- Pact Of The Blade
- Pact Of The Chain
- Pact Of The Tome
- Pact Of The Talisman.
Dungeons & Dragons provide players with a slew of ways to customize their characters, from their choice of race and class, to more subtle elements such as their character's background and feats. While every class offers means of customization, few classes offer as much personalization as the Warlock. In addition to allowing players to choose their subclass in the form of their Patron at level one, this class allows players to express themselves through the likes of spells and Eldritch invocations.
While each class in the game has several subclass options, Warlocks uniquely have another personalization option when they reach level three, coming in the form of their Pact Boon. Pact Boons are gifts bestowed upon a Warlock by their Patron and in a variety of forms, each with their own strengths. While there are only currently four Pact Boon options, a Warlock's choice in this area can fundamentally change how they function when compared to another character of the same class, offering a utility that can differ significantly. So we're going to break down everything you need to know about the four Pact Boon options available to the class to help you figure out which is best for your Warlock!
Before we begin, we must say that each of these options can be quite useful in their own right, and are each valid choices that simply can help a character excel in areas that may not otherwise. Also, while these boons may benefit a Warlock, these gifts won't be able to assist one's allies if they were to perish in battle, as each of these Pact Boons vanish following a Warlock's death.
Pact Of The Blade
For Warlocks such as Hexblades that aim to excel in melee combat, Pact of the Blade is the Perfect Pact Boon for you. If a Warlock chooses to gain this Pact Boon, they gain the ability to summon a melee weapon of their choice as an action, providing that Warlock with proficiency with that weapon as long as they're holding it. As Warlocks are normally only proficient with simple weapons, this allows them to reliably wield any type of melee weapon. This pact even allows a Warlock to perform a ritual to convert a magical item they find in their adventures into their pact weapon.
In addition to this Pact Boon effectively allowing a Warlock to become proficient in each type of melee weapon, it allows them to access some potent Pact of the Blade exclusive Eldritch Invocations that further help them deal serviceable damage in melee combat. Most notably, the Lifedrinker Eldritch Invocation is available to Pact of the Blade Warlocks of the fifth level or higher and is a must-have for melee-oriented characters of the class, allowing them to attack twice when they take the attack action. Additionally, at level twelve, Pact of the Blade Warlocks can access the Lifedrinker Eldritch Invocation, allowing them to add an amount of necrotic damage equal to their charisma modifier to each attack they make with their pact weapon.
Pact Of The Chain
While Find Familiar is already lauded as being among the most useful early-level ritual spells in D&D, it's normally only available to Wizards. Despite this, Warlocks who choose the Pact of the Chain not only gain access to Find Familiar, but gain access to additional familiar options and means of utilizing their companion. Whenever a Warlock of the Pact of the Chain casts Find Familiar, in addition to the standard familiar options, they can choose to have their familiar come in the form of an imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite, all of which are great options in their own right. In addition to having the utility one would expect from a familiar, such as consistent Help action access in combat and solid scouting ability, these familiars come with their own great uses such as invisibility and spellcasting, and can even attack.
As far as Pact of the Chain exclusive Eldritch Invocations, this Pact Boon allows a Warlock to gain additional means of improving their familiar as well as great utility options. While the Gift of the Ever-Living Ones Invocation causes a Warlock to gain the maximum possible rolled HP whenever they're healed as long as they're within one hundred feet of their familiar, the Chains of Carceri Invocation allows a Warlock to cast Hold Monster without using a spell slot once per day as long as the target is a celestial, fiend, or elemental. Alternatively, the Investment of the Chain Master Invocation improves a familiar's survivability and damage output while the Voice of the Chain Master Invocation allows a Warlock to communicate through their familiar!
Pact Of The Tome
For Warlocks that are aiming to focus on magical utility spells, Pact of the Tome may be the perfect Pact Boon for you. Providing a Warlock with a special tome called a Book of Shadows, this book comes equipped with any three additional cantrips of the Warlock's choice, regardless of what class can normally learn those cantrips. This means a Warlock can gain access to a great deal of utility magic they otherwise wouldn't have access to, allowing for fun and interesting builds.
When it comes to Pact of the Tome exclusive Eldritch Invocations, this pact can offer great support utility that can help one's party in and out of combat. Most notably, the Book of Ancient Secrets Invocation allows a Warlock to gain two first-level ritual spells, allowing them to also transcribe additional Ritual Spells into their Book of Shadows as long as they can find that ritual written down. This provides stellar magic access reminiscent of that of a Wizard. Additionally, the Far Scribe and Gift of the Protectors Invocations each allow one's fellow party members to write their names in the Book of Shadows, providing different benefits respectively. While Far Scribe allows the Warlock to cast the Sending Spell, targeting those who have signed the book, Gift of the Protectors effectively provides an effect comparable to that of Death Ward on each creature who'd signed the book. It's also worth noting that this Pact Boon also opens up access to the Aspect of the Moon Eldritch Invocation, removing a character's necessity to sleep, making them the perfect night watch for a party!
Pact Of The Talisman.
The only Pact Boon to be added to D&D's fifth edition since the initial release of the Player's Handbook, the Pact of the Talisman is a defensive Pact Boon introduced in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. Providing a Warlock with a magical warding amulet, whenever a character with this boon fails a saving throw, they can roll 1d4, adding its result to the failed save to potentially change the outcome.
In regards to exclusive Eldritch Invocations for this Pact Boon, Warlocks of this pact can improve their Talisman through the Protection of the Talisman Invocation, allowing a second d4 to be rolled when the character would fail a saving throw. Additionally, while the Rebuke of the Talisman Invocation allows a Warlock to push away attackers by ten feet whenever they're hit by an attacker within thirty feet, the Bond of the Talisman Invocation allows the Warlock to teleport to the location of another creature that is currently wearing the talisman.
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