How to Build: Warlocks

December 29, 2019 2 min read

Keeper of Pacts and Secrets

by: B.J. Guest

Sitting crisscrossed on the floor of a ragged inn’s room, focusing your mind on your magic ability, you feel heat rush in your skull, a soft hand curls it’s fingers over your shoulder,  your patron whispers into your ear, “Hello my servant”. 

Gaining their magical abilities from an otherworldly patron, warlocks’ powers are half of their backstory.  In this How to Build article, we will go over the most important aspect of the warlock class and which races may wield the Eldritch Blast the best. 

Key Features: 

The most important aspect of a warlock is WHO they got their magical abilities from. Depending on which patron the player chooses decides which spells your warlock has access to.  There are several different patrons to choose from. 

  • The Archfey
  • The Celestial
  • The Fiend
  • The Great Old One
  • The Hexblade
  • The Undying

Each choice is unique and can create completely different experiences. 

Once you choose your patron deciding if it is a friend or foe can be a great story plot point for the overall campaign or a story arc.  In my personal 5E game I DM for, a player’s half-elf warlock of the fiend’s patron is Fierna from one of the levels of hell.  She has been using the warlock to complete missions or destroy obstacles for her.  Now that he had her exorcised from his soul, she has been talking to different PCs under the disguise of a goddess or a female dragonborn.  It has been such a huge plot point of my game that I completely homebrewed and my players love it!

 

Character Creation

When building your warlock, similar to a sorcerer, the most important ability is charisma which is the spell casting modifier for warlocks.  The second most important ability is constitution to keep a strong concentration check.

 

Yuan-Ti Pureblood

The serpent people are known as purebloods for short, the yuan-ti purebloods can make interesting and powerful warlocks.  With a +2 charisma and a +1 to intelligence, purebloods have the stats for a strong warlock. They are immune to poison damage and being poisoned.  They can also cast different spells innately which is helpful since warlocks have a small list of spells to choose from.  

Changeling

The shapeshifting changelings are already useful and interesting characters because of their shapeshifting abilities.  With a +2 to charisma and +1 to another ability, changelings can be powerful warlocks as well.

Tieflings

The supposed children of devils and fiends, a tiefling warlock following the directions of a patron from the fiend category makes sense thematically.  Similar to racial boosts like the pureblood race, tieflings have a +2 to charisma and a +1 to intelligence.  There are several different subraces of tieflings each with innate spellcasting choices and ability boosts. 

As always, the most important piece of advice I can give you is to have fun and roll with the dice!

*Dungeons and Dragons and their content is the property of Wizards of the Coast. Norse Foundry makes no claim to ownership to any of the things discussed in this article, this article is a helpful opinion guide on to how to play the game.