We continue our Warlock homebrew patrons this week with another pair of patrons for perspective Warlocks. We covered the Undead Lord and the Celestial patrons in my last article (here), these two are a bit more saucy and intricate in comparison to the previous two. I’m referring to Vestige and Dragon patrons in this regard, one of them was introduced as a class of its own back in 3.5E, it was so popular that it became a Warlock variant in 4E.
Thematically, the “Binder” pact for Vestiges were individuals who made individual pacts with multiple spirits or vestiges, entities of great renown and/or power. Some of them were demons, some were angels, some were once mortals of great acclaim. In any case, the Binder made a pact with these Vestiges and their characteristics and talents were emulated through the Binder. It was powerful and unique when it was first implemented, and it offered a great variety of tactics in later editions. I loved the flavor the Binder brought, so I figure we try to bring it forward into 5E.
Why Dragons? Well, why not? There was an idea back in 3.5 about Dragonpacts, where sorcerers made pacts with true dragons and gained draconic boons based on the type of pact created. Dragons need agents after all, so a Warlock offered great draconic powers in exchange for services rendered prove enticing of an idea.
Patron(s): the Vestiges
Instead of one singular entity, you have embarked on a maddening path of power, seeking the aid of entities of great renown and terror, you have made pacts with them in the hopes of channeling their powers through you. They are neither alive or dead, they are stuck in moments of existence, seeking to impose their influence like shadows stuck in place.
Expanded Spell List
1st – heroism, bane
2nd – spiritual weapon, calm emotions
3rd – speak with dead, phantom steed
4th – phantasmal killer, guardian of faith
5th – commune, conjure elementals
Envoy of the Vestige: Starting at 1st level, you can expend one warlock spell slot to focus your awareness on the region around you. For 1 minute per level of the spell slot you expend, you can sense whether the following types of creatures are present within 1 mile of you: celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, undead. This feature does not reveal the creatures’ location or numbers. Your spiritual awareness grants you the ability to see past obstacles, you ignore partial cover whenever you make a ranged spell attack.
Soul Binding: Starting at 6th level, you gain the ability to bind these vestiges into your very essence, which in turn bestows upon you abilities and effects based on the vestige you bind. To bind a vestige, you must perform a one-hour ritual and the effects of the ritual last until you finish a long rest. After a long rest, you must perform the binding ritual again in order to gain the benefits of a vestige.
When you bind a vestige, you gain all of the abilities listed under the description of that vestige that you qualify based on your warlock level. If you already have a particular benefit as a result of multiclassing or some other ability, the effects do not stack and are tracked separately (i.e., choose different skills to which to apply the ability if the ability affects your skills, track uses of similar abilities separately, etc.).
Surt – the Destroyer
At 6th level, when you complete the ritual to bind Surt, you gain the use of the sacred flame cantrip, and you are no longer affected by extremely hot temperatures.
At 10th level, when you complete the ritual to bind Surt, you gain the ability to cast fire blade using a warlock spell slot. In addition, you also have resistance to fire damage.
At 14th level, when you complete the ritual to bind Surt, you emit a 10-ft aura of heat and flames, creatures in the zone are dealt 3d8 + your Charisma modifier in fire damage whenever they start their turn in the aura. Creatures with damage immunity to fire are considered to have resistance to fire damage instead.
Balthar – the Ice King
At 6th level, when you complete the ritual to bind Balthar, whenever you deal cold damage through a spell, add your Charisma modifier to the damage result. You also have an effective +1 to your Armor Class as ice encases over your form.
At 10th level, when you complete the ritual to bind Balthar, whenever a creature within 5 feet of you that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to cause the creature to make a Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 4d6 cold damage on a failed saving throw, and half as much damage on a successful save. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of one).
At 14th level, when you complete the ritual to bind Balthar, you encase your hands or your weapons in ice. The weapons deal an additional 2d8 cold damage whenever it hits, the hands form ice claws that deal 3d8 cold damage on a hit. Additionally, you can cast ice storm using your warlock spell slots while Balthar is bound to you.
Silver Hair – Assassin of the Moonlight
At 6th level, when you complete the ritual to bind Silver Hair, you gain proficiency in the Dexterity (Stealth) skill and gains an additional 10 ft. of movement.
At 10th level, when you complete the ritual to bind Silver Hair, whenever you hit with an attack with advantage, you may expend a warlock spell slot to deal an additional 5d6 necrotic damage.
At 14th level, when you complete the ritual to bind Silver Hair, gain a fly speed of 60 ft., additionally you can move at your full speed while using the Dexterity (Stealth) skill.
Heorat – Stag Warden of the Woods
At 6th level, when you complete the ritual to bind Heorat, you can cast pass without trace by expending a warlock spell slot. Additionally, you do not reduce your movement speed while in difficult terrain.
At 10th level, when you complete the ritual to bind Heorat, you gain proficiency in the Charisma (Handle Animal) skill. Additionally, you can cast conjure woodland animals by expending a warlock spell slot.
At 14th level, when you complete the ritual to bind Heorat, you can cast woodland stride by expending a warlock spell slot. By using an action, you can make the earth around you in a 20 ft. radius become difficult terrain. A creature entering the zone must make a Dexterity saving throw or become prone.
Wow. That was a doozy. It was something different from normally seen for a Vestige based concept for the Warlock. I sort of went the elemental route if it wasn’t apparent but also wanted to play around with different ideas on abilities while maintaining a reasonable power level (I hope).
Ancient. Elemental power. Hoarder of treasures. Dragons are the embodiment of elemental and eldritch might aged to perfection across centuries. Mighty creatures, they may be, but there are times when great beings must instill their own plots and agendas through proxies and advocates. You have gained the tutelage of a mighty dragon, it passes along its eldritch knowledge in exchange for your services. Your desire for power is just as great as the dragon’s own greed and curiosity.
Expanded Spell List
1st – color spray, chromatic orb
2nd – see invisibility, darkvision
3rd – protection from energy, water breathing
4th – polymorph (dragon only), wall of fire
5th – legend lore, passwall
Draconic Tongue: Starting at 1st level, you read, write, and speak Draconic. You gain double your proficiency bonus when making Charisma checks with Dragon-type creatures. You can resistance to a damage type based on your Dragon patron (see Sorcerer’s table for damage types table).
Draconic Infusion: Starting at 6th level, you learn a bonus cantrip based on the damage type of your draconic patron.
Fire – fire bolt
Acid – acid splash
Poison – poison spray
Cold – ray of frost
Lightning – shocking grasp
If you already know the cantrip, you may pick another cantrip from the warlock spell list. This additional cantrip (regardless of which source you receive) does not count towards your cantrips known.
Draconic Might: Starting at 10th level, you learn to mimic the power of dragonkind and channel a breath weapon similar to your patron. You use an action to unleash elemental energy in either a 40 ft. cone or line (depending on your draconic patron), creatures make a Dexterity saving throw against your spell save DC or take 5d8 of damage based upon your patron choice. You must expend a warlock spell slot to use this feature.
Wings of the Dragon: Starting at 14th level, you can channel your eldritch energies to form draconic wings. You can use a bonus action to expend a warlock spell slot and grow bat-like wings and gain a 60 ft. fly speed for 1 minute.
Summoner of the Dead
Prerequisite: 7th level
You can cast animate dead using a warlock spell slot. You cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.
Prerequisite: 15th level, Pact of the Blade feature
As a bonus action, you can utter a vow against a creature you can see within 10 feet of you. You gain advantage on attack rolls against the creature for 1 minute or until it drops to 0 hit points or falls unconscious.
Prerequisite: 15th level, Soul Binding feature
Whenever you complete your ritual of binding, you may make bind with two vestiges and gain the abilities and benefits of both.
Prerequisite: 7th level, Pact of the Chain feature
When you choose a pseudodragon as a familiar, you can transfer a few your eldritch powers to empower it. Add your proficiency bonus to the pseudodragon’s AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. It’s hit point maximum equal its normal maximum or four times your warlock level, whichever is higher.
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