Warlock Spells Are Confusing

Male tiefling
Artwork by @scoots

Have you ever wondered why the Warlock in your party seems unsure about which spell to use? The reason is simple. Some Warlock spells (or cantrips) are misleading. The name of the spell doesn’t necessarily mean it will do what you expect it would.

Chill Touch

What it sounds like it does: Touch an enemy with your hand and make them feel cold (or potentially freeze them in place). Either way, the enemy is slowed down for at least one turn. A red dragon might temporarily lose its ability to breathe fire due to chill touch.

What it really does: Without moving toward the enemy, the Warlock creates a ghostly, skeletal hand near an enemy. Assail the enemy with “the chill of the grave”. Target gains 1d8 necrotic damage and cannot regain hit points until the start of the Warlock’s next turn.

True Strike

What it sounds like it does: Absolutely guarantees that your spell, or an object you throw, will strike the enemy of your choosing. The amount of damage caused depends on the level of the spell, or the size and weight of the thrown object.

What it really does: Grants the Warlock a brief insight into the target’s defenses. Gives the Warlock advantage on their first attack roll against the target on the Warlock’s next turn.

Hellish Rebuke

What it sounds like it does: Allows the Warlock to insult an enemy in a way that would make even a Bard blush. Enemy will immediately start crying (unless they pass a Constitution saving throw). Their tears cause disadvantage on their next attack.

What it really does: Allows the Warlock to surround an enemy with hellish flames. The enemy must make a dexterity saving throw. It takes 2d10 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


What it sounds like it does: Instantaneously causes all glass that is within a ten-foot sphere around the Warlock to shatter. If used indoors, your party will never be allowed in that Tavern ever again!

What it really does: Causes a sudden ringing noise, that is painfully intense. It erupts from the Warlock at a point of their choice (within range). Each creature in a 10-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a Constitution saving throw. Creatures take 3d8 thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Vampiric Touch

What it sounds like it does: Allows the Warlock to bite an enemy and cause blood to rapidly gush out of that wound. Enemy needs to make a Strength saving throw at the start of each turn. Each failed save causes them to become more anemic and have an increasing desire to just lie down for a while.

What it really does: Enables the Warlock to use their shadow-wreathed hand to siphon life force from others to heal the Warlock’s wounds. On a hit, the enemy takes 3d6 necrotic damage and the Warlock regains hit points equal to half the amount of necrotic damage dealt.

KOBOLDS IN SPACE! (A rules-light TTRPG about spacefaring chaos lizards!)

Kobolds in Space LogoAren’t you tired of high fantasy?

Don’t you ever just want to be a kobold in space?

I made a rules-light TTRPG! It’s about kobolds! They’re in space! You get to play as one and go on adventures to expand the Kobold Empire!

Exclamation points aside, I tried to have it be something with a lot of replay value and significant emphasis on creative storytelling over complex game mechanics. There are four stats (Chaos, Order, Body, and Brains) and every die roll is done with one or two standard six sided dice.

Don’t want to waste time making characters or planning adventures? Ellie made a frikkin adventure generator for this game already! Every time you reload the page it gives you a new group of kobolds, a ship, equipment, a quest, and whatever things intend to get in your way.

It’s “Pay-What-You-Want,” even if what you want to pay is nothing! Check it out!

A lot of friends helped out, including Chris, Cindy, Ellie, Io, Jen, and Will! If you’ve been following what we do here, those names will likely be familiar to you. If not, follow those links or check out our Cast Page for relevant information.

koboldthulu grabbing spaceshipsI have plans to expand the content as well. Not more rules (rule bloat is what turned me off of MtG long before the cards became so expensive) but more Adversaries (that’s what the game calls the antagonists) and equipment, at least to start.

And if you really like KOBOLDS IN SPACE!, perhaps consider signing up for the Patreon for as little as $2 US per month? Proceeds have been going towards paying Jen and Ellie for the writing they’ve done on here. Click the links to see what they’ve done!

Crash’s Course Ep 01: Rounding Damage

In this new series I give short tips on playing TTRPGs (OK, mostly D&D) that I’ve collected over the years. I don’t pretend to be a high and mighty expert, but if some things have helped me then they might help other people as well.

In this first episode, I talk about the benefits of rounding the damage that players do to enemies.

Follow this series on…


MP3 Download: Crash’s Course Ep 01: Rounding Damage