Cthulhu Warlock for D&D 5th Edition

This is reposted from my old website (thus the “classic” tag), where it was by far the most popular blog post.  Apparently there’s a lot of D&D gamers looking for a good warlock build, most likely of the dark and mysterious Cthulhu variety.

blackeye_cvr-miniYou can find Jansen here, as well as within the virtual pages of a free sample book on the Dungeon Masters Guild website called The Eye in the Shadow (just click here).  He’s one of three characters profiled there.

You can also find him with 9 other characters, 16 feats, and lot whole lot more in my new Fifth Edition Creative Companion,  available from theDungeon Masters Guild right now for only $0.99.  You can find it by clicking here.  

female elf with a bow in the forestThe 5eCC is a 45 page PDF.  Here’s the description:

Fantasy author J. D. Brink first discovered Dungeons & Dragons more thirty years ago.  Finally, with the advent of the Dungeon Masters’ Guild, he can now share some of his own game innovations with fellow players of the world’s greatest roleplaying game.  

Contained herein are more than 40 pages featuring custom game rules, a new experience point system, and 16 new feats for players.  But that’s not all. 

A Cthulhu warlock, steampunk mage, Shinto samurai, and rogue spymaster: these are just 4 of 10 characters created from new takes on existing classes, complete with detailed backstories and decision descriptions.  Ten characters meant to provide players and DMs with new inspiration for developing their own worlds and the heroes to save them.    

*****

JANSEN, THE EYE IN THE SHADOW

“Kinda a funny looking feller, eh?  Don’t look dangerous, but something ‘bout him makes me skin crawl.  Better keep a distance.” – Constable’s Deputy, Dunwich

Warlock (3)

Alignment: CN

STR 8 -1
INT 14 +2
WIS 14 +2
DEX 11 0
CON 10 0
CHAR 16 +3

HP:  24

AC:  12

PROF:  +2

SAVES:  WIS (+4) CHAR (+5)

INIT:  +2

RACE:  Human

BACKGROUND:  Noble

* Dragon chess gaming proficiency

* Life of Privilege

* Languages: Common, Elven

WARLOCK: 

* Otherworldly Patron: Great Old One

* Awakened Mind

Pact Boon: Book of Shadows

Eldritch Invocations:

— Beguiling Influence

— Mask of Many Faces

SPELLS:

* Spell DC (13)  Spell Attack Mod (+5)

* Warlock: 2 Cantrips, 4 Known Spells, 2 Spell Slots at 2nd Level

— Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Prestidigitation

— 1st Level: Hex, Arms of Hadar

— 2nd Level: Suggestion, Crown of Madness

Eldritch Invocation: Disguise Self at will

Books of Shadows: Druid (WIS)

— Cantrips: Shillelagh, Produce Flame, Resistance

* Magic Initiate Feat: Bard (CHAR)

— Cantrips: Mage Hand, Minor Illusion

— Once per long rest: Dissonant Whispers

* Ritual Caster: Wizard (INT)

— 1st Level: Find Familiar, Unseen Servant

FAMILIAR:  Lovecraft, the ferret (fiend)

SKILLS:

* Intimidation (+5)

* Arcana (+4)

* Investigation (+4)

* History (+4)

* Insight (+4)

* Deception (+5)

* Persuasion (+5)

* Bonus Languages: Primordial, Abyssal

FEATS:

* Magic Initiate

* Ritual Caster

BASIC GEAR:

* Ornate cane (club), 2 daggers

* Studded leather armor

* Fine clothes, Scholar’s pack, scroll of pedigree, 2 signet rings – one of Fellcorr family, one unknown (arcane focus)

* His uncle’s estate in Dunwich

STORY NOTES:

Jansen Fellcorr came from a family of minor nobility and had lived most of his life in abject boredom.  The life of privilege didn’t disagree with him, per say, but there was very little about that easy, controlled life that held his interest.  He made study and observation (“people watching”) his hobbies, sometimes following strangers all day, even back to their homes, to discover the secrets of their lives.  Jansen was an intelligent, polite, and rather creepy young man.

The death of Hadspen Fellcorr–Jansen’s uncle–went largely unnoticed, as Hadspen had been the strange and estranged black sheep of the family.  Jansen, at twenty-six years of age, barely even remembered his uncle Hadspen.  But when he heard of the man’s passing and saw how the rest of his noble family chose to ignore the black sheep’s death from their flock, Jansen made it his business to find out more.  (He had nothing better to do, after all.)  It took him a week to travel to the city of Dunwich, where his uncle had lived and died.  The Dunwich mortician and Hadspen’s landlord were only too happy to turn over the odd nobleman’s personal effects and quarters to the nephew who had come to claim them.  Though he had lived there for years, no one in town seemed to know Hadspen very well, nor did they want to.  It was rumored that he dabbled in dark magic and secrets best left undiscovered.

It was in his dead uncle’s home that Jansen uncovered new mysteries and a new purpose in life.  Hadspen’s quarters were filled with books and rarities: drawings and journals, maps and star charts, ancient artifacts and dusty grimoires.  Jansen dove in eagerly and lived in Dunwich through the summer,  fall, and into winter.  And it was on the bitter cold evening of the winter solstice that he finally unlocked the same key that his uncle had years before.  It was on this cold, snowy night that he finally met Hadspen Fellcorr’s other-worldly benefactor.

Jansen has taken his uncle’s place as the servant and apprentice of a strange, extra-planar power.  He has, in fact, surpassed his uncle and become an actively mobile agent, taking on the title of Eye in the Shadow.  The motives of his patron are unclear, even to him, but he serves it with no less devotion.  Be it good or evil, Jansen’s benefactor seems to be an entity of shadow, deception, knowledge, and madness.  Though his master speaks to him only rarely, Jansen continues to follow wherever his destiny seems to be leading.

As an adventurer, Jansen carries the same cane that his uncle had used in life.  This is a very ornate walking stick carved to resemble an alien tower on another plane of existence.  It is patterned after the very structure that is benefactor inhabits, be it a palace or a prison.  His loyal companion and familiar, Lovecraft the ferret, acts as his eyes and ears, sticky fingers, and only true friend.  Jansen wears two signet rings: the Fellcorr crest on his right hand, and, on his left, a ring bearing a symbol unknown to any court in this reality.  Jansen uses his family pedigree only when needed to infiltrate or influence others along his course, preferring to forget the worthless life of nobility he’d lived before.

GAME NOTES: 

I actually did quite a bit of dark research myself to see what options and spells I wanted to take with this character.  Warlocks have three paths they can follow, called Eldritch Invocations, and in a way I have managed to take all three here rather than settling for just one!

I wanted to favor spellcraft with this guy, partially because Warlocks have such a weird and limited magic-user mechanic.  (Though I do like that they work in a different way than the rest.)  I took the Book of Shadows, which lets me pick 3 cantrips from any class list.  I chose Druids and Shillelagh, a spell that lets me turn Jansen’s fancy cane (club) into a magical weapon of moderate power.  Therefore, I kind of get the bonded weapon invocation.  I also tend to make human characters, so I started with two Feats.  For both I took more spells, which gave me access to Find Familiar, thus effectively giving me the Chain invocation too.

BAM!  All three Warlock paths in one character!  And I have an amazing number of spells for a 3rd level character, especially a warlock!

And while he is magicked up pretty darn well, he’s not going to dodge or take a hit very well.  But not all characters need to be combat powerhouses!  I like how Fifth Edition clearly states the three main aspects of game play: not just combat, but also exploration and social interaction.  Jansen is a brainy magic user who will excel at the second and third aspects far more that the first one.  As a player and DM—as I’ve said before—I like to make sure skills and non-combat spells are valuable in the game too.  This character will put his best ability score—Charisma—to good use, along with useful INT- and WIS-based skills.

His role as the Eye in the Shadow makes him a spy and a manipulator.  I chose many of his spells to specifically fit his shadowy and Cthulhu-like nature.  I also considered an owl and raven for his familiar, both of which seem very Cthulhu to me, but the ferret just seemed to fit more comfortably somehow.

I actually really like this character concept.  He’s just begging to be in a story/novel someday!

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LAST CHANCE for Big Savings on Fantasy Ebooks

In addition to the massive saving on all my books at Smashwords right now, my 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons ebooks are also now available on the Dungeons Masters Guild at “Pay What You Want” for a limited time.

I still think my D&D PDFs are a steal at $1.99 for the amount of work I put into them.  But I also thought a summer time price option might coincide well with the big Summer/Winter Sale that thousands of Smashwords books are enjoying right now.

(That sale, by the way, ends on July 31stClick here to check out the skinny on my What’s New page, or click here to go straight to my Smashwords profile, where you can find all my books listed at the bottom.  You can also navigate from there to browse literally thousands of other ebooks by thousands of other authors, all on sale for up to 100% off through the end of the month.)

Now, exactly what’s the deal on the D&D books I’m talking about?  Glad you asked…

One is a “creative companion” with optional rules, new feats, and 10 pre-made characters to give you new ideas.  The other is a complete adventure of cultists, dark magic, and other obscenities.  The third (free) book is basically an excerpt from the first.

(I really should get around to unifying the look of the three different covers someday too.  But today isn’t the day.)


female elf with a bow in the forestContained herein are more than 40 pages featuring customized game rules, a new, story-based experience system that does away with tracking math, and 17 powerful feats for players.  But that’s not all.

Presented for your inspiration are 10 complete characters created from new takes on existing classes, all forged via enhanced creation rules that favor player characters.  Each hero features stats, background stories, and character-building decisions spelled out to give you new ideas for your PCs and NPCs.  Examples include an archetype-defying Cthulhu warlock, steampunk mage, Shinto samurai, rogue spymaster, and Thor, godling of thunder.

Fantasy author J. D. Brink first discovered Dungeons & Dragons more thirty years ago.  Finally, with the advent of the Dungeon Masters’ Guild, he can now share some of his own ideas and game innovations with fellow players of the world’s greatest roleplaying game.  The 5eCC works in conjunction with your own imagination to develop exciting new worlds and the heroes needed to save them!

 A cup of coffee costs four bucks.  Endless possibilities for your games: half as much.

Find it only at the Dungeon Masters Guild.


The simple townsfolk of Jersey Shore generally keep to themselves.  Neighbors might describe them as quiet cow herders, able fishermen, and pious church-goers.  If they had neighbors.  In fact, no one who visits Jersey Shore ever has anything to say.  Because visitors never leave.

This adventure is for early level player characters (levels 2-4), and will require one or two play sessions to complete.  Slip it into your campaign as an unfortunate pit stop in any D&D realm and enjoy an evening chock full of action, monsters, mystery, and humor.

Fantasy/SF writer J. D. Brink ran this adventure with his own D&D players based on just a few scribbled notes.  Now after weeks of further development, it’s ready for your team of D&D heroes.  Are they up to the challenge?

A cup of coffee costs four bucks.  An evening full of adventure: half as much.

Find it only at the Dungeon Masters Guild.


blackeye_cvr-miniJansen is an intelligent, quiet young man.  A bit of an odd duck, especially in a noble family.  Quite like his uncle Hadspen.  When Hadspen mysteriously passes away in far-away Dunwich, Jansen makes it his business to find out more.  What he discovers there is a treasure-trove of strange artifacts, an other-worldly patron, and new destiny of darkness and adventure.

Three inspirational player characters to give new perspective on existing character classes:

– a mysterious Cthulhu warlock

– a gifted Tielfing knight

– a crafty steampunk mage

Each features an extensive backstory and commentary on how they were built.

The Player Characters are the heroes of your story.  Each should have their own backstory and stand out as unique in the Realms.  This free DMG title is a sample taken from the Fifth Edition Creative Companion and is intended to encourage players and DMs to take the road less traveled to enhance their tales of adventure.

Find it only at the Dungeon Masters Guild.