Welcome back to Multiclass Mondays!
Multiclass Mondays is a continuation of the “You, Version 2.0″ posts (here and here) that were put up a few weeks back regarding using the Theme mechanics to more effectively multiclass characters. The concept seemed to be a hit with many players and DMs around the Web, so we’re going to go through and provide Themes for all current D&D classes (even Psionics!) and maybe.. just maybe… throw in a few bonus Themes. For now, though, let’s stick to the basics.
Last week, we chiseled out the features of the Warden. This week, we hit my favorite 4E class, entering into the Pact of the Multiclass Warlock.
Though I have mentioned several times that most of the new striker multiclass feats will involve a hybrid-like version of the damage feature, the Warlock is an exception. (The rule will return with the Ranger) The Warlock is not the most damage-intensive striker. It takes a good deal of optimization to reconcile the Warlock’s damage output with the Rogue, Ranger or Avenger. Rather, the Warlock is made of utility and flavor; depending on the pact chosen, the Warlock can play effectively in almost any role (Infernalocks can Defend, Vestigelocks Lead, Starlocks Control) though none are inherently top-tier. What we want to capture with our multiclass feat, then, is a little bit of that utility.
Choose a Warlock pact. You count as a Warlock of that pact for the purpose of taking feats and paragon paths. Once per encounter when you drop an enemy to 0 or fewer HP, you gain the benefits of that pact’s Boon. In addition, you may use Warlock implements with Warlock and Warlock Paragon Path powers.
For the record, I briefly considering calling this feat ‘Tiger Blood’ or ‘Adonis Blood.’ Be glad I didn’t. Also, if we ever end up doing a Binder multiclass Theme (which I don’t expect, but just to put it out there), its feat would be similar to this one.
Theme at Level 1
Eldritch Hexer (Multiclass Warlock)
Theme Feature: Eldritch Blast (encounter usage, Dark Sun only)
Lv 1. Theme Power: Eldritch Blast (encounter usage, non Dark-Sun only)
The iconic Warlock power Eldritch Blast has a modest bit of racial feat support behind it, making the theme immediately interesting for Tieflings, Dragonborn, Eladrin and Shadar-Kai. Additionally, the Blast can be traded out for Eldritch Strike – a melee basic attack with a slide – around which entire builds are formed.
Theme at Levels 2+
- Lv 2: Ethereal Stride
- Lv 3: Delban’s Deadly Attention
- Lv 5: Flames of the Smoking Crown
- Lv 6: Red Leeches of Nihal
- Lv 7: Sorcerer-King’s Decree
- Lv 9: Ring of Pain
- Lv 10: Curse of Nessus
With such a variety of possible bents and pacts for the class, where exactly do we want to aim this Theme? We can’t possibly represent all pacts and secondary roles equally. Rather than try to hit a mechanical goal, we run with the perennially fascinating “creepy” factor of the Warlock. This list chooses powers that are broadly useful (though not terribly fiddly) and carry as much “ooky” as possible. The one important mechanical bit is that since the Warlock hits off of both CON and CHA, we should choose one for the Theme to focus on. In this case, we’ve chosen CHA if no good either/or options exist.
That’s the Warlock. From my favorite class this week to my most hated class next week, the Ranger.
P.S. Wondering what my two cents are on the new official Themes? At the time this posts, we’ve seen only the Animal Master, Alchemist, Order’s Adept and Wizard’s Apprentice. So.. Animal Master – underrated. I see where the mechanical deficincies are, but I like the animal benefits. B-
Alchemist – It makes the alchemy system a bit more accessible, but I would have liked to have seen this rolled into the Artificer class or Alchemist feat(s). A little late for my tastes, but better late than never. B+
Order’s Adept – +2 bonus to Will? More Utility powers? If I see an Orb Wizard with these Theme, I’m going to cry. Seriously. WAY off-scale power compared to the other Themes. Perhaps what we have here is a Theme for optimizer-enthusiasts mixed in with Themes for roleplay-enthusiasts? Time will tell. Tentatively a C, since I expect it to be nerfed.
Wizard’s Apprentice – A Theme better mixing mechanical benefits with roleplay madness. The free item is a new and unique trick and an encounter-level daze is nice. On the other hand, a free language? Very cool. Effective without being overpowering. A