An Easy Guide to 5e Warlock Patrons | Role Player's Respite (2023)

So, you’re thinking of playing a Warlock, are ya? Maybe you’re just curious about these Charisma-based casters. Or, you’re completely new to the hobby and want to learn everything you can.

  1. What Are Patrons?
  2. Choosing a Patron
    • Archfey
    • Fiend
    • Great Old One
    • Undying
    • Celestial
    • Hexblade
    • Fathomless
    • Genie
  3. Can You Have 2 Patrons?
  4. Can You Kill Your Patron?
  5. Can You Break Your Pact?

Here’s the deal, 5e Warlock patrons are pretty easy to understand once you realize what they are.

So, let’s get into what Warlock patrons are and some questions you might have about them.

Onward.

What Are Warlock Patrons?

An Easy Guide to 5e Warlock Patrons | Role Player's Respite (1)

In a nutshell, patrons are the sources of and conduits for magic for Warlocks.

Kind of like how a Cleric draws power from their deity (though not always) or a Druid pulls power from nature. But, usually with…extra steps.

A Warlock makes a deal (or pact because it sounds cooler) with some entity. The Warlock gains access to magical abilities in exchange for something. What that something is depends on the patron. An archfey might ask you to sing The Old Dun Cow every 17th morning at dawn because why not? Whereas a devil might want something more practical like a quota of kills every month so they can take those souls and damn them for eternity.

Basically, Warlock patrons grant mortals otherworldly powers. No studying or pre-existing bloodlines required (mostly). But, at a cost.

Anyway, when you choose to play a Warlock, you’ll choose a patron. Which patron you choose (given it’s theme) determines what features your character gets.

So, you wonder "what flavors of 5e Warlock patron are there?"

Each patron has their own theme and flavor in regards to how your character’s magic manifests and what class features they get.

The D&D Warlock patrons list currently includes:

  • Archfey (PHB)
  • Fiend (PHB)
  • Great Old One (PHB)
  • Undying (SCAG)
  • Celestial (XGtE)
  • Hexblade (XGtE)
  • Fathomless (TCoE)
  • Genie (TCoE)

*PHB is Player’s Handbook, SCAG is Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, XGtE is Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, and TCoE is Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

Let’s break each of them down starting with the Archfey.

The Archfey (PHB)

Example Archfey patrons:

  • Baba Yaga, Mother of All Witches
  • Titania, Queen of the Summer Court
  • Madoc Morfryn, the Unseelie Lord
  • Queen Mab
  • Oberon, the Green Lord
  • Neifion, the Lord of Bats
  • Rumplestiltskin
  • Verenestra, the Oak Princess

Your character made a pact with a powerful being from the Feywild.

Much like most of fairie folklore, your patron grants your character a bunch of weird, almost hypnotic abilities. In a nutshell, your patron is on a level with some of the most powerful beings within the Inner Planes.

The Fiend (PHB)

Example Fiend patrons:

  • Mephistopheles
  • Orcus
  • Beelzebub
  • Demogorgon
  • Asmodeus
  • Graz’zt
  • Baal
  • Baphomet

Devils and demons are the name of the game with these patrons.

Now, most people choose archdevils and demonlords (because why wouldn’t you?). But, any fiend qualifies.

And, there’s something funny about drawing power from an imp.

The Great Old One (PHB)

Example Great Old One patron list for 5e:

  • Cthulhu
  • Ego, the Living Planet
  • The Star that Hates (SCP-1548)
  • Indrid Cold, the Grinning Man
  • Yagikv, the Roiling Shadow
  • The Pain (an ephemeral entity that grants mortals the ability to feel pain)
  • A sentient black hole
  • Literally almost anything from the Cthulhu mythos

Beings so old and incomprehensible they exist far beyond even the Outer Planes. So unconcerned are these beings with the rest of creation, they view mortals as less than ants.

Expect…some weird nonsense from these patrons. Such as; asking for the blood of the fourth son of the fourth son, creating an altar of decapitated red squirrel heads, or convincing an entire town to wear chicken feather hats. If they ask anything of you.

Also, you’re like a distant cousin to DnD 5e’s aberrations since they’re some weird pseudo-eldritch beings. So, that’s fun.

The Undying (SCAG)

Example Undying patrons:

  • Alathene Moonstar
  • Vecna
  • Baron von Strahd
  • The Alchemist (a mortal who replaces aging body parts with fresh ones)
  • Count Dracula

Your patron is mortal. Hurray!

They also found the secret to immortality through probably nefarious means. That or they’re just naturally death-averse. Liches and other immortals that aren’t celestials or fiends are your role models.

So…have fun with that.

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The Celestial (XGtE)

Example Celestial patrons:

  • An Empyrean
  • A Solar
  • A Unicorn
  • A Coatl
  • A Pegasus
  • A Deva
  • A Ki-rin
  • A Planetar

Can a Warlock patron be a God?

I’d say no. Because that’s pretty much a Cleric.

Celestial Warlocks are like the cousins to Clerics. And, one of the few outright "good" guys you choose for your Warlock patron.

While Clerics tend to draw power from a deity, you opt for one of the lesser celestials. You represent the representative of a god. You’re kind of like the assistant to the assistant of the regional manager.

The Hexblade (XGtE)

Example Hexblade patrons:

  • Death’s Scythe
  • Mjolnir, Thor’s Hammer
  • Gungnir, Odin’s Spear
  • Gae Bulg, Cuchulainn’s Spear
  • Excaliber, Arthur’s Sword
  • Honjo Masamune, Legendary Katana
  • Tiznoa, El Cid’s Sword
  • Forseti’s Axe

Your character found or was given a sweet weapon with sweet powers.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything states the weapon comes from the Shadowfell. But, are you gonna let some book tell you what to do? I suggest you go wild with it.

Have an axe your grandmother’s soul accidentally bound to? Great, use granny’s ephemeral existence to power your pursuits. Did your character trip over the ancient, sentient rapier with the personality of an over confident chicken? Go for it.

The Fathomless (TCoE)

Example Fathomless patrons:

  • A Kraken
  • An Aboleth
  • A Water Elemental
  • Jormungandr, the World Serpent
  • The White Whale
  • Dagon
  • Uko’toa (~Uko’toa~)
  • The Lady of the Lake

The immense depths of the oceans hide many strange and frightening creatures. Your warlock made contact with one such creature that wields great power.

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything introduced two new Warlock patrons. The first being the Fathomless.

Basically, your character found (or was contacted by) some entity that resides deep in the world’s oceans. Or, maybe some other mystical body of water.

Your subclass features are themed around the water…and tentacles. Because, why not?

The Genie (TCoE)

Example Genie patrons:

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  • A Dao (Earth)
  • A Djinn (Air)
  • An Efreeti (Fire)
  • A Marid (Water)

…That’s about it. Or, y’know, homebrew genies that aren’t tied to the Elemental Planes.

The second new option from TCoE, your character made a pact with a powerful entity from one of the Elemental Planes; a Genie.

The cool thing about the Pact of the Genie is your subclass features change depending on the elemental flavor you pick. For the most part, it alters your baked-in spell list and the type of damage your feature do. But, it’s still a neat detail for the subclass.

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So, there are the different Warlock patrons available in D&D 5e. Let’s move onto choosing your patron.

How Do I Choose a Warlock Patron?

When you’re making a Warlock, you’ll choose your patron at 1st level.

Now, I should say you’re choosing the type of patron for your character. This is how you figure out which subclass features you’ll get as you level up.

The best part is you can customize what or who your Warlock patron is.

What I suggest is pick the subclass you want for your character. Then, come up with what kind of entity represents that patron type. Or, better yet, let your Dungeon Master come up with something.

Giving your DM the freedom for an NPC that ties into your character can help them come up with fun adventures for the party.

Now that you’ve got your patron, let’s move on to some frequently asked questions.

Can a Warlock Have Two Patrons?

An Easy Guide to 5e Warlock Patrons | Role Player's Respite (2)

In the strictest sense, no. Your Warlock can’t have two patrons. At least, as far as mechanics go.

Look at it this way, each subclass is balanced around only accessing a certain set of features. No class in D&D 5e "double dips" into their own class. Not by the rules as written (RAW), anyway.

BUT, I will say if you wanted some flavor of two patrons in the same subclass vying for your attention, that might be kind of fun.

Imagine.

Oberon and Titania fighting over your character and asking you to do more preposterous things each time. Or, a devil and a demon trying to win you over. Who know? Might be kind of fun.

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Now that you’ve got your patron, on to the next topic: patron-cide!

Can a Warlock Kill Their Patron?

An Easy Guide to 5e Warlock Patrons | Role Player's Respite (3)

Yes, given the right circumstances and power level (and assuming the DM is cool with it), a Warlock could kill their patron.

Now, naturally this depends on your DM. Also, it’s…probably going to be hard.

Here’s the deal: your character draws power from this being, right? You’re basically at the receiving end of a hose and your patron has their hand on the knob.

What’s to stop your patron from turning off the flow?

If a Warlock confronts their patron for whatever reason, they need a solid plan in place. Because once the fighting starts, you can bet the patron cuts all power off.

Even then, killing your patron comes at the cost of your character’s powers…

…Unless you’re planning to usurp your patron. Which HOT DAMN would that be cool.

Can a Warlock Break Their Pact?

An Easy Guide to 5e Warlock Patrons | Role Player's Respite (4)

Like killing their patron, the same goes for if a Warlock disobeys their patron too many times or outright breaks their pact.

Yes, your Warlock can break their pact or disobey the orders of their patron. But, this usually results in the weakening or outright stripping of their powers.

This could start a fun side quest of redemption where your character seeks a different method. Or, they seek to mend the relationship with their patron.

Remember: this differs from table to table. Work with your DM on how you want to handle something like this.

And that’s about it on 5e Warlock Patrons for D&D.

  • They’re otherworldly (mostly) beings who grant power to mortals
  • Warlocks form a pact that outlines what they’ll do in exchange for this power
  • There are a variety of different patrons to choose from
  • You choose your Warlock patron at 1st level
  • Yes, you can kill your patron (given DM permission)
  • Yes, you can break your pact with your patron (see above)

I hope this clears up what Warlock patrons are and a few other questions around them.

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How does your table handle patrons? Does your DM come up with them? Or, does your table encourage players to create them? Leave a comment and let me know. I’d love to see what your table does.

FAQs

Which patron is best for warlock? ›

The best Warlock patrons are Genie, Undead, and Hexblade. The worst ones are Undying, Great Old One, and Archfey.

Why are warlocks weak 5e? ›

Weaknesses. A warlock's spell slots are its biggest weakness. Up until 10th-level they only have two spell slots per short rest, and only ever get up to four spell slots at the 20th-level. This means that warlocks can wind up without any spells very quickly if your party runs into trouble.

Can vecna be a warlock patron? ›

Vecna was #4 on Game Rant's 2020 "10 Must-Have NPCs In Dungeons & Dragons Lore To Make Your Campaigns Awesome" list — the article states that "Aside from being a deity himself, Vecna can take on the role of an Undying Patron for Warlocks.

Which pact is best for warlock? ›

I recommend allowing Pact of the Talisman on all warlocks. It's neat and offers some new play options for the Warlock, but it's not more powerful than anything else available. Eldritch Versatility (Addition): Like other spellcasters, the Warlock gains the ability to retrain a cantrip.

Can a warlock have two patrons? ›

There are no rules for giving a Warlock more than one Patron. But if you wanted to define your patronage as having more than one patron of the same type (two Fiends for a Fiendish otherworldly Patron, for example), your DM might find it acceptable.

What is the best subclass for warlock? ›

The Warlock's Stasis subclass is the best crowd control subclass in the game, capable of freezing anything that moves in both PvE and PvP. Shadebinders trivialize GM Nightfalls and can be a nightmare to counter in the Crucible, provided you have a good build.

What race is best for warlock 5E? ›

What are the best warlock races in D&D 5E? Any race that gets charisma bonuses, such as half-elves, tieflings (half-demon folks) and aasimar (angel folks). Also, humans are, as per usual, a fantastic choice - just because they're so versatile.

How do you make a warlock op? ›

15 Ways to Make an Overpowered Warlock in Dungeons and Dragons
  1. 15/15 Make Charisma Your Highest Stat.
  2. 14/15 Be a Tiefling.
  3. 13/15 Don't Neglect Your Dex.
  4. 12/15 Polearm Mastery.
  5. 11/15 Choose Pact of the Chain.
  6. 10/15 Be Born A Half-Elf.
  7. 9/15 Make A Deal With The Devil.
  8. 8/15 Beef Up Your Eldritch Blast.
26 Jul 2022

Can you hex and Eldritch Blast? ›

QUESTION: IS IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO STACK HEX WITH THE ELDRITCH BLAST IN 5E? Answer: If you cast a relentless hex in 5e, the damage is not a part of the eldritch blast spell. So it would stack with all the rest. There are a couple of other great spells to use with hex in 5e.

How did 001 become Vecna? ›

In a fit of rage, Henry used his restored powers to brutally murder the other test subjects, and attempted to do the same to Eleven. However, Eleven stood her ground and ultimately overpowered him, sending him through a gate to the Upside Down; there, he gradually transformed into the being known as Vecna.

What happens if a warlock breaks their pact? ›

Story wise, Breaking your Pact usually comes with a consequence stipulated in the original contract. It could be the loss of access to powers, if that is what you agreed on. Most pacts have far steeper consequences though: For infernal pacts it is usually the immediate forfeit of your soul/life to the fiend.

Why is Vecna's hand so big? ›

This is a reference to the D&D character Vecna, for whom this Vecna is named; the D&D Vecna has a monstrous hand infused with dark magic. The design of Vecna's hand is also a nod to Freddy Krueger, the Nightmare on Elm Street villain who had a huge influence on this season in general.

Why do Warlocks only get 2 spell slots? ›

As for why Warlock has fewer spell slots, one of the reasons is because no other caster can deal that kind damage with a Cantrips spell. Because of eldritch blast and it's invocations. Even when you have no spell slots remaining, warlocks are quite good.

Can Warlocks get two attacks? ›

No. The Warlock's Thirsting Blade Eldritch Invocation does not stack with Extra Attack. Ordinarily, Warlocks don't get the Extra Attack feature. That said, if a player character choose the Pact of the Blade as their Pact Boon feature option, they have access to the Thirsting Blade Eldritch Invocation.

Can a warlock use a pearl of power? ›

Warlocks typically only have a single level of spell slots. The pearl of power restores a spell slot, but if it is 4th level or above, it restores it as a 3rd level slot.

Can a Warlock become a lich? ›

According to one of the items in 5e's DMG called the Book of Vile Darkness, there is a spell that one can learn in there to become a lich or a death knight, but only wizards can learn spells so your DM may (or may not) homebrew a system for Warlocks to become liches.

Is Hexblade a patron? ›

The Hexblade is the title of the warlock's patron—just like the Archfey, the Fiend, and the Great Old One.

Can Warlocks talk to their patron? ›

Warlocks can initiate communications with their patron by purposefully entering into a dream/trance/reverie state through a ritual.

Can a deity be a patron? ›

You could certainly create a patron that is a deity. Just model the patron after one of the existing ones in the books or Unearthed Arcana, give him pact spells off the cleric spell list from the domain that fits the deity.

Can you have two subclasses 5e? ›

Yes, you get a subclass for each class

Keep in mind that you cannot choose multiple subclasses for the same class. You could, theoretically get 9 subclasses (assuming you meet the multiclassing requirements) with Cleric, Warlock, Sorcerer, Wizard, Druid, and any other 4.

What ability scores should a warlock have? ›

Assigning Ability Scores
  • Charisma, 16+. Just like Bards and Sorcerers, Warlocks are Charisma-based arcane spellcasters, which makes Charisma a no-brainer to assign as the Warlock's primary and highest stat. ...
  • Dexterity, 14-16. ...
  • Constitution, 14-16. ...
  • Intelligence. ...
  • Wisdom. ...
  • Strength.
2 Dec 2021

Do Warlocks Need Intelligence? ›

Ability Scores

Dexterity: Not generally needed. Intelligence: Generally your secondary stat. Important for AC and Reflex defense. Minimum of 13 needed to pick up Ritual Caster.

Are Warlocks evil 5e? ›

Alignment: Warlocks are often chaotic or evil (and more than a few are both). The powers they serve can be cruel, capricious, and wild, unbound by conventional views of right and wrong.

Is Archfey warlock good? ›

While few of the Archfey's options are actually bad, the only truly fantastic feature is Faerie Fire. After that, most of the options are good but unremarkable. There's very little here that's exceptional, but there's also very little here that's really disappointing.

Is Pact of the tome good? ›

The Tome is a solid choice for any non-Hexblade Warlock. The Tome's best cantrip choices add utility and out-of-combat help to the Warlock's toolkit, which is sorely missed from almost all of the Warlock's subclasses. There are a few that benefit a touch more than other Subclasses.

What are warlocks good for? ›

Warlocks also have one of the most potent Cantrip spells with their Eldritch blast. One of the reasons for its potency it does damage similar to a ranged longsword attack, with additional attacks at higher levels, allowing the warlock to make potent cantrip attacks.

Can Eldritch Blast be twinned? ›

To be eligible for Twinned Spell, a spell must be incapable of targeting more than one creature at the spell's current level. By default, eldritch blast does not have a range of self and is capable of targeting only one creature. It is thus eligible to be twinned.

Can you cast Eldritch Blast twice with quickened spell? ›

This means that via Quickened Spell, Eldritch Blast could be cast twice within the same turn, or it could be cast in addition to another damaging spell at a Warlock's disposal.

Can you crit with Eldritch Blast? ›

Yes, every portion of eldritch blast has its own chance to crit, subject to the critical chance for that damage type and critical multiplier improvements available with certain feats and inside the cores of the Tainted Scholar tree.

Do warlocks need a patron? ›

Warlocks are powerful spell casters that derive their power from a greater power, known as their Patron. Unlike clerics, paladins, or druids who worship and gain power from great spiritual forces and deities, the warlock's powers are granted instead by a direct agreement and willing servitude to an external force.

What is the best race for a warlock in D&D? ›

What are the best warlock races in D&D 5E? Any race that gets charisma bonuses, such as half-elves, tieflings (half-demon folks) and aasimar (angel folks). Also, humans are, as per usual, a fantastic choice - just because they're so versatile.

What is patron for DnD warlock? ›

These Warlock Patrons may include Demon Lords, Archdevils, or other powerful denizens of the Lower Planes (such as Pit Fiends, Rakshasas, Balors, or Ultroloths). Popular Demon Lord Patrons include Orcus, Graz'zt, Demogorgon, and Pazuzu. Popular Archdevil Patrons include Asmodeus, Moloch, Dispater, and Mammon.

Can you switch warlock patrons? ›

Simply there isn't a mechanic that allows you to change patrons in DnD 5e.

What happens to warlock if patron dies? ›

"If you manage to kill your patron, you will lose all your warlock powers unless you perform a ritual to be imbued with a fraction of your vanquished patron's power."

What if a warlock breaks their pact? ›

Story wise, Breaking your Pact usually comes with a consequence stipulated in the original contract. It could be the loss of access to powers, if that is what you agreed on. Most pacts have far steeper consequences though: For infernal pacts it is usually the immediate forfeit of your soul/life to the fiend.

Can warlocks talk to their patron? ›

Warlocks can initiate communications with their patron by purposefully entering into a dream/trance/reverie state through a ritual.

Why do warlocks only get 2 spell slots? ›

As for why Warlock has fewer spell slots, one of the reasons is because no other caster can deal that kind damage with a Cantrips spell. Because of eldritch blast and it's invocations. Even when you have no spell slots remaining, warlocks are quite good.

What ability scores should a warlock have? ›

Assigning Ability Scores
  • Charisma, 16+. Just like Bards and Sorcerers, Warlocks are Charisma-based arcane spellcasters, which makes Charisma a no-brainer to assign as the Warlock's primary and highest stat. ...
  • Dexterity, 14-16. ...
  • Constitution, 14-16. ...
  • Intelligence. ...
  • Wisdom. ...
  • Strength.
2 Dec 2021

Can a deity be a patron? ›

You could certainly create a patron that is a deity. Just model the patron after one of the existing ones in the books or Unearthed Arcana, give him pact spells off the cleric spell list from the domain that fits the deity.

Who is the Hexblade patron? ›

The Raven Queen is the patron of the Hexblade subclass for the Warlock in D&D 5th edition. She rules over the Shadowfell, and is to some extent part of that realm. She is a very powerful former elven deity. The history of the Raven Queen is included in the supplement Xanathar's Guide to Everything.

Is Archfey warlock good? ›

While few of the Archfey's options are actually bad, the only truly fantastic feature is Faerie Fire. After that, most of the options are good but unremarkable. There's very little here that's exceptional, but there's also very little here that's really disappointing.

Which pact boon is best 5e? ›

Pact of the Talisman is the simplest Pact Boon, requiring no actions on the part of the warlock and requiring little further investment to make the talisman useful. If you want to focus on other parts of the Warlock and Pact Boon holds little appeal for you, Pact of the Talisman is a great choice.

Is Pact of the tome good? ›

The Tome is a solid choice for any non-Hexblade Warlock. The Tome's best cantrip choices add utility and out-of-combat help to the Warlock's toolkit, which is sorely missed from almost all of the Warlock's subclasses. There are a few that benefit a touch more than other Subclasses.

What is the best Eldritch invocations 5e? ›

Dungeons & Dragons: 15 Best Eldritch Invocations In The Game
  • 8/15 Lifedrinker.
  • 7/15 Investment Of the Chain Master.
  • 6/15 Mask Of Many Faces.
  • 5/15 Tomb Of Levistus.
  • 4/15 Devil's Sight.
  • 3/15 Thirsting Blade.
  • 2/15 Shroud Of Shadow.
  • 1/15 Agonizing Blast.
4 Oct 2022

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