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Warlocks: A Beginners Guide

  • 5 min read

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It is one of those shops that is rarely entered by the town residents. The windows boast all sorts of trinkets and objects that aren’t your typical shop fare. Anyone entering is met with the scent of metal, dust, and the lingering perfume of long gone herbs. The only reason the shop still stands is due to the traffic from travelers. Adventurers easily duped by the mixture of curiosity and a persistent shopkeep make up most of the sales. 


One such adventuring party enters, eager to look about at things they can hardly afford. A pair of them, a purple tiefling and a redheaded wood elf peruse the aisles of curious curios, not looking to buy, much to the shopkeeper's chagrin. The elf gets distracted by what looks to be an old mortar and pestle as her purple companion goes wandering further into the haphazard maze of shelves. 


A box sits upon a dusty shelf in a darker corner, priced higher than she could dream of paying. There is a nagging feeling that draws her closer to it finds the box to be inscribed with infernal. She can barely make out the words, but it is enough to have the box disappearing off the shelf and into her pack. 


It is late that night, camped in the forest when she realizes the power the box holds. Alone she lifts the lid, finding a golden bracelet twisted and looking like the body of a snake. Slipping it on her wrist she can feel she is no longer alone. A voice presses at the inside of her mind when she finally drifts off to sleep, offering all manner of things in exchange for a price. 


It is early dawn when she sneaks out of camp and disappears amongst the trees before her companions wake. In the silence of the forest, she remembers her dreams and thinks about the offer of power from the entity to which the bracelet belongs. 


At first, she feels only the breeze. But a surprising warmth in her hand draws her attention. She lifts it only to be surprised by what she finds. 


There in her violet palm is the first plume of fire.


Just as her new patron had promised.


Did you find a mysterious object or stumble into a situation that led to you being contacted by some kind of otherworldly being? Did they offer to give you arcane abilities in exchange for something of their choice? Did you go from average village person #7 to total BAMF overnight? Well if you answered yes to all of the above, congratulations traveler you just became a warlock. 


Now we know that you may still be reeling from being touched by an Eldritch being (whether metaphorically or otherwise), but there are still many things you need to know before you start your journey as a warlock. Don’t you worry your pretty little head traveler, we’ve got you covered on the details. 

Warlocks: A Beginners Guide

Whether you went willingly into the loving embrace of your eldritch being or you were cajoled, plays a huge part in how your story might unfold. Did you want power and glory and a demon felt you were ripe for the picking? Did you need something and an entity agreed to help you get it in exchange for your loyalty? Your reasoning can largely impact the sort of encounters you might face during your journey.


Whether your relationship with your patron is friendly, nefarious, or even romantic, your pact with them does guarantee you a few specific things.

Pact Magic

The essential bit of spice that makes a warlock what they are, is that little bit of arcane oomph that your patron has kindly (but likely for entirely selfish reasons) gifted you. Your spellcasting ability makes you a true powerhouse in any battle. Your friends will be looking to you for some helpful moves during battle. 


Cantrips specifically are a huge benefit as your list includes several cantrips you can use over and over again without worrying about running out of spells. A few very handy cantrips to choose for your roster are things like, Eldritch Blast, Toll the Dead, Frostbite, or Poison Spray. There are other less combat forward cantrips that you can use to aid you as well like Mage Hand, or Minor Illusion, but if you’re running low on spell slots cantrips can be a clever way to stay in the fight. 


Some creative spells you might come across in your list are: 


  • Vampiric Touch: Deals necrotic damage through a successful melee attack.
  • Blight:A heavy-hitting spell that drains your opponent, dealing 8d8 of pure necrotic damage.
  • Conjure Fey:Allows you to conjure a fey creature to aid you and your party in combat. 

Some important things to remember are when you cast, your spell is always cast at the highest level you’ve got, so keep that in mind. I know your slots are minimal but don’t worry, take a short snooze and those spells will be ready and raring to go by the time you’ve perked back up, sleeping beauty. 


The higher you get the more powerful your spells become. When you reach a certain level you’ll even have the ability to use a power word to instantly stun or even kill a creature of your choice if they have 100 hit points or less. 


But of course, as the old chestnut goes, with great power comes great responsibility and all that. 

Eldritch Invocations

These are a handy component to being a warlock as well. This means through your studies and through your patron you have access to knowledge that is forbidden to others. What a perk huh? These invocations are something you can gain more of as well as you gain levels, but starting out you’ll get two of your choice. 


Some popular options are things like: 


  • Devil’s Sight: The ability to see in darkness regardless of whether it is magical or non-magical. 
  • Repelling Blast: If you’ve already selected Eldritch blast as your cantrip, good news! This allows you to shove the creature away from you up to ten feet. 
  • Beguiling Influence: This handy little thing gives you proficiency in deception and persuasion, so use that wisely. 

  • The best part about this is you have a very handy-dandy trade option, so once a better invocation becomes accessible you can trade one of your old ones out for the shiny new toy. 

    So What Have We Learned?

    This is only a very brief overview of the things that you can experience as a warlock. To be a Warlock is to play a contrast of phenomenal powers and sharp limitations. Minimized spell slots and some other checks and balances are there to keep you in line, but you were never one to let a leash stop you, right? 


    There is plenty of chaos out there waiting for you to get involved. We’ll be here if you have any questions. 


    Oh and traveler? 


    Try not to maim too many party members with your fireball.

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