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The Supernatural

You have struck a pact with a great supernatural being, a great lord over the chaotic Undead.

Unnatural Aura

At first level, creatures with an Intelligence score of 10 or more sense an unnatural air about you. You get +1 to Intimidation checks, and can deal 1d4 Pyschic damage to all creatures within 10 ft. of you as a bonus action.

I hope this isn't too much damage for a lower level...

Supernatural Path

At 1st level, you may choose a supernatural path.

  • Path of the Blix: When you kill a creature, you may regain HP equal to 1/2 of the creature's HP. Usable 3 times per long rest.
  • Path of the Skeleton: If you fail a death saving throw, you may reroll it. Usable once per long rest. You also cannot be killed outright by an attack that exceeds your max HP.
  • Path of the Ghost: As an action, you may become invisible until your next turn. Usable 3 times per long rest.

This patron is a bit like the Totem Warrior in the sense that it is highly customizable.

Monstrous Power

At 6th level, you may choose a Monstrous Power, or choose another Supernatural Path.

  • Powers of the Vampire: You are always under the effects of Spider Climb and have a flying speed of 30 ft. while not exposed to sunlight. While exposed to sunlight, you have -2 to AC.
  • Powers of the Zombie: You have Immunity to necrotic damage and Vulenrability to radiant damage. You learn the Spare the Dying cantrip and may cast it as a bonus action.
  • Powers of the Spectre: You are resistant to all bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical and nonsilvered weapons.

All of these are powerful. I'm unsure of how relatively powerful, though, as all the level 6 abilities seem powerful to me.

Undead Legacy

At 10th level, you may choose an Undead Legacy, or choose another Monstrous Power or Supernatural Path.

  • The Count's Legacy: Your unarmed strike may be a bite. Your bite deals 1d8 necrotic damage, plus your Strength modifier. On a hit, you heal yourself that many HP.
  • The Lich's Legacy: Whenever you kill an Undead creature, you may fully heal its HP for 1 minute, during which it follows your verbal commands. After this minute, it returns to its full HP completely, free of your command. This feature may be used once per long rest.
  • The Wraith's Legacy: You may become intangible until the start of your next turn as a bonus action. While Intangible, you are Immune to all damage besides Pyschic damage. Usable once per long rest.

I may need to revise the Intangible thing, but I'm not sure. It only lasts 1 round...

Undead Sense

At 14th level, you are more in tune with the dead than you are with the living. All skill checks and saving throws you make against Undead creatures have advantage. You may cast Speak With Dead at-will, without expending a spell slot. Additionally, you are always under the effect of the Detect Good and Evil and Detect Magic spell.

I'm worried that this feature just gives you too much.

Overall, how balanced is this warlock patron compared to the official ones?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Isn't that first one copyright of Brandon Mull? \$\endgroup\$ – Obie 2.0 Apr 18 '19 at 13:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ At first glance this is not remotely balanced. Can you provide additional input on the basis that used to determine these features? Specifically, what you compared against and intended goals with this homebrew. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Apr 18 '19 at 13:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you're trying to homebrew, then it seems like you'd be tryign to homebrew for a specific case or a specific person. You'll get better answers if you can tell us more about your overall objectives. Also, having a "pick three" setup makes it significantly harder to balance properly, as there's three times as many options to consider. Better to make it a specific unbranched path and ask about that. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Apr 18 '19 at 13:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why assign so many things to long rests on a short rest frame? \$\endgroup\$ – Davo Apr 18 '19 at 14:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TheCentaur Part of the issue I think people are having is that you have substantially deviated from the normal rules, language, and format for 5e and it's very difficult to understand what you're trying to shoot for. I've an idea what you're going for, but it's really just an educated guess. I could provide an answer, but I'm not sure I'd necessarily be answering the right question in doing so. If our comments are unclear, I recommend you ask for specific clarification so we can help you to improve the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Apr 18 '19 at 15:48
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There are some issues here.

  • It doesn't have an expanded spell list.

  • Unnatural aura is surprisingly weak. It doesn't scale, and it requires you to be both near enemies and not near friends on a patron that doesn't necessarily help with melee. It's effectively a temptation to get yourself killed at early levels, and nothing at all at later levels.

  • Path of the Blix offers an enormous amount of personal healing three times per day for a manageable condition. It's not on-demand, but it's massive. The only reason it doesn't break the heal economy entirely is that it's self-only.

  • Path of the Skeleton, by contrast, is very nearly a ribbon. Massive damage isn't something that comes us much, and people aren't generally dying for lack of a single death save. 99% of the time, this does nothing.

  • Path of the Ghost is near-useless. It's only three times a day and only for one round per time, so it's basically useless out of combat. It requires your action, so it's pretty useless in combat. It doesn't even last through the end of your next round, so you can't use it to set up an attack-from-invisibility. I'm sure you could find some sort of a use for it, if you worked at it, but it's not really even worth the trouble to optimize.

  • Spectre seems strong for a 6th level power, but I'm not ready to go into deep analysis on it.

  • Vampire has that "it's awesome except when it sucks" thing, which is generally a bad pattern.

  • Zombie has it even moreso - Spare the Dying is a ribbon power, which means that it's generally weak except for a few times when it's awesome and a few times when it just sucks.

  • The Count is too weak to use normally (1d8+str with no synergy), and has no synergy with anything else you're doing, but the fact that it's an at-will source of healing is potentially abusable - a bad combo.

  • The wraith is interesting, but deeply constrained. The fact that it's only once per day means that you can't really use it for getting through barriers if you want to be able to return to the party. It's powerful defense, but powerful defense that only lasts for a round and doesn't protect your friends still isn't worth all that much.

  • The Lich is highly situational - you have to be fighting undead. You have to personally kill a nontrivial undead in a situation where the remaining battle is still enough of a threat that adding it to your side will help meaningfully. You need to get enough advantage out of that undead minion over the next minute to make it worth having to deal with it again (fully healed) at the end of said minute.

  • Undead sense is interesting and appealing, but it's a large block of significant noncombat benefit, and other than the "undead" theme, it doesn't fit all that well with the rest of the build. Generally, the lvl 14 power is a combat capstone, and very little of what's here is combat-related - especially if you're in a campaign that isn't particularly undead-heavy.

The pick-and-choose in particular is hurting you here. Normally, you could balance strong features against weak creatures, set up (or avoid) appropriate synergies, and so forth. Spreading it out to a bunch of different options just makes a difficult task that much more difficult.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your answer! I'll work on buffing a few of these features so that they level. Also, there is an expanded spell list, but I could not figure out how to put it into this format, as it is a chart. \$\endgroup\$ – TheCentaur Apr 18 '19 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm surprised you think Unnatural Aura is weak. An on-demand means to deal 1d4 psychic damage in an AoE can be very powerful. As written, there's no limit on that. Storm Herald Barbarians' AoE activates only when they rage and has no off switch. I agree that the lack of scaling is probably an issue, but I think the lack of a limit on usage is a greater problem since for the first 5 levels, that's going to be a huge bump to the character's DPR. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Apr 18 '19 at 15:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think that the problem he is pointing out with it is that they must be within 10 ft. of you, and your friends can take the damage too. Meanwhile. you could be 120 ft. away dealing d10s every round on hits. But I do see your point. I'll somewhat limit usage. \$\endgroup\$ – TheCentaur Apr 18 '19 at 16:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do not think that spectre is strong. Barbarians get resistance to physical damage while raging at level 1 and can get resistance to all damage sans psychic while raging at level 3. At level 6 you can expect that you will encounter quite a few spellcasters and creatures dealing magical or non-physical damage, against which this featire is useless. For Count: multiclass into Monk and eat your way through enemies. In addition, it doesn't limit healing if you deal more damage than creature hp. Always bring your bag of rats with you. \$\endgroup\$ – Revolver_Ocelot Apr 18 '19 at 19:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Revolver_Ocelot Count requires level 10. That's a heck of a dip to get that upgrade. That's what I meant, though - too weak to use normally, but set it up right and you can abuse it. For spectre... I've tweaked my response a bit. You're right that I was a bit too emphatic. At the same time, it's a significant boost to survivability, especially with the fact that relatively few monsters are going to be running around with magical weapons. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Apr 18 '19 at 20:09
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It looks like you're trying to merge the effects of several patrons together (namely the Fiend and the Undead patrons) and in that vein (pun intended) I have a few recommendations for you.

1. Drop 2 options for each level.

First off, it's much more difficult to balance 3 options vs each other. Take the Totem Barbarian for example. from their first set of options, the bear totem is by FAR the most powerful, making the other options unappealing at a minimum.

  • I would drop the Skeleton and Blix, and work on tweaking the Ghost to be more useable.

  • The level 6 options are more reasonable overall (except Vampire), but still need work. Lets drop Zombie completely, and adjust the Spectre's power. We aren't going to drop the Vampire, but we are going to adjust it.

  • Hooooo boy, the level 10 powers are a doozy. We're dropping the Litch (WAY to situational) and the Count (Oh my GOD is this to strong). Lets take a look at the Wraith though.

  • The level 14 power is pretty bad too, so we're dropping this. At this point, you're probably wondering what we're doing with the Vampire power...

    2. Let's adjust the power level of what we have left, and try to find a solid theme that isn't just a copy of the Undead patron from SCAG. How about we focus more on the I am the night! aspect of the theme.

  • Unnatural Aura: change this to grant automatic proficiency in Intimidate rather than granting it a flat bonus, and increase to double proficiency bonus while in areas of dim light or darkness (does not stack with Expertise). Next, let's have the damage AOE reworked completely to: damage equal to 1/2 warlock level + CHA bonus to all enemies within 5 feet and they can't make opportunity attacks against you until their next turn, with a Wisdom save to negate both (basically making it a weaker AOE shocking grasp/sword burst hybrid). Activated as an Action (not bonus) to help get out of those sticky situations where you're surrounded by enemies. Alternatively, useable once, as a bonus action, recharges on a short rest, and doesn't allow a save.

  • Ghost: Perhaps reduce the invisibility to simply appearing more translucent and granting advantage on stealth checks, with the possibility of a "hide in plain sight" type rider, where you don't actually need to be behind something to hide, and just near something that's casting a shadow, and lasting until you do something that would break normal invisibility (cast a spell, attack someone, ect.), and possibly expanding the number of uses to 1 with a recharge on a short rest (to be more in line with how the Warlock likes to function).

  • Specter: Instead of resistance to all 3 physical damage types, and overcome by magic/silver, lets adjust to something more Specter-y. When you successfully hit a creature with a spell attack, or a creature fails a save against one of your spells or your Unnatural Aura ability, you can spend a Bonus Action to reduce its maximum hit points by the damage inflicted until it finishes a Long Rest unless it succeeds at a Constitution Saving throw (this does not further reduce its current hit points).

  • Wraith: Ethereal for 1 round + damage immunity for a single round 1/day is borderline useless. Let's power it up a bit. Instead, you can become Incorporeal for up to 1 minute, and are resistant to all damage that would be dealt to you during this time, except for Force or Psychic damage. While in this form, you have the ability to pass through solid objects and other creatures without penalty, but if you end your turn inside a solid object or another creatures space, you take 1d10 force damage. You can use this feature once, and it recharges when you finish a Long Rest.

  • Vampire: First lets rename this power to Lord of the Night. Secondly, lets rework how powerful it is, since this is now our level 14 power. You gain a fly speed equal to your base land speed. You gain Darkvision out to 60 feet. If you already have Darkvision (from a racial ability or the Fiend Sight invocation for example) instead, extended the distance of that Darkvision by an additional 30 feet.

I light of these changes, I also recommend that we call this the Night Haunt Patron, because lets be honest, The Unnatural didn't really suit it to begin with.

3. Now that that's been sorted, lets come up with an Expanded Spell List.

Here's what I think will be thematically appropriate to this Patron.

  • L1 Disguise Self, Fog Cloud (or maybe Sleep?)
  • L2 Invisibility, Silence
  • L3 Bestow Curse, Nondetection
  • L4 Freedom of Movement, Compulsion, or Dominate Beast
  • L5 Passwall, Modify Memory, or possibly Dominate Person
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