D&D Next: Warlock Homebrew

In a similar vein to my bladesinger homebrew, here is an untested infernal-pact warlock. I have shown this to a few people, and while they like it I want to see what others think about the direction and mechanics. I want to have a warlock that gains her power from something, and have that something actually matter (well, if the player and DM want to go that route).

Given that a warlock is leased power, spells are fairly limited as the warlock must prove herself in order to gain more responsibility. This is where I differentiate it from a wizard or sorcerer: wizards can learn and modify magic pretty easily, and sorcerers are limited to their bloodlines. Warlocks are limited, but can still petition their arcane sugar-daddy to shake things up (albeit on a limited basis).


  • Hit Die d6
  • Weapon Proficiencies Simple Melee, Simple Ranged
  • Armor Proficiencies Light Armor
  • Class Features Eldritch Pact, Eldritch Blast, Pact Magic, Sign
Eldritch Pact: Ideally a finalized warlock would be able to choose from star, fey, and others as well, but so far I only wrote up things for an infernal one. This assumes that the character made a deal with a devil in exchange for power.

Another goal would be to develop thematic pacts within pacts (pactception), so that a player could say that she made a deal with a chain devil, pit fiend, succubus, gelugon, or whatever, and have magic to back it up. For now though, fire-based things.

In addition to getting magic freebies, you also gain the Contact Patron ritual, which lets you hit up your patron to request additional favors (but at what cost!?), swap out your magic on the fly, or get feedback if you on a mission for it. Depends on your patron and how you relate to it.

Contact Patron Ritual
Requires 5 gp worth of ritual components and takes 10 minutes to cast. You can exchange the pact spells you have access to for others. Alternatively you could also ask for advice or information (effectively gaining a bonus or advantage on a check that the patron might feasibly be good with), though in most cases it will only really care if your goals coincide with its own, or you are in danger and you are worth keeping alive. Bothering your patron too often and just asking for favors might have consequences.

This price is subject to change. I am basing the price on the "silver-standard" model, so 5 gp might actually mean something. I had also considered making it a x times per day thing, or possibly have it be free x times per day, but let a warlock shell out. If any of my players try this out, I am also going to use something like artifact Concordance to help track players bothering patrons too often and determining how, if what, kind of aid they will provide.

Eldritch Blast: Warlocks are proxies for powerful beings, and their bodies are conduits for unshaped magical power which they can channel. Infernal pact warlocks generally unleash hellfire, though if you go with a succubus I could see it being untyped or psychic, while those that buddied up with a gelugon would inflict cold. It is a ranged attack made with a 2 + Con modifier bonus, and deals 1d8 + Con mod fire damage.

Sign: There is something about your character that betrays your allegiance. This is something that is easy to conceal, such as a brand on your body, one or more small nubs on your body (as if horns or wings were preparing to sprout), a general feeling of uneasiness, the faintest tinge of sulfur, or perhaps some animals dislike you. Initially this has no mechanical effect, but the deeper you dabble the more severe it becomes.


You gain access to two pact spells at 1st-level, but can change them using the Contact Patron ritual. As you gain warlock levels you can use boons to alter them.

Binding Chains
You conjure chains from one of the circles of the Nine Hells (probably a hot one). A creature that is your size or smaller within 30 feet gets to make a DC 10 + Con modifier Dexterity save or it is immobilized and takes 1d6 plus your Constitution modifier damage (bludgeoning?). Creatures larger than you are instead slowed. On its turn it can use an action to try and escape, but if it is still stuck when your turn comes around you can use an action to sustain it and automatically deal another 1d6 + Con mod damage.

Black Blade
I included this one because I really dug the blade of annihilation from the 4th Edition hexblade; you summon it as a Minor action (or as an "action that also lets you make an attack"), and it basically functions as a longsword that uses your Con for attack and damage rolls. Oh yeah, and every time you kill a creature you regain a hit point.

Infernal Host
You allow a devil to possess you, and are mostly better off for it, gaining one of the following benefits (which you can change for free at the start of your turn):
  • Claws: You can make two claw attacks per action. They deal 1d4 damage and use your Constitution for attack and damage rolls. You can use these on different targets.
  • Presence: You gain advantage on Bluff and Intimidate checks.
  • Skin: You gain fire resistance.
The drawback is that you take damage each round as the devil tries to gain control of you. So far I have this at the character having to make a DC 11 Constitution save each round or take damage (like, 1d4), but I would like to incorporate some way for the devil to change your alignment or make you do things if you fail your save.


Your Hit Dice increase to 2d6, your maximum hit points increases by 3, and you can modify one of your pact spells:
  • Slashing Chains: Binding chains now deals slashing damage, and whenever a creature tries to escape it takes 1d4 slashing damage.
  • Burning Blade: Black blade deals fire damage, and gains an additional +1 bonus to damage.
  • Infernal Resilience: While possessed by infernal host you gain a +1 bonus to your Armor Class (alternatively could be Constitution saves).
You can change your pact boon using Contact Patron, along with other spells. Other things would be to have the chains be able to affect larger creatures, deal fire damage, and affect more than one target, have the sword shoot fire, attack multiple times, and even become possessed (so it would act of its own accord), and have the infernal host give you even more things, but increase the save DC and damage for your troubles.
    3RD LEVEL 

    Increase your Hit Dice to 3d6, and your total hit points by 3. You gain access to one other pact spell and the Empowering Soul feat.


    • Forbidden Lore +3
    • Intimidate +3
    • Magical Lore +3
    • Cultist
    Cultist: You are a member of a cult, which means that in a place with a cell you can get free room and board. You might even be able to requisition resources and aid, especially if you are doing things to help them.


    Other possible feats would be to gain an infernal familiar (like an imp), a devil servant (kind of like a companion character), have per-encounter or per-day special attacks that let you force a Con save to deal bonus damage/kill a creature with x hit points or less (like the executioner's assassin strike, but only on living things), impose penalties/disadvantage to Constitution saves, etc.

    Consume Soul
    Benefit: Once per day after you reduce a living creature to 0 hit points or less, you can either regain hit points as if you had used a Hit Die, or regain a spent Hit Die.

    Empowering Soul
    Benefit: When a creature within 30 feet of you dies, you can use a reaction to draw in its soul and empower your next attack. You grant disadvantage against the next attack made against you, but your next attack deals +1d10 additional damage.


    1. This is pretty sweet, actually. I could see really enjoying mixing those themes and backgrounds with other classes, too. Like a fighter soul harvester. I'm still a bit wary of unlimited at-will powers, but that is both an issue of the core system (not an issue of this class) and also easy to house-rule. (My current take is to turn magical at-wills into encounter powers that require a short rest to recharge.)

      Nice work.

    2. Thanks. :-)

      That was the issue with feats: I wanted to make sure that most, if not all classes could get mileage out of. I specifically thought of fighters (or fighter/warlocks) hewing down their foes and using their souls to various ends.


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