September 25, 2018

The Worm God

Otherworldly Patron
Note from the Palm: Listen well, and I shall weave you a tale of death and teeth, oh player mine... 

The Worm God

The drive for continued existence is the impetus that fuels all life. It is rooted in chaos and conflict, fed with blood, and bears little more than the bitter fruits of pain and sorrow. Existence is determined not by oneself, but by the toil and strife one takes upon themselves. This is not the way of the truly powerful; for those of absolute means and terrible power, their existence proves itself. You wish to be one of these great and powerful beings, do you not?
     Take, then, into yourself one of my young, and feel its power well within you. Feed its hunger with your true nature, and it will give you eternal life. Bestow upon it tribute and sacrament of blood, and it will give you power over your own fragile flesh: the power to make of it as you will. Nurture it as you would your own young, and it will unshackle you from the uncertainty of death, the chaos of life, and the binding structure of causality. You will be as a god, unfettered by mere laws, and will carve your own path with a sword forged of your will. Gods do not play dice with the universe, and neither will you.
     Then again, you do so enjoy games of dice, don’t you, oh reader mine?

Expanded Spell List
The Worm God lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

Worm God Expanded Spells
Spell Level Spells
1stdissonant whispers, wrathful smite
2ndenlarge/reduce, magic weapon
3rdelemental weapon, haste
4thdeath ward, staggering smite
5thdestructive wave, telekinesis

Whispers of the Worm
Starting at 1st level, you gain a larval, symbiotic worm which lives inside of you, which both feeds from you and grants you power. You no longer require food, water, or air to survive, and you do not require sleep. As well, your body begins to transform, your skin hardening into plates; while you are not wearing armor, your AC equals 13 + your Dexterity modifier.
     Your worm demands constant, ever larger sacrifice in order to sate its hunger, lest it feed on you. Each week, you must kill or aid in killing a number of creatures whose combined CR is greater than or equal to your warlock level; if you do not do so, your worm feeds on you, reducing your maximum hit points by 1. You cannot gain this hp back by any means, and if your worm reduces you to 0 maximum hit points, it kills you as it consumes you. Killing an appropriate creature restores your maximum HP to full. 

Sword Logic
At 1st level, you learn the first tenets of the logic of the sword, that defeating a foe verifies the veracity of your existence over theirs. Your worm allows your to channel your will into your blade, allowing it to define yourself.  Whenever you finish a long rest, you can touch one weapon that you are proficient with and that lacks the Two-Handed property. When you attack with that weapon, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for its attack and damage rolls. This benefit lasts until you finish a long rest. If you later gain the Pact of the Blade feature, this benefit extends to every pact weapon you conjure with that feature, no matter the weapon's type.

Hive Ritual
At 6th level, you learn the ways of parting space, allowing you to bring ruin on your foes. You learn the summon lesser demons spell and can cast it as a ritual; when done so, the summoned demons are not hostile to you nor your allies. Once you cast this spell as a ritual, you can not do so again until you finish a long rest.

Touch of Malice
Starting at 10th level, you gain a deeper understanding of the Sword Logic; that the sword is as a bridge, binding bearer to victim, life to death. When the binding is done, the sword remembers, and grows hungrier and sharper. When you hit a hostile creature with a pact weapon or a weapon you have used your Sword Logic ability on, you can use your bonus action to regain a number of hit points equal to your Charisma modifier. Additionally, when you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with such a weapon, you gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with it until you complete a short or long rest. You cannot gain this bonus more than once between rests, and it stacks with other bonuses to hit and damage (such as the bonus provided by magic weapon).

Ascendance
At 14th level, your worm’s power has grown such that you can transcend the Material Plane and enter a pocket dimension known as a throne world. You can cast the spell Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion at will without using a spell slot or spell components. The space conjured by the spell is permanent and larger than normal, with a maximum size of ten 10-foot cubes per warlock level, and can be reorganized and recreated at will; each time you cast the spell, the doorway summoned opens onto the same space. While inside your throne world, casting Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion again allows you to open the space’s doorway to any location you have previously visited.
     Ascendance grants you a further measure of protection from death. You no longer physically age, and cannot die from old age. So long as you are not in your throne world, if you die or are destroyed, your soul is drawn back to your throne world where your body reforms with all its hit points after 24 hours. If you are killed in your throne world, or you die again and less than a week has passed since you were last killed, you remain dead.



Changelog: 9/28/18: Whispers of the Worm: Sacrifice changed from daily to weekly
Ascendance: 24 hour reform time

29 comments:

  1. Sorry for the extremely late post! I got sick last weekend and spent the better part of two days completely unconscious.

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    1. Oh! I was curious! At least you seem to be doing better!

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    2. Just a heads up, the expanded spell list in the PDF is different from the plain text

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    3. Thanks for letting me know; it'll be fixed shortly.

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    4. Do you think you could make one for SIVA? Where you can create buff zones after killing enemies or resurrecting enemies after death?

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  2. got to the first ability and already got a question. wouldn't having a larva of pure power need you to eat like at least twice as much? thats how having worms in real life works :P ... and now that i finished it i don't think i understand what this class must be referencing because the abilities seem to be all over the place but im trying to think of it like "your patron is a giant worm that does nothing but eat, you gonna be like worm consume and destroy"

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    1. It's from the game Destiny. one of the enemy races in the game, The Hive, worship 'Worm gods' immensely powerful beings that grant para-causal power to those who 'tithe' to them by way of killing. the more powerful the thing killed, the more the symbiote worm inside each hive helps them. These worm gods, and so their followers live by what they call "sword logic" where in, if you kill another, than your existence is more 'true' than them. particularly powerful Hive have pocket dimensions in the "ascendent realm" where this is even more true. there they govern the laws of physics, as well as life and death, to an extent.

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    1. The pdf pics make it seem like a Dark Matter thing, but it's pretty Kyuss-ish.

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    2. This is a Destiny reference; blame the Palm.

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    3. Yeah, I could tell as I saw the term "those world." IvI' actually been considering making a warlock patron based on the warlock in destiny, but I haven't figured out how to implement it.

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  4. I believe that it is a reference to the Hive from Destiny. Atleast, that's what the images look like. I haven't played a whole lot of Destiny 2 but I certainly recognize one of their Knights (I think).

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    1. That's what I was thinking too. The Hive do have pocket dimensions known as throne worlds, and they do have a gigantic worm that they revere. Not to mention the 6th level ability called 'Hive Ritual'; could be coincidental, but it's a little too spot on.

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    2. Its entrirely based on the Hive, and given the lore of the Hive, this is almost exactly how the hive work (or at least as close as it can so that the class isnt over powered in 5e)

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  5. This is odd, and barely has any connection to worms, but whatever. I do enjoy games of dice by the way, how did you know?

    Whispers of the worm seems incredibly hard to maintain in any adventure that includes downtimes, which can be anywhere from a week to a month or even more.

    Ascendance seems really good. Like, reeeeeally good. Like having-a-phylactery kind of good. Hell, it prevents death WAY better than the Undying warlock- it might be too much.

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    1. This is all a reference to the Hive from Destiny.

      Whispers of the worm is intended to be very difficult to maintain. Lore wise, the worm gods require constant and continual slaughter to sate their hunger.

      Ascendance...yeah, its powerful. The pocket dimension thing is kind of a big deal in the Destiny lore for the hive, and I dont really have a way to do it otherwise. It is, in terms of power, essentially a 1/week "get out of death free" card. That said, death still takes you out of a given fight, which could spell doom for your allies.

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  6. It's been awhile since I've seen any Destiny inspired homebrew, and this doesn't disappoint in the slightest.

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  7. I love this. Been playing so much Destiny 2 since the DLC dropped that I read the title and assumed it was related. Was not disappointed.

    Ascendance seems really good, maybe too good, but I don't know if there's any better way to do it while keeping it the same functionally as the game. Maybe the Throne World could grow as you defeat higher CR monsters, and the time between respawns could decrease? Since that's how they grow in the games, they increase in size and their owners increase in power by killing powerful enemies.

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  8. This is strong. Like really really strong. Too strong.

    First ability means you can’t starve, dehydrate, drown/suffocate and gives you natural armor all at a downside that isnt really that punishing or difficult to ignore. That’s really good for a one level dip. Not to mention that Sword Logic that you also get at 1st level seems to be directly taken from the Hexblade Warlock.

    Hive Ritual let’s you cast a 3rd level spell at will along with also ignoring the spell’s intended downside completely.

    Touch of Malice basically super buffs Sword Logic.

    Finally Ascendance basically turns you into a non rotting lich with the ability to cast a BUFFED version of a seventh level spell at will!

    Although I said I liked the flavor, that too is all over the place. I’m assuming it’s a reference to some franchise or media because I’m not sure what this has to do with Worms lol.

    I’m new to this website so maybe you specifically make really strong character options, but this Patron is too strong. I mean no offense but as it stands right now, I can’t really support this Patron unless it goes through some balancing.

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    1. I don't think it's as strong as you present it. The downside on Whispers can be more problematic than it seems, say, if you're on a long journey where several days go by without any incidents or a place where killing people is a problem (such as an urban intrigue adventure).
      Also, the part about not needing food/water/air/sleep is rarely an issue anyway, and becomes even less important at higher levels.
      And finally, a warlock can easily get the 13+dex AC anyway with one invocation.

      As for sword logic, hexblade makes you crit on 19-20 and deal more damage, while this only allows you to use a weapon with some efficiency, much less than a hexblade and not anywhere close to any weapon-based class. Besides, in range, your E-Blast would be better, and as a warlock you don't really want to get in melee anyway.

      Touch of malice improves your melee survivability, but you'd still not want to get in melee, and if you do then Vampiric Touch deals more damage and heals more.

      TL;DR the only actual balance issue here is Ascendancy, all other abilities are not really strong if you take a second look at them and think when and how they'll be applied.

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    2. I'm partially in agreement that Whispers of the Worm and Sword Logic together are probably too strong if we're looking at it for a dip, but it's not game-breakingly strong, to my eyes. Surviving without food, water, or air is a ribbon, and the other features are necessary to place this in the melee-warlock camp.

      I'm giving Ascendancy a 24-hour reform period to keep its abuse down. I'll talk to the Palm about changing Touch of Malice, since I'd much prefer it be one big heal/short, rather than a passive trickle heal.

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    3. Ascendancy for sure should be 24-hour reform. I neglected to write that in to this draft, but it's appropriate.

      For Touch of Malice, I could see it as a 1/rest bigger heal (say, half your max HP), but I think the +1 bonus should stay.

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  9. I really do like this Patron. And while Destiny is a foreign thing to me (I don't play it, I don't follow anything about it), I can accept it's a Destiny thing and move on.

    That said, I do have some critiques:

    Whispers of the Worm - My biggest issue is the slaughter requirement. I get that it's intended to inflict this horrible cycle of gorging on slaughter between (potentially) prolonged periods of slowly dying, but as someone already pointed out, downtime can be a death sentence especially when you consider the CR requirement. I'd look for a loose translation rather than a strict conversion of that idea. The other abilities are strong, but hardly game breaking unless one's campaign weirdly relies on being able to drown, suffocate, starve, or attack a single player out of their armor.

    Sword Logic - The name feels off, but I'll chalk that up to being a Destiny thing. Otherwise this ability is just fine.

    Hive Ritual - I don't see this as out of balance. Probably strong at lower levels, but I think it'll lose its utility later on.

    Touch of Malice - The healing seems strong, as it's effectively unlimited. Limit it to a certain number of times, maybe?

    Ascendance - While there's probably some way to abuse this, it's just weird and different enough I'd like to see it in play before I make any judgement. Maybe postpone the revival ability until 18th level, as that part does seem a bit strong for 14th.

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    1. Whispers of the Worm is probably even worse in the early game when you don't have any max hp to spare yet. At the first couple of levels so much as a few days of travel without random encounters can be borderline suicidal. I'm actually a little concerned it presses players towards a murderhobo playstyle early on.

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    2. That's pretty much my concern. I think it can be a brilliantly tragic vehicle for storytelling, having to choose between hurting people or hurting yourself, but it's blown into rabid serial killer/mass murderer proportions.

      If I were to tweak it for my game, I think I would require a weekly sacrifice of corpses the character (and companions) have personally slaughtered. Failure to sacrifice at least once a week reduces max hit dice (not HP) by one, and does not return with rest until that sacrifice is made. You have to sacrifice a number of hit dice of creatures equal to your normal max, and the bodies need to be fresh, but gentle repose can be used.

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    3. At the very least, I think bringing this back to one week is a good starting point.

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  10. I keep on reading the 14th level ability and i have a question. What happens when the body reforms? is it instant? Are you unconscious or not? full health? It seems a little unspecific

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    1. I'll try to clear that up a bit. I'm also adding a delay time to it, since that seems necessary here.

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  11. My initial thoughts when i saw title was
    1. patron based on leto atreides II after he merged with the sand trout and became the god emperor of Dune
    2. Goa'uld

    Not what I expected, but not disappointed

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