Blood Warlock (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Author: MisterSinister (talk)
Date Created: 26/01/12
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A blood-themed spellcaster. 5 Alternate Magic Full

Blood Warlock[edit]

Blood is a juice of rarest quality.
—Faith Antunes, human blood witch

Blood: the very essence of life. It permeates the living, infusing their body with motion, vigour, and growth; all the very definitions of what it means to be alive. Blood is of such power that some creatures, ranging from the humble mosquito to the grandest vampire, subsist on it exclusively, seeing it as the purest form of living being upon which to draw sustenance. And, just as life holds great magic, there are those who seek the power inherent in the blood, both their own and that of others, to amplify their magical abilities and to gain new power. These individuals are called blood warlocks (or blood witches if female).

The path of the blood warlock involves quite gruesome practices, for to refine the powers of the blood, one must have blood to practice with. While some blood warlocks insist on only using their own blood, this is a significant limitation on their power, and thus, the temptation to use the blood of others, both willingly and unwillingly given, often becomes too great. Many blood warlocks self-mutilate to get closer access to the blood inside them, and quite a few favour implements that cut as part of their magical practices. When blood warlocks gather, things often become very messy, dying the surroundings a dark shade of red from all the blood spilt for their practices and experiments. This gives blood warlocks associations with the dark and the evil, particularly necromancy and vampirism, but a blood warlock is an altogether different creature; they don't seek blood for sustenance and don't kill and injure for its own sake. Instead, they seek the power of blood as the essence of all life, and if that means that this blood must be spilled, so be it. However, there is certainly no shortage of blood warlocks happy to associate with necromancers and vampires if it helps them understand the powers inherent in blood.

Becoming a Blood Warlock[edit]

Almost any spellcaster, arcane or divine, can become a blood warlock without too much trouble. Although a little knowledge of anatomy is required to understand some of the subtleties of blood magic, anyone who wants to learn it and has some knowledge of magic pretty much can. Blood warlocks come from all backgrounds and creeds -- no-one is denied the chance to learn.

Tome of Prowess
This class is designed to be compatible with the Tome of Prowess rules. Any class abilities that have different rules under Tome of Prowess will be marked by a ToP: label.
Entry Requirements  
Skills: Concentration 8 ranks, Heal 4 ranks
ToP: Arcana or Geomancy or Thaumaturgy 8 ranks, Healing 4 ranks. 
Feats: Bloodseeking Spell
Spellcasting: Caster level 5th. 
Special: Must ritually bathe in enough blood to completely submerge you, and then recite a vow to seek the secrets of blood and its power. This must be witnessed by at least three individuals whose CR is at least 5.

Table: The Blood Warlock

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +0 +0 Blood Rite
2nd +1 +3 +0 +0 Wounds Close
3rd +1 +3 +1 +1 Blood of Others
4th +2 +4 +1 +1
5th +2 +4 +1 +1
6th +3 +5 +2 +2
7th +3 +5 +2 +2
8th +4 +6 +2 +2
9th +4 +6 +3 +3
10th +5 +7 +3 +3

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (any) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Skills, Tome of Prowess Variant (4 per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Wis), Healing (Cha), Intimidation (Cha), Perception (Wis), Survival (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the blood warlock.

Spellcasting: When you gain your first level in blood warlock, choose one spellcasting class that you have at least 1 level in. At each level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in that class. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.

ToP: Blood warlocks continue their basic magical training while learning the more specialized craft of the blood. In addition to the normal spellcasting advancement gained from this class, if the class you chose for this class feature had any of the following skills, you gain them as blood warlock class skills as well: Arcana, Geomancy, Thaumaturgy.
Equivalencies to Metamagic Feats
Because of the variety of characters who are eligible to qualify for this class, what 'counts as' a metamagic feat must be treated with some leniency. If a character has any metamagic feats that affect spell-like abilities instead of spells (for example, Empower Spell-Like Ability), these can be used with Blood Power, except that they count their level modification as if they were the 'normal' metamagic feat (for example, Empower Spell-Like Ability counts as Empower Spell), and don't use up any of the feat's per-day uses. Also, if a character has any sudden metamagic feats (like Sudden Quicken), they also count as their respective 'normal' metamagic feats for level modification purposes (in this case, Quicken Spell, and don't use up any of their per-day uses.

Blood Power (Su): The first technique learned by every blood warlock is the ability to enhance their abilities using blood. This allows them to apply metamagic feats spontaneously to their spells (or spell-like abilities, as long as they mimic a spell with a level) without modifying their casting time or level, or requiring them to be prepared ahead of time. To apply a metamagic feat you know to a spell or spell-like ability you can use, instead of the normal process, the blood warlock must cut themselves, dealing an amount of Constitution damage to themselves equal to the unmodified level increase caused by the metamagic feat, as well as losing hit points equal to the spell's level after the applied modification. If this would raise the spell or spell-like ability's effective level to above half your character level (rounding up), both the Constitution damage and the hit point damage become Constitution burn and hit point burn respectively.

If a spell-like ability mimics a spell with a variety of levels, use the highest level it is printed with. For example, a spell-like ability mimicking control winds would have an effective spell level of 6th for the purpose of this ability. No reduction of effective spell level for metamagic feats applies to this ability. If you are immune to Constitution damage or burn, it becomes Charisma damage or burn instead. If you lack blood or a similar vital fluid in your body, this ability does nothing.

Example 1: A wizard 5/blood warlock 1 wants to apply Maximize Spell to fireball. This would normally require a 6th level spell slot and preparation, but thanks to Blood Power, they instead take 3 Constitution burn (because Maximize Spell modifies a spell by 3 levels, and they can't normally cast spells of 6th level) and 6 hit point burn (because the final spell level for a maximized fireball would be 6th, and they can't normally cast spells of 6th level), and cast their prepared fireball as a maximized fireball.

Example 2: A sorcerer 6/blood warlock 6 wants to do the same trick as the wizard in example 1. Normally, this would require a full-round action and a 6th-level spell slot, but thanks to Blood Power, they instead take 3 Constitution damage and 6 hit point damage, and cast the spell as a standard action using only a 3rd-level spell slot.

Wounds Close (Ex): A 2nd-level blood warlock is so in command of their own blood that they can will it to clot and stop flowing on demand. However, this requires them to concentrate and be in a relatively-calm environment. Whenever a blood warlock is in surroundings that would allow them to 'take 10' on any skill check, they gain fast healing 5. When their character level reaches 10th, this becomes fast healing 10; at 15th character level, it becomes 15, and at 20th character level, 20.

Blood of Others (Su): When using their Blood Rite ability, a blood warlock of 3rd level or higher can choose to use the blood of a helpless or willing individual instead of their own. If they do, then that individual takes the Constitution and hit point damage (or burn) based on their own spellcasting ability (as if they were the blood warlock). If that individual cannot cast spells (or use spell-like abilities that mimic spells) at all, they will always take Constitution and hit point burn.

The blood warlock must be within 30ft of the individual (if they are injured), or must cut them (requiring them to be within the blood warlock's reach). If the individual is immune to Constitution damage or burn, they take Charisma damage or burn instead. If the individual doesn't have blood (or a similar vital fluid), they cannot be chosen for this ability.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Blood Warlock[edit]

Combat: Blood warlocks typically play roles in combat similar to their original spellcasting class. However, a blood warlock can often out-perform individuals of their original class of an equal level, but at a cost in blood (either their own or someone else's).

Advancement: Blood warlocks typically should complete this class. Afterwards, they should take another prestige class with full casting, or just jump back into their original casting class -- after all, they're spellcasters, and their class features stay level-appropriate anyway. Because, you know, spells.

Resources: Blood warlocks typically work alone -- a mixture of their highly-different training and methods, as well as general public dislike of the nature of their abilities and their source, means that any gathering of blood warlocks, however altruistically-minded, tends to attract mobs and witch hunters far too quickly. However, a blood warlock can typically expect another blood warlock to help them, provided it doesn't endanger them much.

Blood Warlocks in the Game[edit]

A blood warlock is likely to be encountered much like any other spellcasting prestige class, or any high-ranking member of their original class. For example, clerics which take this class tend to follow deities who are related to or connected with blood. Because of the somewhat-sinister associations with their powers, blood warlocks tend to make themselves a lot less public, however -- assuming they're not reveling in that reputation.

Adaptation: Some GMs are going to rule that blood warlocks have to be evil -- and this is a possible interpretation of this class. It is also possible to reflavour this as 'soul magic', which draws upon soul energy rather than blood, with some adjustments.

Sample Encounter: People are likely to encounter Faith Antunes either working on some project of hers, or possibly just wandering around with her bug friends. She isn't overly-hostile and typically would rather talk than fight, but can be very dangerous when provoked.

EL 8:

Faith Antunes

CR 8

Female human focused conjurer 5/blood warlock 3
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses +2/Listen +1, Spot +1
Languages Abyssal, Common, Elven
AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 17
(+4 armour, +2 Dex, +1 enhancement, +1 luck, +1 insight)
hp 46 (8 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +9 (ToP: +7)/+6 (ToP: +8)/+9 (ToP: +10)
Speed 30ft
Melee Dagger +3 (1d4+1, 19-20/x2)
Ranged Masterwork light crossbow +6 (1d8, 19-20/x2)
Space/Reach 5ft./5ft.
Base Atk/Grp +4/+5
Special Actions Spells
Spells Prepared (CL 8th):
Abilities Str 13, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 14
SQ Focused conjurer, noncombatant
Feats Augment Summoning (1st), Bloodseeking Spell (5th bonus), Greater Spell Focus (conjuration) (3rd), Extend Spell (1st flaw), Quicken Spell (6th), Spell Focus (conjuration) (1st bonus)
Skills Concentration + (11 ranks), Heal + (4 ranks), Knowledge (arcana) + (11 ranks), Knowledge (nature) + (11 ranks), Knowledge (the planes) + (2 ranks), Spellcraft + (11 ranks), Use Rope + (6 ranks)
Possessions Antunes family cloak, Antunes family ring, everfull mug, headband of intellect +2, 20 bolts, miscellaneous adventuring gear, scroll of acid arrow (written into spellbook), scroll of dispel magic (written into spellbook), spell component pouch (assume all needed foci are available), 10gp
Spellbook spells prepared plus
Focused Conjurer Faith gains 2 additional spells prepared per available spell level, but cannot prepare or cast spells from the enchantment, evocation or necromancy schools.
Noncombatant Faith is relatively inept at melee combat. She takes a -2 penalty on melee attack rolls (already factored into the statistics).
Antunes family cloak A family heirloom, this cloak provides Faith with a +1 enhancement bonus, +1 luck bonus and +1 insight bonus on all saves. This can only be used by a creature with levels in blood warlock and ranks in Heal (ToP: Healing).
Antunes family ring A family heirloom, this ring provides Faith with a +1 enhancement bonus, +1 luck bonus and +1 insight bonus to AC. This can only be used by a creature with levels in blood warlock and ranks in Heal (ToP: Healing).

Tome of Prowess
This class is designed to be compatible with the Tome of Prowess rules. Any class abilities that have different rules under Tome of Prowess will be marked by a ToP: label.

Faith Antunes comes from a long family tradition of spellcaster women, as all women of the Antunes line (including her mother) are trained as spellcasters before marriage. This has served the Antunes family well in the past, raising them from a minor noble house to a force to be reckoned with through strategic (some say convenient) matches between their women and men of more powerful and wealthy noble houses. Thus, Faith, being the oldest daughter of the Antunes line, was destined for much the same. After her basic education in magical practice from her mother (who was a blood witch in her own right), she was sent to Academia Magica to study. She decided to stay on for postgraduate work, despite her family's objections, mostly because she wanted to avoid being married off and living the same life her mother did. However, this time-buying tactic could work for only so long, and thus, on the day of her Master's graduation, Faith fled the campus and disappeared, leading to her being disowned by her noble house.

This has not bothered Faith in the slightest, as she had the resources to succeed on her own thanks to her extensive training in magical practice, as well as her numerous 'excursions' outside of Academia Magica grounds (for months at a time) while she was a postgraduate student. Her love of spiders, as well as her talent for conjuration, have made her a valuable asset to many adventuring teams, but she mostly prefers to work alone, taking up challenging problems that hold her interest.

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MisterSinister's Homebrew (321 Articles)
Article BalanceVery High +
AuthorMisterSinister +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionPoor +
Challenge Rating8 +
Class AbilityAlternate Magic +
Class Ability ProgressionFull +
Fortitude Save ProgressionGood +
Identifier3.5e Prestige Class +
Length10 +
Minimum Level5 +
NameFaith Antunes +
Racehuman +
RatingUnrated +
Reflex Save ProgressionPoor +
SizeMedium +
SkillConcentration +, Craft +, Heal +, Intimidate +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Perform +, Profession +, Spellcraft +, Spot +, Survival +, Swim + and Use Rope +
Skill Points4 +
Subtypehuman +
SummaryA blood-themed spellcaster. + and A spider-obsessed blood magister with a summoning background. +
TitleBlood Warlock +
ToP SkillConcentration +, Healing +, Intimidation +, Perception + and Survival +
Typehumanoid +
Will Save ProgressionPoor +