretty often) and later started getting ritual magic which is really nice. Not big upgrades, but something. In contrast I found that as a Blade warlock that I almost never used the Blade because it was pretty much just a straight up downgrade over the basic Eldritch Blast. It honestly felt like I might as well not have even bothered to take a Pact at all, which was pretty disappointing.

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          • Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
            I guess my question is, is there ever situation where you would be better off using your pact weapon than just firing off an Eldritch Blast? It didn't seem like there would be until you hit level 12 and could finally add your Charisma to the damage of your Pact Weapon, but by then your Eldritch Blast would be making 3 attacks and your Pact Weapon still only 2. It just felt like I could be more effective in battle (thanks to longer range, more attacks and more damage) by ignoring the blade weapon entirely and just using the base Eldritch Blast.
            The majority of the time you are better off ignoring your pact weapon and using Eldritch Blast. But there are situations where the opposite is true. For example, when an enemy is within 5 feet of you, thereby imposing disadvantage on your attack rolls with Eldritch Blast. That’s why I say it’s your backup. Eldritch Blast is still your primary means of engagement. That’s also why I like going Polearm Master with my bladelocks - so I can attack with my pact weapon as a reaction when an enemy first tries to get close.

            Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
            With my Pact warlock I was making good use of my shapechanging familiar. And with the Tome lock I grabbed Guidance (which I spammed pretty often) and later started getting ritual magic which is really nice. Not big upgrades, but something. In contrast I found that as a Blade warlock that I almost never used the Blade because it was pretty much just a straight up downgrade over the basic Eldritch Blast. It honestly felt like I might as well not have even bothered to take a Pact at all, which was pretty disappointing.
            The blade pact boon’s usefulness is pretty dependent on how often you find yourself being forced into close-quarters engagement. As long as things are going according to plan, the pact weapon doesn’t really do anything for you. But when things go wrong and the enemies get in close, a bladelock is much better equipped to deal with that situation than a tomelock or a chainlock. YMMV on if you find that a worthwhile investment.


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            • Okay, gotcah. I wasn't sure if there was anything I had missed with that pact. Thanks for clearing it up though.

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              • A polearm pact of blade warlock could be interesting. I think i'd go with either that or pact of chain.
                What do you think would make an interesting familiar for a warlock with a celestial patron? I mean the imp looks really good, but i'm not sure it fits well with a celestial patron. Xanathar's guide should've added a lawful good familiar example i think.


                Currently running: VtR - The most serene requiem of Venice
                Currently playing: Tomb of Annihilation (DnD5e) - Thulwir, Aasimar Circle of Dream Druid.

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                • You could always just ask your GM to reflavor the imp, using its stats for an angel or something instead. Or if you're feeling a little brave, you could see about taking one of the minor angels that was selectable as a familiar in one of the earlier editions and homebrewing up your own stats for it, keeping it close to the other families in power level. I was always partial to Silvanshee's myself.

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                  • Originally posted by Maitrecorbo View Post
                    A polearm pact of blade warlock could be interesting. I think i'd go with either that or pact of chain.
                    What do you think would make an interesting familiar for a warlock with a celestial patron? I mean the imp looks really good, but i'm not sure it fits well with a celestial patron. Xanathar's guide should've added a lawful good familiar example i think.
                    Sprite feels appropriate, maybe refer to it as a cherob and see if you can change its type from fae to celestial. A pseudodragon could also be pretty neat, maybe theme it after a Couatl.


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                    • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post

                      Sprite feels appropriate, maybe refer to it as a cherob and see if you can change its type from fae to celestial. A pseudodragon could also be pretty neat, maybe theme it after a Couatl.
                      Ugh, i've spent about 30 min searching for the spirit familiar. I am such an idiot.

                      I think reskinning any of those and making the familiar a lawful good celestial for creature type would be the best idea.

                      As for the races... I'm thinking Dragonborn for Bladelock or ... i don't know half-elf for Chainlock. I've already played a tiefling and my current character is a halfling so for the charisma bonus those are my choices. (i'll go look in volo's guide and SCAG for what other races give a charisma bonus)

                      Not sure what i would take for background.


                      Currently running: VtR - The most serene requiem of Venice
                      Currently playing: Tomb of Annihilation (DnD5e) - Thulwir, Aasimar Circle of Dream Druid.

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                      • This talking reminded me about a thing that bothers me for a long time now, regarding 5e.

                        So, what is this thing about the non-existence "true gish" classes?

                        Is it a personal thing from the developers? Is it a result of the "we want to execute concepts as subclasses, instead of full classes/prestige classes"? Honestly, I always loved the idea of mixing swordsmanship (or any weapon skill) and magic equally, one strengthening the other. The Pathfinder Magus is my favorite take on the concept, not because it's PF, but because of the integration of the two sides and the fluff of the class (scholarly geeks of the art of fighting and arcane, very close to my heart). However, 3e and 4e provided good ones too, while in comparison, 5e failed this far. What it did is either slapping some melee on a full caster class in a way that won't be used 90% of the time, or giving some magic to a fighting class, but it's almost inconsequential, more like a funky add-on. Yet, paladins and to a smaller extent, rangers do exist, it's just somehow arcane fighter-mages getting the scowls and the need of going for some obscure multiclass shenanigan and it's a bit weird.


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                        • Originally posted by PMárk View Post
                          This talking reminded me about a thing that bothers me for a long time now, regarding 5e.

                          So, what is this thing about the non-existence "true gish" classes?

                          Is it a personal thing from the developers? Is it a result of the "we want to execute concepts as subclasses, instead of full classes/prestige classes"? Honestly, I always loved the idea of mixing swordsmanship (or any weapon skill) and magic equally, one strengthening the other. The Pathfinder Magus is my favorite take on the concept, not because it's PF, but because of the integration of the two sides and the fluff of the class (scholarly geeks of the art of fighting and arcane, very close to my heart). However, 3e and 4e provided good ones too, while in comparison, 5e failed this far. What it did is either slapping some melee on a full caster class in a way that won't be used 90% of the time, or giving some magic to a fighting class, but it's almost inconsequential, more like a funky add-on. Yet, paladins and to a smaller extent, rangers do exist, it's just somehow arcane fighter-mages getting the scowls and the need of going for some obscure multiclass shenanigan and it's a bit weird.
                          Bladesinger Wizards make great gishes. Bards make decent ones too. The problem with Warlocks specifically is that Eldritch Blast is so good, it’s really hard to justify not using it. Even the Hexblade, which does make a perfectly good gish, is still arguably better of just using Eldritch Blast.

                          As for doing it with subclasses instead of classes, that’s a general 5e thing, more than a gish thing specifically. They don’t seem to want to make new classes if they can help it, preferring to design new subclasses instead.


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                          • So from the way you use it can i infer that 'gish' means something related to a magic knight or magic melee class?


                            Currently running: VtR - The most serene requiem of Venice
                            Currently playing: Tomb of Annihilation (DnD5e) - Thulwir, Aasimar Circle of Dream Druid.

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                            • Originally posted by Maitrecorbo View Post
                              So from the way you use it can i infer that 'gish' means something related to a magic knight or magic melee class?
                              Basically. Gish is a cultural term referring to multiclass Fighter/Mages for the Githzeri and Githyanki.


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                              • Originally posted by Maitrecorbo View Post
                                So from the way you use it can i infer that 'gish' means something related to a magic knight or magic melee class?
                                "Gish" refers to (if I'm being correct, since I'm not that old ) a githzeray fighter/mage build from AD&D 2e. So, yes, it means approximately half arcane/half combat. A swordmage, in other words. Bladesingers on the FR are that too, in fluff.



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