November 4, 2017

The Great Tree

Otherworldly Patron
Comments from the Knuckle: "When three different members of the team come to the same concept, it should probably get written. 
     For me when I think of a warlock sworn to a Great Tree, the first thing that comes to mind are the Spriggans from Skyrim. Holy crap, every time I run into one, I book it in the other direction. Those guys are terrifying to me. So when designing a subclass built around being a nature-themed spellcaster/warrior, those were the first things that leapt to mind as a way to convey a nature theme in the sinister thematic niche that the warlock holds.
     It was also inspired by one of my players who said to me, 'how do I tank...as a warlock?' My first response was, of course, fiend, but they were quick to say, 'no. I have not made a deal with the devil. Not with this warlock.' So, to me the Great Tree was an interesting place to explore a durable warlock in a more neutrally-aligned thematic space."

The Great Tree

The inimitable princes of the Feywild are not the only source of power in the enchanted forests and magical jungles of that realm -- indeed, there are many good reasons why a prospective warlock might not wish to deal with them. Far more stable and reliable partners can be found in the towering, ancient trees of the Feywild, whose roots reach back to the ancient past, and whose branches span to the end of time.
     Although journeying out into the woods to find a Great Tree with which to form a pact can be dangerous, the rewards are clear: these patrons are generous with their power, seeking to nurture their mortal charges, guiding and pruning them until they are fit to serve as guardians of the forest.

The Great Tree Expanded Spells
Spell Level Spells
1stentangle, faerie fire
2ndbarkskin, spike growth
3rdconjure animals, speak with plants
4thblight, dominate beast
5thinsect plague, tree stride

Spriggan
Starting at 1st level, you can use your bonus action to assume the form of a primal force of nature. Your body becomes covered entirely in bark, any hair you have becomes leaves and moss, your eyes glow amber, and you sprout a twisting pair of branch-like antlers. This form lasts for 1 minute, or until you dismiss it (no action required). For the duration, you have the following benefits:
  • Your AC equals 13 + your Constitution modifier.
  • Your fingers twist into sharpened roots which can be used as natural weapons, dealing 1d4 slashing damage on a hit.
  • You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made while in a forest.
  • You gain temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier when you enter this form. 
     You can use this ability twice, and regain all expended uses when you finish a short or long rest.

Creeping Roots
Starting at 6th level, when a hostile creature that you can see within 30 feet of you attacks one of your allies, you can use your reaction to ensnare them. Immediately after the attack, you slam your arms into the ground, and they transmute into twisting roots that ensnare the hostile creature. That creature must make a Strength saving throw against your warlock spell save DC. On a failed save you drag it to an unoccupied space within 5 feet of you.
     Once you use this ability, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Wildwood Guardian
Starting at 10th level, you are immune to disease, and when you use your Spriggan feature, you gain the following benefits:
  • You gain temporary hit points equal to 5 + your Charisma modifier at the start of each of your turns.
  • You have resistance to poison damage, and advantage on saving throws against being poisoned.
Ironwood
Starting at 14th level, while using your Spriggan feature, you have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

Eldritch Invocations
If an eldritch invocation has prerequisites, you must meet them to learn it. You can learn the invocation at the same time that you meet its prerequisites.

Spriggan Magic
Prerequisite: Spriggan feature
You learn the druidcraft and shillelagh cantrips. These cantrips count as warlock spells for you. In addition, you can target your claws with shillelagh, treating both hands as one weapon. Starting at 5th level, you can make an additional attack with your claws as a bonus action, adding your ability modifier to the damage.



Changelog: 11/4/2017: Creeping Roots: Added saving throw
Spriggan: changed to twice per short rest.
11/5/17: Spriggan Magic: Modified wording and moved the bonus action attack to 5th level.

32 comments:

  1. Super late post -- this one's all my fault, but I blame Stranger Things 2 for the delay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure the Great Tree forgives you. (I should probably go to bed, this is the 3rd time I've tried to post this as a reply without logging out or screwing up.)

      Delete
    2. I don't know how forgiving it'll be; I sure do use a lot of paper...

      Get some sleep Fungi -- you can be wittier in the morning.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm not quite sure I follow how Shillelagh+Claws works. If I spend an action and a bonus action, I deal 1d8+CHA damage for two attacks, or 1d8+CHA for one and 1d4+STR for the other?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your claws are treated as one weapon for the purposes of Shillelagh, so it would be an action and a bonus action spent to deal 1d8+CHA mod *2.

      Delete
  4. Stranger things was so good! I finished last night.

    ReplyDelete
  5. so it says you need the spriggan feature, does this mean other warlock patrons will get the spriggan feature??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it does not. I don’t remember why I worded it that particular way, but I did have a reason at the time. Maybe I was writing a monster that had the Spriggan ability, but it had levels as a Fiend warlock. I forget.

      For players, it is an Invocation only for those with the Great Tree Patron.

      Delete
    2. Alright! good thing to clear up :)

      Delete
  6. Obligatory "I Am Groot!"

    Also, for the Creeping Roots feature, is there no save or size restrictions? Cause it stands, with the way its worded, if an Ancient Dragon, that's 30 feet in the air above you, attacks an ally, you could ground them to five feet next to you. Without any saves or anything. Same with a Kraken. While I'm not saying there has to be, it would help.

    Also invocation idea: Thorn Arrow (requires pact of blade) Can shoot thorns out of hand like a hand cross bow. Also every attack with the thorns can add ability modifier to damage and reduces movement speed by 5 as vines wrap around the target from the thorns.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ah, yes...forgot that it's supposed to be a STR save.

    Thorn Arrow could be an interesting Invocation.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey guys, been a while. Was making a warlock with the shadow patron when you posted this, so I thought I might pop by and share some thoughts.

    Was it the intention to have Spriggan replace fiendish vigor and armor of shadows? If the intention was to have a tanky warlock option, going shadow patron with those two invocations is just a flat upgrade, because you get the same AC boost (Just Dex instead of Con), .5 more temporary hp on average, the same damage boost but it scales as you level, and you get the same resistances that you have to wait until level 14 to get from the great tree (just nonmagical).

    Flexibility is always good when building a character, so great tree opens up your options to pick up other invocations. But if the intention is to be tankier than any other warlock build, then it's not quite hitting the mark.

    If you do think it could do with a little buff, I have a couple suggestions.

    1. Change Spriggan's AC Calc from 13+Con to 10+Con+Prof.
    This maxes out at 21, but you have to purposefully build Con and wait a few levels. If they don't have a high con early, AoS can be picked up if they have a high dex, and dropped later as their Proficiency increases.

    2. Maybe drop Ironwood and replace the temp hp from spriggan with nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing, so that someone could pick up fiendish vigor as an invocation.
    The New 14th level feature could be an enlarge-esque feature with reach and resistances. Something like turning into a giant tree.

    3. Add an invocation option that requires PotB, and instead of a weapon, it's a shield. Maybe add no damage on successful Dex saves against spells and such much like in shield master.

    Use all or none at your discretion, just thought I'd leave a few suggestions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like some of those ideas, and I can see what you're saying about the Shadow Patron - honestly I hadn't considered how tanky Shadow could be with the Fiendish Vigor invocation.

      That said, I think for a warlock intentionally built around tanking, this is about as far as I want to take it...because warlocks /are/ still fullcasters, and I took that into consideration when making this. I was honestly worried that it was /too/ powerful.

      But now that you've pointed out to me the tanking potential of the Shadow patron, I'm going to have a look at it and potentially mess with this one a bit. I don't want to make it too much stronger, but I do want it to be a durable option for the Warlock.

      Delete
    2. Btw, loving high seas. I'm building an eastern style campaign where there is no oceans, and instead it's all just floating islands (Airships are fun). The eastern expansion would compliment so well.

      Delete
    3. Yeah. We do have a few ideas for things to put into an Eastern Expansion book already, but it doesn't seem to be making much headway in the polls. Hopefully we'll get to do it sometime next year.

      Delete
  9. Friggin hate spriggans especially the burnt ones in Dragonborn dlc but like the subclass. Going to use this for a warlock of the 1st tree in my Karthun campaign. Maybe also a vampiric variant for a warlock of the Dreadoak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Burnt Spriggans haunt my nightmares. I hate them. Holy hells, I hate them. O_O

      Delete
  10. You guys knocked it out the park with that flavor text. Love it.
    Totally seeing myself making a Warlock with a pact with Yggdrasil, the World Tree.
    Also, I love that this doesn't feel like the usual angsty Anti-hero warlock. I didn't realize how much I wanted that until just now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can thank the Nails for the flavor text! He did an awesome job! ^_^

      Delete
    2. Except the "whose roots reach back to the ancient past, and whose branches span to the end of time" bit. The Finger changed that line - it's a bit grandiose, but probably an improvement overall.

      You can tell it's not me because I wouldn't have used the Oxford comma!

      Delete
    3. why do you not use the oxford comma? Here where I'm at, this is very rare so I've never had the chance to ask.

      Delete
    4. It's just... ugly. It offends mine eyes! 'No Oxford commas' was one of the first things drilled into us in literacy class at age 6, and the lesson has stuck.

      There are maybe a handful of cases where it reduces ambiguity. This isn't one of them. Personally, I'd just straight-up replace it with a dash here. It creates the same dramatic pause without looking like a dog threw up all over my computer screen.

      Delete
  11. Oh snapple. I like this one a lot. Looks like a fun option for a bladelock :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’m glad you think so! :D Whenever I design a warlock I try to make it useful for all three pacts.

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. There will be, but I'm running behind, so I'll get it up after work in like 5-6 hours.

      Delete
  13. No worries! I just wanted to make sure no one had died, or anything like that. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not dead; I'm just in crunch time with schoolwork.

      Delete
  14. Have you guys changed your upload schedule?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, things have just been really crazy this week for me. I'm working on a post now.

      Delete