My warlock had one sickly yellow eye of a night hag instead of his own eye

One thought on “My warlock had one sickly yellow eye of a night hag instead of his own eye

  1. D. Walker says:

    I feel like a good DM refuses to deal in absolutes.

    There are always exceptions to every rule – and it’s the biggest exceptions that make for the best stories.

    I have a player who was struggling trying to build a Warlock, because they wanted the mechanics, they wanted the flavor, but they didn’t want to be saddled with some ticking time bomb where down the road, DM fiat was going to make their life hell in ways they didn’t feel comfortable with as a player.

    They were really conflicted and bummed out about it until I told them, “Hey, whoa – hold on. You can play a Warlock without having to worry that I’m going to blindside you with some horrible consequences. I want you to have fun. If you want to be surprised, great – I can do that. But if you just want to play your damn character and not feel anxious about me springing some awful thing on you, that’s what we’ll do, because this is a game for fun.”

    And so they came up with a character who is a Fiend Pact warlock, who is more or less Johnny from The Devil Went Down To Georgia – got roped into gambling with an arrogant devil but unexpectedly won the bet, and walked away with a “golden fiddle” of powers, with the annoyed devil bound by their own rules. And all of that is strictly backstory, and won’t directly impact the campaign itself.

    I thought that was one of the best pitches for a Warlock I’d ever heard, and told them so on the spot. They’ve been having a blast with it, and so has everyone else at the table. And none of that would have ever happened if I insisted on “dragging them to hell” at some point, because they would have WALKED AWAY FROM THE TABLE if I did that kind of thing without their permission.

    We don’t make Fighters spend all their free time in combat training or risk losing their skills and athleticism, despite that being a perfectly logical consequence of choosing to gain their character’s power through physical training.

    We don’t make them grapple with long term injuries that take months to heal, or mental degredation due to repeated blunt trauma to the head, or any of the other “realistic” consequences of living the kind of lifestyle inherent to such characters.

    They just automatically get to be physically powerful without having to pay some secret “price” the DM thinks up without consulting them. Why? Because it’s a game, that people play for fun, where you pretend to be a fantasy hero.

    So why do people feel the need to reflexively inflict “realistic” consequences on Warlocks without checking with the player to see if they’re on board with it?

    Always, always, ALWAYS make sure your players are on board with things. And if they aren’t on board with your vision, work to find a way to accomodate them. Don’t be afraid to make an exception – it makes for good stories.

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