A warlock is an arcane spellcaster who gains power through pacts with powerful entities, most commonly devils, elder evils, fey, or demons. These pacts allow warlocks to channel the greater creatures mana and unlock powerful abilities of arcane might that would otherwise be closed to them.
Warlocks have an overall poor reputation, a result of their dealings with otherworldly and often malevolent creatures. However, not all warlocks are evil by nature and may use such deadly gifts for more benign purposes. How far the warlock goes to fulfilling their pact is entirely up to them, though corruption is an ever-present danger for warlocks of all stripes. Likewise, many warlocks make pacts with several creatures, rather than just one, in order to access even more power, though all warlocks must eventually favor one pact over all the others.
Like sorcerers, many warlocks come from a supernatural bloodline, and it has been said that warlocks are "born, not made." This is not true for all warlocks, though many do indeed come from fiendish bloodlines. Those that aren't are still often touched by destiny in some special way, sought out by powerful extraplanar forces as tools and minions, altering their souls and giving them supernatural abilities beyond the ken of most mortals. These forces behold warlocks to their power, though some break away from the chains of their servitude to forge their own destiny. More often, warlocks, by choice or by circumstance, become much like the cruel and capricious beings they serve. Regardless of how they treat their patrons, most warlocks have a healthy respect for the divine, particularly patrons of magical power such as Morrigan or Mab, though many evil warlocks are drawn to Ashmedai and Ceulubre as well. There are exceptions, however. Some warlocks seek out goodly powers deliberately to counter the powerful temptations they deal with regularly. Other warlocks feel no ties to gods or demons, perhaps due to their frequent dealings with other supernatural powers.
Tieflings and others of fiendish blood are powerfully drawn to the ways of the warlock and are among the most common to take the path. Humans, thanks in large part to their capacity for ambition, also breed many warlocks, hoping to find a path to power that does not take them a significant portion of their short lifespans. Half-orcs are also commonly warlocks, in part because the powers that choose to give patronage to warlocks do not discriminate between them and other, more "purebred", races. Warlocks from other races are far more rare, though Jerren often take advantage of any dark powers they can get a hold of, and half-elves, when given the incentive, make excellent practitioners of the dark arts.
Warlocks have varying views of those who differ from them, in part because of their outsider place in society. Generally, warlocks view other arcanists through a lens of bitter rivalry but many have a healthy respect for fighters' strength or rogues' cleverness. Few warlocks get along well with practitioners of divine magic, in part due to their dealings with unholy powers, but warlocks rarely try to deliberately upset allies who could prove useful, which includes healing clerics.
Warlock spells are also called invocations, which are released through sheer force of will rather than by trained practice or innate ability. Invocations tend to be more powerful and deadly than those of a wizard or sorcerer, though with limited range or area of effect. Some invocations are less inherently deadly but instill terror or confusion in an enemy, and warlocks are adept in cursing those with whom they fight. The most basic of all invocations is called an eldritch blast and is essentially a charged blast of pure arcane energy. When forced into combat, experienced warlocks often elude enemy blows through spells of flying, teleportation, or invisibility.
As a result of their pacts, warlocks channel arcane power with more ease than most other arcanists, though this power is most particularly focused around a warlock's pact. Warlocks have some degree of training in the use of basic weapons and leather armor, which gives them a slight edge over both wizards and sorcerers in non-magical battle, though still leaving them vulnerable to the attacks of more specialized combatants. For the most part, warlocks, like other arcanists, rely on their magic as both a shield and a weapon, and the tools a warlock is most likely to use are his or her implements. For this purpose most warlocks use rods or wands, though specialized weapons, pact blades being the most common, can sometimes be used by highly experienced warlocks to enhance their invocations.
Several warlocks learn additional abilities to help them. From their ties to dark powers, some warlocks gain a resistance to cold iron over time. Others learn to make their bodies more resilient, healing more quickly through their fiendish power, sometimes at extraordinary rates. Similarly, many warlocks acquire resistance to various energy types, particularly attacks that use acid, cold, electricity, fire, or psionic energy as a major component. Lastly, some warlocks become so full of arcane power that they are able to literally imbue mundane items with their power at a whim, creating magical items of great value, even if they do not possess the knowledge typically necessary to create such an item.
PatronsThe attributes and qualities of a warlock are largely determined by the kind of being with whom they have made their primary pact. The following are the known examples of warlock pacts.
Fey pact warlocks, which are among the fewest in number of all warlocks, forgo the obvious dangers of dealing with devils or the forbidding mystery that surrounds the old pact but instead deal with powerful, supernatural forces of the Umbrial plane. Such spirits of the natural world may be menacing or simply capricious in their dealings with mortals of the Prime Material Plane. Some might be faerie-like dryads or sylphs while others are less easily defined, more like incarnations of nature than anything else. Many of the sponsors of warlocks seeking the fey pact are dangerous archfey, such as Mab or other such Unseelie fey, although a few receive their powers from the more benevolent fey.
A fiendish pact is one of the most dangerous pacts of all, both morally and physically, through foul alliances with demons such as those who serve Horcos Karun, or devils such as Pholrex. It is this connection from which the dark pact gains its name and much of its tradition although a large portion of their rituals are influenced by the drow. In spite of its roots among the xenophobic drow, this tradition of dealing with demonic forces within drow society has slowly moved towards the surface, and many such inclined warlocks now live above the World Cavern. Fiends powerful enough to forge a pact include Horcos Karun, Ashmedai, various Baalors, Ultraloths, or Pit Fiends like Pholrex, the warlock patron of house Felspark
The Great Old One
So-called old pact warlocks forge their arcane alliances with the unknowable and alien forces such as Unex and Jilin. old pact warlocks often form these deals without a direct connection, interacting with the elder things through the intermediary of ancient powers of the void, or bodyless voices, learning the secret names of those celestial objects that act as doorways into realms beyond. In some cases, old pact warlocks are unaware of their dark patron and are guided to their pact through haunting nightmares. Such warlocks might view the source of their powers as innocent or at the very least under their control. Others are fully aware of the connection and exploit it anyway, either due to insanity or sheer ambition. Still others view these pacts, if they're even aware of them, with an even higher degree of suspicion than normal warlocks warrant, since the aberrant powers are more horrific than any devil or fey spirit.
Pacts with dragons are often much less beneficial to the warlock than to their master. Dragons are intelligent and coniving, often with a reputation amongst the people in the West as terrible destructive beasts. Thessan in particular has a dark history with dragons and they are often seen as worse than the fiends that they deal with. During the age of Xorvental, dragons would force mortals into service, through intimidation or bribery. Humans and elves were especially susceptible to draconic influence. In the fourth and fifth ages, dragons became exceedingly rare and the pact of the serpent became all but unknown in the West. However, the Grey Elves of Mith'taern and the people of Danasia and Jilin still deal with the greatest of the draconic survivors. The grey elves regularly worship Bahamut, lord of the North Wind and the men of the East are sometimes seduced by the South Witch.
Many evil dragons barter for greater power, feeding off the strength of Cuelebre and kobolds everywhere worshiped the Violet Wyrm as their creator.
Expanded Spell List
The Dragon Patron lets you choose from a wide selection of spells. In addition to the Warlock spell list, the Dragon Patron also allows a warlock to select their spells from any Abjuration, Enchantment or Evocation spells found in the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list.
At level 1, you know the Draconic Language, and add it to your list of languages. Additionally, whenever you make a Charisma check when interacting with dragons and draconic creatures (such as Turtle Dragons, Wyverns, and Kobolds), your proficiency bonus is doubled if it applies to the check. When recalling lore or knowledge on Draconic creatures through an ability check, your proficiency bonus is doubled if it applies to the check.
Additionally, you learn 1st Level spell from the Wizard spell list. It is a warlock spell that is always prepared for you, and you may cast it using a warlock spell slot. It does not count against you number of prepared warlock spells.
Starting at 6th level, you can choose one draconic damage type (poison, acid, cold, fire, or lightning) when you finish a short or long rest. You gain resistance to that damage type until you choose a different one with this feature.
Beginning at 10th level, when you deal damage with a spell of the same type as your current Draconic Resilience, you may add your Charisma Modifier to the damage. Additionally, you may cast a certain spell depending on your current Draconic Type, using a Warlock Spell Slot. This spell is prepared as long as you have this type chosen, doesn't count against your prepared spell limit, and is a Warlock spell for you.
|Draconic Type||Damage Type||Spell|
|Gold, Brass, Red||Fire||Immolation|
|Blue, Bronze||Lightning||Storm Sphere|
|Black, Copper||Acid||Vitriolic Sphere|
|White, Silver||Cold||Cone of Cold|
At 14th level, you can channel the dread presence of your dragon patron, causing those around you to become awestruck or frightened. As an action, you can draw on this power and exude an aura of awe or fear (your choice) to a distance of 60 feet. For 1 minute or until you lose your concentration (as if you were casting a concentration spell), each hostile creature that starts its turn in this aura must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed (if you chose awe) or frightened (if you chose fear) until the aura ends. A creature that succeeds on this saving throw is immune to your aura for 24 hours.
You must complete a long rest to use this feature again.