I'm developing a Dwarven Warlock (Hrafnhildur "Fin" Arnarsdottir) for the next 4E campaign I get the chance to join. She left home to join a gang in a city, and after reading a book they were going to fence she became a warlock.

I want to reflect the background of my character with her choice in feats, skills and other options without sacrificing usefulness to the party. My current choice in feats at first level is to multiclass into Rogue to gain Stealth (which is a good choice anyway), but I don't know if a Warlock really benefits from the sneak attack power.

What other choices can I make to emphasize her upbringing in a street gang/on the streets, without sacrificing her usefulness to the party. I'm looking for mechanical choices specifically linked to the background of the character, that work well focusing on high con/int scores.


6 Answers 6


Check out character themes, namely the GuttersnipeDDI (featured in Dragon Magazine #399). Should provide some nice flavor as well as a few mechanical bonuses.

This should give your warlock flavor without making any sacrifices and still get the rogue elements you might like.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the suggestion! Where can the Guttersnipe theme be obtained? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 21:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ They are behind the DDI paywall, but here's the link wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/dra/201105theme4 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 21:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, Issue #399 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 21:21

The first question is; am I more of a rogue or more of a warlock?

If more of a rogue take Rogue as the class, Unseelie Agent as your Theme, take the Warlock MC that gives you a Pact and choose Fey. Now your Theme and Feat represent the benefits you gained from the book, while your class represents the rest of your character's life. Use the Theme's Utility powers, and take the MC feats to pick up attack powers (be sure they target Will).

If you want to be more Warlock, then there are 2 decisions to make first. Firstly was her toughness key to her role in the gang or her charm? If toughness then Constitution will be her primary stat, if Charm then Charisma. If you choose CON she should take Warlock as her class, but if you choose CHA then you can take Hexblade.

I like Charisma builds and for this character the Hexblade option appeals.

Str 10 Con 13 Dex 14 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 18 Fey pact Theme: Guttersnipe Background: Occupation - Criminal (+2 Stealth) Feat: Sneak of Shadows Skills: Arcana, Bluff, Streetwise, Stealth Daily Power: Armor of Winter's Grasp Gear: Adventurer's Kit, Rod Implement, Climber's Kit, Thieve's Tools, Chainmail Armor.

This character will play very rogue like, but still be primarily a Warlock. With Chainmail Armor the AC is tolerable, and you can boost at level 2 with Rod Expertise, also boosting all your attacks. This character can also benefit from feats like Nimble Blade (level 4) and other CA and light blade dependant feats.

If you want Warlock you go; Str 10 Con 13 Dex 14 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 18 Fey Pact Theme: Guttersnipe Background: Occupation - Criminal (+2 Stealth) Feat: Twighlight Adept Skills: Arcana, Bluff, Streetwise, Thievery Powers: Eldritch Strike, Sprite War Call or Grasp of the Iron Tower, Armor of Winter's Grasp or Crown of Stars Gear: Adventurer's Kit, Warhammer, Rod Implement, Climber's Kit, Thieve's Tools, Leather Armor.

The character must keep moving to get their AC up! Rod Expertise @ level 2 will help. The problem is you will also need Bludgeoning Expertise as well. However because there is no Int to gain a bonus from for Feylock powers you are free to choose the "best" power for the character each level - either raw damage or otherwise.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Excellent answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 5:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ You mentioned that if toughness/warlock was the way to go then to focus on Con, but your warlock build focuses on Cha. I'm confused by this. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 12:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also what is the twilight adept feat from? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 12:41

Fey Pact and Eyebite is very good for a sneaky Warlock as you can sneak around and get Combat Advantage on foes as you become invisible to them.

Also, if you take the Eldritch Strike (or whatever the melee one is) instead of Eldritch Blast, you might be able to convince your DM to allow you to use Sneak Attack with that, especially if you get or make a Pact Blade.

Also, this might seem rather obvious but you should look at backgrounds and themes (if your DM will allow them). I don't have easy access to them right now, but I know that there are some backgrounds like "thief", and I think there was an Outlaw Theme. Both of those will add flavor but won't affect your role as a Warlock.

Another option is to take one or more of the Guild feats, as those add flavor to your character and provide similar bonuses to other feats. And if you can convince the other players in your group to take them you can really get the most out of them.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! I'm struggling to fit The Fey Pact 'fluff' to an urban setting. How does this link with the upbringing? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 20:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, fey can live anywhere, and pixies probably enjoy the excitement of city life. The problem with any of the Warlock Pacts is how did the dwarf pick it up from a book, as that seems more like a Wizard or Bard thing than Warlock. Unless the book contained a summoning ritual getting the pact would require more than a book, as that would just garner interest, not any power. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 20:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had the infernal pact in my head, but I'm not sure any more. The book would contain some written contract that when spoken aloud would seal my character fate. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 22:12

I'd look into using a theme or and backgrounds for this. Play the warlocks skill set however you think they developed once your character became a warlock. To show the history of thievery look at the backgrounds but I believe there are several that will provide a +2 to either stealth or thievery probably in the scales of war options.

For themes there are several I believe on twitter @DreadGazeebo suggested guttersnipe. I'd also look at the Neverwinter Nights campaign setting for additional roguey options, assuming of course your DM uses/allows themes.


A stealthy dwarven character is interesting.

The first thing that I can think of is the Silent Shadows guild feat, representing the guild training you received. A warlock has some amazing affinities for stealth, with their ability to gain concealment after sufficient movement. The trick is to run with that advantage as much as you can.

Thinking about it more deeply, I realize I've already thought about this build from a different direction. The best use of a warlock/rogue would be to take a hyrbid. Now, this is... special because striker/striker hybrids normally suck.

Okay, hybrid rogue/warlock doesn't work, as you can't have cunning sneak and shadow walk without paragon multiclassing (ick!) However, it does work if you multiclass assassin and take shadow walk through the cursed shadow feat. Entirely too much work for what you're thinking of and doesn't fit the concept.

If you take warlock as a class, you should absolutely take twilight adept as your multiclass. Cunning sneak is incredibly good for warlocks and allows you to illustrate your guild training in a much more evocative way. Making that stealth check through open ground is entirely cooler than just doing a bit of extra damage. It also illustrates how the warlock power has changed your abilities. If you want to go the extra mile, change your mechanical race to shade instead of dwarf to show how the power has eaten your soul away.

Your ultimate goal if you don't take shade is the rogue utility 10: shadow stride. It has an incredible synergy with warlock and is almost even worth giving up teleport at-will for.

Doing a 1..11 truncated build:

Dwarf Rat

Dwarf Vestige-pact Warlock (con/dex based) Theme: If your GM allows it (Dead rat deserter can shapeshift into a tiny rat) Background: Young Cutthroat (+1 to intimidate and thievery and training in both) or Dead Rat Deserter Deity: Sehanie

Feat: Twilight Adept Encounter: Chains of Levistus

2: Utility: Shadow Veil Feat: (one of the warlock wepliment expertises that can cover a dagger that still isn't in the compendium) or moonbow dedicate, a shortbow feels far more thiefy.

4: Feat: Dual implement spellcaster

6: dead rat stealth feat: silent shadows (if someone else in your party has it) or

8: Acolyte Power

Alternate build

Dwarf Star pact Warlock intimdatomancer Theme: Yakuza

Trigger: You bloody an enemy adjacent to you or reduce an enemy adjacent to you to 0 hit points or fewer. Effect: Enemies that can see you take a -2 penalty to attack rolls against you until you are hit by an attack or until the end of the encounter. Also, if you bloodied the triggering enemy, you can immediately make an Intimidate check against it to force it to surrender.

Background: Young Cutthroat or Back Alley Bravo

This would focus on intimidation. While this is a non-normal "typical" thief, it certainly fits the idea of a bruiser and extortionist from a thieves guild. Warlocks can get some pretty impressive intimidate scores and this is a good tie-in.


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Travok, level 1
Dwarf, Warlock
Build: Scourge Warlock
Eldritch Pact Option: Star Pact
Eldritch Strike Option: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Arcane Implement Proficiency Option: Arcane Implement Proficiency (light blade group)
Burglar (+2 to Thievery)
Theme: Outlaw

STR 12, CON 18, DEX 13, INT 15, WIS 10, CHA 11

STR 10, CON 16, DEX 13, INT 15, WIS 10, CHA 11

AC: 14 Fort: 14 Ref: 13 Will: 11
HP: 30 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 7

Arcana +7, Intimidate +5, Streetwise +5, Thievery +8

Acrobatics +1, Athletics +1, Bluff +0, Diplomacy +0, Dungeoneering +2, Endurance +6, Heal +0, History +2, Insight +0, Nature +0, Perception +0, Religion +2, Stealth +1

Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Outlaw Attack: Surprise Strike
Dwarf Racial Power: Dwarven Resilience
Warlock's Curse  Power: Warlock's Curse
Warlock Attack 1: Eldritch Strike
Warlock Attack 1: Dire Radiance
Warlock Pact Boon 1: Fate of the Void
Warlock Attack 1: Chains of Levistus
Warlock Attack 1: Armor of Agathys

Level 1: Arcane Implement Proficiency

Leather Armor x1
Adventurer's Kit
Sickle x1
====== End ======
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi, Seamus. Could you explain some of the choices you made in putting this character together? Feel free to edit them into your answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – AceCalhoon
    Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 21:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer Seamus, I'd like to second @AceCalhoon's request of more detail behind the choices. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2011 at 12:52

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