AD&D Rules Modifications: 2

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These are some more of our house rules and ideas for the expansion of the AD&D game. We play it a lot and so I guess we are bound to come up with ideas every now and again. Fell free to read and steal any of the ideas and I would love to hear any comments and suggestions and stuff. You can get hold of me at Rain or anywhere else (home, Uni etc).


The Warlock Character Class

What is a Warlock?
A Warlock is a mage who can cast spells in armour and use weapons like a fighter. When the character is first created they will be a fighter-mage, and must be trained by a Warlock so that they can practice casting spells in their armour. Until they are level 5-5 the character cannot cast any spells in armour, nor consider themselves an official Warlock. A Warlock can be any race, any gender and any alignment.

The character class was created as the fighter-mage character class was too limited: although they could cast spells and also fight, they couldn't do more than one or the other at a time. What would be cool was someone who could cast spells in armour on the battlefield - a truly formidable opponent. And so I decided to create the Warlock class but the problem was that they could be impossibly hard from the beginning and no one would ever want to play fighter-mages any more. Which is why it is so difficult to become a warlock, especially if you're starting with level 1 characters.

Requirements: Fighter-mage level 5-5.
Prime Requisites: Int 16, Str 9, Con 12, Wis 9.
Hit Points: 1d6/lvl.
Thac0: 1/1.
Race Restrictions: None.
Religion: Any.
Weapon Proficiencies: Initial: 4
Increase: 1/3
Non-weapon Proficiencies: Initial: 4
Abilities: Spells as wizard, fights as fighter.
Saving Throws: As wizard/fighter.

XPs Table: Reset XPs gained as fighter-mage to zero.
Level: Experience Points Required:
2 36,000
3 88,000
4 179,000
5 349,000
6 714,000

Level 5-5:
The character does not need to be 5-5 specifically: they must have level 5 in the class that they have the lowest level in, ie: a 6-4 fighter-mage has to wait until he is a level 5 mage before he can become a proper Warlock. Characters that are multiclassed as fighter-mage-something cannot become Warlocks as their attention is too divided to put in the intensive study.

Level Progression:
As a Warlock gains a level, he effectively gains a fighter and mage level too. This is useful to keep track of as it determines both his Thac0 and spell allowances.

A Warlock has as many spells or magic points available to him as per his mage level. He may cast any of his spells in armour as he pleases, but for normal spells the spell level is increased by one. This means that magic missile (1st level) becomes a 2nd level spell for the purposes of casting it in armour, and fireball becomes 4th level. This may mean that a Warlock cannot cast that spell in his armour, for it may exceed his level limit, but this is reasonable, as spellcasting in armour is intensely difficult. This penalty can be negated by armour specialization (see later).

If using a magic points system, the caster must double the cost of the spell to cast it in armour. This means that a spell costing 4 SPs normally (fixed magick) will cost 8 points to cast in armour. The same applies for a spell costing 20 SPs (free magick): it will cost 40 SPs to cast in armour. This penalty can be negated by armour specialization (see later).

A Warlock can also channel his magic into his weapons and armour. For the cost of one first level spell, he can increase his to hit roll, damage roll, AC or saving throws by 1. He can do this as many times as he wishes to a cumulative effect or once on each value if he wishes. This magick is not doubled or made a level higher, even if cast in armour. The effect lasts 1 turn (10 rounds) and can be cancelled by dispel magic. Any weapons temporarily enchanted in this way are treated as being magic weapons according to the to hit modifier.

Elbreth, a level 4 Warlock, proficient with his chainmail armour (AC 5), is about to step into a fight with a troll. Wishing to be harder to hit and to do more damage, he channels 4 SPs into his armour and 8 SPs into his sword raising his AC to 4 and his damage to d8+2. His sword thus does not count as a magic weapon with respect to creatures hit by magical weapons only. Had he channelled that magic into the to hit roll instead, the sword would have counted as a +2 magical weapon for such purposes, although it would have done normal damage.

The caster's level remains as that of the mage level he is at, regardless of his Warlock level or the level of spell he is casting.

The chance of spell failure based on wielding weapons and wearing armour is rolled after the spell is cast: if the spell fails to cast it is lost (SPs are lost). If a 00 is rolled, the spell is miscast, with effects determined by the DM.

Once level 5-5 is attained, the character can automatically cast spells in their armour. However, this does not come entirely freely, for the character must take their next weapon proficiency then and there, even if it is not due for 2 levels, and dedicate it to their armour. This WP is then lost. The armour they choose will be the armour they are most used to wearing and while casting spells in this armour they will receive no penalties to spellcasting (but suffer the raised level/doubling SPs effects). In any armour with which they are not proficient, they gain a 10% chance of spell failure per AC point above 10. With regard to magical and enchanted armours that have pluses to their AC, the bonus is minused from the base AC of the armour to find its AC above 10. E.g.: chainmail +2 has a base AC of 5, but the +2 bonus is minused from the 5 to make it 7. Thus the chance of spell failure is 30% (as opposed to 70% if the AC value of 3 for chainmail +2 was used). This is due to magical armour being lighter than normal armour and the fact that it allows the flow of magical energies. If the character specialises in an armour, they lose the effect of doubling the spell points or raising the level of the spell.

Weapon Proficiencies:
The first weapon proficiency (WP) the Warlock gains automatically is dedicated to his armour, however, subsequent WPs can be taken as the character pleases (within the realms of plausibility). There are a few new proficiencies for Warlocks that are unavailable to the other character classes due to their nature.

The parenthese '(mag)' proficiency is for a specific type of armour (eg splint mail, leather armour), and removes any AC penalties for spellcasting in that particular armour.

Proficiency Slots Results
Armour (mag) 1 Proficiency means that the caster can cast spells in the armour without suffering the 10% per AC point spell failure penalty.
Armour (mag) 2 A specialization in armour means that the caster no longer has to pay double points for (or increase the level of) a spell in order to cast it in that armour.
Armour Group (mag) 1 This general armour proficiency reduces the %age chance of spell failure in any armour by 20%. Extra slots dedicated to this WP reduce the chance by a further 20% per slot.
Weapon (mag) 1 A single slot on a weapon means that spells can be cast with that weapon in hand but with a 40% chance of failure per weapon due to hampering.
Weapon (mag) 2 Two slots on a weapon means that spell failure is reduced to 20%
Weapon (mag) 3 Three slots mean that spells can be cast with the weapon in hand without penalty.
Weapon Group (mag) 1 This proficiency allows the caster to cast spells with any weapon of the group in hand, but with a spell failure %age based upon his normal level of skill with the weapon. Each extra slot dedicated to Weapon Group (mag) gives the caster a further 10% bonus.
Initial values:
Non-proficient: 90%
Familiar: 75%
Proficient: 60%
Specialized: 50%
+10% per slot in Weapon Group (mag)
Shield (mag)* 1 A shield proficiency means that the caster can use the shield when casting spells without penalty, unless also holding a weapon (see above).
Two Weapon (mag) 1 Requires the WP (mag) in both weapons and Two Weapon Style: means that the caster can use both weapons and cast spells, at a further 30% chance of spell failure.
Two Weapon (mag) 2 Putting two slots into this WP means that the chance of spell failure while using both weapons and casting a spell is reduced to 15% per weapon.
Two Weapon (mag) 3 Three slots in Two Weapon (mag) ensures no penalties for style while casting spells and using two weapons at once.

* A shield can be used in conjunction with a weapon to cast spells if the caster has Shield (mag), Weapon (mag) and Weapon and Shield style.

Lorne is a level 8 Warlock. He has taken a Weapon (mag) proficiency in longsword and a proficiency in Shield (mag). He is also proficient in leather armour, which he is wearing. He attempts to cast a memorized fireball spell while holding his sword in one hand and the shield in the other. Normally this would not be possible, but because of the proficiencies he has, it is. The spell costs him 10 x 2 = 20 SPs (or a single level 4 spell) and he has a base chance of 40% for failing the spell (due to his sword).

Dean is a 9th level Warlock, who wields two maces in combat. He is proficient in plate mail armour (which he is wearing) and has dedicated one slot to mace (mag) and one to Two Weapon (mag). When casting any spell, he has a base chance of 40% (right hand) + 40% (left hand) + 30% (Two Weapon (mag)) = 110% chance of spell failure. However, he can still cast any spell on a critical pass (roll of 99%).

A few years later, Dean is now 12th level. He has dedicated another proficiency slot to mace (mag) and so his base chance of spell failure has become 20% + 20% + 30% = 70%. By far his best option is to cast spells with one weapon in hand, as his chance of spell failure is just 20%.

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:
As Warlocks are very specialized, there are a few new non-weapon proficiencies available to them. They can choose any NWP from this list at the appropriate times, or from the lists normally available to them.

Proficiency: Slots: Check: Modifier:
Discard Somatic 2 Int 0
Dramatic License 1 Int 0
Discard Somatic
On a successful proficiency check, the Warlock can cast the spell without using the somatic components of the spell. This includes any physical manipulation of the components of the spell, which can be kept in a pouch and are used in the normal way by the spell. This means that the caster can do other things with his hands while casting the spell, such as holding a sword, clinging to a cliff edge etc, although not anything complicated. A failed check means simply that the caster cannot convert the spell to its verbal components; the spell (or SPs) are not lost. A successful check means that the Warlock can cast that spell verbally for the rest of the day, while a failed check means that he cannot try again until the following day. Requires Spellcraft. (Can be used as a wizard proficiency).

Dramatic License
This allows the caster to make his spells appear more showy or dramatic than they might otherwise be under normal circumstances. For example, a Warlock could cause a fireball to erupt from the end of his sword rather than his fingertips, or for invisibility to be a slow effect, starting at the tips of the fingers and slowly progressing to the caster's feet. However, the caster must be capable of casting the spell in the situation given, ie, to cast a fireball from the end of a sword requires the Warlock to have at least Weapon (mag) proficiency (1 slot) in that weapon. However, the invisibility example has no prerequisites. The caster must make a successful proficiency check before casting the spell: if successful, the spell casts as desired, if unsuccessful the spell casts normally. However, some effects may be more difficult to achieve than others: making a fireball burn blue instead of flame coloured is relatively easy compared to accompanying dispel magic with a strange swirling mist. DMs are encouraged to apply modifiers wherever possible. Requires Spellcraft. (Can be used as a wizard proficiency).

Hit Points
After a character has converted to a Warlock, their accumulated hit points are kept, but from then on they will roll a d6 for hit points each time they get a new level. Constitution bonuses still apply. After they reach 5th level, they gain 2 hp per level and constitution bonuses no longer apply.

Experience Points:
A Warlock with Intelligence 16 and Strength 16 gains a 10% bonus to experience points.

If anyone playtests these rules, I would love to hear about it.

[The Campaign] [Judas' Game] [Other Personas] [The Dungeon] [AD&D Rules] [Kline Syndrome] [Transcript] [Roleplay Ramble] [The Banana Zone]