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This is another Warlock Homebrew I've been working on at my table for a player in an upcoming game. We'll be starting at 5th level in a puzzle heavy dungeon.

I'm fairly sure that at 5th level this is probably going to roll along nicely. How does the balance look at later levels?

My major goal here was to create a Warlock that was not great for level 1 dips but rewarded the Warlock who stuck around till the endgame with their class. I imagine a kind of Aladdin character stuck in a cave with a lamp forming a relationship with their patron, much like the Disney film.


The Genie Patron

Expanded Spell List

The Genie lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

  • 1st: Identify, Absorb Elements
  • 2nd: Maximilian’s Earthen Grasp, Rope Trick
  • 3rd: Lightning Bolt, Remove Curse
  • 4th: Wall of Fire, Polymorph
  • 5th: Cone of Cold, Creation

Genie’s Lesser Wish

Starting at 1st level, you can invoke the power of your patron to grant you a benefit, depending on the kind of Genie your pact is with:

  • Djinn - As a reaction, add your warlock level to a saving throw that you make.
  • Efreeti - As a bonus action, add your warlock level in fire damage to a spell or weapon attack roll.
  • Marid - As a bonus action, add your warlock level to a skill check
  • Dao - As a reaction to a creature being attacked, add your warlock level to a that creature’s AC until the next round.

You may use the Genie’s Lesser Wish feature once per long rest.

Miraculous Protection

Starting at 6th level, you may use the Lesser Wish feature twice per long rest. Also, you gain resistance to particular types of damage associated with your patron:

  • Djinn - Lightning & Thunder
  • Efreeti - Fire & Radiant
  • Marid - Acid & Cold
  • Dao - Bludgeoning, Slashing, & Piercing

Mystical Mobility

Starting at 10th level, you gain increased mobility, depending on the patron you have chosen:

  • Djinn - You gain a flying speed of 15 feet.
  • Efreeti - Your walking speed increases by 10 feet.
  • Marid - You gain a swimming speed of 30 feet
  • Dao - You gain a burrowing speed of 15 feet.

Incredible Power

Starting at 14th level, you may use the Lesser Wish feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 2 uses). Additionally, choose one of the resistances granted by Miraculous Protection; that resistance is now an immunity.

At 17th level, you may choose the Wish spell as your 9th level Mystic Arcanum.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome and please review this meta on how to ask about homebrew. You've covered a lot in yours, but you may want to review it yourself and mention areas you think might not be balanced. BUt take a look at the meta and you may want to adjust your question. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 10 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you mean resistance (and later, immunity) to non-magical bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing damage? \$\endgroup\$ – Davo Jun 10 at 15:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user53882: So you intended it to be nonmagical B/P/S, then? Or not? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 10 at 20:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast I intended magical, but from what I'm seeing I think pruning it to just bludgeoning & another non Physical resistance that is appropriate like force? \$\endgroup\$ – user53882 Jun 10 at 20:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user53882: Per the meta above, you should avoid immediately iterating based on feedback. I'm not suggesting how to change it, just asking so I can know whether to edit the post to clarify. Since you want it to cover magical damage too, it's fine as-is. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 10 at 20:51
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Real busted past level 5

Let's start from the top.

Expanded Spell List - seems alright, but the spells chosen don't seem to thematically fit a genie...? I was expecting more divinations. It's not overpowered, but just seems kinda weird.

Lesser Wish
Djinn: Decent at low levels, upgrades into Legendary Resistance at higher levels. That second part is a problem, especially since later features let you use this up to 5+ times.
Efreeti: Fairly meaningless at low levels, moderately good (but a very resisted damage type) at higher levels. Probably the most balanced of the 4 possiblities.
Marid: Pretty good at low levels - by level 4 it's approximately equivalent to advantage. Unreasonably good at higher levels, as it just lets you auto-succeed on a skill check.
Dao: Mediocre at low levels - by level 5 it's finally equivalent to the 1st level spell Shield. Completely broken at high levels, as a reliable +20 or even just +10 bonus to AC for a full round makes a creature functionally invincible (outside of crits, of course).

The level scaling here is a big problem. Bounded accuracy is a major design tenet of 5th Edition, and adding a reliable +20 or even just +10 to or against die rolls should not be done outside of specific situations - existing cases all shore up major weaknesses of classes, rather than just making good stuff better.
Monks get Deflect Missiles, but cannot meaningfully engage with ranged opponents.
War Clerics get Guided Strike, but are frontliners who never receive Extra Attack.
Storm Sorcerers get Storm's Fury but have to be struck by melee attacks to use it.

Miraculous Protection
Djinn: Thematically appropriate and not unreasonably powerful.
Efreeti: Thematically appropriate and not unreasonably powerful.
Marid: Thematically appropriate and not unreasonably powerful.
Dao: No, No, NO. Absolutely not. No-resource always-on resistance to the most common damage types (bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing) in the game? This would make your subclass broken if it were the only feature. And certainly not as a level 6 feature. Maybe it could be balanced in the Level 14 slot.

Mystical Mobility
Djinn: this is about the right level to get a slow fly speed.
Efreeti: A 10ft walking speed increase is actually very weak for a 10th level feature.
Marid: A swim speed is unremarkable, fairly weak for a 10th level feature.
Dao: Burrow speed is... crazy powerful compared to these other options. On-demand total cover is really good - even more so when combined with the warlock invocation Ghostly Gaze, letting you keep an eye on things even while burrowing.

Incredible Power - Strong mainly because of how good the Lesser Wishes are. Immunity to a damage type is very strong, but as long as you don't let them have it to bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing, it's appropriate for a 14th level feature. But this feature also reads as a bit scattered - most warlock 14 features are pretty self-contained, rather than massively improving previous features. Not overpowered, just kinda weird.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ May be worthwile discuss the balance of the genie types/bonuses for Lesser Wish and miraculous protection. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 10 at 14:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ no comment on giving warlocks wish? That actually seems pretty broken as well, considering one of the limiting factors of warlocks is their small spell selection. \$\endgroup\$ – Cubic Jun 10 at 15:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ How do you figure that +20 bonuses don't have any place in 5e? Monks get those sorts of bonuses for Deflect Missiles; War Clerics get massive bonuses to attack rolls via their Channel Divinity. I think you need to expand that statement to more accurately encapsulate what's being proposed as you're only looking at it from the viewpoint of level 20, not levels 1-19. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Jun 10 at 15:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Speedkat for Dao's resistance what about just bludgeoning and one other resistance that would make sense? like maybe force? \$\endgroup\$ – user53882 Jun 10 at 16:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Resistance, then immunity to, all Bludgeoning, Slashing, and Piercing damage. Not limited to magical weapons, not even limited to weapons. All damage of these kinds. Now that's overpowered indeed. \$\endgroup\$ – Davo Jun 10 at 21:15
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It's not bad, but there are some improvements needed

Overall, this isn't as unbalanced as I initially thought when I looked at it. There are elements that are overpowered, but I think can be reasonably brought back in line fairly easily.

Expanded Spell List

No comments. In general, expanded spell lists I don't find to be an issue since learning the spells provided typically requires giving up a very limited resource in the form of spells known. I am curious if you'd considered modifying this to be genie-type specific.

Genie's Lesser Wish

On first glance, this seems extremely powerful, especially when you consider the natural progression towards levels 10+, however, there are parallels within the game to permit such skills. 2nd level Clerics gain Guided Strike as a Channel Divinity (i.e. once per short rest), which provides such a massive boost to an attack roll, that it will almost certainly hit; 3rd level Monks have Deflect Missiles every round, whose benefits naturally progress towards the end result of the the first ranged attack always misses; and Divination Wizards have their Portent feature twice per day, which lets you replace a d20 with whatever your portent was.

In reality, compared to those other features, this feature may actually be a bit underpowered. Especially for the first few levels. I suspect this is to be prevent 1 level dips as you stated, but regardless since it is a class feature, I think you should strive to make it meaningful since it is a once per day feature.

I would recommend improving the bonus to be your Charisma modifier or warlock level, whichever is greater.

Miraculous Protection

Dual resistances isn't unheard of. Storm Sorcerors get that at 6th level and they're thematically appropriate. In general, I don't have an issue with the resistances granted except those for Dao. It's essentially resistance to physical attacks and the only way to get that are either very high level class features or to be a raging Barbarian.

I strongly recommend that those resistances be changed to something less overpowering, especially since down the line you intend to grant immunity and that has no precedent.

Mystical Mobility

The Efreeti and Marid options don't have issues. The other two, however, need some fixing.

The Djinn's flight, as written, is pretty powerful for 10th level. The soonest I can find a class feature allowing fly speeds with restrictions being permissible is 14th level for Eagle Totem Barbarians who have to land each turn or Draconic Sorcerers whom need to tailor their clothing for their wings. Both of those features give a lot more fly speed, though, than this feature. As written, this is slightly better than the Ascendant Step invocation since concentration isn't required, but your speed isn't as fast unless you dash. I would recommend making the fly speed 30' and imposing a restriction requiring the character to land at the end of each of their turns.

The Dao's burrowing speed suffers from much of the same issues as the Djinn, but even worse. Burrowing is powerful and needs to be restricted. As written, the character can simply burrow beneath any and all walls and other obstructions in a dungeon. To my knowledge, there isn't any class feature that grants a burrowing speed. I would recommend increasing the burrowing speed to 30' and impose the following restrictions on it:

  • You can burrow through nonmagical, unworked earth and stone. While doing so, you don't disturb the material as you move through it. (from the Dao's Earth Glide feature; ensures that the player can't ignore most dungeon walls).
  • You must end your burrow on the surface. If you fail to do so, you return to your starting position and are stunned until the end of your next turn.

Incredible Power

Improving the resistances to immunities is fine at 14th level, but again it's not acceptable to grant immunity to physical attacks for the Dao as written.

Improving the Lesser Wish to now be X/times per day as the Charisma modifier is a long time to wait for a class feature to come fully online, but if that's what you're shooting for, so be it. I don't consider that less powerful than comparably leveled War Clerics who can fire off 2 guided strikes per short rest.

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