A Warlock for Pathfinder

Warlock Cover

I know, I know. I’m not the first — and I probably won’t be the last — to blog about the lack of a Warlock class in Pathfinder. Or to take a stab at my own version of the class. Originally released in 3.5e’s Complete Arcane and Complete Mage, the Warlock wasn’t included in OGL content, so the folks at Paizo couldn’t officially adapt it to their game. And that’s not terrible. They’ve made some good original classes of their own, so it’s hard to complain.

I started this rebuild of the Warlock back in 2014. I had decided to play one in a friend’s Pathfinder campaign, only to find there was no official Pathfinder Warlock. My friend was kind enough to let me build my own, for which I took much inspiration from other adaptations on the web. The document presented here is really more of a compilation of the excellent work already out there, cemented with a few original ideas of my own. You can check the end of the document for links to the many sources I consulted.

Design Thoughts

In building this Warlock variant I tried to hew close to the original theme of the Warlock as a class that can do only a few things, but can do them well and all day long. There is also a subtle theme of the Warlock tending toward self-reliance and selfishness. To accommodate these themes, the Warlock’s powers tend to help only the Warlock, and often at the expense of collateral damage. If you want to add any invocations or feats, keep these two themes in mind — the Warlock is not the happy party-buffing Bard or Cleric.

One of my pet peeves with classes is a restrictive class requirement, so I wanted to move away from the original restriction of only evil or chaotic alignments for the Warlock, to open it up to a more nuanced playability. This necessitated a move away from the fiendish power source, but I was at a loss for a while as to what to use. It was a throwaway line in the Golariopedia description of the dimension Leng as a fragment of a dead plane that has persisted from before the creation of the multiverse that gave me the idea of the Warlock’s power source being from outside the Great Beyond. That provides the necessary mystery, and also feeds well into the new typically-neutral alignment scheme, and the idea that each Warlock is unique in his abilities and flavor.

Tying into the theme of the unique Warlock, I’ve provided a ton of options for customization. There are over 70 Warlock-specific feats and over 120 eldritch invocations included for customization of your Warlock. In a world where these Warlocks exist, it is certainly likely that a few will have some overlap, but many will be unique.