To date, we at Jon Brazer Enterprises have limited out involvement with Fifth Edition to Monsters, Adventures, and Races that we can convert over from Pathfinder. It makes sense considering how long we’ve been working in Pathfinder and how many projects we published for the game. But that is about to change.
We never really got into class options in a big way with Pathfinder for a simple reason: there are to many companies already out there that are doing it. Oh sure, we created some class options for the Reign of Winter Adventure Path, some specially designed for races in the Book of Heroic Races series, but it was never a major focus for us. Meanwhile, others developed many other ideas, leaving little design space available scarcely a month after a given class’s release. Just the fighter class has 75 archetypes fully detailed on d20pfsrd and countless others that have not been added to the site. Fifth Edition, however, sees considerably fewer companies creating material for the game and the main company is not producing monthly add-ons for the game. So we are feel that we have the breathing room to spread out developmental wings.
To this end, we are starting with the warlock class. Unlike other Fifth Edition classes, this class has options you can choose throughout the class’s progression. Oh sure spellcasters choose new spells, but the class feature of spellcasting does not change. There are archetypes like the fighter battle master that lets you choose different options throughout the class, but this is not the default option for the class itself. These individual options, we feel, is an easy place for us to start, allowing us to show off our design chops. Each of these different options are a solid choice in game and are fun to boot.
Overall, I would split the 10 Warlock Invocations that we created into 3 different categories.
1) New Spellcasting Options.
Some warlock invocations let you cast spells that are not on the warlock spell list. Armor of Shadows, Bestial Speech, and Otherworldly Leap are all examples of this. Some require the warlock to use a spell slot; others do not. Well, we created a few like this. Here’s my favorite:
You can cast hideous laughter once using a warlock spell slot. You can’t do so again until you finish a long rest.
2) Modified Spellcasting Options.
Some warlock invocations change the way a spell is cast. While the PHB only has Agonizing Blast and Eldritch Spear really the only ones that fit this category, we decided to go a bit further and expand this design option up further. I particularly like this one.
Prerequisite: true strike cantrip, 9th level
As a bonus action, you can cast true strike once without using a warlock spell slot and apply its effects this turn. You can’t do so again until you finish a short or a long rest.
3) New Abilities.
Last but not least are those invocations that just let you do new things. Bewitching Whispers, Devil’s Sight, Eyes of the Rune Keeper, and Voice of the Chain Master are perfect examples of this. Of our new creations, I like this one the best (yes, it is inspired by the Alien movies):
Prerequisite: 5th level
When you take piercing or slashing damage from a natural weapon, the attacking creature takes a number of points of acid damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1).