I was proud of the Guild Wars Necromancer class when I made it, but there were a couple things that bugged me about it. For a controller, it didn’t really do anything cool. It did lots of damage, and that was great but that’s pretty much all it could do.

Guild Wars Necromancer (Apr 25, 2013)

When I started in on my revision, it raised all kinds of questions about which parts of the class were actually controller effects, and which were striker/defender effects. I surprised myself a few times trying to make the square pegs fit in the round holes.

Here’s the Heroic Lifedrinker class:
Download: Essentials Lifedrinker (Warlock) v.1

About a month ago, I wrote about the concept of “insurance” and how it applied to controllers. Well, I’m eating those words now. I realized insurance was an aspect of striker accuracy, and that I had mis-attributed the concept to the controller.

That might make it sound too easy. It honestly took me couple days, a few blog posts here and there, and a handful of notebook pages to figure out what I was missing.

The Lifedrinker brings back the ‘Death’ keyword with the Heartclutch power. You might know the Death keyword from one of my other Warlock classes, the Hellraiser. Those powers with the Death keyword kill targets they reduce to 0 hit points, which comes up primarily in two cases — players and pacifists.

If a player character is hit by a Death effect, it’s “Goodnight.” No death saving throws, no nothing. If a Death effect drops a character to 0 hit points, they die. Scary. NPCs slain by Death effects also die — making it difficult to take prisoners.

I first encountered Heartclutch in the 3.0 Book of Vile Darkness. I think my favorite part of the spell is what happens when a creature is slain by the attack — its smoking heart appears in the caster’s outstretched hand. IIRC, heartclutch causes a heart attack in its victim. I simulated the effect of the original with the ‘Restrained’ condition.

After that, the rest of the class’s features and powers almost aren’t worth mentioning. The Lifedrinker is hard to kill — Death Ward combined with Pact of Return, along with False Life and Life Siphon creates a sort of “life preserver” effect.

The Lifedrinker wants to at all times be in the middle of the battle, surrounded by enemies being bloodied and defeated — “drinking in the battle.” The combination of features created the potential for the Lifedrinker to sustain the Heartclutch power as they hover at death’s doorstop. Spooky!

As the Lifedrinker advances in level, their at-will powers become more potent, and their ability to defy death improves.

Take a look! It’s fun stuff!