The First Thursday of every month, I like to try my hand at creating a cool character or another This month, I take a stab at making my long desired Half-Orc Warlock, Krond.
While many character ideas come to me unbidden, there are a few that I really want to force into being, and none are currently harder to push into the realm of reality than my Half-Orc Warlock, Krond.
This is, quite honestly, probably one of the easiest concepts I have. It is boiled down fairly simply to wanting to have an Orc Warlock, based completely off of the World of Warcraft archetype pulled into dungeons and dragons.
I did want to make it a visibly and mechanically different warlock, though, from the ones I’d recently played and DM’d. Most often, they were attack-based warlocks who took pact of the blade in order to have cool and very fun melee and ranged attacks with Pact Weapons. I want to avoid that with this character.
This leaves me with what seems like a number of inferior options. Pact of the Tome seems very uninspiring, as having cantrips from other classes when the cantrips from Warlock are great isn’t in and of itself amazingly inspiring. The invocation that allows you to have any ritual from any class, however, is interesting to me. Combined with Spell Sniper and Magic Adept, you can get a surprising number of off-class spells (5 cantrips… ) to play with. However, I just don’t see the draw. Adding rituals is interesting, and having these spells available from every class is also interesting, but it doesn’t hook me.
Pact of the Chain is little better, sadly. The ability to have an Imp, Pseudodragon, Quasit or Sprite familiar, though, tickles my fancy. Allowing you to make attacks with them is pretty cool in the early levels, but falls off extremely fast. Giving up your spell attack in order to attack with a +4 bonus attack is not a great trade. The improved version available via the Voice of the Chain Master invocation, feels below grade. I love the ability to See through the eyes of the familiar without taking any actions, and I enjoy speaking through it and communicating telepathically, but it does, at the end of the day, feel less cool.
At the end of the day, my big problem with the other two is that the Pact of the Blade gets to use their pact stuff all the time, while it feels much harder to get practical use out of the other two on a reasonable basis. Its probably just me, to be honest.
Regardless of those two initial feelings, though, I am going with the Pact of the Chain. nothing seems cooler to me, in terms of visuals than a warlock wandering the world with only his clothes on his back, his trusty walking stick and this bizarre ass tiny dragon that only he talks to as a companion.
Strangely, there is little to choose for a warlock beyond the Pact. All Warlocks are Great Old One Pact, right? Right?
I absolutely love the idea of playing a character who has made a pact with a great old one. In this case, I just picked on that seemed cool, and went with it. The spells in the Expanded Spell list are awesome – Dissonant Whispers, Tasha’s hideous laughter, Detect thoughts, Clairvoyance, Sending, Black Tentacles and Dominate person all feel really cool and absolutely on point for this type of character, and each of the classes 4 other abilities highlight the absolute insanity and otherworldly horror of his patron: Awaken mind allows telepathic speech with almost any creature, Entropic Ward grants advantage to yourself and disadvantage to the opponent from time to time, Thought Shield puts your own mind behind a wall of insanity, while also granting a bit of resilience via resistance to psychic damage – though its a bit counter-productive as you also deal psychic damage back to the originator equal to the damage you take. At 10th level, though, that’s pretty solid. Lastly, being able to charm an incapacitated creature, Via Create Thrall, for an indefinite period of time, as well as being able to talk to them telepathically seems really fun. I do wonder when you’re going to run into incapacitated creatures that are worth charming, though, so there is a worry.
outside of spells, which are hard to focus on as a caster that really only gets cantrips and 2 “one-shot” spells before a long rest, the meat and potatoes of the character is their invocations. 2 at 2nd level, with an additional one at 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th, totaling up to 8. I definitely want to take the Gift of the Ever-Living one, and the Voice of the Chain Master, likely both at 2nd level. Agonizing Blast, Armor of Shadows, Devils’s Sight, Eldritch Sight, Eyes of the
Krond is a quiet and thoughtful soul, waiting to speak at the correct time to impart either useful knowledge or terrible wisdom. His pet dragon, which he never speaks to, but seems to understand his wants and desires none the less, is a constant companion. He carries little, seemingly happy to make do with a blackened, stone tipped staff, and his own black and gold robes. Looking into his golden eyes, you can see how far gone he is, talking to beings of space and time beyond the ken of those around you, and likely his own. Krond is a strong friend and a powerful ally, but his mind has long ago rot away.
Krond, like many of my recent characters, has little need for weapons and armor. With the likelyhood of him having a fairly high dexterity to take advantage of Armor of Shadows, and a decent strength from being a half-orc, he has everything he needs from his physical stats.
His feat selection seems really small. I can’t find anything that I specifically would like for the build, meaning that either I’m missing something from the feat list, or that the build/class is pretty fine on its own.
Krond is a half-orc, so no other race is really going to cut it. Its a concept decision, and its not really changing.
This build seems to lend itself to going warlock 20, though I also cannot see a reason not to multiclass if I found a compelling enough reason. Warlocks last few traits aren’t anything to write home about.
Krond, Sworn to Bokrug
Highest Stat: Chrisma: This is the base stat for a Warlock, and I’ve got no strange tweaks or twists to the class to make it so I’d change this.
Second Highest Stat: Dexterity: getting the ability to have a solid AC at a pretty early level with Mage Armor is very useful, so if you can get this up high, it’ll help with the survivability.
Background: Sage. This one is easy for me, as the first line indicates that they have learned deep secrets of the multiverse. How else would he have found Bokrug?
Armor: None. Who needs real armor when you have Mage Armor? No one.
Weapons: Quarterstaff. This is the easiest and best weapon available. Two Handing this for d8 damage in a pinch isn’t the worst.
Skills: Investigation and Religion: With Arcana and History both taken care of by Sage, both of these make sense with how the character learned his horrific secrets and came to make his pact with the old ones.
Warlock Patron: Great Old One. Again, Part of the concept.
Fourth Level AGI: I have no reason to pull a feat, so this one is just going to go to Charisma, as you’ll likely need a bit of a boost with the Half-Orc starting race.
Every other AGI: Make sure you push Charisma to 20 as fast as you can, and then work on Dex and finally Str. Everything else is pretty much a dead stat.
I know this is a kind of unfulfilling build, but that is kinda the point. I can’t really find a good reason to play this character, or put him out there, because he is so basic and simple. He has a Psudeodrgon Familiar, which is cool, and a few neat abilities, but little makes me reach for this class and just grin with cool ideas. Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe you can assist!
I hope you enjoyed this look into how I made this character, and what I did in order to cement the concept.
Let me know what you think, and if you ever end up playing a character like this, keep me in the loop, I’d love to hear it.