The Warlock has some of the strongest burst potential of any class. They can Power Cast, Overchannel and mop the floor, but they'll pay for it in blood. They also get to choose their first level spell, a neat trade for the two random spells a Wizard starts with.
While Wizards can buy spells captured in scrolls, Warlocks have to make a deal with the source. Their first spell is also likely to be their master, or at least a senior representative, while their Dooms are the terms and conditions. Doing favors and fulfilling errands for your master will encourage them to introduce you to new spells, but the Warlock will have to conclude a new deal each time. It might be as easy as a blood sacrifice, a small shrine or a particular ritual, or much harder - expect mental stat drains, occult tattoos and bizarre and horrifying conditions.
None of my Wizards get cantrips, and neither do Warlocks. However, I do allow some minor, non-combat usage so long as they have any MD remaining in the tank. Your mileage may vary.
Included with this class are the Devil/Demon*, Fae, and Eldritch pacts. There are, quite frankly, too many additional pacts I've written that I'll be posting later in a sizable lump. This will include a Hexblade, and pacts with the Stars, Forbidden Knowledge and the Forgotten King, as well as anything I cobble together between now and then.
|Credit Jakub Rebelka|
Starting equipment: a Pact, one spell of choice implanted in brain, dagger, bizarre amulet
Skill (1d3): Cultist, Haruspex, History
A Power Casting, Unfortunate Deal, 1MD
B Overchannel, 2MD
C Soul Trade, Ritualist, 3MD
D Audience, Aura, 4MD
Your pact determines what spells you can learn, as well as your perks, restrictions, mishaps and eventual doom. Choose what you made it with (1d4): 1. Demon, 2. Devil, 3. Fae, 4. Eldritch. You can use wands and scrolls but only if you bring them under your control first.
1/day, switch a casting die to a 6.
Your first spell is the same as your patron, or at least an outcropping of them. You can ask them things whenever you like. Every other spell you want to learn you’ll need to a) Meet and b) Appease. Doing nice things for your patron can help with step A, but usually not B.
Take 1d6 damage and add +1 MD to a spell, mishaps and dooms cause another 1d6 damage if you overchannelled.
Every challenging foe that submits to your patron’s will, grants +1 to your next Charisma roll against any spell. Stacks.
With time, gold, books and blood, you can summon demons/spells. Increase the power with more blood. Save vs. unwelcome attention.
One free, no strings attached, full on meeting with your patron at a place of your choosing. Use it wisely. This might be a good time to adjust the terms of your deal (i.e. your Doom)
Your presence corrupts nearby mystical essence. Divine casters must save to cast spells, Wizards must save or mishap, Warlocks know exactly where you are, Sorcerers aren’t sure what all the fuss is about.
*Why do Devils and Demons both use the same pact? Why not just have one combined Fiend pact? Read this, or for more detail, the original material. Both of them will you treat the same way, and their powers originate from the same source. However, a Devil purchasing your soul in return for some the magical equivalent of a bent penny, is a little like a crooked FBI agent letting out a criminal for a few months. You might commit more crimes, you might implicate more criminals, you might help the agent get things done the agent couldn't do themselves. But of course, you're a mortal, aren't you? Your soul belongs to them**.
Demons just love having minions running around doing their bidding. Well, some of them. Most of them will just eat you, and pick their teeth with your femur. Those that don't would greatly appreciate a couple flesh sacrifices, maybe portals opened to the fresh, tender world above, ancient protective sigils shattered. You know, the usual sort of thing for a demon worshipper.
**Except not quite. I still allow Warlocks to play Psychopomp Roulette, but 50% of the time a representative of their patron shows up no matter what. This representative is immune to all spells that derive from the initial deal, for obvious reasons.
The spells from the Warlock Pacts have been gleaned from a few different sources:
The Cancermancers of Hungry Joe (Burrowing Bolt, Shrivel, Reverse Gravity, Space Hooks)
Elf Wizards (Beautify, Floral Salvage, Elegant Judgement)
100 Orthodox Spells (None yet, but a couple WIP Pacts use a few of these spells)
The original Wizards document by Arnold Kemp (all other spells, give or take)