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Players Handbook Sneak Peak: The Warlock

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Well we have a little bit of a treat today; we have a double page spread from the PHB that shows us the Warlock Class.

It’s a bit of a teaser as we don’t get to see what the class features do, but we do get the class information and the class advancement table, so its good enough for me to get a feel of what the warlock is like compared to the classes shown in the Starter Set, and in the D&D Basic Rules PDF.

Players-Handbook-Warlock-2

Click on the picture for a much larger version, it will make it easier to read…

The Description of the warlock is nice, as is the artwork, they have removed the old stigma of it being an evil pact that is granting the powers to the class, something that was done in 4th edition with the different Pact Options that you had. Not that you couldn’t have sold your soul to a devil, demon or something worse, of which there are plenty of things in the Multiverse you could sell yourself to for a bit of power, its just you don’t have to do that now.

Now to get the power of a warlock you just need to make a deal with an otherworldly being. I’m sure there will be plenty of pact archetypes available when the PHB releases, and we will look at them in detail when it does, but to start with we don’t know a lot about the deal that is made, how its made or what specific benefits are.

Players-Handbook-WarlockWe can only see the start of the class feature block so we don’t know what the proficiencies are at the moment, but the description of the warlock does mention they are comfortable in light armor and with using light weapons, so its safe to assume they will be slightly tougher than they have been in the past, which will be useful.

We can see that they get a d8 hit points which again makes me think they are more combat focused than other spellcasting classes, although obviously that will depend upon how you choose to create them.

There is a nice little feature under each of the character classes, entitled Quick Build, this basically tells you how to create a character of that class, if you want to do it quickly without to much thought. This of course is of no use to veteran players, or is it?

Well veteran players will still find it useful. I’m not saying you will follow what it says, but at least you can get a feel for how the character class functions in the new rule set, and what you need to be looking out for when creating a character of that class yourself.

It tells us we need to focus on Charisma, which is the Warlocks spell casting ability, and Constitution. It tells us which background to take (more on backgrounds in a post soon) and it even tells us which cantrips and spells to take, which helps if you have no idea at all about magic, or what the spells do in this edition.

Before I get onto the class advancement table, I would like to mention the other section on the picture above, and that’s the Creating a Warlock section.

This section doesn’t tell you how mechanically to create a warlock it asks you to think about the background, the personality and why your character is a warlock. I think this a great bit of character building text.

It gives some great ideas to think about, and I am assuming the other classes have the same information in them, which will really help players create unique, meaningful characters that actually have a role to play in the game, and be part of the story and help shape it, not that just suddenly appear and be pulled along by a series of encounters.

Next we have the Advancement Table. Well let’s have a bit of a closer look at this table and what’s on it.

Players-Handbook-Warlock-table

Looking at the table, I’m going to go over a few bits with you, as it’s the first level advancement table some of you may have seen. Ill explain it column by column below

  • Level:  This is the level the character needs to receive the benefits on that line.
  • Proficiency Bonus: This is the bonus that the character gets to add to things he is proficient with, this is normally attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and tool use.
  • Features: These are your class features that you gain access to when you reach the level stated in Column 1.

These lines are on each of the Class advancement tables, and show similar information, although the info will be different, especially under the class feature column for each class.

The next few columns on the table are either unique to magic users or unique to the Warlock class.

  • Cantrips Known: How many cantrips your character knows at a given level, these do not stack, it’s the maximum you know.
  • Spells Known: Same as cantrips this is the total number of spells you know at a given level
  • Spell Slots: This is a new column on the table for the warlock and without seeing the rules for the way they use magic all I can do is assume that you know a set amount of spells but only have room to cast so many a day.
  • Slot level: Again I have to make an assumption here, but I would say that this is the highest level spell slot you can cast your spells at, which effects the power duration and effect of the spell you are casting.
  • Invocations: More new information, this is clearly how many invocations your character knows at a given level same as the spells known column, but what the invocations are and how they differ from spells, I cant tell you right now.

It looks like there are some interesting class features for the Warlock, Pact magic, which is probably where the spells come from. Eldritch Invocations, Otherworldly patron features and more.

I will be eager to read the rest of the info on the Warlock once the PHB is released, and I will of course let you all know what I think about the class features and anything else I thin is worth mentioning when it get the book in my grubby paws.

Until then let me know what you think about the warlock, or anything else we cover on the blog in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.

Andy @ DMB

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