Wednesday, April 12, 2017

5e Vampyr Warrior (Undying Warlock - Homebrew Invocation)

This character is based on the idea of a character I designed for a superhero game. In this case I am going to modify the concept for a standard fantasy style setting. The origin story was that a soldier was an MP mediating an argument between some soldiers and some locals when everyone invovled were dumped into a hidden tomb that had been long undiscovered. Said tomb contained the last remaining essences of Lamashtu and Pazuzu, two demons from Mesopotamian mythology which are often linked to vampire myths in modern day fiction.


Those intially exposed began to develop vampire like characteristics over the next few years. Within the context of the superhero story, they were being given a jump start on developing supernatural capabilities but, since they were getting it by absorbing the remaining power of another entity, the powers they were getting were heavily flavored by the powers favored by that entity rather than formed out of their own natures as would have happened if they had developed powers on their own. In this case their initial powers were vampiric in nature.


For a fantasy setting, it would be a similar situation. She was a soldier looking into the complaints of some locals regarding the behavior of other soldiers when she and several others were dumped into the tomb of a vampire. The clerics and mages determined that the vampire had long since been destroyed and the matter was forgotten until the character started showing signs of being touched by undead power.


I am going to experiment here with homebrewing an invocation for Pact of the Blade based somewhat on the weapon invocations from the recent Warlock and Wizard article for Unearthed Arcana.


I considered making her a dhampir to further build on the transformation but ultimately decided against it.


Eldritch Claw
Prerequisite: Pact of the Blade
Your Pact Weapon manifests as claws, a spiked tail, fangs, or some other natural weapon. If the character has bonded a magical weapon as their pact weapon, these claws or other natural weapons bear the same damage or enchantment as that weapon. If no existing weapon is bonded, the attack deals 1d8 weapon damage (slashing, piercing or bludgeoning as appropriate to the form). On a successful attack can spend a spell slot to deal an additional 2d8 weapon damage (same type) per level of the slot spent.


For this I am using my typical theoretical 30 pt array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10.


1st Level Variant Human Undying Warlock

Str: 13
Dex: 11
Con: 13
Int: 10
Wis: 14
Cha: 16


HP: 9
AC: 10
Save DC: 13
Speed: 30 ft


Proficiency Bonus: +2


Bonus Skill
Bonus Feat


Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: Cards, Land Vehicles
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Languages: Common, Dwarven


Proficient Skills
Acrobatics (Skilled) +2
Athletics (Soldier) +3
History (Warlock) +2
Insight (Human) +4
Intimidation (Soldier) +5
Investigation (Warlock) +2
Perception (Skilled) +4
Stealth (Skilled) +2


Feat: Skilled


Background: Soldier


Pact Magic
Otherworldly Patron: Undying
Among the Dead


Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Minor Illusion, Spare the Dying


Spell Slots: 1 (1st Level)
Spells: Charm Person, Hex


Reasoning: The original story had the character involved becoming inordinately beautiful and much of their existing scars and the like vanishing or appearing as beautiful marks rather than reminders of combat. As such, I went for Charm Person. I was tempted to do Medium Armor Proficiency for her human skill as it would represent her time as a soldier fairly well, but decided to go with Skilled instead representing the fact that she was in a position of authority where she would look into the complaints of locals about the soldiers in her units.

2nd to 5th Level



2nd Level - Eldritch Invocations: Beguiling Influence, Armor of Shadows, +6 HP (15)
Spell: Expeditious Retreat


3rd Level - Pact Boon: Pact of the Blade, +6 HP (21)
Spell: Misty Step


4th Level - Ability Score Improvement: +1 Dex, +1 Str, +6 HP (27)
Cantrip: Friends
Spell: Enthrall


5th Level - Proficiency Bonus: +3, Invocation: Eldritch Claw, +6 HP (33)
Spell: Vampiric Touch


Reasoning: The spells she's picking up are still based on the essence of the unnatural and predatorial beauty of the vampire's essence she absorbed, but at least in one case being modified by her nature as a warrior. Armor of Shadows fits the original concept of the character being surrounded by a sort of shadow substance that acting in her defense. Given she will be a somewhat melee focus, I decided to up her Strength and Dexterity for better attack and AC. Friends is a rather dangerous cantrip to use given its short duration and the fact that the victim will know magic was used on them, but fits and can provide some aid especially with Intimidation.

5th Level Statistics



5th Level Variant Human Undying Warlock

Str: 14
Dex: 12
Con: 13
Int: 10
Wis: 14
Cha: 16


HP: 33
AC: 11 (14 with Mage Armor)
Save DC: 14


Speed: 30 ft


Proficiency Bonus: +3


Bonus Skill
Bonus Feat


Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: Cards, Land Vehicles
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Languages: Common, Dwarven


Proficient Skills
Acrobatics (Skilled) +4
Athletics (Soldier) +5
Deception (Beguiling Influence) +6
History (Warlock) +3
Insight (Human) +5
Intimidation (Soldier) +6
Investigation (Warlock) +3
Perception (Skilled) +5
Persuasion (Beguiling Influence) +6
Stealth (Skilled) +4


Feat: Skilled


Background: Soldier


Pact Magic
Otherworldly Patron: Undying
Among the Dead
Eldritch Invocations: Armor of Shadows, Beguiling Influence, Eldritch Claw
Pact Boon: Pact of the Blade


Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Friends, Minor Illusion, Spare the Dying


Spell Slots: 2 (3rd Level)
Spells: Charm Person, Hex, Enthrall, Expeditious Retreat, Misty Step, Vampiric Touch

6th to 10th Level



6th Level - Defy Death, +6 HP (39)
Spell: Gaseous Form


7th Level - Invocation: Thirsting Blade, +6 HP (45)
Spell: Armor of Agathys


8th Level - Ability Score Improvement: Resilient: Constitution, +14 HP (59)
Spell: Banishment


9th Level - Proficiency Bonus +4, Invocation: Otherworldly Leap, +7 HP (66)
Spell: Scrying


10th Level - Undying Nature, +7 HP (73)
Cantrip: Prestidigitation


Reasoning: The spell selections here are partially related to vampirism and partially her starting to take control of her growing power. Scrying represents her past function as law enforcement within the military. I chose Resilient rather than a Charisma boost due primarily to getting the +1 Constitution. I was tempted to take Superior Pact Weapon but recalled that her shadow aura also aided her leaps in the superhero version. Armor of Agathys also means that she can give her shadow aura substance and ability to damage foes. Thirsting Blade means her claws now get an extra attack per Attack action.

10th Level Statistics


10th Level Variant Human Undying Warlock

Str: 14
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 10
Wis: 14
Cha: 16

HP: 73
AC: 11 (14 with Mage Armor)
Save DC: 15


Speed: 30 ft


Proficiency Bonus: +4


Bonus Skill
Bonus Feat


Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: Cards, Land Vehicles
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Languages: Common, Dwarven


Proficient Skills
Acrobatics (Skilled) +5
Athletics (Soldier) +6
Deception (Beguiling Influence) +7
History (Warlock) +4
Insight (Human) +6
Intimidation (Soldier) +7
Investigation (Warlock) +4
Perception (Skilled) +6
Persuasion (Beguiling Influence) +7
Stealth (Skilled) +5


Feat: Skilled


Background: Soldier


Pact Magic
Otherworldly Patron: Undying
Among the Dead
Eldritch Invocations: Armor of Shadows, Beguiling Influence, Eldritch Claw, Otherworldly Leap, Thirsting Blade
Pact Boon: Pact of the Blade
Defy Death
Undying Nature


Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Friends, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation, Spare the Dying


Spell Slots: 2 (3rd Level)
Spells: Armor of Agathys, Banishment, Charm Person, Hex, Enthrall, Expeditious Retreat, Gaseous Form, Misty Step, Scrying, Vampiric Touch

11th to 15th Level



11th Level - Mystic Arcanum: Eyebite, +7 HP (80)
Spell: Counterspell


12th Level - Ability Score Improvement: +2 Cha, Invocation: Lifedrinker, +7 HP (87)


13th Level - Proficiency Bonus +5, Mystic Arcanum: Finger of Death, +7 HP (94)
Spell: Suggestion


14th Level - Indestructible Life, +7 HP (101)


15th Level - Mystic Arcanum: Glibness, Invocation: Devil's Sight, +7 HP (108)
Spell: Darkness

Reasoning: Counterspell is just a very useful spell and Eyebite is similarly useful all around. Lifedrinker allows her claws to now deal necrotic damage in addition to anything else. Finger of Death isn't all that interesting but is powerful and thematic. Glibness goes along with her general theme of extreme and unnatural Charisma. Devil's Sight combined with Darkness provides a lot of tactical advantage.

15th Level Statistics


15th Level Variant Human Undying Warlock

Str: 14
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 10
Wis: 14
Cha: 18

HP: 108
AC: 11 (14 with Mage Armor)
Save DC: 17


Speed: 30 ft


Proficiency Bonus: +5


Bonus Skill
Bonus Feat


Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: Cards, Land Vehicles
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Languages: Common, Dwarven


Proficient Skills
Acrobatics (Skilled) +6
Athletics (Soldier) +7
Deception (Beguiling Influence) +9
History (Warlock) +5
Insight (Human) +7
Intimidation (Soldier) +9
Investigation (Warlock) +5
Perception (Skilled) +7
Persuasion (Beguiling Influence) +9
Stealth (Skilled) +7


Feat: Skilled


Background: Soldier


Pact Magic
Otherworldly Patron: Undying
Among the Dead
Eldritch Invocations: Armor of Shadows, Beguiling Influence, Devil's Sight, Eldritch Claw, Lifedrinker, Otherworldly Leap, Thirsting Blade
Pact Boon: Pact of the Blade
Defy Death
Undying Nature
Mystic Arcanum: Eyebite, Finger of Death, Glibness
Indestructible Life


Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Friends, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation, Spare the Dying


Spell Slots: 3 (5th Level)
Spells: Armor of Agathys, Banishment, Charm Person, Counterspell, Darkness, Hex, Enthrall, Expeditious Retreat, Gaseous Form, Misty Step, Scrying, Suggestion, Vampiric Touch

16th to 20th Level

16th Level -  Ability Score Improvement: +2 Cha, +7 HP (115)


17th Level - Proficiency Bonus +6, Mystic Arcanum: Foresight, +7 HP (122)
Spell: Hold Monster


18th Level - Invocation: Ascendant Step, +7 HP (129)


19th Level - Ability Score Improvement: Tough, +45 HP (174)
Spell: Aura of Life


20th Level - Eldritch Master , +9 HP (183)


Reasoning: This character ended up far less melee focused than I originally anticipated. Her Strength and Dexterity were not really as high as expected. In retrospect, I might have gone with the Medium Armor Proficiency and skipped the Armor of Shadows considering how low Dexterity ended up being and instead focused my attention on Charisma and Strength. She is certainly much weaker than the superheroic version of her, who had inhuman strength, but hse still remains a good support melee given her damage potential with the Eldritch Claw invocation giving her the ability to do around 10d8 damage above the base damage of her claws by sacrificing a spell slot (again, this is similar to the weapon invocations in the Unearthed Arcana article). Aura of Life also lets her support her allies to a degree. She does also end up having a large amount of non-combat capability given her various magical abilities. This is a problem of trying to stick to close to a character concept designed for a point buy system. In a point buy system it is a lot easier to craft a minor aspect to powers that add to pre-existing concept. In this case, I had to take a lot of powers that I otherwise wouldn't have due to the limited selection available in a class-based game system. In addition, the claws in her superhero version were a rather minor aspect and I ended up spending inordinate amount of character resources creating them.

20th Level Statistics



15th Level Variant Human Undying Warlock

Str: 14
Dex: 12
Con: 14
Int: 10
Wis: 14
Cha: 20
HP: 183
AC: 11 (14 with Mage Armor)
Save DC: 17



Speed: 30 ft


Proficiency Bonus: +6


Bonus Skill
Bonus Feat

Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: Cards, Land Vehicles
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Languages: Common, Dwarven


Proficient Skills
Acrobatics (Skilled) +7
Athletics (Soldier) +8
Deception (Beguiling Influence) +11
History (Warlock) +6
Insight (Human) +8
Intimidation (Soldier) +11
Investigation (Warlock) +6
Perception (Skilled) +8
Persuasion (Beguiling Influence) +11
Stealth (Skilled) +8

Feat: Skilled

Background: Soldier


Pact Magic
Otherworldly Patron: Undying
Among the Dead
Eldritch Invocations: Armor of Shadows, Ascendant Step, Beguiling Influence, Devil's Sight, Eldritch Claw, Lifedrinker, Otherworldly Leap, Thirsting Blade
Pact Boon: Pact of the Blade
Defy Death
Undying Nature
Mystic Arcanum: Eyebite, Finger of Death, Glibness, Foresight
Indestructible Life
Eldritch Master


Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Friends, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation, Spare the Dying


Spell Slots: 4 (5th Level)
Spells: Armor of Agathys, Aura of Life, Banishment, Charm Person, Counterspell, Darkness, Hex, Enthrall, Expeditious Retreat, Gaseous Form, Hold Monster, Misty Step, Scrying, Suggestion, Vampiric Touch

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