How to Play a Warlock in DnD 5e

How to Play a Warlock in DnD 5e, Necromancer

So you want to know how to play a warlock in DnD 5e huh?

The Warlock class is some of the most interesting playthroughs you can have in Dnd 5e. They are servants of masters far beyond a normal mortal’s ability to conceive. And that is exactly one of the main features of the class, and why it is so fun to play.
You can never go wrong with choosing to play a warlock character.

If you play it right and chose the right warlock pacts, you can end up with a terrifying character indeed. Casting spells that will annihilate enemies with ease. The eldritch blast cantrip or casting eldritch blast the regular way. The ability to cast undying spells, genie spells, the ability to cast eldritch blast which can annihilate multiple enemies. An eldritch spear to pierce your enemies – or maybe you prefer a hexblade warlock to get right in the middle of melee combat with your melee attacks?
Let me slow down, I got all excited. By no means are these the best warlock spells. The warlock subclasses offer you, even more, to choose from. Chose your spells related to the task at hand.

They are quite possibly the class that is most open to roleplay, as they have so many paths that they can go down. Of course, no character is one-dimensionally evil. But it’s up to the player to determine what their character will be like. What this article wants to explore in short is how to play the warlock, so let’s get right into it.

Choosing a Patron for Your Warlock

The Warlock has an interesting mechanic where they must choose a patron that determines which abilities and pact boons they will receive. Not only that, it helps with roleplay too. Will this patron whisper in your ear at night, asking you to perform the most heinous deeds? Will they coerce you into doing something you do not want to do to get a boon? Anything is possible. But before you can get into that, here’s a list of the patrons you can choose from.

  1. Archfey
  2. Celestial
  3. Fathomless
  4. Fiend
  5. The Genie
  6. Great Old One
  7. Hexblade
  8. Undead
  9. Undying

Each of these will give you a different playstyle, so chose wisely.
Want to sell your soul to some demons? – Then the Fiend is for you. Giving you access to fiend spells.
Came upon a magical weapon one day and now it won’t stop whispering in your ear while you sleep? – The Hexblade does that sometimes. Why waste precious spell slots when you can cut and slash your way through enemies?
Think fairies are badass? – The Archfey agrees with you, so pick her.

Each patron gives you the ability to cast different spells as mentioned in the playstyle comment earlier. So let’s look into that, shall we?

But before we do that, I’d like to add a few more comments.

You can’t get all the spells, and you don’t get many “free spells” other than your cantrips. You may or may not get racial spells if you pick the right race at the start.
The warlock isn’t known for his utility spells, so if you plan to use him for support, then consider another class.
And also, consider that you might have fewer spell slots than the other spellcasters, so pick the right balance between defensive spells, offensive spells, and if it comes to it, ritual spells.

Picking Your New Best Friend

Now that you’ve picked your best friend who wants to eat your soul and send you to eternal damnation. It’s time to see how it all works.

At level 3 you get what are known as Pacts. Pacts help guide your character down a path even further. These are Pact of the Tome, Pact of the Blade, and Pact of the Chain.

  • Pack of the Tome allows you to further enhance your spellcasting abilities. Offering you more options on top. So it’s advised to choose this option if you want to build a spellcaster.
  • Pact of the Blade lets you create a magical pact item. Handy if you want to create a strong fighter.
  • Pact of the Chain lets you have your own little familiar. Useful for scouting and great utility for a variety of situations.

How these pacts interact with each patron you can read up more on the Player’s Handbook and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. On with our guide.

With warlocks, you mainly want to build up their charisma and constitution stats the highest. As charisma is what’s used for your spellcasting – thus, what you use to roll your spell save DC dice. Plus, any charisma bonus is nice to have. And finally, constitution to get more hit points, as Warlocks aren’t known for being that heavily armored.

And in regards to their spellcasting, well that depends. Usually, they start off level 1 with 2 cantrips and 2 known spells with only 1 spell slot for a 1st level spell and no invocations. If you develop your character right you can end up at level 20 with 4 cantrips, 15 spells, 4 spell slots which are 5th level slots, and 8 invocations known.
If you want more spell slots, though luck without using optional rules.

Summary on How to Play a Warlock in DnD 5e

That’s basically all there is to know about how to play a warlock in DnD 5e. Of course, that saying is to be taken metaphorically. In reality, the Warlock offers you so many options and variety that a complete guide on him is practically impossible.

That is why this guide focuses on the mechanics and principles behind the Warlock. As mentioned previously, to learn in detail about the class consult the respective guides. I hope that this guide at least has succeeded in getting you interested in the Warlock as a class. The options it offers the player are truly unmatched.

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