March 23, 2009

Word of Wizards - Excerpts: Vestige Pact

Arcane Power Excerpts: Vestige Pact
My prodigious predicting powers for today's excerpt have proven to be true. The new warlock pact that will be introduce in Arcane Power; the Vestige Pact.

Some of us may already know where does the concept of vestiges come from but for those who don't, let me reiterate. Vestiges were introduced in 3.x in the Tome of Magic which was a book of alternate magic rules. One of the classes that was featured was called a Binder who called upon sentient entities which are manifestations of legendary and powerful beings or as they are called vestiges. Each vestige provides a power or ability that unique to their own background or identity and a Binder could switch between a long list of vestiges according to his needs.

This excerpt reintroduces the concept of the vestiges as a warlock pact and the binder as a warlock build. Just like the warlocks in PHB 1 (oh god, now I have to start numbering them), a warlock's pact will predetermined his at-will power but the benefits of his pact boon is determined by the vestige that you are currently activating (more on that later) after you have reduced a cursed enemy to 0 HP.

A Vestige Warlock gains Eyes of the Vestige for his at-will which is ranged 10, Con vs. Will, 1d6+Con psychic damage and curses either the target or another target within 3 squares that is in line of sight of the first target.

If that target is already cursed previously, you deal your Warlock's Curse extra damage to the cursed target rather than the target of your attack.

That's not all. The Eyes of the Vestige also deals an extra effect depending on the vestige that you are currently activating (just like your pact boon).

Now, a warlock must choose a vestige after every short or extended rest. For starters, the warlock can choose from 2 vestiges; King Elidyr, last king of Nerath or, Zutwa, a manifest life force. Each of these vestiges will augment the extra effect of your Eyes of the Vestige.

King Elidyr's augment is granting an ally who hits your Eyes of the Vestige target a saving throw before the end of your next turn. Zutwa's augment grants you your Prime Shot bonus on the target until the end of your next turn.

Other vestiges will also affect your pact boon benefit except for these two. But this is where it gets interesting. The other vestiges are put in as daily powers. The excerpt has two level 5 daily powers which calls upon the Vestige of Ugar and the Vestige of Xandor. Each of these powers still deals a certain attack and have their own effects like a normal daily does but a warlock can only activate the vestige if they have killed a cursed enemy.

Once activated, the vestige will change the augment of the Eyes of the Vestige and grant a different pact boon benefit. In which case, Vestige of Ugar allows you to move the zone effect created when you use it as daily power by 3 squares while the Vestige of Xandor allows you to make a saving throw or gain temporary hitpoints equal to your Con mod if there are no effects to be saved from.

If this sounds familiar to you that's because it works very similarly to how rage is being handle for the barbarian in PHB 2.

Overall, I'm impressed with this build. I was slightly skeptical that they wouldn't be able to replicate the feel of the Binder into 4E and was curious to see how they did it. After seeing this, I think they have nailed a very good conversion of the Binder concept to work well with the 4E mechanics.

Next, we'll be looking at summoning for wizards.

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