As a big fan of Lovecraftian and the traditions of gothic horror, there are always something glamorous about the unknown and things that are alien to the mind. Horror and mystery can easily be part of a setting, much like Innistrad (they even made an Innistrad setting supplement, which we reviewed here), or even in Curse of Strahd. But sometimes there are the horrors that are beyond normal, mortal comprehension with creatures that have such alien thoughts that defy traditional logic. In the more recent Magic: the Gathering storyline, the planeswalkers return to a much different Innistrad that was being manipulated by the last Eldrazi titan, Emrakul. I have been inspired by that setting numerous times, especially since there many callbacks to both traditional and Lovecraftian gothic horror. So we’re going to devote a few posts to the gothic horror genre before shifting gears to another theme later on.
We have the mysterious and power-seeking, god-despising Ur-Priest Warlock and the investigative Urban Ranger.
Pact of the Faithless – “Ur-Priest”
The gods hoard the divine energies of the universe, channeling it through their devoted followers as clerics, priests, and paladins to shape and change the landscape of the mortal plane. There entities who are god-like who whisper to mortals, promising them power and resources, so long as they help spread their influence and authority across the plane. Wizards and sorcerers spend years training and mastering the arcane arts, ultimately in order to achieve greater heights, a greater sacrifice and devotion is required to reach that higher place of power. Then there are the Faithless, sometimes referred to as the Despised, others call them “Ur-Priests”, who through their loathing and hatred of gods and such entities manage to steal divine powers and usurp their influence within the world. Such warlocks may not have an actual connection to a god or otherworldly entity and instead through sheer force of hate, gain access to the divine energies that flucuate throughout the cosmos. Similar warlocks may instead maybe tapping into dead and forgotten powers instead of their deposition against the gods. In any case, an Ur-Priest has access greater powers without the need to serve a deity or entity which is drastically different from traditional methods or practices.
Ur-Priest Bonus Spells list
|1st||bane, shield of faith|
|5th||bestow curse, glyph of warding|
|7th||confusion, death ward|
|9th||destruction wave, dispel evil and good|
Divine Defiance. An Ur-Priest is not bound to deities, demons, or other extraplanar entities. Their profound defiance and detest for such a system allows them to openly defy and draw upon those cosmic powers without begging for it like peasants. An Ur-Priests makes an oath themselves, swearing to never give-in to the divine and otherworldly powers, to defy them until the bitter end. Starting at 1st level, an Ur-Priest Warlock has advantage on saving throws against features and spells cast by divine spellcasters (include clerics, druids, paladins, rangers, etc.), celestials, elementals, fey, and fiend creatures. Additionally, the Ur-Priest has resistance to damage from spells and effects from the above types.
Mystical Invocation. Starting at 6th level, the Ur-Priest Warlock can emulate the appearance and powers of divine domains like a cleric. Proving once more that mortals have the capacity to transcend above the gods and creatures of the planes. The Ur-Priest Warlock selects a Cleric Domain and gains access to the Channel Divinity options presented at 2nd and 6th level of the chosen domain. When you use your Mystical Invocation, you choose which effect to create. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest. Additionally, after you finish a long rest, you can select a different Cleric domain to emulate through your divine theft.
Cosmic Siphon. Starting at 10th level, the Ur-Priest Warlock is unusually skilled at stealing divine energy and siphoning for themselves. The warlock targets a creature within 60 feet, it must make a Charisma saving throw. On a failure, a creature that casts or prepare spells loses a single a spell slot at a spell level equal to one-fourth of the Warlock’s level (maximum of 5th-level) or a single daily use of a spell if they have the Innate Spellcasting feature of the same spell level. The Ur-Priest Warlock subsequently gains a bonus spell slot of the same level siphoned. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Unnatural Miracle. Starting at 14th level, the Ur-Priest can openly defy the cosmic laws and draw their energies to create their own miracles. Whenever the Ur-Priest Warlock uses their Mystic Arcanum feature, they may instead cast a spell from the Cleric spell list of equivalent spell level. For example, instead of casting the spell under their 7th-level Mystic Arcanum feature, they can cast an 7th-level Cleric spell. Using this feature still has the same restrictions of the Mystic Arcanum feature.
Urban Conclave – an Urban Ranger option
While a Ranger walks the line between civilization and nature, often times many follow and embrace nature while others become focus and refine their martial skills but never fulfilling their obligations to civilization. An Urban Ranger takes their skills of hunting, tracking, and stalking to artificial wilds of the city, never discriminating between the two.
Urban Explorer. At 3rd level, the Urban Ranger gains the benefit of their Natural Explorer feature while in urban or civilized environments. Additionally, you can apply the Primeval Awareness feature while inside of a city or town. When the Urban Ranger gains the Hide in Plain Sight feature, he can also use it while inside of a city or town.
Urban Spells. Starting at 3rd level, you gain access to additional spells at 3rd, 5th, 9th, 13th, and 15th level. Once you gain an Urban spell, it counts as a ranger spell for you but doesn’t count against the number of ranger spells you know.
Extra Attack. Starting at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
City Slicker. Starting at 7th level, you can add your Wisdom modifier whenever you make Charisma checks when dealing with denizens of a city, town, or any other semblance of civilization.
Crowd Fighting Expertise. Starting at 11th level, you learn how to deal with being surrounded by enemies, especially in a smaller environment like a city. Whenever you have more than one creature adjacent to you, you gain a bonus to AC equal to your Wisdom modifier. While you have this bonus, if a creature misses their attack against you, you may use your reaction to make a melee attack roll.
One With the City. Starting at 15th level, while you are in an urban or city environment, you can add your Wisdom modifier to your initiative rolls and advantage on Wisdom ability checks. The Urban Ranger cannot be surprised while conscious and can accurately recall anything regarding a city’s layout so long as they had visited the city within the past year.
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