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The Eldritch Adept feat is presumably intended to allow a non-Warlock to dip a little into the Warlock feature by granting them one invocation. However, selection of the invocation is limited as follows:

If the invocation has a prerequisite of any kind, you can choose that invocation only if you’re a warlock who meets the prerequisite.

This line got me thinking, though. A LOT of the invocations have a prerequisite. But most of them are related to Warlock level and some are related to things which a non-Warlock could achieve with a little effort but the presence of the prerequisite is still there. To exemplify the following all have a prerequisite of the Eldritch Blast Cantrip, which most characters can get access to with a little effort:

  • Agonizing Blast
  • Eldritch Spear
  • Grasp of Hadar
  • Lance of Lethargy
  • Repelling Blast

At first, I had thought that maybe this stipulation was because to use some of those invocations also required expenditure of a Warlock spell slot, which wouldn't be possible for a non-Warlock but the Thief of Five Fates invocation has no prerequisite and allows casting bane using a Warlock spell slot (which is a separate question on its own). Also, several invocations with level prerequisites simply allow the character to just cast spells without requiring use of a spell slot at all:

  • Ascendant Step
  • Master of Many Forms
  • Otherworldly Leap
  • Shroud of Shadow
  • Visions of Distant Realms
  • Whispers of the Grave

The list of invocations that have no prerequisite is as follows:

  • Armor of Shadows
  • Beast Speech
  • Beguiling Influence
  • Devil's Sight
  • Eldritch Mind
  • Eldritch Sight
  • Eyes of the Runekeeper
  • Fiendish Vigor
  • Gaze of Two Minds
  • Mask of Many Faces
  • Misty Visions
  • Thief of Five Fates

With this in mind, I have two questions:

  1. First, is my understanding correct that only the list of invocations that lack a prerequisite available to someone taking the Eldritch Adept feat?
  2. Would it be unbalanced to permit a character to take other invocations provided they could meet the prerequisites (assume character level could be used for Warlock level)?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 hmm, I missed that so that might be the answer to the first question. It's odd that for the latter material they released they started to specify 'Warlock Level'. But I think the latter question would still hold up should. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 14:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 I've revised to address the Warlock level issue. Part of what triggered me to ask this question was when I saw that Agonizing Blast has a prerequisite and thus seemingly couldn't be taken by a non-Warlock, so the edit tries to focus on that a bit more. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 14:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm thinking about how Eldritch Invocations were a thing exclusive to warlocks, and then this feat came out and removed some of what they had going for them. In that vein, are there any warlocks in the party who might feel overshadowed by other players doing their warlock thing? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 14:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 this question isn't geared towards a specific player group, rather it is a hypothetical based on what I consider a foreseeable situation. As written, this feat lets you dip your toe into Warlock invocations, but doesn't really scale well at all with level. The thought that I had, was at 15th level, it's not terribly unbalanced to allow a character to cast Invisibility at-will for someone that took a feat 11 levels ago. If there's also a Warlock in that party, I'm not sure how much it steps on their toes because they can do that and a lot more (since they have more invocations). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 14:45

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Allowing characters of any class to ignore the restriction of some Invocations being Warlock only isn't especially unbalanced, but you shouldn't do it for other reasons.

The issue isn't that any character of any class can get an Invocation and suddenly gain significant power, since most Invocations on their own aren't especially powerful (except for Agonizing Blast, as @ThomasMarkov points out in his answer, which is definitely the most powerful Invocation), the issue is that Invocations are basically the biggest portion of the Warlock class, and letting any class have access to the majority of the Warlock's class features would significantly erode the class's identity.

Imagine if you could take a feat and just pick carte blanche from any of the Fighter or Wizard or Bard class features? Everyone and their brother could be running around with Bardic Inspiration or Portent.

In my opinion, it's much less a question of balance, and more a question of keeping Warlock abilities tied to the Warlock class.


In the comments, a comparison between Eldritch Adept and Metamagic Initiate, asserting that allowing any Metamagic options to be selected takes just as much away from Sorcerers identity as allowing any Invocation to be taken takes from Warlocks. The difference between the two features is fairly significant, however. Metamagic is, generally, fairly low impact, and can be used at most twice per day by non-sorcerers. Comparatively, even one Invocation can fundamentally alter how you play a character. Agonizing Blast, Devil Sight, and Eldritch Sight will alter how you approach combat and exploration, and having any one of these is exactly as good as if it were taken by a Warlock. The Warlock may get more Invocations, but each is exactly as powerful on a Warlock as it would be on any other class.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I had indicated this just in a comment, but one thought I'd had is that there's a world of difference between a non-Warlock having access to a single invocation compared to a full Warlock having at least 2 and often a lot more. If both the non-Warlock and Warlock can both cast Invisibility at-will, big deal because the Warlock can do that and also see through magical darkness, has Agonizing Blast, can cast Levitate at will, and automatically see the true form of any creature. So it's like, "Cool trick, but let me know when you're on my level." \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Similarly, if you picked up the Metamagic Adept feat, you can do a few tricks that a Sorcerer could pull off but you're going to be a poor substitute for the real deal. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 15:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical And that's all Metamagic is: a few tricks. There are no Metamagic options that fundamentally alter how you play a character, and all of them are limited to being used twice a day at most. Agonizing Blast, Devil Sight, or Eldritch Sight all do fundamentally alter how you approach combat and exploration. Having even a single invocation, on the other hand, is exactly as good as a Warlock having that same invocation. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 17:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Appreciate the discussion on this topic. I think this is more correct answer, but could you edit to summarize the discussion regarding the comparison to the Metamagic Adept feat? As we were having that discussion, that was what made things click for me. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 13:19
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It would be unbalanced.

Your reading of the rule is correct, the rule seems entirely unambiguous.

So the question remains of balance -- and it would make this feat really good. There are some invocations that should be viewed as warlock class features that shouldn't be available to non-warlocks through a feat. BaconyRevenant gives more detailed commentary on the issue of giving non-warlocks warlock toys in this answer.

Agonizing Blast

Agonizing Blast is so good that we have a high scoring question dedicated to the problem of solving eldritch blast spam: Does Warlock combat just equal Eldritch Blast spam? Agonizing Blast is a class feature for warlocks. It makes eldritch blast so good, that there is often no reason to do anything else. This optimization question asks what the highest consistent damage output for a warlock can be, and the answer is "How many times can you cast eldritch blast today?"

We really should just view Agonizing Blast as one of the Warlock's unique class features. We even have a comparison we can make that shows how absolutely powerful it is. Consider the Evocation Wizard's Empowered Evocation feature:

Beginning at 10th level, you can add your Intelligence modifier to one damage roll of any wizard evocation spell you cast.

This is just like Agonizing Blast, except way worse because it only affects a single damage roll of a spell, and Agonizing Blast affects every hit of eldritch blast. Additionally, this is a 10th level Evocation feature, and Agonizing Blast is available at 2nd level to any warlock.

It really cannot be overstated how good Agonizing Blast is.

That said, it still takes some work for most classes to even get eldritch blast. Anyone could just take the Magic Initiate feat and get eldritch blast. Which is to say, Agonizing Blast is good enough to take two feats for -- if for some reason you don't want to just be a Warlock, but you want to play like one, and multiclassing isn't an option. Of course, if you take a 1-level dip into warlock, you can satisfy the prerequisite of Agonizing Blast and take it with the feat.

My DM already forbids 1-level hexblade dips; this just makes that option even stronger.

"At will" spellcasting is a problem.

There are a number of "Prerequisite: Nth level" invocations that give you the ability to cast a leveled spell at will without expending a spell slot. No cost, no limitations. This is just too strong to be gained by a feat. Magic Initiate lets cast a 1st level spell once per day. Taking the Visions of Distant Realms invocation would give you a 4th level spell unlimited times per day. These options are too good to be made feats available for everyone; they are class features for a Warlock.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with this answer, and remain wedded to the idea that what they did in Tasha's by including this ill advised feat was to somewhat denigrate the Warlock class. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 15:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I dunno. Most of the Invocations actually available through it are pretty low-level utility stuff. The most combat-focused one is the one that gives you permanent Mage Armor, unless you're planning on doing Devil's Sight/Darkness cheese. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 1:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ except way worse because the wizard doesn't get a multi-hit cantrip - I'd say way worse because it's only to one damage roll for the whole spell. Wizards have lots of spell slots compared to Warlocks, and do have spells like 2nd level Scorching Ray (3 attack rolls for 2d6 each), or Magic Missile. You could say "it wouldn't help the wizard even if they did have a multi-hit ranged cantrip" if you want to make both points. (Booming / Green Flame Blade are Wizard Evocation cantrips, and so is Thunderclap (5ft AoE)) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 11:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes Good observation, I’ll add that in. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 11:19

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