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The Complete Arcane warlock’s signature invocation1 is eldritch blast, a ray of arcane power that grows in damage with warlock levels. The warlock can further modify the eldritch blast using specialized invocations known as blast shapes and eldritch essences.

Numerous feats and prestige classes also require eldritch blast, or require that your eldritch blast deal a certain amount of damage (which roughly corresponds to warlock level plus any prestige classes that progress warlock invocations).

Is there any way to get eldritch blast, or at least qualify for things that require eldritch blast, without actually having any levels in the warlock class? I am guessing “no,” but it would be nice to be surprised. I don’t care about any other warlock class features, including blast shape or eldritch essence invocations, in this context, just eldritch blast. Importantly, a solution must be able to qualify for things that require eldritch blast by name—achieving any kind of similar ability, no matter how similar, won’t work unless it has the actual name “eldritch blast.”

Note, since it has come up in answers and comments, that eldritch blast is not technically on the warlock invocation list (they learn it automatically at 1st level and so it is not included in the list), so getting to select an invocation off of that list does not help.

Any material Wizards of the Coast published for the 3.5e revised edition of D&D, as well as any 3.5e content from Dragon or Dungeon magazines, are acceptable. Content from other systems, such as Pathfinder or other editions of D&D, is not acceptable. Seriously, this is not a 5e question, I know in 5e I could take Magic Initiate but this is a different system where that feat does not exist.

  1. HeyICanChan correctly points out that Complete Arcane does not, on the page 7 description of eldritch blast, specify that it is an invocation, and then on page 8 does state that “Eldritch blast is not an invocation.” However, WannabeWarlock points out, also correctly, that this was changed in the errata for Complete Arcane, which says “Change [the page 8 section that says eldritch blast is not an invocation] as follows: [...] Eldritch blast is an invocation,” and furthermore specifies that “Any other references claiming that eldritch blast is not an invocation should be disregarded.”
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Sounds like spell thief does not meet your end goal, since you mention qualifying for feats and prestige. I'm not recalling off the top of my head other convenient ways to acquire a spell like ability other than your favorite kobold.... \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Aug 14 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Epic seeds can pull it off, but as I recall you are very much not fond of the Epic Level Handbook version of the epic rules. \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Aug 14 at 20:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nijineko I am fond of no version of the epic rules; I consider them a scam seeing as they simply do not work for the purpose advertised. But since I neglected to nix them in the question, they are fair game. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 14 at 20:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there an underlying thing you're trying to accomplish? It seems likely you want to qualify for some class without spending warlock levels on it, and there might be alternate ways to do that. \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Aug 16 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, is 3.0 material kosher (as updated to 3.5)? \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Aug 16 at 17:53
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I don't know of any good ways to do this. Here are the dumb ways I found:

Highly dubious: Wild Shape into an Aspect of Graz'zt as a Planar Shepherd

The Aspect of Graz'zt (Expedition to the Demonweb Pits, p. 184) has Eldritch Blast (by that exact name, and explicitly calling out the Warlock ability in its description) as a spell-like ability. If you can acquire the SLAs of an Aspect of Graz'zt, you can gain this ability.

Unfortunately, most forms of shapeshifting magic in 3.5 don't grant SLAs. The only exception I'm aware of is Planar Shepherd's version of Wild Shape (Faiths of Eberron, p. 105), which conveniently also allows Wild Shaping into Outsiders.

Now you just have to convince your DM that:

  • Planar Shepherd's Wild Shape ability lets you transform into creature entries that are obviously supposed to represent individual entities like Demon Lords.
  • Graz'zt (Realms-specific non-Eberron-specific multiversal) can be used alongside Planar Shepherd (Eberron-specific) in a character build.

Good luck!

Dubious and impractical: Steal Spell-Like Ability

The Spellthief class (Complete Adventurer, p. 13) gains the ability to steal spell-like abilities from other creatures at level 5. If you have a friendly or captured Warlock nearby (or an Aspect of Graz'zt, I suppose), you can use this ability to steal Eldritch Blast.

According to the description of the Spellthief ability (emphasis mine):

For all purposes (caster level, save DC, and so on), treat the spell-like ability as if it were being used by the original possessor of the ability.

...so there's a RAW argument to be made that having the ability stolen as a Spellthief would let you count it for prerequisites.

Unfortunately, even if your DM lets that one fly, there's another snag:

A spellthief must use the stolen spell-like ability within 1 minute of acquiring it, or it is lost harmlessly.

So in order to use this to qualify for something, you need to either anticipate to the minute when you're going to level up, or else keep a captive Warlock within reach 100% of the time to re-steal Eldritch Blast every 60 seconds. Have fun with that.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Graz’zt isn’t Realms-specific; he’s a character found in the wider multiverse that all settings connect to. Actually connecting Eberron to that multiverse is really hard in practice, but officially it’s supposed to be. The bigger problem is that the aspect of Graz’zt is a particular individual, which is a really dubious choice for wild shape. On top of that, there’s the need to be “familiar” with that aspect of Graz’zt per the wild shape rules, which is a hazardous proposition to be sure. Still, it might maybe arguably work, and the spellthief one likewise, so best answer yet. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 15 at 23:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ (Unimportant, but if you're interested: the 5th-level Sor/Wiz spell fiendform [trans] (Spell Compendium 90) also grants spell-like abilities.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 15 at 23:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ur-Priest also steals spell-likes, but they last 24 hours instead. \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Aug 19 at 12:52
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Friendly Fiends

Swearing a blood oath to a second-level Fiend of Blasphemy (Fiend Folio, p. 201) enables it to transfer Spell-Like abilities to you. If that fiend is a warlock, you now can have a 1/day Eldritch Blast.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh this is quite intriguing, thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 19 at 13:38
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Your only hope is probably the extra invocation feat with another class, such as dragonfire adept, that has invocations. Since eldritch blast is an invocation, you could possibly argue to the dm to allow you to take it. But likely this does not accomplish the spirit of your question since you would need to then take a high-enough level in another class to cast lesser invocations to qualify for the feat

Also, eldritch blast is an invocation. From the official errata:

Any other references claiming that eldritch blast is not an invocation should be disregarded

In order for a dragonfire adept to even maybe be eligible for the warlocks invocation eldritch blast, one would need to take the feat infernal adept from this article

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    \$\begingroup\$ The invocation-using dragon-themed class is the dragonfire adept; dragon disciple is the core prestige class for arcane spellcasters. More importantly, Extra Invocation specifies “from the list available to you,” which definitely does not include eldritch blast for a dragonfire adept. The Infernal Adept feat, which would allow a dragonfire adept to use the warlock list, still doesn’t help though, since eldritch blast isn’t on the warlock list, it’s an automatic thing they get separately from their list. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 15 at 14:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ I had a similar idea—wanting to apply the Use Magic Device skill to the Codex Advocare (Expedition to Castle Ravenloft 212) (20,000 gp; 0 lbs.)—, but Invocations and Eldritch Blast says, "Eldritch blast is not an invocation…" (Complete Arcane 8). \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 15 at 14:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan That is a fascinating item I had never heard of, and I also appreciate the correction on eldritch blast’s invocation status (I will have to amend the question). \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 15 at 15:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ You should mention Infernal Adept and Codex Advocare though. As your answer currently stands, you have no basis for expecting a DM to allow you to take eldritch blast as any other kind of invoker, since it wouldn’t be on those lists. Infernal Adept at least lets you pick off of other lists, which gets you... closer to what we want here, though like I said, still probably not actually there. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 15 at 23:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @heyicanchan codex is all you. I've never even heard of it until now. I think it might be a better solution because you don't need the lesser invocations prerequisite, but both answers are dubious since eldritch blast is "an invocation" but has no grade (lesser/etc even though it's level 1 equivalent) and doesn't belong to any class list. \$\endgroup\$ – Wannabe Warlock Aug 15 at 23:40
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Epic level spells can accomplish this

The Epic Level Handbook, problematic as it may be, does contain a method to acquire spell-like abilities.

On the sidebar/ footnote of page 95, the following is found:

CONJURE: ORIGIN OF SPECIES You can use the conjure seed in conjunction with the life and fortify seeds for an epic spell that creates an entirely new creature, if made permanent. To give a creature spell-like abilities, apply other epic seeds to the epic spell that replicate the desired ability.

Presumably, the correct application of epic seeds could modify a creature, rather then create a new one.

As a suggestion the Transform, Life, and Energy seeds seem like a good combination to start with. Possibly add the Fortify seed if "making it permanent" is a concern.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ To me, “other epic seeds [...] to replicate the desired ability,” implies that, unless there is an epic seed that explicitly references eldritch blast by name, the best you can do is produce something that “replicates” the ability, which would not, as far as I can tell, qualify for prestige classes that explicitly require eldritch blast by name. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 14 at 20:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Seeds are supposed to be building blocks, not finished products, so I don't really agree with your interpretation, but I do see your point. \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Aug 14 at 20:58
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Highly dubious, but I think that I've got a trick or two.

Make a friendly Warlock in to a deity

Craft Artifact from Demigods and Deities allows a deity to do the following (SRD link):

The deity can craft magic arms and armor, staffs, wands, wondrous items, rings, and scrolls that exceed the normal limits for such items

This may include making a magic item of Eldritch Blast. Once they've given you the item in question, the only issue will be whether or not you can use said item to qualify for what you want to get.

Interestingly, I don't think that there's an easier path for a deity to achieve this. One would think that a deity would be able to learn any ability that it pleases, but I can't see a way for a deity to get Eldritch Blast in a non-item form. So far my best guess is some sort of Divine Druid or Shift Form cheese. However, if we want to go in to absurd territory:

Possess a Warlock

From the same link as above, we can see that Possess Mortal would not affect the Invocations of such a possessed mortal. Given that "An avatar is an extension of a deity", this means that, in a roundabout way, you're now a non-Warlock with Eldritch Blast.

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Emancipated Spawn.

Be a warlock. Hug a shadow until you die. Have a friend stab that shadow until it dies. Advance three more hit dice of shadow (for two more BAB). Take two levels of Emancipated Spawn (savage species p.76).

You can now use all the class features of a warlock, without being a warlock.

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