Are these homebrew attempts at recreating some blast shape invocations from 3.5e balanced for 5e? (Version 2)

This is a follow up to the question: Are these homebrew attempts at recreating some blast shape invocations from 3.5e balanced for 5e?

As that question explains, I wanted to convert some “blast shape” invocations from 3.5e to 5e, specifically those I recognise from the video game Neverwinter Nights 2 that don’t already have equivalents in 5e: Eldritch Chain, Eldritch Cone and Eldritch Doom.

Thanks to Cubic’s answer, I was able to redesign my 5e invocations based on that feedback and hopefully come up with something that’s simpler and more fun to use but hopefully also still balanced, which is my main question.

Here are my second attempts at these invocations, with commentary below:


Eldritch Chain

Prerequisite: 5th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to improve your eldritch blast by turning it into an arc of energy that “jumps” from the first target to others. When you cast eldritch blast, you can choose to fire only your first beam, but if it hits, the second beam automatically hits a second target within 30 feet of the first target, dealing half of the total damage dealt to the first target.

When you reach 11th level, your third beam must then target a third creature within 30 feet of the second target, and when you reach 17th level, your fourth beam must then target a fourth creature within 30 feet of the third target. These beams also automatically hit their targets and deal half of the total damage dealt to the first target. A creature cannot be targeted more than once in this way per casting.

What stands out to me in Cubic’s answer is that the extra damage was too good not to pick, but at the same time all the extra dice rolls and fiddliness made it less fun and take up too much time. With this in mind, and with the aim of keeping it simple, I decided it would be best if the invocation used the beams you already have, rather than creating even more targets (and therefore more dice rolls) like my previous version, but this time they just automatically hit (if the first beam hits).

My hope is that automatically hitting (which gets better with more beams when you reach higher levels) is the attractive thing about this invocation, but is also offset by a) half damage, b) you can’t spam the same creature with it, the damage has to be shared around, and c) it becomes an “all or nothing” attack, since if you miss the first attack, that’s it.

I’m wondering if there are too many drawbacks that might make it less appealing, so maybe having it be a choice you can make if the first beam hits might help to make it more attractive again, since if you miss the first attack, you can just continue to fire more beams as normal (although the subsequent beams cannot become chains, only the first beam can). At worst, I could even ditch the half damage part entirely and make all targets take the full damage of the first target, either as well as or instead of my previous sentence?

Either way, hopefully this version is both more fun and less complicated, but still mechanically has a trade off that’s not “clearly better/worse” but is also attractive enough to take for situations where it would be better than just firing your beams individually.


Eldritch Cone

Prerequisite: 12th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to invoke your eldritch blast as a 30-foot cone. Each creature within the cone must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 3d10 force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. This damage increases to 4d10 force damage when you reach 17th level.

For Eldritch Cone, I’ve gone back to my original draft before I nerfed it, which is the version I posted in my previous question (the nerfed version, that it). My original draft had the total damage match the total damage output from a normal eldritch blast at that level. My intention is for Agonizing Blast to be included in this damage, so it’s actually 3d10 + 5 force damage for an optimised warlock; they don’t add the +5 to each d10, just the overall damage.

Given that Cubic’s answer pointed out that the range was too short and that saving throws become a less reliable way to deal damage as you get to higher levels, I’ve decided to both increase the range (which also increases the number of creatures that can be caught in it) and increase the damage.

Certainly now the short range of my previous version is less of an issue, but being able to deal 3d10 (later 4d10) force damage to a 30 foot cone’s worth of enemies does seem very strong as an at-will ability. Is forgoing the chance to crit and giving the targets a chance to half the damage really enough of a drawback that being able to do all that is still balanced, or have I gone too far in the other direction now?


Eldritch Doom

Prerequisite: 18th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to invoke your eldritch blast as the dreaded eldritch doom. This causes bolts of mystical power to lash out and savage all targets within a 20-foot-radius sphere originating from a point you can see within 120 feet of you. Each creature within that area must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 4d10 force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

For Eldritch Doom, again I’ve gone back to my original draft before I nerfed it, which is the version I posted in my previous question (the nerfed version, that is). My original draft had the total damage match the total damage output from a normal eldritch blast at that level. My intention is for Agonizing Blast to be included in this damage, so it’s actually 4d10 + 5 force damage for an optimised warlock; they don’t add the +5 to each d10, just the overall damage.

As above, Cubic’s answer points out that the 20 foot area is rather small, and that at Tier 4 play saving throws are a very unreliable way of dealing damage. I realised that part of this problem was actually that “area” isn’t really a term used in 5e anymore; what I actually meant was a 20-foot-radius sphere, same as fireball, which would effectively be a “40 foot area” (as I understand it; hopefully that’s right), so I’ve updated it to match what fireball says. I’ve also increased the damage to 4d10.

My main concern here isn’t so much the same concerns as with Cone, but rather whether Doom now seems a bit redundant compared to Cone given how strong Cone is now? Sure, this can be done from 120 feet away, whereas Cone does not, but is that enough that someone might want to pick this over Cone, or is Cone now strictly better (and therefore overpowered)? Maybe Cone’s damage needs to be dialled back a bit so that Doom still seems impressive to have at 18th level, but at the same time, I don’t want this one to be overpowered too.

But even without comparing it to Cone, there’s also the matter of whether or not its new effects are overpowered, so again, is forgoing the chance to crit and giving the targets a chance to half the damage really enough of a drawback to basically cast a force damage fireball at-will? Does the damage need to be cut back as I suspect I might have to do with Cone? Have I gone too far in the other direction again?


My question is are these three invocations balanced when compared to eldritch blast being cast in the standard way? Are any of them “must haves”, or are there still legitimate reasons to cast eldritch blast normally (or to pick other invocations over these in a way that doesn’t see these actually ending up being underpowered–more so looking at Chain here, since I doubt Cone and Doom could still be considered underpowered)?

Are these homebrew attempts at recreating some blast shape invocations from NWN2 balanced for 5e?

In Neverwinter Nights 2, which is based on 3.5e, there were five “blast shape” invocations available to warlocks: Hideous Blast, Eldritch Spear, Eldritch Chain, Eldritch Cone and Eldritch Doom. Now, I know that warlock invocations worked differently in 3.5e to 5e (based on how they’re implemented in this game, primarily), but I wanted to convert some of these into 5e Eldritch Invocations.

Arguably, Hideous Blow could be thought of as being roughly equivalent to Eldritch Smite from 5e (XGtE, p. 56; even though it doesn’t actually modify eldritch blast), and Eldritch Spear already exists in 5e (as a way to increase the range of eldritch blast), so the remaining three are the ones I have attempted to convert.

Here are my attempts at each of the three invocations, with some commentary below each one to explain my thought process.


Eldritch Chain

Prerequisite: 5th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to improve your eldritch blast by turning it into an arc of energy that “jumps” from the first target to others. When you cast eldritch blast, on a hit, you can choose to target an additional creature of your choice within 30 feet of the target with the same beam. Make a ranged attack roll against the additional creature, which takes half of the damage dealt to the target on a hit. You can only use this invocation once per turn with one beam, although you may choose to do so after you know whether a beam hits its target.

When you reach 11th level, your chain can target two additional creatures, both of whom take half of the damage dealt to the original target on a hit, and when you reach 17th level, your chain can target three additional creatures, all of whom take half of the damage dealt to the original target on a hit. You choose the targets in succession, and each subsequent target must be within 30 feet of the previous target of the chain (not the original target). The chain cannot target the same creature more than once (although it can target a creature hit with a different beam that turn), and on a miss, the chain ends and you cannot target any further creatures with the chain.

In NWN2 (and presumably 3.5e), Eldritch Blast only ever fired one beam, and Eldritch Chain was a way of making that hit more enemies, but each additional enemy only took half damage. Considering that eldritch blast in 5e can target multiple creatures already, I wanted to come up with something that felt unique.

I considered having each beam jump to only one addition target to deal half damage, but then a level 17 warlock could hit eight creatures with this thing, which seemed overpowered (and wouldn’t “look right” compared to what it looked like in NWN2, where the one beam would jump to different targets, not four different beams that each jump to one other target).

In the end, I decided to have it target a few additional creatures, but for half damage (Agonizing Blast would be taken into consideration for the original target’s damage, so isn’t added again to each of the chain’s targets), which is the same as in 3.5e, but only on one of the beams, not each beam. Yes, this still increases the number of creatures you can hit each turn, and therefore increases the damage output of eldritch blast, but hopefully the half damage mitigates that somewhat; also, you’ve still got to roll to hit them, so there’s a chance that you’ll simply miss and then it’s no different to not having the invocation at all.

That said, it’s still a clear improvement on RAW eldritch blast, so if it needs to be nerfed further, I could reduce the range to 10 feet or something, although unless the targets are spread out, this won’t really matter. Losing the second paragraph when you reach higher levels is also something that can be dropped, but hopefully not since that would also nerf the look/flavour of Eldritch Chain. I’d still like to keep it as an “at-will” ability, but increasing the damage output of a cantrip is pretty big, so another way to nerf it is to say that you must use it or Agonizing Blast (per beam, so your non-chain beams can still use Agonizing Blast). Depends on how powerful it is as-written above…


Eldritch Cone

Prerequisite: 12th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to invoke your eldritch blast as a 15-foot cone. Each creature within the cone must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 1d10 force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

For Eldritch Cone, I’ve simply used the standard cone spell implementation, like burning hands, but it only does the same amount of damage as one beam, to balance out the fact that you can hit multiple enemies with it. My intention is for Agonizing Blast to be included in this damage, so it’s actually 1d10 + 5 force damage for an optimised warlock.

I originally had it as a 30-foot cone that did 3d10 force damage, same as the normal damage output for eldritch blast (which would have increased to 4d10), but that was so powerful that I could only justify that as being once per rest or something, and I’d prefer to keep these as being something that can be used “at-will” to keep that 3.5e feel, so hopefully having a cone shaped cantrip is useful enough to justify only dealing 1d10 damage in a 15-foot cone to be balanced; I’m not sure if even having a cone cantrip is inherently overpowered, or whether the small damage and range somehow makes it underpowered, but hopefully it’s balanced.


Eldritch Doom

Prerequisite: 18th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to invoke your eldritch blast as the dreaded eldritch doom. This causes bolts of mystical power to lash out and savage all targets within a 20 foot area originating from a point you can see within 120 feet of you. Each creature within that area must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 1d10 force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

For Eldritch Doom, I’ve implemented it as basically a force fireball, dealing the same damage as a single beam. As above, my intention is for Agonizing Blast to be included in this damage, so it’s actually 1d10 + 5 force damage for an optimised warlock.

I originally had it at 4d10, same as all four beams combined, and had the range at 30-feet, but this would be massively overpowered without a “once per rest” cap on it, but these caps kinda go against what blast shape invocations were about, so as before, I hope that the AOE shape alone is worth an invocation, since you now have a weak at-will force fireball, but without that being inherently overpowered.


Are these three invocations balanced when compared to the other Eldritch Invocations? Specifically, do they make eldritch blast overpowered in a way that dealing reduced damage and taking up a choice of an Eldritch Invocation doesn’t counterbalance?

Scope of Character Aspects and Hostile Invocations


Core of the Problem

Reading Condensed, I’m unsure of what scope of Aspects is supposed to be covered by the term ‘Character Aspect’ (officially described on page 23, but not without ambiguity; see below), and consequently, what is the scope of applicability of the Hostile Invocations rule (page 24).

Things that I assume would also be helpful for clearing the confusion: Did the scope of either or both change between editions, or am I just perhaps misreading the Condensed edition, or did I perhaps even misread the Core edition in the first place? Or is perhaps Core considered an extension of Condensed for the purposes of establishing what is RAW in the ‘baseline’ ruleset?

Details of Confusion

In Core, the Hostile Invocations did not have a label, but their behaviour was described rather precisely in multiple places:

Have Your Aspects Invoked Against You: If someone pays a fate point to invoke an aspect attached to your character, you gain their fate point at the end of the scene. This includes advantages created on your character, as well as consequences.

Invoking an aspect attached to another character gives them a fate point at the end of the scene.

If the aspect you invoke is on someone else’s character sheet, including situation aspects attached to them, you give them the fate point you spent.

Condensed is both more specific in its description of Hostile Invocation, yet more ambiguous about defining the scope of Character Aspects. Page 23 says this about Character Aspects:

These aspects are on your character sheet, such as your high concept and trouble. […]

But page 63 clearly states:

Consequence: Character aspect; represents lasting harm

So in one place Condensed states that Character Aspects are the ‘permanent’ ones, but in another it confirms that one of the fleeting ‘attachable’ types of Aspects is a subset of Character Aspect too.

I have trouble finding an explicit confirmation one way or another about whether there is supposed to be an overlap between Situational (such as Grappled or On Fire) Aspects and Character Aspects in Condensed. The text seems to imply that overlaps are possible, since Character and Consequences have their own entries in the same listing (page 23) despite having an overlap. But then the listing also includes Boosts under Aspect Types, despite the SRD telling us those are not Aspects, so I’m not sure how much I should rely on it for such analysis at all.

These may at first seem like negligible minor differences, but they cascade into a significant differences in the way the FP Economy works in those cases. I understand that some tables may make changes of their own based on personal preferences, but for now I’m hoping to figure out what is RAW, and am not looking for houserules or personal experiences of rulings.

Who ‘Owns’ Consequence Invocations?

For a while, I assumed that all Free Invocations, just like FP-powered Invocations, are ‘owned’ by players and GMs (not characters), and can always be passed around at will to benefit another character so long as it makes sense based on what’s happening in the game world (Condensed page 19):

A free invoke, as the name suggests, lets you invoke an aspect without spending a fate point. You can even let your allies use free invokes you have created.

However, yesterday after a game, a player pointed out that the text about Consequences (on Condensed page 36) uses a different wording:

And, just like the aspects you make when you create an advantage, the character that created the consequence—that is, whoever shot you—gets one free invoke on that consequence.

(Bolding mine.)

So does that override the default assumption that invocations are ‘owned’ on a meta level and can be passed around by the players in whatever way makes sense, or does the player of said character retain the usual freedom to transfer the invocations?

The distinction becomes relevant for at least two situations:

  • When another character in the same Conflict could benefit from the invocation in question. Whether the character (not player) who inflicted the Consequence needs to do something to pass over the invocation (and even can do so at all) makes a major tactical difference.
  • When the initial successful attacker perished in the Conflict. If the Invocation is tied to the character (not player), then presumably it expires with the character, thus being much less of a concern for the opposing side.

Also, if this one of the small differences between the different implementation variants of the system (Condensed, Core, FAE etc.), I would like to know. (Current campaign is using Condensed and I’m trying to avoid dragging in stuff from other implementations in order to keep things clear and simple for everyone.)

Does Thirsty Blade from Eldritch invocations stack with multi attack?

My DM is open to odd characters and is letting me play a true lycanthropy weretiger in DnD 5e. We went over the entry in the monster manual for weretiger and decided what modifications should be made and he told me to include the multiattack feature and I believe to ignore the specificity of weapons (though I’m sure exclusions should still apply to say 2 handed melee weapons and heavy weapons). He was fully aware that I would be playing the warlock class and taking the pact of the blade. My question is, if I take the Eldritch invocation thirsty blade, will that stack with multiattack? If so, will I attack twice for both of those attacks giving me 4 physical attacks per turn at times?

How many invocations can I cast as a warlock per round?

Yesterday I created a warlock for a new underdark campaign we started. We all started at level 3 so I picked 3 invocations ( normally 2 but I traded 1 feat for 1 invocation). I picked walk unseen (invisibility), fell flight, and entropic warding.

I was wondering if it is possible to use both walk unseen and fell flight in a single round. Can I for instance do: go up 25 ft with fell flight, 15 ft forward and use walk unseen (my movement speed is 40ft due to the spry flaw I picked) in a single round or am I limited to 1 invocation per round?

Does the new pact of the tome invocations overlap?

With the release of the new UA Class Features. Does the Eldritch Invocations Far Scribe and Gift of the Protectors use the same 5 names as a base, or the names are separate from each Invocation?

Far Scribe

Prerequisite: 5th level, Pact of the Tome feature

A new page appears in your Book of Shadows. With your permission, a creature can use its action to write its name on that page, which can contain a number of names equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1).

You can cast the sending spell, targeting a creature whose name is on the page, without using a spell slot and without using material components. To do so, you must write the message on the page. The target hears the message in their mind, and if the target replies, their message appears on the page, rather than in your mind. The writing disappears after 1 minute.

As an action, you can magically erase a name on the page by touching the name on it.

Gift of the Protectors

Prerequisite: 9th level, Pact of the Tome feature

A new page appears in your Book of Shadows. With your permission, a creature can use its action to write its name on that page, which can contain a number of names equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1).

When any creature whose name is on the page is reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, the creature magically drops to 1 hit point instead. Once this magic is triggered, no creature can benefit from it until you finish a long rest.

As an action, you can magically erase a name on the page by touching the name on it.

Why would I be getting the error: Too many simultaneous invocations on a simple once a day trigger?

I’ve searched around and still can’t find anything directly related to the failure message I’m receiving. The script hasn’t changed and it used to run just fine, but now in the past week or so it’s failing more and more often. There are only 3 triggers on this file onOpen, onEdit(e) and the installed trigger that calls the percentChange function once a day in the morning. It’s super simple, it grabs 2 named ranges, one is a column of percentages and the other contains the length of that data and then copies the percentages to another column so that we can track the daily percentage difference.

Here is the code:

function percentChange() {   var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getSheetByName('Overview Status');    var calcPercentRangeObject = ss.getRange('calcPerc');   var calcPercentRow = calcPercentRangeObject.getRow()+2;   var calcPercentColumn = calcPercentRangeObject.getColumn();    var dataRangeObject = ss.getRange('numCabs');   var dataRow = dataRangeObject.getRow()+2;   var dataColumn = dataRangeObject.getColumn();   var dataLength =  dataRangeObject.getValue();   var currentPercent = ss.getRange(calcPercentRow, calcPercentColumn, dataLength, 1).getValues();    ss.getRange(dataRow, dataColumn, dataLength, 1).setValues(currentPercent);  } 

Should I add a delay? That seems like a “janky” work around…

Latest failure

Previous failures and completions

Another question: why does this code take 10+seconds to run from the trigger but generally takes less than a second to run from the script editor?

Thanks!