February 6, 2017

The Mystical Talisman

Otherworldly Patron
Comments from the Palm: After a re-watch of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, I came to an interesting realization: the relationship between Kyubey and the girls he grants wishes to is one of the clearest depictions of a Warlock Pact in media. Technically, this also applies to things like the Power Rangers/Super Sentai, Sailor Moon, Guyver, etc., but Madoka really plays up the contract and "Deal with the Devil" aspect. 
     Sidenote: Giving your attacks and spells unique names is absolutely not necessary, and doesn't even always fit with the sentai/magical girl motif, but it is HIGHLY recommended.

The Mystical Talisman

For the large majority of warlocks, the Pact is something that is either sought out personally or offered in a moment of weakness or desperation. Owners of a mystical talisman, by contrast, rarely know what kind of power they have undertaken. They are inheritors of great strength and power, and are expected to uphold the ideals of those who held that power before.
     In most cases, those who become warlocks of the Talisman inherit their talisman from a family member or teacher: they join a long line of heroes or villains who have wielded that power in the name of some greater idea. Others are plucked from the masses by powerful entities, chosen for specific traits or characteristics. A small few simply stumble into their power, finding their talisman amidst a pile of rubble. Regardless of the cause, what a Talisman warlock chooses to do with their power is ultimately up to them. 

Mystical Talisman Bonus Spells
Spell LevelSpells
1stbless, expeditious retreat
3rdenhance ability, scorching ray
5thfireball, phantom steed
7thdimension door, fire shield
9thcone of cold, wall of force

Mystical Transformation
Starting at 1st level, you can use your action to undergo a fantastic transformation. The exact nature of the transformation varies from talisman to talisman, but it always confers similar changes: an utterly fantastical outfit (suit of armor, brightly colored clothes, symbiotic battle suit, etc.), which completely masks your identity and confers an exaggerated, bombastic manner of speech. While transformed:

  • Your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Charisma modifier
  • Your unarmed strikes deal 1d4 damage, you can use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier for attack and damage rolls for your unarmed strikes, and when you use the attack action to make an unarmed strike you may use your bonus action to make an additional unarmed strike. 
  • You cannot be recognized as your true identity, except by truesight, your patron, or any creature that watches you transform.
  • Select one of the following damage types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, necrotic, radiant, or thunder damage. Spells and abilities that you use which would deal one of those damage types instead deal damage of the selected type. Additionally, you may deal this type of damage with your eldritch blast rather than force damage. 
  • You have disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks.
  • You have disadvantage on Charisma (Deception) checks.
  • You cannot gain the benefits of rest or sleep.
     Once transformed, you can maintain your transformed state indefinitely. The effect ends immediately if you are unconscious or if you use an action to dismiss it. Once you use this ability, you must take a long rest before you can do so again. 
     Starting at 6th level, you need only take a short rest before using this ability again, and at 14th level, you can use this ability at will.

Mystical Luck
At 6th level, while transformed, you can re-roll an ability check, saving throw, or attack roll. You can choose to do so after you make the roll but before you know the outcome. 

     Once you use this ability, you must take a short or long rest before you can do so again.

Mystical Barrier
At 10th level, while transformed, you gain resistance to your chosen damage type. Additionally, when you transform, you gain a number of temporary HP equal to your warlock level + your Charisma modifier. 

Super Mystical Transformation
Starting at 14th level, while transformed, you gain a flight speed equal to your movement speed.

     Additionally, you can unleash an ultimate attack: when you hit a creature with an attack, you can deal that creature an additional 10d10 points of your chosen damage type. Once you use this ability, you must take a long rest before you can do so again. 

New Pact Boons
The following pact boons are available to all warlocks.

Pact of the Rod
As an action, you can summon a rod to your hand, which acts as a spell focus. You gain a +1 bonus to spell attack rolls of spells cast through your rod. Additionally, you can wield your Rod as a mace, which is magical for the purposes of overcoming magical resistance and immunity, and you can use your Charisma modifier instead of your strength modifier for the attack and damage rolls of melee attacks made with it. 
     Your pact rod disappears if it is more than 5 feet away from you for 1 minute or more. It also disappears if you use this feature again, if you dismiss the weapon (no action required), or if you die.
     You can bond with one magic mace, club, rod, or staff, turning it into your pact rod. You do so by performing a special ritual while you hold the item. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. You can then dismiss the item, shunting it into an extradimensional space, and it appears whenever you summon your pact rod thereafter. You can’t affect an artifact or a sentient weapon in this way. The item ceases being your pact rod if you die, if you perform the 1-hour ritual on a different item, or if you use a 1-hour ritual to break your bond to it. The item appears at your feet if it is in the extradimensional space when the bond breaks.

Pact of the Skin

You give themselves over completely to your patron, taking on greater aspects of your benefactor in exchange for more power. Your skin changes to reflect this, changing form and becoming more resistant to damage. When you take bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage from a nonmagical weapon that isn’t silvered, you can subtract 3 from the damage taken.

New Eldritch Invocations
The following invocations are available to all warlocks.

Fell Flight
Prerequisite: 15th level, Pact of the Skin feature
Your patron grants you the power to fly: this manifests as a pair of wings (of varying designs), a dark aura, or some other sign appropriate to your patron. You gain a fly speed equal to your walking speed.

Fell Force
Prerequisite: 7th level, Pact of the Skin feature
You learn to channel your patron's power into your eldritch blast. You can now cause your eldritch blast to deal psychic damage instead of force damage. 

Elemental Blast
Prerequisite: 7th level, Pact of the Rod feature, eldritch blast cantrip
You can channel an element though your eldritch blast. When you cast eldritch blast, you can choose for it to deal acid, cold, fire, or force damage.

Eldritch Channel
Prerequisite: 5th level, Pact of the Rod feature
As an action, you can contact your patron with your rod, restoring one expended pact magic spell slot. Once you use this ability, you must take a long rest before you can do so again.

Legion Blades 
Prerequisite: 4th level, Pact of the Blade feature
You can create second pact blade and/or bind a second weapon as your pact weapon, and can summon both as a single action. When you engage in two-weapon fighting with these weapons, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

Monstrous Carapace
Prerequisite: 11th level, Pact of Skin feature
Your already tough form becomes almost impenetrable. You now take 3 +  your Charisma modifier fewer points of bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage from non-magical sources. Silver weapons ignore this damage reduction.

Monstrous Claws
Prerequisite: 5th level, Pact of Skin feature
You can grow a pair of wickedly sharp claws. The damage die of your unarmed strikes increases to 1d6, you can choose to deal either bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage with your unarmed strikes. Your unarmed strikes are considered magical for the purposes of overcoming damage resistance or immunity. 
     Additionally, when you use the Attack action to make an unarmed strike, you can attack twice instead of once.

Shield of Atropus
Prerequisite: 4th level, Pact of the Blade feature
You can create and/or bind a Pact Shield in addition to your Pact Blade. You are proficient with this shield, and you can summon both your shield and your blade as a single action. Your pact shield does not benefit from other invocations that benefit your pact blade. 

Vampiric Blade
Prerequisite: 15th level, Pact of the Blade feature
Whenever you strike with your pact blade, you gain a number of temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier. Temporary HP gained from this feature stacks with other sources of temporary HP, up to a maximum of twice your Warlock level.

Changelog: 2/6/17: Pact Boons: Pact of Apotheosis: Changed to Pact of the Skin
Invocations: Apotheosis Carapace, Claws, Force, and Wings renamed: Monstrous Carapace, Monstrous Claws, Fell Force, and Fell Flight. Reordered to maintain alphabetical order
New Pact Boons and Invocations are available to all warlocks
Mystical Transformation: Unarmed strike damage reduced to d4


  1. I really like this pact, I really do, but I have one qualm: I personally think the "Elemental Blast" invocation should be changed into something different, as the level one transformation feature already has something very similar.

    1. Elemental Blast isn't tied to the Talisman patron – it's Pact of the Rod specific.

  2. Wow, a Patron that lets me be a Magical Girl AND a Kamen Rider! Just need a legless mount for the latter.

  3. Isn't the pact of apotheosis the pact of the skin?

    Also the new Blade pact features are awesome. I can finally make Titania Erza as a build. Eldritch Knight/Warlock

    1. Yes, it is. It was renamed for that book. I legit forgot to change them for this.

    2. Actually the Enhanced Warlock patron makes the perfect option for an Eldritch knight multiclass, since you can use Intelligence. Then you can have two bonded weapons, two pact weapons, a pact shield, and pact armor.

    3. I was going for an Erza Scarlet build where she has tons of weapons in an extra dimensional space.

  4. When can we get a supplement with only the new boons and invocations brought to use by you guys. Also when going through your site the everything in the home-brew option is missing a lot of topics

    1. The closest thing we have to a complete invocations package is the All Patrons Eve book on patreon, which is all warlock stuff (though it's not exactly comprehensive.)

      The Everything section of the homebrew page is pretty work-intensive to update. I'm a little torn on whether to make a tag-search function in its place (essentially a drop-down menu that lets you select magic items, monsters, additional rules, etc), or if I should just pony up 6 hours of my life to update it again. What do you think?

    2. Tag and search sounds like a better long term option, but the Everything section is nice

    3. Yeah, I think expanding the categories on the Homebrew page and removing that old table is going to improve UI a lot. Now, I have a new side project while I work on Weird West!

  5. So... I can be Yu-Gi-Oh! ? I think I'll pass. Cool concept, however.

    The pact of the rod really, really outshines the pact of the blade in pretty much every way (excluding invocations)- it gives +1 to spell attacks, which is already pretty good, and gives you a magic weapon that can use cha for melee attacks. I honestly see no upside to taking pact of the blade over this. I think this pact should only provide the +1 to attack rolls without the 'cha for weapon'.

    I initially thought many on the new invocations were too powerful, but on second thoughts they all seem to be balanced.

    1. Mace=1d6, Greatsword=2d6. Blade is still much better for a melee warlock (which is also required for the Blade specific invocations)

    2. Exactly this. The rod is at best a backup weapon: your damage die is limited to a d6, you cannot gain extra attack (since that invocation is limited to bladelocks), and none of the relevant bladelock invocations function with it.

  6. This sounds like a blast to play. I love the fact that you can embrace the Magical Girl or Super Sentai approach. And now I have a new reason to try out Warlock.

    1. Not only that, but with all the pact of the skin and all the associated invocations, you can be the Guyver!

  7. Pact of the Rod seems a little weak mechanically (great for flavor though).

    Pact of the Tome takes Shillelagh, has a 1d8 Bludgeoning Charisma Modifier using weapon as long as they have a piece of wood. Rod is better for blaster-warlocks, which many feel are one of the more powerful classes of 5e as is.

  8. It's honestly intended to be a more thematic choice than anything else, and really encourages you to use the new invocations.

    Besides, you need to be able to summon a super mega silver cystal moon rod, right? RIGHT?

  9. The disadvantage on Stealth and Deception checks is really dumb. Like, what if you want to be a sneaky symbiote ala Alex Mercer?

    Or even, Venom? What if your backstory involves being able to fast talk efficiently?

    No PHB archetype actively penalizes you for using what is your core feature, except Berserker Barbarian - something widely considered to be one of the worst design pieces of this edition. Only the PHB Ranger is worse.

    1. Well, this is certainly not the archetype for the sneaky sneaky or a symbiote-type character, and we actually have a non-warlock Archetype that fits that concept much better(the fighter Warshaper).

      In practice, those are thematic penalties: not really something that's going to get in the way for a character of this type: the Power Rangers, Sailor Moon, Kamen rider etc. were never very sneaky, and even evil Sentai (like the green ranger from season 1) did little in the way of lying while in costume.

      That said, it's still perfectly acceptable to play a sneaky or shifty Talisman warlock, you just have to be mindful about when you transform, which is in all ways a trope I am trying to get across with this subclass.

  10. So, just to make sure I understand it correctly, can you bind a second weapon to a single pact weapon through legion blades and have 2 magic weapons in one? Player of mine asked, and wanted to make an educated ruling XD

    1. My ruling on this would be as follows:

      1) If you take the Legion Blades invocation, you can potentially bind a second magical weapon as your other pact blade. If you only had one bound, only one of the two weapons will be the bound weapon.

      2) improved/superior/ultimate pact weapon invocations affect both pact blades, and indeed any items summoned by your Blade pact ability.

  11. I feel like there should be an invocation that extends your reach with Pact of the Skin.

    1. Ex: 9th lev, You can use your bonus action to extend your unarmed reach 5ft until the start of your next turn

  12. Eldritch Channel is really powerful, I would even go so far as to change it to a full turn action. No movement or bonus actions. It changes the number of spell slots a warlock gets, which seems to be intentionally limited.

  13. Does monstrous carapace stack with the natural 3 damage reduction, or does it just add the cha mod? like -(3+cha) or -(6+cha). Soy if thats a weird format to put it in lol.

  14. With Super Mystical Transformation "when you hit a creature with an attack" is this when you succesfully hit a creature with a weapon or spell attack or whenever you deal damage (like half damage from a sucessful save against fireball for half damage).

    Also in either case its it just one creature? if i hit 5 creatures with eldritch blast do all five targets i hit take the bonus damage or just one of my choosing?

  15. Why do the patron spells on this list duplicate spells already on the Warlock list?

  16. For the pact of the Rod, if you bond a magical item do you still get he +1 To spell attacks and Dc to spells? If so does it stack if the item also provides a bonus?

  17. Are the disadvantages on stealth and deception important for balance purposes, or are they just there to support the theme? It seems to me they present some problems.

    I understand that the character is supposed to be dramatic and showy, but it works against the secret identity thing, since a transformed person can't run away and hide before transforming back, or make up some excuse for where their "civilian" identity ran off to. Not being recognisable isn't much of an advantage if anyone can see you drop transformation, or stops to wonder where the other one went.

    Also I personally like changing the fluff as an easy way to alter the theme of a character without worrying about mechanics and balance, and something like this could easily be re-skinned for a character who became a ghostly shadow creature of some kind, if it weren't for those stealth limitations getting in the way. If they weren't mechanically important, I'd just as easily do without them for things like that.

  18. It's criminal that this patron doesn't provide the Jump spell. I'd replace Expeditious Retreat with it.

  19. Hail!
    Little question that came up upon me, while fixing some things on my Campaing, that have one player using this pact.
    The transformation, if for exemple taking the appearnce of a full plate armor.
    Does it bear any weight on the player? Would you say to use the weight of a Full Plate? Or would it be more light, kuz, magic and stuff.

  20. The AC change seems superfluous until higher levels, as the starting studded leather armor will offer similar or possibly better AC.

  21. Why does it only subtract a max of 8 damage from bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing? Shouldn't at that point it give resistance?