Character Classes


Born of a supernatural bloodline, a warlock seeks to master the perilous magic that suffuses his soul. Unlike sorcerers or wizards, who approach arcane magic through the medium of spells, a warlock invokes powerful magic through nothing more than an effort of will. By harnessing his innate magical gift through fearsome determination and force of will, a warlock can perform feats of supernatural stealth, beguile the weak-minded, or scour his foes with blasts of eldritch power.

Many warlocks are champions of dark and chaotic powers. Long ago, they (or in some cases, their ancestors) forged grim pacts with dangerous extraplanar powers, trading portions of their souls in exchange for supernatural power. While many warlocks have turned away from evil, seeking to undo the wrongs of their former colleagues, they are still chained by the old pacts through which they acquired their powers. The demand to further the designs of their dark patrons, or to resist them, drives most warlocks to seek the opportunities for power, wealth, and great deeds (for good or ill) offered by adventuring.

Warlocks harbor great reserves of mystical energy. The font of dark magic burning in their souls makes them resistant to many forms of attack and arms them with dangerous power. Warlocks do not wield spells, but they do learn to harness their power to perform a small number of specific attacks and tricks called invocations. Warlocks make up for their lack of versatility by being tougher and more resilient than sorcerers or wizards.

Warlocks are often chaotic or evil (and more than a few are both). The powers they serve can be cruel, capricious, and wild, unbound by conventional views of right and wrong. However, even warlocks who derive their powers from the most sinister of patrons have been known to turn the black powers at their command against evil. A good-aligned warlock is a grim and fearsome enemy of evil. All too familiar with the darkness lurking in his heart, he gazes unflinchingly on the evil in others and battles the foulest of foes without fear.

Warlocks know firsthand the power of supernatural beings, so they do not scorn religion. Evil warlocks sometimes seek the favor of cruel and bloodthirsty deities, while good warlocks often turn to the worship of noble and true deities for the strength to win the battle raging in their tortured souls.

Warlocks are born, not made. Some are the descendants of people who trafficked with demons and devils long ago. Some seek out the dark powers as youths, driven by ambition or the desire for power, but a few blameless individuals are simply marked out by the supernatural forces as conduits and tools. The exact nature of a warlock's origin is up to the player to decide; just as a sorcerer is not beholden to the magic-wielding ancestor that bequeathed his bloodline with arcane power, a warlock is not bound to follow the source that gifted him with magic.

Warlocks are not half-fiends or tieflings by default (although many creatures of those kinds become some of the most powerful and terrifying representatives of the class). The mark that the supernatural powers leave on their servants is often a mark in the soul, not the flesh. In fact, many warlocks are created by nonevil powers - wild or fey forces that can be every bit as dangerous as demons or devils. Whatever their origin, warlocks are widely feared and misunderstood. Most are wanderers who rarely stay in one place for long.

Ambitious and often unprincipled, humans are the most likely to seek out the dangerous shortcuts to power that lead to life as warlocks. Half-orcs are common as warlocks as well, since they often find that the powers that create warlocks do not discriminate against individuals of mixed heritage. Warlocks of other races are rare at best.

The warlock views sorcerers and wizards as bitter rivals. He values the strength and cleverness of resourceful fighters and rogues but rarely gets along with clerics or paladins. Of course, most warlocks understand that it's a bad idea to antagonize their comrades (especially those who hold the key to healing magic), and so they work out an uneasy truce with characters who otherwise might ostracize them.

A warlock serves much the same role in an adventuring party as a sorcerer or wizard would. He is much more limited in his abilities compared to the spell selection of spellcasters, and he must rely on his eldritch blast in place of the spell power of an arcane caster. Like a bard, he often fits best in a party that already has another spellcaster or two, since his unique abilities provide him with little magic to use for his companions' benefit.

Alignment: Any evil or any chaotic.

Hit Die: d6.

Class Skills

The warlock's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge(arcana) (Int), Knowledge(the planes) (Int), Knowledge(religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Warlock

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Special Invocations Known
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Eldritch blast 1d6, invocation (least) 1
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Detect magic 2
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Damage reduction 1/cold iron, eldritch blast 2d6 2
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Deceive item 3
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Eldritch blast 3d6 3
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 New invocation (least or lesser) 4
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Damage reduction 2/cold iron, eldritch blast 4d6 4
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Fiendish resilience 1 5
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Eldritch blast 5d6 5
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Energy resistance 5 6
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Damage reduction 3/cold iron, eldritch blast 6d6, new invocation (least, lesser, or greater) 7
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Imbue item 7
13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Fiendish resilience 2 8
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 Eldritch blast 7d6 8
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Damage reduction 4/cold iron 9
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 New invocation (least, lesser, greater, or dark) 10
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Eldritch blast 8d6 10
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 Fiendish resilience 5 11
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Damage reduction 5/cold iron 11
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Eldritch blast 9d6, energy resistance 10 12
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the warlock.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Warlocks are proficient with all simple weapons. They are proficient with light armor but not with shields.

Because the somatic components required for warlock invocations are relatively simple, a warlock can use any of his invocations while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like arcane spellcasters, a warlock wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure (all invocations, including eldritch blast, have a somatic component). A multiclass warlock still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from levels in other classes.

Invocations: A warlock does not prepare or cast spells as other wielders of arcane magic do. Instead, he possesses a repertoire of attacks, defenses, and abilities known as invocations that require him to focus the wild energy that suffuses his soul. A warlock can use any invocation he knows at will, with the following qualifications:

A warlock's invocations are spell-like abilities; using an invocation is therefore a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. An invocation can be disrupted, just as a spell can be ruined during casting. A warlock is entitled to a Concentration check to successfully use an invocation if he is hit by an attack while invoking, just as a spellcaster would be. A warlock can choose to use an invocation defensively, by making a successful Concentration check, to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity. A warlock's invocations are subject to spell resistance unless an invocation's description specifically states otherwise. A warlock's caster level with his invocations is equal to his warlock level.

The save DC for an invocation (if it allows a save) is 10 + equivalent spell level + the warlock's Charisma modifier. Since spell-like abilities are not actually spells, a warlock cannot benefit from the Spell Focus feat. He can, however, benefit from the Ability Focus feat, as well as from feats that emulate metamagic effects for spell-like abilities, such as Quicken Spell-Like Ability and Empower Spell-Like Ability.

The four grades of invocations, in order of their relative power, are least, lesser, greater, and dark. A warlock begins with knowledge of one invocation, which must be of the lowest grade (least). As a warlock gains levels, he learns new invocations, as summarized on Table: The Warlock and described below. A list of available invocations can be found on the warlock invocations page.

At any level when a warlock learns a new invocation, he can also replace an invocation he already knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade. At 6th level, a warlock can replace a least invocation he knows with a different least invocation (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be either least or lesser). At 11th level, a warlock can replace a least or lesser invocation he knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be least, lesser, or greater). At 16th level, a warlock can replace a least, lesser, or greater invocation he knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be least, lesser, greater, or dark).

Finally, unlike other spell-like abilities, invocations are subject to arcane spell failure chance as described under Weapon and Armor Proficiency above. Warlocks can qualify for some prestige classes usually intended for spellcasters; see below.

Eldritch Blast (Sp): The first ability a warlock learns is eldritch blast. A warlock attacks his foes with eldritch power, using baleful magical energy to deal damage and sometimes impart other debilitating effects.

An eldritch blast is a ray with a range of 60 feet. It is a ranged touch attack that affects a single target, allowing no saving throw. An eldritch blast deals 1d6 points of damage at 1st level and increases in power as the warlock rises in level. An eldritch blast is the equivalent of a 1st-level spell. If you apply a blast shape or eldritch essence invocation to your eldritch blast, your eldritch blast uses the level equivalent of the shape or essence.

An eldritch blast is subject to spell resistance, although the Spell Penetration feat and other effects that improve caster level checks to overcome spell resistance also apply to eldritch blast. An eldritch blast deals half damage to objects. Metamagic feats cannot improve a warlock's eldritch blast (because it is a spell-like ability, not a spell). However, the feat Ability Focus (eldritch blast) increases the DC for all saving throws (if any) associated with a warlock's eldritch blast by 2.

A warlock can use eldritch blast at will.

Detect Magic (Sp): Beginning at 2nd level, a warlock can use detect magic as the spell at will. His caster level equals his class level.

Damage Reduction (Su): Fortified by the supernatural power flowing in his body, a warlock becomes resistant to physical attacks at 3rd level and above, gaining damage reduction 1/cold iron. At 7th level and every four levels thereafter, a warlock's damage reduction improves as shown on Table: The Warlock.

Deceive Item (Ex): At 4th level and higher, a warlock has the ability to more easily commandeer magic items made for the use of other characters. When making a Use Magic Device check, a warlock can take 10 even if distracted or threatened.

Fiendish Resilience (Su): Beginning at 8th level, a warlock knows the trick of fiendish resilience. Once per day, as a free action, he can enter a state that lasts for 2 minutes. While in this state, the warlock gains fast healing 1.

At 13th level, a warlock's fiendish resilience improves. When in his fiendish resilience state, he gains fast healing 2 instead. At 18th level, a warlock's fiendish resilience improves to fast healing 5.

Energy Resistance (Su): At 10th level and higher, a warlock has resistance 5 against any two of the following energy types: acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic. Once the types are chosen, this energy resistance cannot be changed. At 20th level, a warlock gains resistance 10 against the two selected types of energy.

Imbue Item (Su): A warlock of 12th level or higher can use his supernatural power to create magic items, even if he does not know the spells required to make an item (although he must know the appropriate item creation feat). He can substitute a Use Magic Device check (DC 15 + spell level for arcane spells or 25 + spell level for divine spells) in place of a required spell he doesn't know or can't cast.

If the check succeeds, the warlock can create the item as if he had cast the required spell. If it fails, he cannot complete the item. He does not expend the XP or gp costs for making the item; his progress is simply arrested. He cannot retry this Use Magic Device check for that spell until he gains a new level.


Warlocks benefit in a specific way from prestige classes that have "+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class" or "+1 level of existing spellcasting class" as a level advancement benefit. A warlock taking levels in such a prestige class does not gain any of his class abilities, but he does gain an increased caster level when using his invocations and increased damage with his eldritch blast. Levels of prestige classes that provide +1 level of spellcasting effectively stack with the warlock's level to determine his eldritch blast damage (treat his combined caster level as his warlock class level when looking at Table: The Warlock to determine eldritch blast damage) and his eldritch blast caster level (half his total caster level from his warlock levels and his levels in the prestige class that grant him an increased spellcasting level). A warlock also gains new invocations known at these prestige class levels as though he had gained a level in the warlock class.

A warlock cannot qualify for prestige classes with spellcasting level requirements, as he never actually learns to cast spells. However, prestige classes with caster level requirements, such as the acolyte of the skin, are well suited to the warlock. A warlock's caster level for his invocations fulfills this requirement.


Variant Classes
Alternative Class Features
Drow Warlock
Fiendish Flamewreath
Substitution Levels

Drow Warlock

Warlocks among the drow occupy an oddly dichotomous position. They have strong links to the Abyss and to Lolth, but those ties more directly bind them to Lolth's servants - her demons - than to the Spider Queen herself. Thus, although warlocks can occupy positions of power and even become priestesses, drow expect them to be serving the church and the great houses rather than running them.

Venomous Blood

The fluids within your body become like the venom of the spiders themselves. Those who would feast upon your flesh have cause to be sorry, and the poison within renders you resistant to poisons from without.

Level: 8th.

Replaces: If you select this class feature, you do not gain the standard warlock's fiendish resilience at 8th, 13th, and 18th level.

Benefit: At 8th level, you gain a +5 bonus on saves against poison.

At 13th level, your blood becomes poisonous. Any creature that damages you with a bite attack, or that swallows you whole, is exposed to this poison (contact; Fort DC 10 + 1/2 your warlock level + Cha modifier; 1d3 Str/1d3 Str). You are immune to your own poisonous blood.

At 18th level, you can bring the poison of your blood to the surface of your hand and apply it to a held weapon or to your next eldritch blast. It requires a move action to manifest and apply the poison, and you can do so three times per day. In this more concentrated form, initial and secondary damage are 1d6 Strength each. The poison lasts until you make an attack with the weapon or eldritch blast or until the start of your next turn, whichever comes first. Applying the poison to your eldritch blast doesn't prevent you from applying eldritch essence or blast shape invocations as normal.

Fiendish Flamewreath

By their very nature, a warlock's powers are unusual and unpredictable. Some warlocks manifest a visible sign of their fiendish prowess, developing the ability to wreathe themselves in burning flames to deal damage to attackers. Giving up your fast healing means you're less capable of bouncing back after a fight, but the deterrence factor of the fiendish flamewreath alternative class feature might result in you taking less damage entirely.

Level: 8th.

Replaces: If you select this class feature, you do not gain the fiendish resilience class feature normally gained at 8th level (or the improvements to that class feature gained at 13th and 18th level).

Benefit: Beginning at 8th level, you know the trick of fiendish flamewreath. Once per day you can immolate yourself in wispy flames that don't hurt you but deal 1d6 points of fire damage to any creature striking you with its body or a handheld weapon. Creatures wielding weapons with exceptional reach, such as longspears, are not subject to this damage if they attack you.

Activating your fiendish flamewreath is a free action; it lasts for 2 minutes or until you take another free action to end it. The flames provide light equivalent to a torch, but can't be extinguished except by you. This is a supernatural ability. At 13th level, your fiendish flamewreath deals 2d6 points of fire damage. At 18th level, the damage improves to 5d6 points.