Inspiration can strike in the strangest of places. A few days ago, I was browsing a relatively popular forum and saw that someone had done Warlock Patrons based on one of my favorite video games: League of Legends. Suffice it to say that the story of that game is currently a complete mess, but there are several god-like entities who would be powerful enough to grant characters magical power. There, the River King (a river demon that makes deals with people to give them what they want) and the Star Forger (a cosmic dragon that creates star systems) made for good patrons. In honor of what I thought were pretty well-done class options, I wanted to do my own inspired by this guy, another cosmic entity who is basically the setting’s demigod of war. (Yes, this probably means I’ll get around to Bard eventually.)
The Harbinger of War
Your patron is a demigod of bloodlust and battle. In a desperate moment, you needed aid, and you found his offer of power appealing. With his every slogan encouraging you to fight, you found yourself compelled to a furious rage. When the battle ended, he vanished–but his influence lingers in both the rage that still boils in your heart and the memories of the atrocities you committed in his name.
If you take the Pact of the Chain, your familiar might be a deadly serpent or a small mechanical warrior. If you take the Pact of the Blade, you might gain a sword that pulses with blood or a dark glaive whose corruption threatens to engulf your body. If you take the Pact of the Tome, you might receive an old battlemage manual with annotations written in blood or a collection of legends describing the boons those in the past have requested of your patron.
Expanded Spell List: The Harbinger lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you:
- 1st – inflict wounds, wrathful smite
- 3rd – branding smite, spiritual weapon
- 5th – blinding smite, crusader’s mantle
- 7th – confusion, staggering smite
- 9th – cloudkill, destructive wave
Massacre: From 1st level, your patron inspires you to greater ferocity on the battlefield. When you use the Attack action, you can make one weapon attack as a bonus action. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Blood Flight: You can use the power provided by your patron to hurl yourself into battle, disrupting those around your landing zone. At 6th level, as an action you can launch yourself up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Hostile creatures adjacent to your landing space must make a Strength saving throw against your warlock spell save DC or take bludgeoning damage equal to 10 + your warlock level and be knocked prone. A successful saving throw halves the damage dealt and prevents them from being prone. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Bloodspring: You can call on your patron to save you even from death. At 10th level, when you would make a death saving throw you can instead spring to your feet as an action, regaining hit points equal to half your maximum. You also gain resistance to damage until the start of your next turn. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
Scything Torment: The Harbinger lets you reap the life from your foes, revitalizing yourself as their blood flows. At 14th level, you can use an action to select a creature within 30 feet of you and invoke this feature. Vile blades scythe out from the creature, creating a 30-foot cone originating from your target back toward you. Creatures within the cone, including your target, must make a successful Dexterity saving throw against your warlock spell save DC or take 5d6 slashing damage and have their speed reduced by one-half until the beginning of your next turn. On a successful saving throw, the damage is halved and their speed is not reduced. For each creature caught within the area that fails their saving throw, you regain 1d6 hit points, to a maximum of 5d6.
All of these abilities are based on things Aatrox can do in the game. He gets to attack more quickly, so Massacre was a natural choice (and synergizes well with the Pact of the Blade). Dark Flight sends him forward, knocking enemies up near his landing point and thus making for a nice crowd-control and impact landing ability. His LoL passive Bloodwell brings him back from death, and Blades of Torment slow and damage enemies in a cone. Another iconic aspect is how he heals from attacking, so I combined that with Blades of Torment to make a unique Patron capstone that not only flenses enemies but can also give some health back.
Enjoy the weekend! In light of our discussions about homebrew classes, check out my Dervish at DM’s Guild.