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I am currently having difficulty drafting an appropriate question for the following scneario:

I have a player that wants to swap out the spellcasting ability for Warlocks in D&D 5e from Cha to Int. I am not looking for an opinion or ruling on whether that should be allowed, but rather looking for a list of things that would be affected by such a change. Also beneficial in an answer would be potential benefits or negatives of implementing this.

  1. What are the community rules on asking about homebrew mechanics?

    Looking at this very similar question, it seems that questions limited to a single mechanic are permitted, but would do better by being one part of a multi-part question. Evaluations of full concepts, classes, races, etc are slightly more complicated to keep on topic.

  2. What is the recommended way to phrase such questions? (feel free to use my case above as an example, or another case you have encountered)

    Should they be phrased as seeking advice? Would that not result in primarily opinion based answers when talking about homebrew? Should they be phrased asking for pros and cons or similar, and leave the decision-making/opinion out of both answer and question?

  3. Can you recommend a good way to phrase my question?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure if you are aware of this, but around the time of the PHB's release, one of the devs revealed that they had originally gone with the Warlock as an Int Caster but due to fan reaction to a survey (based on 3.5e warlocks at the least) decided to go with Cha. (IMO a mistake, but that's how it worked out). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Aug 22 at 15:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I did actually know about that. I figure there isn't much issue with letting my player go with Int. However, during the thought process I tried to formulate an RPG.SE question about it and realized that it isn't quite as straightforward a question to ask. Also all the meta posts I could find for guidance referred to full concepts that require iterations. rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8121/… rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8171/… \$\endgroup\$ – The Great Java Aug 22 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ We have a recent question on a sub class that fit well enough. Warlock, Murderous Celestial sub class. (As opposed to arch fey/GOO, etc) What I think you are looking for is "what rippple effects wil this basic change make to the balance of and the play of this class? get you ans answer in a sec, got the phone ringing ... \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Aug 22 at 17:44
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In this case, focus on power and changes in use of Ability Checks

Since you are changing a core class attribute, the issues that you'll want expert advice on would be the ripple effects of this change on the class's power level and at-table play outcomes.

Since simply changing the spell casting ability will be less likely to make any difference on spell save DC's - +3 Int versus +3 Cha is transparent - the impact on ability checks and skills is probably where you want to direct this.

Caveat: if the Warlock chooses Hexblade, there are some " + Charisma bonus " features that may arise unless you also change those + adjustments to Int. So you may want to poll the "and what are the little details that will bite/change how this class operates?"

I'd recommend a separate question on "what does this do to warlock multi classing potential abuse" if that issue arises: i.e, your player chooses to multiclass.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer. That seems like the best course of action, to ask something along the lines of (as you said in your comment) "What are the game play and balance effects of changing Warlock's spellcasting ability to Int?". \$\endgroup\$ – The Great Java Aug 23 at 3:00

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