With a pseudodragon curled on his shoulder, a young elf in golden robes smiles warmly, weaving a magical charm into his honeyed words and bending the palace sentinel to his will.
As flames spring to life in her hands, a wizened human whispers the secret name of her demonic patron, infusing her spell with fiendish magic. Shifting his gaze between a battered tome and the odd alignment of the stars overhead, a wild-eyed tiefling chants the mystic ritual that will open a doorway to a distant world.
Warlocks are seekers of the knowledge that lies hidden in the fabric of the multiverse. Through pacts made with mysterious beings of supernatural power, warlocks unlock magical effects both subtle and spectacular. Drawing on the ancient knowledge of beings such as fey nobles, demons, devils, hags, and alien entities of the Far Realm, warlocks piece together arcane secrets to bolster their own power.
You must have a Charisma score of 13 or higher in order to multiclass in or out of this class.
SWORN AND BEHOLDEN
A warlock is defined by a pact with an otherworldly being. Sometimes the relationship between warlock and patron is like that of a cleric and a deity, though the beings that serve as patrons for warlocks are not gods. A warlock might lead a cult dedicated to a demon prince, an archdevil, or an utterly alien entity—beings not typically served by clerics. More often, though, the arrangement is similar to that between a master and an apprentice. The warlock learns and grows in power, at the cost of occasional services performed on the patron’s behalf.
The magic bestowed on a warlock ranges from minor but lasting alterations to the warlock’s being (such as the ability to see in darkness or to read any language) to access to powerful spells. Unlike bookish wizards, warlocks supplement their magic with some facility at hand-to-hand combat. They are comfortable in light armor and know how to use simple weapons.
DELVERS INTO SECRETS
Warlocks are driven by an insatiable need for knowledge and power, which compels them into their pacts and shapes their lives. This thirst drives warlocks into their pacts and shapes their later careers as well.
Stories of warlocks binding themselves to fiends are widely known. But many warlocks serve patrons that are not fiendish. Sometimes a traveler in the wilds comes to a strangely beautiful tower, meets its fey lord or lady, and stumbles into a pact without being fully aware of it. And sometimes, while poring over tomes of forbidden lore, a brilliant but crazed student’s mind is opened to realities beyond the material world and to the alien beings that dwell in the outer void.
Once a pact is made, a warlock’s thirst for knowledge and power can’t be slaked with mere study and research. No one makes a pact with such a mighty patron if he or she doesn’t intend to use the power thus gained. Rather, the vast majority of warlocks spend their days in active pursuit of their goals, which typically means some kind of adventuring. Furthermore, the demands of their patrons drive warlocks toward adventure.
CREATING A WARLOCK
As you make your warlock character, spend some time thinking about your patron and the obligations that your pact imposes upon you. What led you to make the pact, and how did you make contact with your patron? Were you seduced into summoning a devil, or did you seek out the ritual that would allow you to make contact with an alien elder god? Did you search for your patron, or did your patron find and choose you? Do you chafe under the obligations of your pact or serve joyfully in anticipation of the rewards promised to you?
Work with your DM to determine how big a part your pact will play in your character’s adventuring career. Your patron’s demands might drive you into adventures, or they might consist entirely of small favors you can do between adventures.
What kind of relationship do you have with your patron? Is it friendly, antagonistic, uneasy, or romantic? How important does your patron consider you to be? What part do you play in your patron’s plans? Do you know other servants of your patron?
How does your patron communicate with you? If you have a familiar, it might occasionally speak with your patron’s voice. Some warlocks find messages from their patrons etched on trees, mingled among tea leaves, or adrift in the clouds—messages that only the warlock can see. Other warlocks converse with their patrons in dreams or waking visions, or deal only with intermediaries.
You can make a warlock quickly by following these suggestions. First, Charisma should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the charlatan background. Third, choose the eldritch blast and chill touch cantrips, along with the 1st-level spells charm person and witch bolt.
As a warlock, you gain the following class features.
- Hit Dice: 1d8 per warlock level
- Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
- Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per warlock level after 1st
- Armor: Light armor
- Weapons: Simple weapons
- Tools: None
- Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
- Skills: Choose two skills from Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Nature, and Religion
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
- (a) a component pouch or (b) an arcane focus
- (a) a scholar’s pack or (b) a dungeoneer’s pack
- Leather armor, any simple weapon, and two daggers
|Level||Proficiency Bonus||Features||Cantrips Known||Spells Known||Spell Points||Slot Level||Invocations Known|
|1st||+2||Otherworldly Patron, Pact Magic||2||2||1||1st||–|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement OR Feat||3||5||4||2nd||2|
|6th||+3||Otherworldly Patron feature||3||7||6||3rd||3|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement OR Feat||3||9||8||4th||4|
|10th||+4||Otherworldly Patron feature||4||10||10||5th||5|
|11th||+4||Mystic Arcanum (6th level)||4||11||15||5th||5|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement OR Feat||4||11||15||5th||6|
|13th||+5||Mystic Arcanum (7th level)||4||12||15||5th||6|
|14th||+5||Otherworldly Patron feature||4||12||15||5th||6|
|15th||+5||Mystic Arcanum (8th level)||4||13||15||5th||7|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement OR Feat||4||13||15||5th||7|
|17th||+6||Mystic Arcanum (9th level)||4||14||20||5th||7|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement OR Feat||4||15||20||5th||8|
At 1st level, you have struck a bargain with an otherworldly being of your choice. Choose from, Ghost in the Machine, The Archfey, The Celestial, The Fiend, The Great Old One, The Hexblade, The Lord of Pain^, The Lurker in the Deep, The Raven Queen, The Seeker, and The Undying.
Your arcane research and the magic bestowed on you by your patron have given you facility with spells.
You know two cantrips of your choice from the warlock spell list. You learn additional warlock cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Warlock table.
The Warlock table shows how many spell slots you have. The table also shows what the level of those slots is; all of your spell slots are the same level. To cast one of your warlock spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a spell slot. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a short or long rest.
For example, when you are 5th level, you have two 3rd-level spell slots. To cast the 1st-level spell thunderwave, you must spend one of those slots, and you cast it as a 3rd-level spell.
SPELLS KNOWN OF 1ST LEVEL AND HIGHER
At 1st level, you know two 1st-level spells of your choice from the warlock spell list.
The Spells Known column of the Warlock table shows when you learn more warlock spells of your choice of 1st level and higher. A spell you choose must be of a level no higher than what’s shown in the table’s Slot Level column for your level. When you reach 6th level, for example, you learn a new warlock spell, which can be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd level.
Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the warlock spells you know and replace it with another spell from the warlock spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your warlock spells, so you use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a warlock spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
You can use an arcane focus as a spellcasting focus for your warlock spells.
In your study of occult lore, you have unearthed eldritch invocations, fragments of forbidden knowledge that imbue you with an abiding magical ability.
At 2nd level, you gain two eldritch invocations of your choice. Your invocation options are detailed at the end of the class description. When you gain certain warlock levels, you gain additional invocations of your choice, as shown in the Invocations Known column of the Warlock table.
Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the invocations you know and replace it with another invocation that you could learn at that level.
At 3rd level, your otherworldly patron bestows a gift upon you for your loyal service. You gain one of the following features of your choice.
PACT OF THE CHAIN
You learn the find familiar spell and can cast it as a ritual. The spell doesn’t count against your number of spells known.
When you cast the spell, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following special forms: imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite.
Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own.
PACT OF THE TOME
Your patron gives you a grimoire called a Book of Shadows. When you gain this feature, choose three cantrips from any class’s spell list. While the book is on your person, you can cast those cantrips at will. They don’t count against your number of cantrips known.
If you lose your Book of Shadows, you can perform a 1-hour ceremony to receive a replacement from your patron. This ceremony can be performed during a short or long rest, and it destroys the previous book. The book turns to ash when you die.
PACT OF THE BLADE
You can use your action to create a pact weapon in your empty hand. You can choose the form that this melee weapon takes each time you create it. You are proficient with it while you wield it. This weapon counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
Your pact weapon disappears if it is more than 5 feet away from you for 1 minute or more. It also disappears if you use this feature again, if you dismiss the weapon (no action required), or if you die.
You can transform one magic weapon into your pact weapon by performing a special ritual while you hold the weapon. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. You can then dismiss the weapon, shunting it into an extradimensional space, and it appears whenever you create your pact weapon thereafter. You can’t affect an artifact or a sentient weapon in this way. The weapon ceases being your pact weapon if you die, if you perform the 1-hour ritual on a different weapon, or if you use a 1-hour ritual to break your bond to it. The weapon appears at your feet if it is in the extradimensional space when the bond breaks.
ABILITY SCORE IMPROVEMENT
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
At 11th level, your patron bestows upon you a magical secret called an arcanum. Choose one 6th-level spell from the warlock spell list as this arcanum.
You can cast your arcanum spell once without expending a spell slot. You must finish a long rest before you can do so again.
At higher levels, you gain more warlock spells of your choice that can be cast in this way: one 7th-level spell at 13th level, one 8th-level spell at 15th level, and one 9th-level spell at 17th level. You regain all uses of your Mystic Arcanum when you finish a long rest.
At 20th level, you can draw on your inner reserve of mystical power while entreating your patron to regain expended spell slots. You can spend 1 minute entreating your patron for aid to regain all your expended spell slots from your Pact Magic feature. Once you regain spell slots with this feature, you must finish a long rest before you can do so again.
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